Matthew 21:25 The baptism of John, whence was it?

KJV Verse: 

Mat 21:25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

The washing from John, from what source was it? From the beyond or from people?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Again, there is humor here. Christ names the source of baptism than asks where it comes from. As with so much of Christ's humor, we have to listen for the pause that confuses his listeners,

The Greek noun for "baptism" appears only in the NT. However, it comes from a Greek verb that means to "dip" or "to plunge" and was used for many different ideas ranging a town being "flooded to a person being "drown" and from someone being "over their heads" in debt to "getting in deep water."

In using the term, heaven, Christ didn't make this about divine power alone. The term also means "universe." So the question can be taken as a question about the source of one's power in general: Does it come from the universe or from ourselves. It can also be taken as a contrast between power coming from the natural world of God or from the artificial world of society.

"Heaven" is from the noun that means "heaven", "sky," and "the universe." Christ generally used it to mean the realm beyond our planet. It usually appears in the plural, but here it is singular.

The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

Greek Vocabulary: 

τὸ βάπτισμα (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Baptism" is from baptisma, which is only in the New Testament and means "baptism.

τὸ Ἰωάνου "John" is from Ioannes, which is the Greek form of the name "John."

πόθεν (adv indeclform) "Whence" is from pothen , (pothen) which means "whence" and "from what source."

ἦν; ( verb 3rd sg imperf ind act) "Was it" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai.)

ἐξ "From" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from." -- The Greek preposition translated as "of" means "out of" of "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

οὐρανοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "Heaven" is from the Greek 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."

"Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than." -- "Than" is translated from a Greek word that means primary "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

ἐξ "From" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from."

ἀνθρώπων; (noun pl masc gen) "Of man" 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. -- The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

The Spoken Version: 

The washing that came from John:
Where did if come from?
From the beyond?
Or from people?

Related Verses: