Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men their trespasses...

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Because if you might [it] let drop for these people those blunders of theirs, he is going to let it drop also for you, that Father of yours, the heavenly one.

KJV : 

Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The Greek word translated as "trespasses" and "sins" means missteps and blunders. However, it is not the word translated commonly as "sin" that means "missing the mark." The word translated as "forgive" has the sense of letting something go or dropping it (see this article on "sin" and "forgive"). 

The Greek words are structured in a humorous way. The words "blunders of your" and "father of yours" play the role of a punchline. The line "the heavenly one" plays the role of a followup punchline, implying that your earthly father might not let go of your shortcomings.

NIV : 

Matthew 6:14  For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

NLT : 

Matthew 6:14 If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.

Wordplay: 

 The "your Father, the universal one" is a play on words contrasting the private "your Father" is also the public "universal Father."  The "blunders" are omitted in the second part of this verse because the Father has "let them go." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἐὰν (conj) "If" is from ean, which is a conditional particle, derived from ei ("if") and the particle an (indicating the possibility of something, i.e. "might"), so it literally it means "if might," but the "might" is often omitted because the possibility of the situation is often obvious from the "if" alone.

γὰρ (adv) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what."

ἀφῆτε (2nd pl aor subj act) "Ye forgive" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "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."

ἀνθρώποις (noun pl masc dat) "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.

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."

παραπτώματα [2 verses] (noun pl neut acc) "Trespasses" is from paratoma, which means "false step", "slip", "blunder", "defeat", "transgression", "trespass," and "error in amount of payments."

αὐτῶν, (adj pl masc gen) "Their" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

ἀφήσει (3rd sg fut ind act) "will forgive" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "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." .

καὶ (adv) "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."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from humas and humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

(article  sg masc nom)  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."

πατὴρ (noun sg masc nom) "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."

(article  sg masc nom)  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."

οὐράνιος: (adj sg masc nom) "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." See this article for more perspective on the word and how Christ uses it.

KJV Analysis: 

For -- The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, the prevent a run-on sentence, as a "this is because..." to start a new sentence. Despite this role, it always appears in the second position.

if The word translated as "if" makes reference to a time and event in the future that introduces but does not determine its outcome. "Letting go of others mistakes" is a requirement that might happen but it doesn't guarantee the result.

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

forgive--  The word translated as "ye forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to allow", or even "to send forth". This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. This article discusses this word and the other words related to evil and sin.

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. 

men -- The Greek word for "men" in the plural means "people" and "humanity" in general. The form makes it the indirect object of letting go but the sense is that you do this for the benefit of others.

their -- The word translated as "their" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of theirs."

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. 

trespasses, -- (WW) The uncommon (for Jesus) Greek word translated as "trespasses" here really means "false step", "misstep", or "blunder," though it also has an economic meaning of "an error in payment." It is a different word that gets translated as "trespasses" in Mat 6:12 ("And forgive us our trespasses") in more recent translations. Again, the KJV stresses a moral meaning of the word that isn't there, but not as much as more recent translations, which sometimes translate this word in this verse as "sin" even though this is not the word normally translated as "sin" in biblical translations. For more about all these words, you may want to read this article (same as the one above) that explains their use. This word is used to mean going off the right path, or, more specifically, stumbling off that path. It means literally means "falling beside" the path.

your - The word translated as "your" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

heavenly -- (WF) The Father here is joined with an adjective form of "heaven" used as a noun so the sense is "the heavenly" or "the heavenly one". It appears after "the Father of yours"

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. 

Father -- The "Father" here is in the standard form Jesus uses, "the Father of yours". Christ seems to consider this form of the possessive somewhat distinctive because it is not that form he uses when he is pretending to speak for another.

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

also -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

forgive --  The Greek word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go." Here it is in the future tense. Unlike the first phrase, it has no object, that is, the word "trespasses" is not repeated.

missing"for"-- (MW) The untranslated word comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object, a "with" for instruments, an "in" for locations, an "as" for purposes, an "of" for possession, a "by" for agents, an "as" for comparisons, "at" or "on" a time, and an "in" for area of affect.

you: The "you" is not the object of the "let go" or "forgiven" in this sentence. The "you" here is in a form that indicates an indirect object.

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "trespasses" means "missteps."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "heavenly" is not an adverb, but a noun. It is in the same form as the word "father."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "for" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

For -- The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, the prevent a run-on sentence, as a "this is because..." to start a new sentence. Despite this role, it always appears in the second position.

if  -- The word translated as "if" makes reference to a time and event in the future that introduces but does not determine its outcome. "Letting go of others mistakes" is a requirement that might happen but it doesn't guarantee the result.

you -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

forgive--  The word translated as "ye forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to allow", or even "to send forth". This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. This article discusses this word and the other words related to evil and sin.

other -- (WW) The word here 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. 

people -- The Greek word for "people" in the plural means "people" and "humanity" in general. The form makes it the indirect object of letting go but the sense is that you do this for the benefit of others.

when -- -- (IW) There is no Greek word that can be translated as "when" in the Greek source.

they -- (WF) The word translated as "their" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of theirs."

