Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Sermon on Mount, worthiness

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

In this manner, it must shine, the light of yours, in front of people so that they might see the valuable works of yours and they might recognize the Father of yours, the one in the skies.

KJV : 

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Of course, the keyword here is the Greek word that means "light," which is edited out of the NLT "translation." As in the previous verse, Jesus is using light as a metaphor for knowledge and the ability to see and understand. The word translated as "glorify/praise" here doesn't exactly mean "glorify" or "praise." It primarily means to "think," "imagine," or "suppose," but Jesus consistently uses it to mean "recognize," that carries both the idea of seeing someone in the mind and honoring them that the Greek word does. However, we need light to recognized anything. More about this word in this article.

In English, commands such as "shine" are always addressed in the second person, that is, addressed to the listeners. However, in Greek, there is a third-person command that is translated as "let it shine," but  "it must shine" comes close to the sense in English. 

The words translated as "good work" don't have the sense of charity that "good works" carries in English. The word for "work" means "business", "productivity," or "accomplishments." It doesn't mean any action but an act that requires effort or work. The "good" means "beautiful" and "of fine quality."

NIV : 

Matthew 5:16  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

NLT : 

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Wordplay: 

This is the first time Christ uses the word translated as "glorify," doxazo, which means "recognize." Of course, light is needed to recognize anything.

My Takeaway: 

Our valuable insights into life must show up in the good our lives produce.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὕτως (adv) "So" is from houtos, which means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

λαμψάτω (3rd sg aor imperat act) "Let...shine" is from lampo, which means "to shine forth", "to ring loud and clear," and "to illuminate."

τὸ (article)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). --

φῶς (noun sg masc nom) "Light" is from phos, which means "light", "daylight [primarily], "illumination [of things and of the mind]", "light [of the eyes], "window", "opening", " public visibility," and "publicity." Christ uses it as a metaphor for "knowledge," but in Greek it is also a metaphor for "deliverance", "happiness", "victory," and "glory." ὑμῶν

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is from humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ἔμπροσθεν [uncommon](adv) "Before" is emprosthen, which as an adverb means [of place]"in front of", "before", "forwards," [of time] "before", "of old," and as a preposition, "facing", "opposite", "in front," [of time] beforehand," and [of degree] "preferred before." It also denotes a ranking.

τῶν (article)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἀνθρώπων, (noun pl masc gen) "Men" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

ὅπως (conj) "That" is from hopos, which is a conjunction that means "in such a manner as", "in order that", "in the manner in which", "how," [with negative] "there is no way that," and [in questions] "in what way."

ἴδωσιν (3rd pl aor subj act) "They may see" is from eido which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen)"Your" is from humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

τὰ (article)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). -- untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

καλὰ (adj pl neut nom/acc) "Good" is from kalos, which means "beautiful", "good", "of fine quality", "noble," and "honorable." It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless", "noble" and "base."

ἔργα ( noun pl neut nom/ acc)"Works" is from ergon, which means "works", "tasks", "deeds", "actions", "thing," and "matter."

καὶ (conj) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

δοξάσωσιν (3rd pl aor subj act) "Glorify" is from doxazo, which primarily means "to think", "to expect", "to imagine," or "to suppose." Secondarily, it means "to magnify" or "to extol," which is where we get the "glorify" used most often in NT the translation. The English term "to recognize" carries the same sense of both seeing a person in the mind and honoring them.

τὸν (article)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

πατέρα (noun sg masc acc) "The Father" is from pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is from humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

τὸν (article sg masc acc) "Which" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which, when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ἐν (prep) "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τοῖς (article)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). -- untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

οὐρανοῖς. (noun pl masc dat) "Heaven" is from ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

KJV Analysis: 

Let -- This "let" is the helping verb used to translate the Greek form of the third-person command. In English all commands are in the second-person. This form is used as something like our word "must."

