Luke 18:41 What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Anything for you do you desire I might perform?

KJV : 

Luke 18:41 What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?

What is Lost in Translation: 

This verse is identical to the one in Mark 10:51. Both are spoken to a blind man who called out to Jesus. The beginning pronoun usually indicates a question, and the structure demonstrates the difference between Greek and English statements about wanting someone to act for you.

The word translated as "what" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". 

The Greek word translated as "wilt thou" is not the same as the helper verb "will" in English, which primarily expresses the future tense. Its primary purpose is to express consent and even a delight in doing something. It means "to desire", "to consent", and "to be resolved to a purpose".

There is no "that" in the Greek. The "what" at the beginning of the question is sufficient.

The Greek word translated as "I shall do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" like service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. 

The word for "unto thee" is the indirect object form of the pronoun.  This word follows "what" at the beginning of the question describing it. In Greek, the indirect object can mean doing something for someone's benefit as well as doing something to them.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τί ( irreg sg neut nom/acc ) "What" is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what." -- The Greek word translated as "some" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those." 

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

θέλεις ( verb 2nd sg pres ind act ) "Wilt thou" is thelo, which as a verb means "to be willing (of consent rather than desire)", "to wish", "to ordain", "to decree", "to be resolved to a purpose" "to maintain", "to hold", "to delight in, and "will (too express a future event with inanimate objects)." As a participle, it means "being willing" or, adverbially, "willingly," and "gladly". .

ποιήσω; ( verb 1st sg aor subj act ) "Do" is poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to perform", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

Front Page Date: 

Oct 31 2018