Luke 18:19 Why callest thou me good?

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

Jesus is asked, "Good teacher can you tell me what good I can do to have eternal life."

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Why of me say valuable? No one " valuable" if not one, [the] Divine 

KJV : 

Luke 18:19 Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Jesus rejects this concept of "good" when applied to himself and directs that it should only be applied only to God.  The version in Matthew, Matthew 19:17, is more detailed but doesn't mention the Divine as "good." The version in Mark (Mark 10:18) is nearly identical. The rest of the story in all three Gospels is detailed and very similar, so we can assume that this question was answered only once. What is more likely: that the answer in Matthew, which is more detailed and ambiguous, was built up, or that Mark or Luke versions were stripped down to a simpler and more straightforward answer? 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τί (irreg sg neut nom) "Why" is from tis which in a question, it can mean "who," "why," or "what."

με (pron 1st sg masc acc ) "Me" is from eme, which means "I," "me," and "my." --

λέγεις (verb 2nd sg pres ind act) "Callest" is lego, which means "to recount," "to tell over," "to say," "to speak," "to teach," "to mean," "boast of," "tell of," "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself," "pick up," "gather," "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep." 

ἀγαθόν; (adj sg masc acc) "Good" is from agathos which means "good" and, when applied to people, "well-born," "gentle," "brave," and "capable." When applied to things, it means "serviceable," "morally good," and "beneficial."

οὐδεὶς (adj sg masc nom) "No man" is oudeis which means "no one," "not one," "nothing," "naught," "good for naught," and "no matter." 

ἀγαθὸς (adj sg masc nom) "Good" is from agathos which means "good" and, when applied to people, "well-born," "gentle," "brave," and "capable." When applied to things, it means "serviceable," "morally good," and "beneficial."

εἰ μὴ (conj particle)"Except" is ei me, which is the conjunction that means "if not," "but," and "except." εἰ is the particle use with the imperative usually to express conditions "if" or indirect questions, "whether." mê (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." 

εἷς (noun sg masc nom) "One" is heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

[ὁ] θεός.(noun sg masc nom) "God" is theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity." -- The word translated as "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.

KJV Analysis: 

Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

The word translated as "callest" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but when used with an objective noun or pronoun, the sense is "ay of" or "speak of." It is not the word for "calling" someone a name. When two accusative objects are used, as they are here, the sense is  "say of him this," or "call him this."

The "me" is the object of the verb.

 The adjective translated as "good" means "useful," "worthwhile," and "of high quality. See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil." 

The Greek word translated as "no one" also means "nothing" and other negatives nouns. 

There is no verb "is" here. However, since the "no one" and "good" are the same form, they are equated without the verb. 

Two Greek words are translated as "except." Literally, they mean "if not" but this phrase is used to mean "except," "instead," and "but." 

The "one" is the number, which can also be used as a pronoun. 

The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." The oldest Greek manuscripts lack the article "the" which usually appears before this word so "a god" instead of "the God."  Christ usually uses the article,  perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods so it is odd it is missing here. The only difference between this version and Marks' is that Luke lacks the article. 

Front Page Date: 

Oct 20 2018