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

light -- The Greek word translated as "the light" means "light", "daylight [primarily], "opening", and "public visibility." Jesus uses it as a metaphor for "knowledge,"

so -- The word translated in KJV as "so" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner" or "in this way."

shine -- The word translated as "gives light" is better translated as  "shines out" or "illuminates." It does not contain either the words "give" or "light." The Greek word used here is the source of our word "lamp." The next word is the verb translated as "shine." It is in the third person, so "it shines," but it is a command.

before -- The Greek word translated as "before" means "in front of" referring to place and when used to apply to time means "beforehand."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

men, -- The word translated as "men" is the common word for men, but it is in the possessive form, "of men." This works in English too, if we translated the previous word as "in front." This word wasn't used to refer just to men, but to "people" generally.

that -- The word translated as "that" is one of those Greek words that introduce a new phrase that offers an explanation. It can be translated as a dependent clause, but if we start a new sentence with it, we get fewer run-on sentences.

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

may-- This helping verb "may" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

see -- The verb "see" is the most common form of the word. It is in the form that indicates something "might" happen.

your -- The word translated as "your" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners. This pronoun is before the article, so the sense is "yours, the good."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

good -- The word translated as "good" means "beautiful", "excellent," and "praiseworthy." It doesn't mean charitable or kind.

works, -- The Greek word translated as "works" means "deeds", "actions," and "things" in the sense of "every thing."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

glorify -- (CW) The Greek term translated as "to have glory" is a word that primarily means "to imagine" and "to expect." It also means "to honor" in a sense. However, the word that it comes closest to in English is "to recognize" since that word captures both the mental imaging and honoring sense of the word. "Recognize" works especially well with actors because they seek fame and recognition from the audience. More about this word in this article.

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

Father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers". It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father. 

which -- The word translated as "which" is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

is -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "is" in the Greek source.

in   -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heaven: - (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means "sky," the "climate," and the "universe."     It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.  This word is plural, not singular, so "skies." 

KJV Translation Issues: 

8
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "light" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "men" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "good" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "glorify" does not mean "praise" but "recognize."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "is" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but it is plural, "skies."

NIV Analysis: 

In the same way, -- The word translated in KJV as "in the same way" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner" or "in this way."

let -- This "let" is the helping verb used to translate the Greek form of the third-person command. In English all commands are in the second-person. This form is used as something like our word "must."

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

light -- The Greek word translated as "the light" means "light", "daylight [primarily], "opening", and "public visibility." Jesus uses it as a metaphor for "knowledge,"

shine -- The word translated as "gives light" is better translated as  "shines out" or "illuminates." It does not contain either the words "give" or "light." The Greek word used here is the source of our word "lamp." The next word is the verb translated as "shine." It is in the third person, so "it shines," but it is a command.

before -- The Greek word translated as "before" means "in front of" referring to place and when used to apply to time means "beforehand."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

others, -- (WW) The word translated as "others" is the common word for men, but it is in the possessive form, "of men." This works in English too, if we translated the previous word as "in front." This word wasn't used to refer just to men, but to "people" generally.

that -- The word translated as "that" is one of those Greek words that introduce a new phrase that offers an explanation. It can be translated as a dependent clause, but if we start a new sentence with it, we get fewer run-on sentences.

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

may-- This helping verb "may" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

see -- The verb "see" is the most common form of the word. It is in the form that indicates something "might" happen.

your -- The word translated as "your" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners. This pronoun is before the article, so the sense is "yours, the good."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

good -- The word translated as "good" means "beautiful", "excellent," and "praiseworthy." It doesn't mean charitable or kind.

deeds, -- The Greek word translated as "deeds" means "deeds", "actions," and "things" in the sense of "every thing."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

glorify -- (CW) The Greek term translated as "to have glory" is a word that primarily means "to imagine" and "to expect." It also means "to honor" in a sense. However, the word that it comes closest to in English is "to recognize" since that word captures both the mental imaging and honoring sense of the word. "Recognize" works especially well with actors because they seek fame and recognition from the audience. More about this word in this article.

