Matthew 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous...

KJV Verse: 

Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

In this way, also, you outwardly certainly shine virtue to the people. Within, however, you are sated with playing a part and immorality.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Christ's language is in the KJV is toned down from the Greek. Interestinly, it offers a new word meaning "full" here. The theme of "inward" and "outward" continues, as does Christ use of uncommon words. One of those words used in translation is just a form of the Greek word, not really a translation.

The Greek word translated as "even so" as an adverb means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

The Greek word translated as "also" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also" "even" "just") and, in a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." 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.

The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you." It is plural. It was used here to indicate Christ's critics as separate from the larger group he addressed.

The word used for "outwardly" is the adverb meaning "outward."

Untranslated here is the word for "indeed" or "certainly.

The verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition.

The Greek word translated as "appear" means "to shine." It is a common word for Christ to use, often to describe how actors what to shine before the public.

The Greek word for "unto men" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural. It is a plural indirect object introduced with an article, so "to the people."

The term translated as "righteous" means "those who observe the laws", "well-balanced," and "meet and fitting."

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.

"Within" is from the adverb meaning "inwardly."

The word translated as "full" means "full of," and "ladened with," as did the different word used earlier in this section, but this word also means "sated with." Since Christ changes words here, we assume this is the feeling he was going for. Neither of the words translated as "full" in these section are the ones Christ usually uses to mean full.

The word translated as "hypocrisy" is hypokrisis, which is the Greek source of the English word. Our sense of its meaning comes from Christ's used of it. It is from the same root as the word for "actor," hypocrites, which also isn't translated. This word means "to play a part."

"Inequity" is translated from a Greek word meaning "lawlessness." It means violating customs and common standards of civility, so "immorality" and "criminality."

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὕτως (adv) "Even" is from houtos, which as an adverb means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

καὶ "So" 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."

ὑμεῖς (pron 2nd pl nom) "Ye" is from hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you."

ἔξωθεν (adv) "Outwardly"is from exothen, which "from without" and "outward."

μὲν (particle) Untranslated is men, which is generally used to express certainty and means "indeed", "certainly", "surely," and "truly."

φαίνεσθε (verb 2nd pl pres ind mp) "Appear" is from phaino , which means "to shine", "to give light," and "to appear." In its transitive form, not used here, it means "bring to light."

τοῖς ἀνθρώποις (noun pl masc dat) "Unto 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.

δίκαιοι, (adj pl masc nom) "Righteous" is from dikaios which means "observant of rules", "observant of customs", "well-ordered", "civilized," and "observant of duty." Later it means "well-balanced", "impartial," and "just."

ἔσωθεν "Within" is from esothen, which means "from within" and "inward."

δέ "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").

ἐστε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Ye are" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

μεστοὶ [uncommon](adj pl masc nom) "Full" is from mestos, which means "full of", "laden with," and "sated with."

ὑποκρίσεως [uncommon](noun sg fem gen) "Hypocrisy" is from hypokrisis, which means "reply", "answer", "playing a part" and "outward show." As an adverb, "after the manner of."

καὶ "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."

ἀνομίας. (noun sg fem gen) "Inequity" is from anomia, which means "lawless", "lawless conduct," and "the negation of law."

The Spoken Version: 

"this is just the way," he said smiling, addressing to his accusers. "You outwardly certainly display virtue..."

"To the people," he added, motioning to the rest of the people there with a wave of his arm,

The people nodded and agreed.

"Within, however," he said, patting his stomach after puffing it out. "You are satisfied..."

A few people giggled.

"With playing the part," he continued, strutting like an actor.

The crowd laughed.

"And," he said, holding his nose. "Corruption!"

The crowd laughed.

Related Verses: