Matthew 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Parables, Sower, Not understanding

Greek : 

Matthew 13:15 ἐπαχύνθη γὰρ καρδία τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου, καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν βαρέως ἤκουσαν, καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν ἐκάμμυσανμή ποτε ἴδωσιν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν ἀκούσωσιν
καὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ συνῶσιν καὶ ἐπιστρέψωσιν, καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς.

Isa 6:10,           ἐπαχύνθη γὰρ ἡ καρδία τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου καὶ τοῗς ὠσὶν αὐτῶν βαρέως ἤκουσαν καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν ἐκάμμυσαν μή ποτε ἴδωσιν τοῗς ὀφθαλμοῗς καὶ τοῗς ὠσὶν ἀκούσωσιν
καὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ συνῶσιν καὶ ἐπιστρέψωσιν καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς

Literal Verse: 

Because it is coarsened, the heart of the citizenry, this one. Not only with those ears do they hardly hear but also they have also closed their eyes not when with those eyes they might see and with those ears might hear and with that heart they might put it together and they might turn around and I might recover them myself.

My Takeaway: 

What we see and hear affects our feelings, but our feelings affect what we choose to hear and see.

KJV : 

Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

NIV : 

Matthew 13:15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.

What is Lost in Translation: 

Jesus is quoting Isaiah 6:10, from the Greek version. This (with the previous verse) is his longest quote of the Septuagint. The fact that is is a quote is why he uses so four unique words in it.  Two other words are uncommon.  It is paraphrased in Mark 4:12 where he uses none of the unique words.  Only one of theses uncommon words was common in the Septuagint, the word for "people." The word for "heal" was someone common in both the Septuagint and the Greek NT, but Jesus did not use it elsewhere.

Several of the unique and uncommon words here have double meanings, both positive and negative. The word translated as "people" means both the "common people" and "a special group of people." It is not the regular word for "people." The word translated as "dull" is an adverb, not an adjective, that means "heavily" and "important." However, it has many specific uses among the "hardly" as in "hardly hearing" and "with disgust," both of which work here.

The two Greek words translated as "lest at any time/otherwise" mean "not when" and imply a choice or desire on the part of the people.

Note that "heart" is singular with plural subjects and verbs. We see this often with Jesus's use of the word, implying that a group has one "heart," as the source of their feelings. This use of the word comes from the Septuagint.

Wordplay: 

The verb translated as "waxed gross" can be interpreted positively, to become big, or negatively, to become coarse. 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus associates eyes with the physical body and ears with the mind. In the Greek, the words are chosen make it clear that people are choosing not to see and not to hear, motivated by their spirit. What they fear is being "converted," that is "turned around" in the spirit, from the social realm (religion and tradition) to the internal/awareness realm (relationship with God). What is healed is the whole, everything is put back together working as it should.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐπαχύνθη [1 verse](verb 3rd sg aor ind pass) "Waxed gross" is from pachuno, which means to "thicken," "strengthen," "make gross or dull," metaph., "cause to wax fat," and "increase." In the passive, it means "to be coarsened," "to become thick," of fruit juices, "become concentrated," "to be dulled (of the sun's light)," and "to grow fat." It is also a metaphor for "to become stupid."

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."

(article sg fem nom  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

καρδία (noun sg fem nom ) "Heart" is from kardia, which means "heart (the physical organ)," "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)," "inclination," "desire," "purpose," "mind," "the pith (in wood), and "the deep (of the sea)."

τοῦ (article sg masc gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

λαοῦ [4 verses](noun sg masc gen) "People's" is from the Greek laos, which means "men (of the army)," "the common men," "subjects (of a ruler)," "work people," "people assembled," "the multitude," "a specific group or tribe of people," and "a people."

τούτου, (adj sg masc gen) "This" is from toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this," "here," "the nearer," and "the familiar."

καὶ (conj, adv) "And" is from 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." -

τοῖς (article pl neut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ὠσὶν (noun pl neut dat) "Ears" is from ous, which means "ear" and things that resemble an ear, such as a handle on pitchers, cups, etc.

