Luke 18:22 Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Still, a single thing to you is missing: all as much as you possess. Sell and hand out among beggars and you are going to possess stores in skies and here follow me.

KJV : 

Luke 18:22  Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

What is Lost in Translation: 

The first part of this verse is clearly a humorous setup/punchline and it uses a funny word. Though the last part is the same, there are major differences between this version and those in Matthew 19:2 and Mark 10:21.  The "lack" here is a unique word for Jesus to use.

"Yet" is an adverb that means "yet" and "still", "already",  "longer", "no longer" (with a negative), "still" and "besides". 

"Lackest" is a verb Jesus only uses here. Because the "you" here is the indirect object, the "one thing" seems to be the subject of this verb.

The word for "thou" is the indirect object form of the pronoun, "to you".

The Greek word translated as "one thing" 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.

"Sell" is which means "to exchange" and "to barter." When this word is applied to people (as it is metaphorically here), it means "to betray" or "to give up."

The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." This is the only version of this quote that actually says "all". The others imply it. This is the joke: only one thing remains, sell everything.

The word translated as "that" means "as great as", "as much as," and similar ideas of comparison.

The word translated as "thou hast" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English.  This is different than the verb used in Mark and Matthew, which is used as a noun.

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

The "distribute" is an uncommon verb that means "pass on", "hand over", "distribute", "to be handed down by tradition", and "spread about".   It is a more complex form of the verb used in Mark and Matthew, with a prefix that means "through" or "among"

"Unto the poor" is an adjective that means "beggarly." Jesus uses it as a noun, but usually with the article, which is missing here. The "unto" comes from the indirect object form.

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

"Thou shalt have " is from the future tense of the verb "to have" and "to possess."

"Treasure" is from a word that means a "storage area" and "treasury." Also meaning a "strong room", "a granary", "a safe," or "a cavern." It is not the valuables themselves, but the place where they are kept, and the basis for our word, "thesaurus."

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

The word translated as "heaven" means "sky", the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. The sense is "beyond earth" or "the beyond."  The word is plural, "skies".

"Come" is from an adverb that means "here" but can be used in an expression to mean "come on."

"Follow" is from a verb that means "to follow," and "to go with." It also means "to be guided by" and means following a leader as a disciple.

The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me", though the form has other uses in Greek. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἔτι (adv) "Yet" is eti, which means "yet" and "still" (with the Present), "already" (with the Past), "yet" and "longer" (with the Future), "no longer" (with a negative), and"still" and "besides" (of degree).

ἕν ( oun sg neut nom/acc ) "One thing" is heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." This adjective is irregular, having a number of forms depending on sex, number, and case: heis, henos, heni, hen, hena, mia, mias, miai, mian; hen, henos, hen. 

σοι (pron 2nd sg dat) "thou" is soi which is the singular, second person pronoun, "you".

λείπει: [unique] ( verb 3rd sg pres ind act  or verb 2nd sg pres ind mp ) "Lackest" is leipo, which means to " leave", "quit", "leave behind", "leave at home", "forsake", "to be gone", "depart", "to be wanting or missing", and, in passive, to "to be left", "left behind", "to be subtracted" (math), "to be left without", "to be forsaken of", "come short of", "be inferior to", and  "to be wanting or lacking" in a thing.

πάντα ( adj pl neut acc ) "All" 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."

ὅσα ( adj pl neut acc ) "That" is hosos, which means "as many", "as much as", "as great as", "as far as," and "only so far as."

ἔχεις ( verb 2nd sg pres ind act ) "Thou hast" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to have due to one", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

(verb 2nd sg aor imperat act) "Sell" is from poleo, which means "to sell," "to exchange", "to barter," "to offer to sell," and "to retail." Metaphorically, it means to "give up" and "betray." In the passive, it means "to be sold", "to be offered for sale," and, of persons, "to be bought and sold," and " betrayed."

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."

διάδος [uncommon]( verb 2nd sg aor imperat act ) "Distribute" is diadidomi, which means "pass on", "hand over", "distribute", "to be handed down by tradition", and "spread about". 

πτωχοῖς, (adj pl masc dat) "Poor" is from ptochos, which is an adjective that means "beggar", "beggar-woman," "beggarly, and "one who crouches and cringes."

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."

ἕξεις (verb 2nd sg fut ind act) "Thou shalt have " is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

θησαυρὸν (noun sg masc acc) "Treasure" is from thesauros, which means a "store", "treasure", "strong-room", "magazine, "granary", "receptacle for valuables", "safe", "casket", "offertory-box", "cavern," and "subterranean dungeon."

ἐν (prep) "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

οὐρανοῖς, (noun pl masc dat) "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."

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."

δεῦρο (adv) "Come" is from deuro, which is an adverb that means "hither", "hear", "until now", "hither to," and [with an imperative] "come on" and [later] "go away."

ἀκολούθει (verb 2nd sg pres imperat act) "Follow" is from akoloutheo, which means "to follow," and "to go with." It also means "to be guided by" and means following a leader as a disciple.

μοι. (pron 1st sg masc dat) "Me" is from moi, which means "I", "me", and "my".

Front Page Date: 

Oct 22 2018