Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Also, let go for us those debts of ours. Just as even we ourselves let go of those debtors of ours. 

KJV : 

Matthew  6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

​The context here is clearly "debt", not "sin" or "trespasses" as some translations offer it. The concept of debt was much broader and more common in Jesus' era.  A person under a bond was almost a slave until the debt was paid. A large percentage of the population was under bond to those to whom they owed debts, so this concept comes up a lot in the Gospels. If debts were not repaid, people could also be put into jail. Here, that concept is applied to the "debt" that we owe God for our lives. Children were understood to owe their parents a debt for the same reason. Parents must be honored as a way of honoring this debt.

NIV : 

Matthew  6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

NLT : 

Matthew  6:12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

Wordplay: 

There is near alliteration in the Greek between the "let go" (aphiemi) and the "what we owe" (opheilema) and the "those who owe us" (opheiletes)

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

ἄφες (2nd sg aor imperat act) "Forgive" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "to discharge", "to give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

ἡμῖν (pron 1st pl masc/fem dat) "Us" is from hemin, which is the first person plural dative pronoun, "to us."

τὰ (article pl neut acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ὀφειλήματα (noun pl neut acc) "Debts" is from opheilema, which means "that which is owed," and "debt."

ἡμῶν, (pron 1st pl gen) "Our" is from hemon, which is the plural possessive (genitive) form of the first personal pronoun.

ὡς (adv/conj)"As" is from hos, an adverb which means to "thus", "as", "how", "when", "where", "like", "just as", "so far as", "as much as can be", "that", "in order that", "nearly (with numbers)," and "know that."

καὶ (conj) Untranslated is 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."

ἡμεῖς (pron 1st pl masc nom) "We" is from hemeis, the first person plural pronoun, "we", "us".

ἀφήκαμεν (1st pl aor ind act) "Forgive" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "to discharge", "to give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

τοῖς (article pl masc dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ὀφειλέταις (noun pl masc dat) "Debtors" is from opheiletes, which means "a debtor", "a person who owes a debt" or "one who is under a bond."

ἡμῶν (pron 1st pl gen) "Our" is from hemon, which is the plural possessive (genitive) form of the first personal pronoun.

KJV Analysis: 

And -- The conjunction translated as "and" begins the sentence. It can also mean "also."

forgive -- The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to let drop", "to leave alone", or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. It is in the second person imperative, which can be a command or a request in Greek. More about this word in this article.

us -- The word translated as "us" is the first person plural pronoun. Its form is used as an indirect object, but in Greek this can indicate the one receiving a benefit from an action. In English, it could me "to us" or "for us"

our -- The "our" is the plural possessive first-person pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of ours."

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. 

debts, -- The Greek word for "debts" is sometimes translated in this verse as "sins" or "trespasses," but in the Greek, it has only one meaning, "that which is owed." In this respect, the KJV is more accurate than more recent translations such as the NLT that render it differently because the word translated as "forgive" is usually associated with "sin" (see this article) even though that concept has little to do with its Greek meaning. This noun is plural so "debts." .

as -- The Greek word translated as "as" means "just as," can also mean "when", "in order that," "as far as", or, simply, "that". It is commonly used to introduce an explanatory clause. Translating this word as "when" or "as far as" changes the meaning.

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

we - (WF) This is from the first-person, plural  pronoun. Since this information is part of the verb, the pronoun is only used to emphasize it as we might say "we ourselves" in English.

forgive -- The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to let drop", "to leave alone", or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. It is in the second person imperative, which can be a command or a request in Greek. More about this word in this article.

our -- The "our" is the plural possessive first-person pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of ours."

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. 

debtors. -- The word for "debtor" is a form of the word for "debt" used above. It means someone who owes something, that is, someone who was under a bond.

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "we" is from a pronoun subject so "we ourselves."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

And -- The conjunction translated as "and" begins the sentence. It can also mean "also."

forgive -- The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to let drop", "to leave alone", or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. It is in the second person imperative, which can be a command or a request in Greek. More about this word in this article.

us -- The word translated as "us" is the first person plural pronoun. Its form is used as an indirect object, but in Greek this can indicate the one receiving a benefit from an action. In English, it could me "to us" or "for us"

our -- The "our" is the plural possessive first-person pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of ours."