βαρέως [1 verse] (adv) "Dull" is from bareos, which as an adverb means "impatiently," "slowly," "with dignity," "(of hearing) with disgust," "heavily," "pressed down," "with difficulty," and "weighed down;" as an adjective, not the form here, it means "heavy in weight," "heavy with age," "infirmity or suffering," "heavy to bear," "grievous," "burdensome," "grievous," "oppressive," causing disgust," "indigestible," "violent," "weighty," "grave," "ample," "of persons," "severe," "stern," "wearisome," "troublesome," "overbearing," "important," "powerful," "difficult," of soldiers "heavy-armed," of sound, "strong, deep, bass," of musical pitch, "low," of speech, "unaccented," and of smell, "strong, offensive."

ἤκουσαν, (verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Are...of hearing" is from 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."

καὶ (conj, adv) "And" is from 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."

τοὺς (article pl masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ὀφθαλμοὺς (noun pl masc acc) "Eyes" is from ophthalmos, which means "eye," "sight," "the dearest and best," "light," "cheer," "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]."

αὐτῶν (adj pl masc gen) "Their" is from 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." -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

ἐκάμμυσαν: [1 verse](verb 3rd pl aor ind) "Closed" is from kammuo, which means specifically "to close or shut the eyes."

μή (partic) "Lest" is from me , which 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.

ποτε (adv) (adv/conj) "At any time" comes from pote, which means "when," "at what time," "at some time or other," "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future." With the subjective negative me (μή) before it, the sense is "not when.

δωσιν (verb 3rd pl aor subj act)"They shall see" is from 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."

τοῖς (article sg neut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ὀφθαλμοῖς (noun pl masc dat) "With eyes" is from ophthalmos, which means "eye," "sight," "the dearest and best," "light," "cheer," "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]."

καὶ (conj) "And" is from 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." -

τοῖς (article pl neut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ὠσὶν (noun pl neut dat) "Ears" is from ous, which means "ear" and things that resemble an ear, such as a handle on pitchers, cups, etc.

ἀκούσωσιν (verb 3rd pl aor subj act) "Hear" is from 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."

καὶ (conj, adv) "And" is from 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."

τῇ (article sg fem dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

καρδίᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "Heart" is from kardia, which means "heart (the physical organ)," "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)," "inclination," "desire," "purpose," "mind," "the pith (in wood), and "the deep (of the sea)."

συνῶσιν (verb 3rd pl pres subj act) "Should understand" is syniemi, which means "to bring together" or "to set together." It is also a metaphor for "perceive," "hear," and "understand" as we would say that we "put it all together" when figuring something out.

καὶ (conj, adv)"And" is from 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." -

ἐπιστρέψωσιν, [9 times](3rd pl aor subj act) "Should be converted" is from epistrepho, which means "to turn about," "to turn around," "turn towards," "return," "curve," "twist," "go back-and forwards," "pay attention to," "to turn one's mind towards," "regard," "conduct oneself," and "behave," and in the passive to "be converted," "to be distorted," "turn oneself round," "are turned," and as an adjective, "earnest," "vehement." -- "Return" is translated from a Greek word "to turn about" or "to turn around," but also means "cause to return" and "to turn one's mind towards" something. In the passive, which is used here, it means "to turn oneself around" or "be turned around."

καὶ (conj, adv)"And" is from 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." -

άσομαι  [1 verse](verb 1st sg aor subj mp) "Heal" is from iaomai which means "to cure," "to treat," and "to repair." In the passive, it means "be healed," and "recover."

αὐτούς. (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,"  "them," and "it."

KJV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

this -- "This" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this," "here," "the nearer," and "the familiar." Since it follows the noun, "of these."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

people's  - "People" is from a very uncommon word for Christ. It means a specific group such as, the common people, the multitude. It is the assembly of an troops or a tribe sharing the same name. The form is genitive, "of the citizenry."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

heart   - The "heart" is from a word that means the physical heart as well as the seat of emotions. It was used by Jesus to mean the seat of the "higher" emotions or desires that motivate people. Symbolically, it connects with the realm of relationships and emotions.

is -- This helping verb "is" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

waxed gross,  - "Waxed gross" is from a verb that means many things such as "to thicken," "to strengthen," and "to increase." It has both positive and negative meanings, but in the passive, as it appears here, most of its meaning is more negative "to become thick," "to be coarsened,"  and it is a metaphor for "to become stupid." However, one of its basic meanings, "to become fat" was not seen in the negative in Christ's era as it is in developed nation's today.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

untranslated "with"  -- (MW) The untranslated word comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

