Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

When, however, you don't want to let go, for these people, those blunders of theirs, neither will that Father of yours let go of these blunders of yours.

KJV : 

Matthew 615: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is the negative version of the previous verse, Mat 6:14, except that the words are change slightly to make a critical point that is lost in translation.This verse uses of two different types of negatives, a negative of opinion and a negative of fact. The key message is in those negatives. The negative of opinion is used to indicate that we have a choice about wether or not to let go of the missteps of others. However, the negative used to refer to God not letting us go leaves no room for choice. God simply does not forgive us if we choose not to forgive others.  The Father's action is based on our choices, not his.

NIV : 

Matthew 615: But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

NLT : 

Matthew 615:  But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Wordplay: 

The verse sets up a contrast between "blunders of theirs" with "blunders of yours." The negative here means that you don't want or think to let others go. Not letting go of the blunders of others becomes one of those blunders of yours.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐὰν (conj) "If" is from ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event.

δὲ (partic) "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

μὴ (partic) "Not" is from me, which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

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 (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."

οὐδὲ (adj) "No" is from oude , which means "but not", "neither", "nor,"and "not even."

(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."

ἀφήσει (3rd sg fut ind act) "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." .

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

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

KJV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

if -- The word translated as "if" makes reference to a time and event in the future that introduces but does not determine its outcome. The form of this conditions (if/then) is something that is likely or probable to happen, not something that certainly happens. 

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

forgive -- The word translated as "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.

not -- (CW) The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something or "do believe or trust" in the action, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article. This forgiveness is a choice.

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.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." 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 "trespasses" and "sin" word does not appear in all Greek sources in this first part of the verse as it does in the previous verse, Mat 6:14. The uncommon (for Jesus) Greek word translated as "trespasses" here does not mean violating the property rights of another. It simply 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 Matthew 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 as "sin" even though this is not the word normally translated as "sin" in biblical translation. 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.

neither -- The word "neither" introduces the second part of the verse, but this is the negative of fact, not the negative of opinion used earlier.  You have a choice about forgiving others. The Father's action is based on your choice, not his.

will  -- This helping verb "will" indicates the future tense  of the following verb.

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. 

Father -- The "Father" after the "neither" phrase does not repeat the "heavenly" or "universal" description seen in the previous verse, Matthew 6:14. The point seems to be that this outcome is the result ignoring the Father. Also, the "your Father" phrase appears before the verb rather than after it. In Greek, this emphasizes his role rather than his action.

forgive -- The word translated as "ye forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to allow", or even "to send forth". It is the same word as used in the previous verse.

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. 

trespasses. -- (WW) The "trespasses" phrase appears in the second part of the verse where it was omitted in the previous verse. The previous verse had just "you". Where before, they were "let go" in the verse, they are now not "let go." The Greek word translated as "trespasses" here really means "false step" or "blunder," though it also has an economic meaning of "an error in payment."

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" implies not thinking or wanting something.
  • 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.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "trespasses" means "missteps."

NIV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

if -- The word translated as "if" makes reference to a time and event in the future that introduces but does not determine its outcome. The form of this conditions (if/then) is something that is likely or probable to happen, not something that certainly happens. 

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

do -- This helping verb is added to make this a negative statement.

not -- (CW) The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something or "do believe or trust" in the action, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article. This forgiveness is a choice.

forgive -- The word translated as "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.

others -- (WW) The Greek word for "other" means "man" in the plural means "men,"  "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.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." 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. 

sins, -- (WW) The "trespasses" and "sin" word does not appear in all Greek sources in this first part of the verse as it does in the previous verse, Mat 6:14. The uncommon (for Jesus) Greek word translated as "trespasses" here does not mean violating the property rights of another. It simply 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 Matthew 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 as "sin" even though this is not the word normally translated as "sin" in biblical translation. 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. 

Father -- The "Father" after the "neither" phrase does not repeat the "heavenly" or "universal" description seen in the previous verse, Matthew 6:14. The point seems to be that this outcome is the result ignoring the Father. Also, the "your Father" phrase appears before the verb rather than after it. In Greek, this emphasizes his role rather than his action.

will  -- This helping verb "will" indicates the future tense  of the following verb.

not -- (WW) The word "not" is a negative conjunction, not just a simply negative.  The negative uses is the objective negative, not the negative of thought or opinion used earlier. This really happens no matter what anyone thinks or desires.

forgive -- The word translated as "ye forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to allow", or even "to send forth". It is the same word as used in the previous verse.

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. 

sins. -- (WW) The "sins" phrase appears in the second part of the verse where it was omitted in the previous verse. The previous verse had just "you". Where before, they were "let go" in the verse, they are now not "let go." The Greek word translated as "trespasses" here really means "false step" or "blunder," though it also has an economic meaning of "an error in payment."

NIV Translation Issues: 

9
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" implies not thinking or wanting something.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "others" means "men."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sins" means "missteps."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "not" means "but not." It is the negative for fact.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sins" means "missteps."

NLT Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

if -- The word translated as "if" makes reference to a time and event in the future that introduces but does not determine its outcome. The form of this conditions (if/then) is something that is likely or probable to happen, not something that certainly happens. 

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

refuse --  The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something or "do believe or trust" in the action, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article. This forgiveness is a choice.

to -- This "to" is added because negative verb used, "refuse" requires an infinitive form of the verb, which requires a "to" in English.

forgive -- The word translated as "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.

others -- (WW) The Greek word for "other" means "man" in the plural means "men,"  "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.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." 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. 

sins, -- (WW) The "trespasses" and "sin" word does not appear in all Greek sources in this first part of the verse as it does in the previous verse, Mat 6:14. The uncommon (for Jesus) Greek word translated as "trespasses" here does not mean violating the property rights of another. It simply 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 Matthew 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 as "sin" even though this is not the word normally translated as "sin" in biblical translation. 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. 

Father -- The "Father" after the "neither" phrase does not repeat the "heavenly" or "universal" description seen in the previous verse, Matthew 6:14. The point seems to be that this outcome is the result ignoring the Father. Also, the "your Father" phrase appears before the verb rather than after it. In Greek, this emphasizes his role rather than his action.

will  -- This helping verb "will" indicates the future tense  of the following verb.

not -- (WW) The word "not" is a negative conjunction, not just a simply negative.  The negative uses is the objective negative, not the negative of thought or opinion used earlier. This really happens no matter what anyone thinks or desires.

forgive -- The word translated as "ye forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to allow", or even "to send forth". It is the same word as used in the previous verse.

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. 

sins. -- (WW) The "sins" phrase appears in the second part of the verse where it was omitted in the previous verse. The previous verse had just "you". Where before, they were "let go" in the verse, they are now not "let go." The Greek word translated as "trespasses" here really means "false step" or "blunder," though it also has an economic meaning of "an error in payment."

NLT Translation Issues: 

8
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "others" means "men."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sins" means "missteps."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "not" means "but not." It is the negative for fact.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sins" means "missteps."

The Spoken Version: 

“If, however, you all,” the teacher continued, indicating the whole crowd with his right-hand again, “don’t want to let go of these people.” He made a left-handed sweeping gesture to again include the whole audience. “Those missteps of theirs,” he said, taking another step and again making a small stumble. He again looked askance at the ground.
More laughter.
“Neither is that Father of yours,” he said, “going to let go of those missteps of yours.” He began taking another step, but this time his feet crossed and he stumbled, spinning across the stage.

evidence: 

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Front Page Date: 

Feb 17 2020