Matthew 9:2 Son, be of good cheer;

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

Spoken to a paralyzed man.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Have courage, child. They are letting go of you by themselves, your mistakes. 

KJV : 

Matthew 9:2 Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is the first use of the Greek word commonly translated as "sin" by Jesus in the KJV of the gospels. The Greek word does not actually mean "sin." It means "mistake."  Jesus does not use this word at all in the Sermon on the Mount though many of his verses are translated as if they have it, notably in the Lord's Prayer where the word for "debt" is translated as "sin."

The word translated as "forgive" does not mean "forgive" in Greek. The verb is a common word that means "leave" or "let go." This verb is either passive, "are being let go" or the middle voice, "let go of themselves." The English translation seems to want it both ways.

More about these and related words in this article.

NIV : 

Matthew 9:2  Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.

Wordplay: 

 Mistakes leave of their own accord. 

My Takeaway: 

We can only be happy if we put our mistakes behind us.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Θάρσει [5 verses](2nd sg pres imperat act) "Be of good cheer" is tharseo, which means "fear not", "have courage", "have confidence", "have no fear," and "make bold." It could also be the noun form of this word.

τέκνον: (noun sg neut nom /acc/voc) "Son" is from teknon, which means "that which is born", "child," and "the young."

ἀφίενταί (3rd pl pres ind mp) "Be forgiven" 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."

σου (adj sg masc/neut gen) ​"Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

αἱ (article pl fem nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

ἁμαρτίαι. (noun pl fem nom) ​"Sin" is from hamartia, which means "to miss the mark", "failure", "fault," and "error." Only in religious contexts does it become "guilt" and "sin."

KJV Analysis: 

Son, -- (CW) The word translated as "son" is not the usual word for example, used in "son of man" but another word that is usually translated as "child."

be of good cheer; - (WW) The verb translated as "be of good cheer" is from a noun that means "courage". It is best translated as "have courage" or "be brave." It has nothing to do with "cheer."

thy -- (WP) The word translated as "thy" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. However, if this was meant to described the "mistakes," Jesus would almost always put it after that word. Here, it appears before the untranslated article and after the verb. This possibly makes it an "objective" genitive with a transitive verb where instead of inserting "of" we use words like ‘for’, ‘about’, ‘concerning’, ‘toward’ or ‘against. The sense is "being let go of you".

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 word translated as "sin" is a form of a word that means "to fail in one's purpose", "to neglect," and "to be deprived of." It has no sense of doing malicious evil in Greek. The best English translation is "mistakes" or "failures" rather than what we commonly think of as the evils of "sin." More about this word in this article.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. However, the word form could also indicate the middle voice not the passive voice, which means that the subject acts on themselves.

forgiven -- (WW) The word translated as "be forgiven" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. With the word translated as "sin" it is translated as "forgive" even though it doesn't really mean that in Greek. Its form is that in which the subject is acted upon by itself. It is in the present tense so "are being let go by themselves".

thee. -- (IW) There is only one second-person pronoun in this verse. This one is added.

KJV Translation Issues: 

7

CW - Confusing Word -- The "son" is not common word usually translated as "son" but one meaning "child."

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be of good cheer" should be "be brave."

WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "thy" doesn't appear after "sins" but after the verb.

MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mistakes" is not shown in the English translation.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sin" should be "mistakes."

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "forgive" should be "let go."

IW - Inserted Word -- The second "thee" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

 Take heart, - (CW) The verb translated as "take heart" is from a noun that means "courage". It is best translated as "have courage" or "be brave." It has nothing to do with "heart."

son, -- (CW) The word translated as "son" is not the usual word for example, used in "son of man" but another word that is usually translated as "child."

your  -- (WP) The word translated as "your" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. However, if this was meant to described the "mistakes," Jesus would almost always put it after that word. Here, it appears before the untranslated article and after the verb. This possibly makes it an "objective" genitive with a transitive verb where instead of inserting "of" we use words like ‘for’, ‘about’, ‘concerning’, ‘toward’ or ‘against. The sense is "being let go of you".

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 word translated as "sin" is a form of a word that means "to fail in one's purpose", "to neglect," and "to be deprived of." It has no sense of doing malicious evil in Greek. The best English translation is "mistakes" or "failures" rather than what we commonly think of as the evils of "sin." More about this word in this article.

are -- This helping verb "are" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. However, the word form could also indicate the middle voice not the passive voice, which means that the subject acts on themselves.

forgiven -- (WW) The word translated as "be forgiven" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. With the word translated as "sin" it is translated as "forgive" even though it doesn't really mean that in Greek. Its form is that in which the subject is acted upon by itself. It is in the present tense so "are being let go by themselves".

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

NIV Translation Issues: 

7

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "take heart" should be "be brave."

CW - Confusing Word -- The "son" is not common word usually translated as "son" but one meaning "child."

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be of good cheer" should be "lobe brave."

WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The your"thy" doesn't appear after "sins" but after the verb.

MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mistakes" is not shown in the English translation.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sin" should be "mistakes."

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "forgive" should be "let go."

IW - Inserted Word -- The second "thee" doesn't exist in the source.

The Spoken Version: 

During the meeting, however, something happened that relates directly to your question about healing. A family brought a young man to the Master on a litter. The youth had recently had an accident and could walk. The youth was crying, frightened, blaming himself for the mistakes that had caused the accident that had crippled him. His relatives were trying to calm him, assuring him that he would walk again, expressing their confidence in the Divine and the Master.   From their conversation, we gathered that the young man had gone out to secretly visit a young woman on the Sabbath and fallen climbing up to her window.
“God is punishing you!” several of the Distinguished agreed, after hearing the story. “Those who do not obey the law are put down!”
This upset the boy even more.
The Master, however, knelt down beside the young man’s litter and took his hand.
“Is God punishing me?” the youth asked sadly.
“Have courage, child,” the Master told to him. “They are letting go of you.”
“What is letting go of me?” asked the young man tearfully.
“Those mistakes,” said the Master.
At this, the members of the Distinguished grumbled among themselves.  
The Master laughed at their grumbling.

Front Page Date: 

Aug 3 2020