[their] -- (WW) The word translated as "their" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

ears  - The word for "ears" is the indirect object of the sentence, not the subject of the sentence as translated in the KJV, so "to/by/with/of" the ears. Symbolically, Christ associates "ears" with understanding and the realm of the mind.

are  - -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "are" in the Greek source.

dull  - "Dull" is from an adverb which means generally as an adjective "heavily" (in many forms), "thickly," and, "hardly" with many, many specific uses. Jesus only uses this word here. It can also mean "with disgust," which works here as a double meaning.

of   - -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "of" in the Greek source.

hearing,  - (WF) The verb translated as "are...of hearing" is the common verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It is not in the form of an adjective, but an active verb in a form that means simply "they hear."

and  -  The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

their  - -- The word translated as "their" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of theirs."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

eyes -  "Eyes" is from the word that "eye," "sight," "the dearest and best," "light," "cheer," "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]." Christ associated the eye symbolically with the realm of the physical.

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

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

closed;  - "Closed" is from a verb which means specifically "to close or shut the eyes."

lest  - "Lest" is from the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "it doesn't seem" not that it isn't or "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. With the following adverb, the sense is "not when."

at any time  -- The "at any time"  is from an adverb meaning "when," "at what time," "at some time or other," "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future." With the subjective negative before it, the sense is "not when."

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

should  - This helping verb "should" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

see  - The "see" is from the common verb for "to see" and "to understand." It is not in the future tense, as in the KJV, but in a tense that indicates something that might probably happen at a specific time in the past present and future.

with -- This word "with" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

[their] -- (WW) The word translated as "their" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

eyes,  - -  "Eyes" is from the word that "eye," "sight," "the dearest and best," "light," "cheer," "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]." Christ associated the eye symbolically with the realm of the physical.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

hear  - The "hear" is the same verb meaning "to hear" and "to listen" used above, but in the same form as the previous verb "see" of possibly happening at some time.

with -- This word "with" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

[their] -- (WW) The word translated as "their" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

ears,  - The word for "ears" is the indirect object of the sentence, not the subject of the sentence as translated in the KJV, so "to/by/with/of" the ears. Symbolically, Christ associates "ears" with understanding and the realm of the mind.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

should  - This helping verb "should" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

understand  - "Should understand" is from a Greek verb which means "to bring together" or "to set together." It is also a metaphor for "perceive," "hear," and "understand" as we would say that we "put it all together" when figuring something out. It is in the same form as the two previous verbs "see" and "hear" of possibly happening at some time. -

with -- This word "with" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

[their] -- (WW) The word translated as "their" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

heart,  - "Heart" is from kardia, which means "heart (the physical organ)," "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)," "inclination," "desire," "purpose," "mind," "the pith (in wood), and "the deep (of the sea)."

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

should  - This helping verb "should" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- (WF) This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive but the verb is not passive but active. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

converted,  - (CW) "Should be converted" is translated from a Greek word "to turn about" or "to turn around," but also means "cause to return" and "to turn one's mind towards" something. It is usually translated as "return" or "turn around" in the NT. It is in the same form as the other verbs above.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

should  - This helping verb "should" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

heal  - "Heal" is from a verb which means "to cure," "to treat," and "to repair." The form is different, indicating that the subject is acting on/by/for himself.

them.  - -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. It is in the form of an object.

KJV Translation Issues: 

12
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "people's" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heart" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "with" before "those ears" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "their" should be something more like "the."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "hearing" is not a participle but  an active verb, "hear."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "with" before "those eyes" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "their" before "ears" should be something more like "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "their" before "eyes" should be something more like "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "their" before "heart" should be something more like "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "converted"  should be "turn around."

NIV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

this -- "This" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this," "here," "the nearer," and "the familiar." Since it follows the noun, "of these."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

people's  - "People" is from a very uncommon word for Christ. It means a specific group such as, the common people, the multitude. It is the assembly of an troops or a tribe sharing the same name. The form is genitive, "of the citizenry."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

heart   - The "heart" is from a word that means the physical heart as well as the seat of emotions. It was used by Jesus to mean the seat of the "higher" emotions or desires that motivate people. Symbolically, it connects with the realm of relationships and emotions.

has  -- (WT) This helping verb "has" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

become calloused; - "Become calloused" is from a verb that means many things such as "to thicken," "to strengthen," and "to increase." It has both positive and negative meanings, but in the passive, as it appears here, most of its meaning is more negative "to become thick," "to be coarsened,"  and it is a metaphor for "to become stupid." However, one of its basic meanings, "to become fat" was not seen in the negative in Christ's era as it is in developed nation's today.

