Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them;

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Father, drop [it] for them because they have not really examined anything they are causing. 

KJV : 

Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This statement is a lot broader than it appears at first and a lot more humorous. The language feels more like Matthew than Luke, less formal, more pointed, and more advanced. Of course, because it contains the word "forgive", the translation is pretty different than the original. There is also an interesting change of tense here that is lost in translation. 

"Father" is the common word that Christ uses to address his own Father, though it can mean any male ancestor. When referring to others, Christ uses it to refer to their ancestors, that is, "forefathers."

The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. See more about this word in this article (scroll down to "forgive" heading). 

The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. When used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances. It is not the object here, so this is not what is "forgiven" or, more actually, "let go" or "dropped".  Its form indicates that the letting go is for their benefit. 

The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why."

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

The word translated as "know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is in the tense that indicates something finished in the past, "have not seen". 

The word translated as "what" means primarily "anything" or "anyone."

The Greek word translated as "to do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Πάτερ, (noun sg masc voc ) "The Father" is pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

 ἄφες (verb 2nd sg aor imperat act ) "Forgive" is aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself." 

αὐτοῖς, (adj pl masc dat) "Them" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." 

οὐ "Not" is ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective. 

γὰρ (partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what." 

οἴδασιν (verb 3rd pl perf ind act) "Know" is oida which is a form of eido which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know." 

τί "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."

ποιοῦσιν. (verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "Do" is poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do." 

Front Page Date: 

Mar 6 2019