Luke 18:6 ... Hear what the unjust judge saith.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Hear what that judge of this injustice said. (or said about this injustice).

KJV : 

Luke 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is interesting for two reasons: the translated of "unjust" and  because it looks like Jesus is referring to what the Lord God said. However, this is likely not Jesus quoting God, but an artifact of mixing narrative with the Jesus's words. It would be very much out of character for Jesus to be quoting what God, the Father says about anything. In his stories, he uses "the lord" to refer to characters, not God (see Luke 16:8). Unlike many OT prophets, that was not his way of speaking. Also, the statement itself, referring to the story Jesus is telling, is not something that Jesus would likely common upon.

For the sake of completeness, the part of this verse that is likely narrative but could be Jesus's words is discussed first, them after a note like this, the part of the verse that is likely Jesus's words.

The Greek word translated as "and" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

The word translated as "the Lord" is the same word that is often translated as "master" in the NT. It  means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." It is the specific terms for the master of slaves or servants, but it was a common term of respect both for those in authority and who were honored. It was the term people used to address Jesus, even though he had no formal authority. Today, we would say "boss" or "chief".  In the Old Testament, this term was used to refer to God because his name was unspoken. However, Jesus uses the terms "Father in the skies" and "the Divine" (translated as "God") to refer to God, not the term "lord". By capitalizing it, the KJV gives us the impression that it is an OT type use, which it is likely not. Interestingly, the misuse of this word is also the basis for what I consider a serious mistranslation of Luke 16:8, which uses the same word.

"Said" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also. It is one of two words commonly translated as said.

The part of this verse that is certainly Jesus actual words follows.

"Hear" is translated from a Greek word that has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding

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 unjust" is a Greek noun, not an adjective.e. It means "wrongdoing", "injustice", "a wrongful act," and "offense." Perhaps today we would say an "injustice".  However, it begins with an article, so the sense is "the unjust" or, more likely "this injustice".  The form does not match that of "judge" as an adjective would, but it is possessive. It follows "judge" so "judge of this injustice". Like Luke 16:8, this could be an objective genitive, what the judge was speaking about, "said about this injustice".

 "The judge" is the Greek noun that means "judge", "umpire," and "interpreter."

The word translated as "saith" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak." It is the other common word that is translated as "said", not the one that begins the verse.


Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

This  first part is likely part of the narrative, not Jesus's actual words.

Εἶπεν ( verb 3rd sg aor ind ) "Said" is eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

δὲ (conj/adv) "But" 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").

κύριος (noun sg masc nom) "Lord" is kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

His words likely begin here.

Ἀκούσατε ( verb 2nd pl aor imperat act ) "Ye hear" is akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand."

τί ( pron sg neut 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." 

κριτὴς (noun sg masc nom) "The judge" is krites, which means "judge", "umpire," and "interpreter."

τῆς ἀδικίας (noun sg fem gen) "The unjust" is from adikia, which means "wrongdoing", "injustice", "a wrongful act," and "offence."

λέγει: ( verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "Saith" 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." -

Front Page Date: 

Oct 10 2018