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

hardly - "Hardly" is from an adverb which means generally as an adjective "heavily" (in many forms), "thickly," and, "hardly" with many, many specific uses. Jesus only uses this word here. It can also mean "with disgust," which works here as a double meaning.

hear,  -  The verb translated as "hear" is the common verb that means "to hear" and "to listen."

with -- This word "with" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

[their] -- (WW) The word translated as "their" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

ears  - The word for "ears" is the indirect object of the sentence, not the subject of the sentence as translated in the KJV, so "to/by/with/of" the ears. Symbolically, Christ associates "ears" with understanding and the realm of the mind.

and  -  The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

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

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

closed;  - "Closed" is from a verb which means specifically "to close or shut the eyes."

their  - -- The word translated as "their" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of theirs."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

eyes -  "Eyes" is from the word that "eye," "sight," "the dearest and best," "light," "cheer," "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]." Christ associated the eye symbolically with the realm of the physical.

Otherwise -  (CW) This is from two Greek word meaning "not when." "Not" is from the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "it doesn't seem" not that it isn't or "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. With the following adverb, the sense is "not when." The "when" is from an adverb meaning "when," "at what time," "at some time or other," "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future." With the subjective negative before it, the sense is "not when." This, however, is not the common Greek word that means "otherwise."

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

might - This helping verb "should" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

see  - The "see" is from the common verb for "to see" and "to understand." It is not in the future tense, as in the KJV, but in a tense that indicates something that might probably happen at a specific time in the past present and future.

with -- This word "with" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

[their] -- (WW) The word translated as "their" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

eyes,  - -  "Eyes" is from the word that "eye," "sight," "the dearest and best," "light," "cheer," "comfort," and "the bud [of a plant]." Christ associated the eye symbolically with the realm of the physical.

untranslated "and"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

hear  - The "hear" is the same verb meaning "to hear" and "to listen" used above, but in the same form as the previous verb "see" of possibly happening at some time.

with -- This word "with" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

[their] -- (WW) The word translated as "their" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

ears,  - The word for "ears" is the indirect object of the sentence, not the subject of the sentence as translated in the KJV, so "to/by/with/of" the ears. Symbolically, Christ associates "ears" with understanding and the realm of the mind.

untranslated "and"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

understand  - "Understand" is from a Greek verb which means "to bring together" or "to set together." It is also a metaphor for "perceive," "hear," and "understand" as we would say that we "put it all together" when figuring something out. It is in the same form as the two previous verbs "see" and "hear" of possibly happening at some time. -

with -- This word "with" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

[their] -- (WW) The word translated as "their" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

hearts,  - (WN) "Hearts" is from kardia, which means "heart (the physical organ)," "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)," "inclination," "desire," "purpose," "mind," "the pith (in wood), and "the deep (of the sea)." The word is singular, not plural, see interesting aspects.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

should  - This helping verb "should" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

turn,  -  "Turn" is translated from a Greek word "to turn about" or "to turn around," but also means "cause to return" and "to turn one's mind towards" something. It is usually translated as "return" or "turn around" in the NT.

and  - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but, in a series, as here, is best translated as "not only...but also."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

would - (WW) This helping verb "would" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. It "might" or "should" happen. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

heal  - "Heal" is from a verb which means "to cure," "to treat," and "to repair." The form is different, indicating that the subject is acting on/by/for himself.

them.  - -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. It is in the form of an object.

NIV Translation Issues: 

13
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "people's" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heart" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "has" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "their" before "ears" should be something more like "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "their" before "eyes" should be something more like "the."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "otherwise" is not the common word usually translated as "otherwise."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "their" before "eyes" should be something more like "the."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "their" before "ears" should be something more like "the."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "their" before "heart" should be something more like "the."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "hearts" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "would" before "heal" should be something more like "might" or "should."

Front Page Date: 

Dec 4 2002