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

Father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers". It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father. 

untranslated "the one"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.

in   -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heaven: - (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means "sky," the "climate," and the "universe."     It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.  This word is plural, not singular, so "skies." 

NIV Translation Issues: 

9
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "light" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "others" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "others" should be "people" or "men."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "good" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "glorify" does not mean "praise" but "recognize."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the one" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but it is plural, "skies."

NLT Analysis: 

In the same way, -- The word translated in KJV as "in the same way" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner" or "in this way."

let -- This "let" is the helping verb used to translate the Greek form of the third-person command. In English all commands are in the second-person. This form is used as something like our word "must."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.

untranslated "light"  -- (MW) The untranslated word"the light" means "light", "daylight [primarily], "opening", and "public visibility." Jesus uses it as a metaphor for "knowledge,"

untranslated "of yours"-- (MW) The untranslated word "your" after "light" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

your -- The word translated as "your" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners. This pronoun is before the article, so the sense is "yours, the good."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

good -- The word translated as "good" means "beautiful", "excellent," and "praiseworthy." It doesn't mean charitable or kind.

deeds, -- The Greek word translated as "deeds" means "deeds", "actions," and "things" in the sense of "every thing."

shine out -- The word translated as "gives light" is better translated as  "shines out" or "illuminates." It does not contain either the words "give" or "light." The Greek word used here is the source of our word "lamp." The next word is the verb translated as "shine." It is in the third person, so "it shines," but it is a command.

for -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "for" means "in front of" referring to place and when used to apply to time means "beforehand."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

all , -- (WW) The word translated as "all" is the common word for "men", andit is in the possessive form, "of men." This works in English too, if we translated the previous word as "in front." This word wasn't used to refer just to men, but to "people" generally.

to --  (WW) This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English. but the verb is not an infinitive but in a form that requires a "might" or "should."

see -- The verb "see" is the most common form of the word. It is in the form that indicates something "might" happen.

so -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

that --  (WP) The word translated as "that" is one of those Greek words that introduce a new phrase that offers an explanation. However, this word appears before the "see" clause, not here.

everyone -- (WW) -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb. It should be "they."

will -- (WW) This helping verb "will" does not indicate the future tense because the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

praise -- (CW) The Greek term translated as "praise" is a word that primarily means "to imagine" and "to expect." It also means "to honor" in a sense. However, the word that it comes closest to in English is "to recognize" since that word captures both the mental imaging and honoring sense of the word. "Recognize" works especially well with actors because they seek fame and recognition from the audience. More about this word in this article.

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heavenly: - (WF, WN) The word translated as "heaven" means "sky," the "climate," and the "universe."     It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.  This word is a noun, not an adjective and plural, not singular, so "skies." It follows the phrase after "father."

Father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers". It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father. 

untranslated "the one"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which when not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.

untranslated "in"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

NLT Translation Issues: 

18
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "light" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "light" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "of yours" after "light" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "good" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "for" means "before."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "all" means "men."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "to" should be "might."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "so" means "and."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "that" doesn't appear here but before the "see" clause.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "everyone" should be "they."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "will" should be "might."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "praise" does not mean "praise" but "recognize."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "heavenly" is not an adjective but a noun, "heavens."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but it is plural, "skies."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the one" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "in" before "skies" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "skies" is not shown in the English translation.

The Spoken Version: 

“Instead,” he continued, lifting his arms, raising the imaginary lamp up high, reaching up as far has he could. He rose slowly on his tip-toes, teetering precariously as he reached out.
As he teetered on his toes, the crowd began tittering.
“On a lamp stand!” He announced triumphantly, placing his lamp. “And it lights up everyone in the house! In this way,” he continued, pointing up to his pretend lamp, “let that light of yours shine out in front of other people.”
As he said this, or perhaps right before, the sun came out from behind a cloud and blazed down so brightly that the speaker had to shield his eyes from the glare.
“So that they might see,” he said, squinting but smiling, “your worthy deeds! And, recognize your Father, the one—in the skies!”

evidence: 

15.00

Front Page Date: 

Apr 22 2020