Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

[It is] Otherwise. Sadly for you, the separated, because you pay a tenth out of the mint and rue and all herbs but pass over the judgment and love of the God. These, however, it needed to perform. Those not wanting to let fall to the side. 

KJV : 

Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

What is Lost in Translation: 

This verse is very different from the similar one in Matthew (Matthew 23:23). It is too different for just different memories. This strongly indicates that Jesus said similar things differently at different times or that he said more at the time than is recorded in any one gospels. 

The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather". It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise". The "it is" from the previous verse could connect to this meaning "it is otherwise". 

"Woe" is from an exclamation of grief, meaning "woe" or "alas." Today we would say "sadly [for you]" or "boo-hoo to you." More about this phrase in this article on Christ's humor, under the subtitle, "exaggeration."

"Pharisees" is an example of where we use the Greek word as the name of the religious sect, instead of translating it. In Greek, the word means the "separatists" or "the judgmental," but it is from a Hebrew word meaning "distinguished" or "elite."

The word translated as "for" introduces a statement of fact or cause. It is not the word normally translated as "for" in the Gospel, but a word normally translated as "that."

A made-up koined word is translated as "ye pay tithes." It appears only in the Gospels and an uncommon one for Christ. It reverse the meaning of the normal word that means "to take a tenth" by adding the word "from" to it as a prefix. The sense is, "I take a tenth from [myself]."

The following series of spice names all begin with the article "the." This makes the Greek much more entertaining and dramatic than most biblical translations who omit many of the "the's."

The word translated as "mint" is an adjective meaning "sweet smelling," but meaning "green mint" when used as a noun, as it is here. It is a aromatic spice.

The Greek conjunction translated as "and" is repeated here a number of times. 

"Rue" is a noun that means "rue", the herb ruta graveolens, which was also a metaphor for "the beginning of things" because it was planted at the border of gardens. It is used by Jesus uniquely here. 

The word translated as "all manner" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way", "on every side," and "altogether."

"Herbs" is from a Greek noun meaning "garden herbs," and "vegetables." It is the opposite of "wild plants." It is an uncommon word for Jesus to use. 

The phrase "pass over" is a verb that means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), and "pass away".

The Greek word translated as "judgment" means distinguishing among choices and "separating" things. Christ uses it in a variety of ways, though the KJV usually translates it as "judgment." It also means a "turning point," since it is the source of the meaning of "crisis" has in English. Only secondarily does it means "judgment" as in a court judgment.​

The word translated as "love" expresses a lot of different ideas including "love of spouses" "love of God" and "charity" in the sense of giving to the poor. In the KJV of the Gospels, it is always translated as "love" or "beloved." Christ associates this word with affection rather than passion. In Greek, it is associated with the affection of hugging and embracing someone. See this article on love for more information.​

The word translated as "of God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.​ It is possessive. 

 The "these" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. It acts more like a pronoun than an adjective. 

The "this" is from a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. 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.

The Greek word translated as "Ought ye" is from a verb meaning "there is need."

The Greek word translated as "to have done" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. The reference could to be to the production of the spices, but it could refer to the general idea of "productivity", though this would usually require this form of the word to be introduced by an article, "the."

There is no "and" appearing here in the source.

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, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used.

Another perhaps unique verb is translated as "leave undone" here. The verb means  "to let fall to the side", "let fall", "pass by", "pass over", "pass unnoticed", "disregard", "relax", "slack away", "yield", "give up", "beg to be excused", and "let off".  It is an infinitive. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀλλὰ (adv) "But" is alla, which means "otherwise", "but", "still", "at least", "except", "yet," nevertheless", "rather", "moreover," and "nay." 

οὐαὶ (exclm) "Woe" is from ouai, which is an exclamation of pain or anger meaning "woe" or "alas." --

ὑμῖν, (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is from hymin (humin), which is the 2nd person plural dative pronoun. Dative is the case which indicates to whom something is given. 

 τοῖς Φαρισαίοις, (noun pl masc dat) "Pharisees" is from Pharisaios, which means "the separated", "the separate ones", "separatist" and refers to the religious sect. The word comes from the Hebrew, pharash, which means "to distinguish." So the sense is also "the distinguished" or "the elite."

ὅτι "For" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

ἀποδεκατοῦτε [uncommon] (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Pay tithe" is from apodekatoo, which means to "tithe," "to take a tenth of," or "to pay a tithe." It is only used in the NT and is a combination of two Greek words "apo" ("from") and "dekatoo," ("to take a tenth").

τὸ ἡδύοσμον [uncommon] (adj sg neut acc) "Mint" is from hedyosmon, which means "sweet-smelling," "fragrant," and, as a noun, "green mint."

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."

τὸ πήγανον [unique](noun sg neut acc) "Rue" is peganon, which means "rue", the herb ruta graveolens, which was also a metaphor for "the beginning of things" because it was planted at the border of gardens. 

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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." -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." 

πᾶν (adj sg neut acc) "All manner" is pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether." 

λάχανον, [uncommon](noun sg neut acc) "Herbs" is from lachanon, which means "garden herbs," and "vegetables." It is the opposite of "wild plants."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but."

παρέρχεσθε (verb 2nd pl pres ind mp) "Pass over" is parerchomai, which means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), "pass away", "outwit", "past events" (in time), "disregard", "pass unnoticed," and "pass without heeding." 

τὴν κρίσιν (noun sg fem acc) "Judgment" is krisis, which means "separating", "distinguishing", "judgment", "choice", "election", "trial", "dispute", "event," and "issue." 

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." ​

τὴν ἀγάπην (noun sg fem acc ) "Love" is agape, which means "the love of a husband and wife", "love of God by man", "brotherly love", "charity," and "alms." 

τοῦ θεοῦ: () "Of God" is theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity." 

ταῦτα (adj pl neut nom/acc) "These" is from tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage.

δὲ Untranslated is 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").

ἔδει (verb 3rd sg imperf ind act) "Ought ye" is from, dei, which means "it is needful for one", "it was fated", "it being needful or fitting", ""there wants," and "there is need of."

ποιῆσαι (verb aor inf act) "To have done" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

κἀκεῖνα (adj pl neut acc) "the others" is ekeinos, which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

μὴ "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. --

 παρεῖναι. [unique?](verb aor inf act) "Leave undone" is parinme, which means "to let fall to the side", "let fall", "pass by", "pass over", "pass unnoticed", "disregard", "relax", "slack away", "yield", "give up", "beg to be excused", and "let off". 

Front Page Date: 

Mar 10 2018