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. 

debts, -- The Greek word for "debts" is sometimes translated in this verse as "sins" or "trespasses," but in the Greek, it has only one meaning, "that which is owed." In this respect, the KJV is more accurate than more recent translations such as the NLT that render it differently because the word translated as "forgive" is usually associated with "sin" (see this article) even though that concept has little to do with its Greek meaning. This noun is plural so "debts." . In Jesus's era, a person under a bond was almost a slave until the debt was paid. A large percentage of the population was under bond to those to whom they owed debts, so this concept comes up a lot in the Gospels. If debts were not repaid, people could also be put into jail. Here, that concept is applied to the "debt" that we owe God for our lives. Children were understood to owe their parents a debt for the same reason. Parents must be honored as a way of honoring this debt.

as -- The Greek word translated as "as" means "just as," can also mean "when", "in order that," "as far as", or, simply, "that". It is commonly used to introduce an explanatory clause. Translating this word as "when" or "as far as" changes the meaning

we - (WF) This is from the first-person, plural  pronoun. Since this information is part of the verb, the pronoun is only used to emphasize it as we might say "we ourselves" in English.

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

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action competed in the past. This is not the tense of the verbs here.

forgiven -- The word translated as "forgiven" primarily means "to let go", "to let drop", "to leave alone", or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. It is in the second person imperative, which can be a command or a request in Greek. More about this word in this article.

our -- The "our" is the plural possessive first-person pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of ours."

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. 

debtors. -- The word for "debtor" is a form of the word for "debt" used above. It means someone who owes something, that is, someone who was under a bond.

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "we" is from a pronoun subject so "we ourselves."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" seems to indicate an action completed in the past, but the tense is something happening at a point in time past, present, or future.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.

NLT Analysis: 

and -- The conjunction translated as "and" begins the sentence. It can also mean "also."

forgive -- The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to let drop", "to leave alone", or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. It is in the second person imperative, which can be a command or a request in Greek. More about this word in this article.

us -- The word translated as "us" is the first person plural pronoun. Its form is used as an indirect object, but in Greek this can indicate the one receiving a benefit from an action. In English, it could me "to us" or "for us"

our -- The "our" is the plural possessive first-person pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of ours."

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. 

sins, -- (WW) The Greek word for "debts" is sometimes translated in this verse as "sins" or "trespasses," but in the Greek, it has only one meaning, "that which is owed." In this respect, the KJV is more accurate than more recent translations such as the NLT that render it differently because the word translated as "forgive" is usually associated with "sin" (see this article) even though that concept has little to do with its Greek meaning. This noun is plural so "debts." . In Jesus's era, a person under a bond was almost a slave until the debt was paid. A large percentage of the population was under bond to those to whom they owed debts, so this concept comes up a lot in the Gospels. If debts were not repaid, people could also be put into jail. Here, that concept is applied to the "debt" that we owe God for our lives. Children were understood to owe their parents a debt for the same reason. Parents must be honored as a way of honoring this debt.

as -- The Greek word translated as "as" means "just as," can also mean "when", "in order that," "as far as", or, simply, "that". It is commonly used to introduce an explanatory clause. Translating this word as "when" or "as far as" changes the meaning,

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

we - (WF) This is from the first-person, plural  pronoun. Since this information is part of the verb, the pronoun is only used to emphasize it as we might say "we ourselves" in English.

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action competed in the past. This is not the tense of the verbs here.

forgiven -- The word translated as "forgiven" primarily means "to let go", "to let drop", "to leave alone", or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. It is in the second person imperative, which can be a command or a request in Greek. More about this word in this article.

those  --  This 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. 

who sin -- (WW) The word for "who sin" is a form of the word for "debt" used above. It means someone who owes something, that is, someone who was under a bond.

against -- IW - Inserted Word -- The word "against" doesn't exist in the source.

us. (WF) The "us" is the plural possessive first-person pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of ours."

NLT Translation Issues: 

7
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "we" is from a pronoun subject so "we ourselves."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" seems to indicate an action completed in the past, but the tense is something happening at a point in time past, present, or future.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "who sin" means "debtors."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "against" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "us" is a possessive pronoun so "of us."

The Spoken Version: 

“Also, let go of what is owed by us,
“As much as we ourselves also let go of those who owe to us.”

evidence: 

59.00

Front Page Date: 

Feb 14 2020