Mark 12:4 And again he sent unto them another servant...

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And he sent back another slave to them; they totaled that person and dishonored [him].

KJV : 

Mark 12:4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded [him] in the head, and sent [him] away shamefully handled.'

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse has two unique words, both of which are somewhat humorous.

The word translated as "wounded in the head." The word means "to sum up." Though it only appears here in Jesus's words, it appears three times in the Greek version of the old Testament. It is always translated that as "to sum" in the sense of total up a column. The word is a verb based on the word that means "of the head," but the Greek language uses "head" to mean, as we do, something on top, like a column header. The idea of "sum" comes from totaling numbers in a column.

The term may be used like we use the word "total" to mean "totally destroy."  In the next verse, Mark 12:5, this "totalling" is equated with the Greek word for "destroying.

As is often the case with Jesus's use of uncommon words, the effect is primarily and intentionally humorous. Remember, this slave was sent to collect fruit, that is, as profit, which is an accounting and a totaling. So the farmers totalled him.

A variation of this word means "to behead" is also based on the same root word. This was used in the NT to describe the beheading of John the Baptist. This is not the word he used.

The other unique word is translated as "treated shamefully. " It means simply "to dishonor" or "to disdain." A very common word in ancient Greek, but used only here in the Bible (even in the Greek OT). This is the last word and punchline of the verse. It is funny because of its contrast with the severrity of "totalled."

NIV : 

Mark 12:4  Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully.

3rd Translation: 

Mark 12:4 The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head.

Wordplay: 

The word that means "sum up" is a play on the idea that the slave was sent to get an accounting of profit. It might be used like we use the word "totalled" to mean "totally destroy."

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

πάλιν  (adv) "Again" is palin, which means "back", "backward", "contradiction", "again", "once more," and "in turn."

ἀπέστειλεν ( verb 3rd sg aor ind act ) "Sent " is apostello, which means "to send off", "to send away," or "to dispatch."

πρὸς  (prep) "Unto" is pros, which means "on the side of", "in the direction of", "from (place)", "towards" "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "in the name of", "by reason of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

αὐτοὺς   (adj pl masc acc) "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." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

ἄλλον  (adj sg masc acc) "Another" is allos, which means "another", "one besides", "of another sort", "different", "other than what is true", "as well", "besides," {with numerals: "yet", "still", "further"), "of other sort", "other than what is", "untrue", "unreal", "other than right", "wrong", "bad", "unworthy," [with an article] "the rest", "all besides," and [in series] "one...another."

δοῦλον: (noun sg masc acc) "The servant" is doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

κἀκεῖνον ( adj sg masc acc ) "At him" is ekeinos, which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

ἐκεφαλίωσαν (from κεφαλαιόω) [unique](verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Wounded ...in the head" is kephalioo, which means "bring under heads", "sum up," and "to characterize generally."  Only in this verse is it translated as "wound in the head." The root word is kephalaios (κεφάλαιος), which means "of the head", "chief", "main  point", "sum", "gist of the matter", "the head", "capital", "topic", "crown", "completion," and "chapter." Another verb variation, κεφαλίζω, means "to behead" and is used in the NT to describe the beheading of John the Baptist.

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."

ἠτίμασαν. [unique]( verb 3rd pl aor ind act ) "Shamefully handled" is  atimoo, which means "to dishonor", "to suffer indignity," and "to punish with."

KJV Analysis: 

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

again -- (WW) "Again" is an adverb that means "back", "backward", "contradiction", "again", "once more," and "in turn."

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

sent -- The "sent" here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

unto -- The word translated as "to" means "towards", "by reason of (for)," and "against."

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

another -- "Another" is an adjective means "another", "one besides", "of another sort", "different", "other than what is true", "as well", "besides,"  and so on.

servant; -- The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

and -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "and" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used.

at -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "at" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. Nor is it justified by the form of the following pronoun.

him -- (WW) The word translated as "him" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there."  It  means "the person there", "that person", etc,

they cast stones, and --  (OS) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "cast stones, and" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

wounded in the head -- (WW) This is from a verb Jesus only used in this verse, but it doesn't mean "wound" in any sense though it is based on the root word "head." It means "sum up," which in Greek was the idea of bringing a number of items under one heading. This word is used three times in the Septuagint, which is the best guide to how Jesus uses it and it always to mean "to sum up" a total. The sense is like the way way we use "totaled" to mean "totally destroyed" in English.

him  -- There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. In English, they are added for the subject-verb-object form of our sentences.

