Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

Responding to Peter's request to explain his saying Matthew 15:11 That which goes into the mouth

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

The things, however, bringing themselves out of the mouth make themselves come true from the heart. They there imparts information [about] the person.

My Takeaway: 

What comes from our hearts determines who we are to others and to God.

KJV : 

Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

NIV : 

Matthew 15:18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

As in Matthew  15:11, the word "defile" is misleading here. The idea really means "to communicate" and "to impart." It means "make common knowledge." What Jesus is saying here is that what comes from our hearts determines who we are to others and to God.

Wordplay: 

There is a play on the Greek word for "communicate" and "share" here. In one sense, it highlights the two uses of a mouth, to eat and to speak. On another level, it plays on the Jewish idea of what is shared among people is not special to God. This also says something about the idea of sacred ideas and ideas that are held in common. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

τὰ (article pl neut nom) "Those" is from the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun but which is separated from its noun by the conjunction "but."

δὲ (conj) "But" is from 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").

ἐκπορευόμενα [11 verses](part pl pres mp neut nom) " things which proceedeth" is from ekporeuomai, which means "to make to go out," "to fetch out," and "to march out."

ἐκ (conj) "Out of" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of," "from," "by," "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond," "outside of," "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after," "from;" 4) [of rest] "on," "in," 5) [of time] "since," "from," "at," "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of," "made from." -- The Greek preposition translated as "of" means "out of" of "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

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

στόματος (noun sg neut gen) "Mouth" is stoma, which means "mouth," "the organ of speech," "speech," "utterance," "any outlet or entrance," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade or point of a weapon is a stoma.

ἐκ (prep) "From" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of," "from," "by," "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond," "outside of," "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after," "from;" 4) [of rest] "on," "in," 5) [of time] "since," "from," "at," "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of," "made from." -- The Greek preposition translated as "of" means "out of" of "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

τῆς (article sg neut gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

καρδίας (noun sg fem gen) "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)."

ἐξέρχεται, (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Come forth" is from exerchomai, which means "to come or go out of ""to march forth," "go out on," "to stand forth," "to exceed all bounds," "to come to an end," "to go out of office," and [of dreams or prophecies] "to come true."

κἀκεῖνα (adj pl neut nom) "And they" is from kakeinos, which means "the person there," "that person," "that thing," "in that case," "in that way," "at that place," and "in that manner."

κοινοῖ [7 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) The word translated above as "defile" is koinoô, which means to "communicate," impart information," "make common," "share," "undertake together," "make common cause in," "take counsel with," "take counsel with," "consult," "to be partner or partaker," and "have communication with."

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

ἄνθρωπον. (noun sg masc acc) "A man" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

KJV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  

those  - -- The word translated as "those" 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. 

things which -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "things which " in the Greek source. It is added because the following verbal noun is in the wrong form.

proceed  - (WV) "Proceed" is a verb that means literally, "to make to go or carry out of" and is translated regularly as "to make to go out of," "to fetch out," and "to march out," but in modern English, we would probably say "exit" here. It is in the form of an adjective used as a noun. It is either passive, "are made to go out" or a form where the subject acts itself "the things bringing themselves "

out  of - The Greek preposition translated as "out of" means "out of" of "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases usually use with "of." This preposition is repeated because it is the prefix of the previous verb. This creates an alliteration.

the -- The word translated as "the" 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. 

mouth  - "Mouth" is the Greek word that means "mouth," any opening," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade of a weapon. The Greek word is much more an organ of speech or simply any inlet or outlet.

come  -(WV)  The word translated as "come forth" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." It is either passive, "are made to go out" or a form where the subject acts itself "the things bringing themselves "

forth  - This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "out of."

from -- The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases that usually use with "of."

the -- The word translated as "the" 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;  - "The heart" is  a noun that means both the physical heart and the seat of emotions, especially the stronger emotions of passion, rage, and courage." It also means "inclination," "desire," and "purpose." The "heart" is Christ's symbol for relationships and feeling. The source of what we share with people is what we feel about people.

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

they -- (WW) The word translated as "they" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there." It is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "those there." It is not the pronoun translated as "they."

defile - The word translated above as "defile" is a verb that means primarily "to communicate," and "to share." It has a host of meanings related to communication and sharing. It can mean "make common," but in the sense of "make common knowledge" or "make common property," not in the sense as in English, "to make lower-class. The word also means "to partner" and "to come to terms with." It is a play on the Jewish concept of purity and holiness versus what common and every day.

the-- The word translated as "the" 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.

man.  - The Greek word for "a man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "things which" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb "proceed" is in either the passive or  the middle voice requiring the concept of "yourselves" as its object.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb "come" is in either the passive or the middle voice requiring the concept of "yourselves" as its object.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "they" should be "those there."

NIV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  

the - -- The word translated as "the" 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. 

things that -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "things that" in the Greek source. It is added because the following verbal noun is in the wrong form.

come - (CW, WV) "Come" is a verb that means literally, "to make to go or carry out of" and is translated regularly as "to make to go out of," "to fetch out," and "to march out," but in modern English, we would probably say "exit" here. It is in the form of an adjective used as a noun. It is either passive, "are made to go out" or a form where the subject acts itself "the things bringing themselves." This is not the same word as the following "come."

out  of - The Greek preposition translated as "out of" means "out of" of "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases usually use with "of." This preposition is repeated because it is the prefix of the previous verb. This creates an alliteration.

a person’s -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "a person" in the Greek source.

missing "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. 

mouth  - "Mouth" is the Greek word that means "mouth," any opening," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade of a weapon. The Greek word is much more an organ of speech or simply any inlet or outlet.

come  - (WV)  The word translated as "come forth" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true." It is either passive, "are made to go out" or a form where the subject acts itself "the things bringing themselves "

from -- The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases that usually use with "of."

the -- The word translated as "the" 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;  - "The heart" is  a noun that means both the physical heart and the seat of emotions, especially the stronger emotions of passion, rage, and courage." It also means "inclination," "desire," and "purpose." The "heart" is Christ's symbol for relationships and feeling. The source of what we share with people is what we feel about people.

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

these -- (WW) The word translated as "these " is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there." It is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "those there." It is not the pronoun translated as "they."

defile - The word translated above as "defile" is a verb that means primarily "to communicate," and "to share." It has a host of meanings related to communication and sharing. It can mean "make common," but in the sense of "make common knowledge" or "make common property," not in the sense as in English, "to make lower-class. The word also means "to partner" and "to come to terms with." It is a play on the Jewish concept of purity and holiness versus what common and every day.

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

missing "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. 

missing "man"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is "man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

NIV Translation Issues: 

11
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "things that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "come" is not the common word usually translated as "come."
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb "come" is in either the passive or  the middle voice requiring the concept of "yourselves" as its object.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "a person" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mouth" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb "come" is in either the passive or the middle voice requiring the concept of "yourselves" as its object.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "these" should be "those there."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "them" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "man" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "man" is not shown in the English translation.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Notice how Jesus never mentions words or thoughts or hearing in this verse that seems to be about what we speak. All of those ideas would put this verse in the context of the mental realm rather than the emotional realm of relationships. It is people's caring, not their ideas, that ends up measuring them as people.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 26 2021