Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Honestly, I am telling you that never shall it pass by, the race, this one itself until perhaps all might happen.

KJV : 

Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

What is Lost in Translation: 

The whole human race is hidden hidden behind the word translated as "generation." The translation of this verse as a prophecy about the future is very misleading. It is more of a tease than a prophecy. What is hidden in the Greek is the explicit idea that this is possible, but not certain. Also, from reading the translation, one might think the phrases "pass away" and "come to pass" had something in common in the Greek. They don't.

The "verily" phrase is used frequently by Jesus. Its meaning is discussed in detail in this article. It is a play on words that means both "tell you true" and "To reap, I teach". The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like a Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, that word also means "to reap."

The "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think" or, more simple, "never".

The word translated as "generation" means "race", "family", and "generation". Christ uses this term frequently in criticism, but that criticism seems more aim at a certain type of person, or, more narrowly, a certain group among his own people, than it is his generation as we used the term. It is the word from which we get the scientific "genus".

The phrase "pass away" is from a verb that means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), "pass over", "outwit", "past events" (in time), "disregard," and "pass without heading."  The sense here could be "pass by", "surpass", but the sense of "pass away" as in "die" is not at all clear. The word means to pass the time and can refer to times past, but it also means to "outwit" and "elude" and "be superior". It also means to "pass by" a place or to "arrive" at a place. In the Latin Vulgate, this verb was translated as "transit" which is the future, plural, active form of the word that means "to cross". The form is not the future tense, as translated, but in a form that means something is possible. This idea is emphasized by a word that appears in some good Greek sources, but which is not translated in the KJV.

The word translated as "until" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

The word translated as "all" is from the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas.

Untranslated here is a Greek word that indicates something that might or perhaps will happen.

The word translated as "shall come to pass" means "to become" and "to happen", that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Jesus, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state. It is also not in the future tense, but the form that indicates something that might happen. Since it refers to events, the sense is "happen". The form is that of things acting on themselves, which is captures by our word "happen", which doesn't suggests and outside force.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀμὴν (adv) "Verily" is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek of this meaning before the NT. However, this is also the infinitive form of the Greek verb amao, which means "to reap" or "to cut."

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I say" is from 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 spelt the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is from humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ὅτι " (adv/conj) That" 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."

οὐ μὴ "Not" is from ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) 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.

παρέλθῃ (verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "Shall...pass" is from parerchomai, which means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), "pass over," "outwit", "past events" (in time), "disregard," and "pass without heeding."

γενεὰ (noun sg fem nom/acc) "Generation" is from genea, which means "race", "family", "generation", "class," and "kind." It is a from of the word that we get the scientific "genus" from.

αὕτη (adj sg fem nom) "This" is from houtos (houtos), which means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "therefore," and "that is why."

ἕως "Till" is from heos which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that."

[ἂν] (particle) Untranslated is an, which is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

πάντα "All" is from pas (pas), which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything."

γένηται. (verb 3rd sg aor subj mid) "Shall come to pass" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to happen", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 20 2019