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. 

sin , -- (WW, WF) The uncommon (for Jesus) Greek word translated as "sin" here really means "false step", "misstep", or "blunder," though it also has an economic meaning of "an error in payment." It is a noun, not a verb.  It is a different word that gets translated as "trespasses" in Mat 6:12 ("And forgive us our trespasses") in more recent translations. Again, the KJV stresses a moral meaning of the word that isn't there, but not as much as more recent translations, which sometimes translate this word in this verse as "sin" even though this is not the word normally translated as "sin" in biblical translations. For more about all these words, you may want to read this article (same as the one above) that explains their use. This word is used to mean going off the right path, or, more specifically, stumbling off that path. It means literally means "falling beside" the path.

against you, - (IP) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "against you" in the Greek source.

your - The word translated as "your" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

heavenly -- (WF) The Father here is joined with an adjective form of "heaven" used as a noun so the sense is "the heavenly" or "the heavenly one". It appears after "the Father of yours"

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. 

Father -- The "Father" here is in the standard form Jesus uses, "the Father of yours". Christ seems to consider this form of the possessive somewhat distinctive because it is not that form he uses when he is pretending to speak for another.

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

also -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

forgive --  The Greek word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go." Here it is in the future tense. Unlike the first phrase, it has no object, that is, the word "trespasses" is not repeated.

missing"for"-- (MW) The untranslated word comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object, a "with" for instruments, an "in" for locations, an "as" for purposes, an "of" for possession, a "by" for agents, an "as" for comparisons, "at" or "on" a time, and an "in" for area of affect.

you: The "you" is not the object of the "let go" or "forgiven" in this sentence. The "you" here is in a form that indicates an indirect object.

NIV Translation Issues: 

11
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "other" means "the."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "when" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "they" is not a subject but a possessive, "of their."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "trespasses" means "missteps."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sin" is not a verb, but a noun.
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "against you" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "heavenly" is not an adverb, but a noun. It is in the same form as the word "father."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "for" is not shown in the English translation.

NLT Analysis: 

untranslated "for"-- (MW) The untranslated word "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, the prevent a run-on sentence, as a "this is because..." to start a new sentence. Despite this role, it always appears in the second position.

If  -- The word translated as "if" makes reference to a time and event in the future that introduces but does not determine its outcome. "Letting go of others mistakes" is a requirement that might happen but it doesn't guarantee the result.

you -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

forgive--  The word translated as "ye forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to allow", or even "to send forth". This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. This article discusses this word and the other words related to evil and sin.

those -- The word here 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. 

untranslated "men"-- (MW) The untranslated word "men" in the plural means "people" and "humanity" in general. The form makes it the indirect object of letting go but the sense is that you do this for the benefit of others.

who -- (WF) The word translated as "who" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of theirs."

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. 

sin , -- (WW, WF) The uncommon (for Jesus) Greek word translated as "sin" here really means "false step", "misstep", or "blunder," though it also has an economic meaning of "an error in payment." It is a noun, not a verb.  It is a different word that gets translated as "trespasses" in Mat 6:12 ("And forgive us our trespasses") in more recent translations. Again, the KJV stresses a moral meaning of the word that isn't there, but not as much as more recent translations, which sometimes translate this word in this verse as "sin" even though this is not the word normally translated as "sin" in biblical translations. For more about all these words, you may want to read this article (same as the one above) that explains their use. This word is used to mean going off the right path, or, more specifically, stumbling off that path. It means literally means "falling beside" the path.

against you, - (IP) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "against you" in the Greek source.

your - The word translated as "your" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

heavenly -- (WF) The Father here is joined with an adjective form of "heaven" used as a noun so the sense is "the heavenly" or "the heavenly one". It appears after "the Father of yours"

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. 

Father -- The "Father" here is in the standard form Jesus uses, "the Father of yours". Christ seems to consider this form of the possessive somewhat distinctive because it is not that form he uses when he is pretending to speak for another.

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

untranslated "also"-- (MW) The untranslated word is "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

forgive --  The Greek word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go." Here it is in the future tense. Unlike the first phrase, it has no object, that is, the word "trespasses" is not repeated.

missing"for"-- (MW) The untranslated word comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object, a "with" for instruments, an "in" for locations, an "as" for purposes, an "of" for possession, a "by" for agents, an "as" for comparisons, "at" or "on" a time, and an "in" for area of affect.

you: The "you" is not the object of the "let go" or "forgiven" in this sentence. The "you" here is in a form that indicates an indirect object.

NLT Translation Issues: 

11
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "for" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "men" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "who" is not a subject but a possessive, "of their."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "trespasses" means "missteps."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sin" is not a verb, but a noun.
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "against you" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "heavenly" is not an adverb, but a noun. It is in the same form as the word "father."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "for" is not shown in the English translation.

The Spoken Version: 

“Why do we let our debtors go?” A man asked. A murmur went through the crowd. Many were bondsmen, indebted to their masters, who were also there.
“Because,” the teacher explained, returning to his cheery tenor, “if you all—.” He made a sweeping gesture with his right hand to indicate the whole crowd. “Let go of these people.” He made another sweeping gesture with his left hand to again include the whole crowd. “Those missteps of theirs,” he said, taking a step that turned into a little stumble. He looked critically at the ground where he had stumbled.

“Why do we let our debtors go?” A man asked. A murmur went through the crowd. Many were bondsmen, indebted to their masters, who were also there.
“Because,” the teacher explained, returning to his cheery tenor, “if you all—.” He made a sweeping gesture with his right hand to indicate the whole crowd. “Let go of these people.” He made another sweeping gesture with his left hand to again include the whole crowd. “Those missteps of theirs,” he said, taking a step that turned into a little stumble. He looked critically at the ground where he had stumbled.

evidence: 

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Front Page Date: 

Feb 16 2020