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

sent him away -- (OS) There is no Greek verb that is translated as "sent him away" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

shamefully handled.' -- This is from a verb Jesus only used in this verb that means "to dishonor", "to suffer indignity," and "to punish with."

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "again" means "back."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "as" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "him" means "that person."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "they cast stones, and" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we use today.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "wounded in the head" means "totalled."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "sent him away" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we use today.

NIV Analysis: 

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

untranslated "back"-- (MW) This is an adverb that means "back", "backward", "contradiction", "again", "once more," and "in turn."

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

sent -- The "sent" here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

another -- "Another" is an adjective means "another", "one besides", "of another sort", "different", "other than what is true", "as well", "besides,"  and so on.

servant; -- The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

to -- The word translated as "to" means "towards", "by reason of (for)," and "against."

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

they  -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the following verb.

struck  -- (WW) This is from a verb Jesus only used in this verse, but it doesn't mean "struck" in any sense, though it is based on the root word "head." It means "sum up," which in Greek was the idea of bringing a number of items under one heading. This word is used three times in the Septuagint, which is the best guide to how Jesus uses it and it always to mean "to sum up" a total. The sense is like the way way we use "totaled" to mean "totally destroyed" in English.

this -- The word translated as "this" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there."  It  means "the person there", "that person", etc,

man -- This is from the singular, masculine form of the previous adjective.

on the head -- This is from the root of the previous verb that means "head." 

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

treated him shamefully..' -- This is from a verb Jesus only used in this verb that means "to dishonor", "to suffer indignity," and "to punish with."

NIV Translation Issues: 

3
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "then" means "and."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The adverb "back" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "struck" means "to sum up."

3rd Analysis: 

The  -- (IW) There is no Greek word that can be translated as "the" in the Greek source.

owner -- (IW) There is no Greek word that can be translated as "owner" in the Greek source.

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

untranslated "back"-- (MW) This is an adverb that means "back", "backward", "contradiction", "again", "once more," and "in turn."

sent -- The "sent" here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

another -- "Another" is an adjective means "another", "one besides", "of another sort", "different", "other than what is true", "as well", "besides,"  and so on.

servant; -- The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

untranslated "to"-- (MW) The word translated as "to" means "towards", "by reason of (for)," and "against."

untranslated "them"-- (MW) The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

but -- (IW) There is no Greek word that can be translated as "but" in the Greek source.

they   -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the following verb.

insulted -- This is from a verb Jesus only used in this verb that means "to dishonor", "to suffer indignity," and "to punish with." This verb is at the end of the sentence, not the middle.

him -- (WW) The word translated as "him" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there."  It  means "the person there", "that person", etc,

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

beat  -- (WW) This is from a verb Jesus only used in this verse, but it doesn't mean "beat" in any sense, though it is based on the root word "head." It means "sum up," which in Greek was the idea of bringing a number of items under one heading. This word is used three times in the Septuagint, which is the best guide to how Jesus uses it and it always to mean "to sum up" a total. The sense is like the way way we use "totaled" to mean "totally destroyed" in English.

him - There is no Greek pronoun here, but Greek does not need pronouns when the object can be assumed from the context. In English, they are added for the subject-verb-object form of our sentences.

on the head -- This is from the root of the previous verb that means "head." 

3rd Issue Count: 

0

IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.

IW - Inserted Word -- The word "owner" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "then" means "and."

MW - Missing Word -- The adverb "back" is not shown in the English translation.

MW - Missing Word -- The article "to" is not shown in the English translation.

MW - Missing Word -- The article "them" is not shown in the English translation.

IW - Inserted Word -- The word "but" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "him" means "that person."

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "beat" means "totaled."

Front Page Date: 

Nov 13 2019