Matthew 16:8 Oh you of little faith, why reason

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

In response to the Apostles realizing they forgot to bring bread, a comedic misunderstanding takes place.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Why do you argue among yourselves, you tiny trusters? Because you don't have bread?

My Takeaway: 

People argue over what they lack.

KJV : 

Matthew 16:8 O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

NIV : 

Matthew 16:8 You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The scene here is really pretty funny. Jesus makes the statement about the leaven of the Pharisees in Matthew 16:6, and the apostles argue about not having bread, thinking that Jesus is worried about taking bread from his opponents, like he was suggesting that it was poisoned. This verse has two other meanings that are not apparent. Jesus is telling the apostles that you cannot find the meaning of his words by debating them. He is also telling them that they are arguing among themselves because they cannot perceive what is right in front of them. "Bread" is Jesus's symbol for nourishment, both physical and spiritual, the theme of this chapter and the last.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τί (irreg sg neut nom) "Why" is from 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."

διαλογίζεσθε [7 verses](verb 2nd pl pres/imperf ind mp) "Reason ye" is from dialogizomai, which means "to calculate exactly," "to add up account," "to debate," and "to argue."

ἐν (prep) "In" is from en, which means "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," and "with."

ἑαυτοῖς, (adj pl masc dat) "Yourselves" is from heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself," "herself," "itself," "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

ὀλιγόπιστοι, [6 verses] (adj pl masc/fem nom/voc) "Oh thou of little faith" is oligopistos, which means literally, "small trust." It is a word built of two words. From oligos, which means "little," "small," "slight," "few," and "weak." As an adverb it means "a little," "slightly," and "little. ""Faith" is from pistis, which means "confidence," "assurance," "trustworthiness," "credit," "a trust," "that which give confidence," and, as a character trait, "faithfulness."

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." -

ἄρτους [32 verses](noun pl masc acc) "Bread" is from artos, which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread." --

οὐκ (partic) "No" is from 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.

ἔχετε; (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Have brought" is from echo, which means "to have," "to hold," "to possess," "to keep," "to have charge of," "to maintain," "to hold fast," "to bear," "to keep close," "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." -

KJV Analysis: 

O ye - This is from the vocative form of the noun that means it names the person being talked to.

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

little faith,  - (WP) "Little faith" is a single word in Greek that means literally, "little faith," "small confidence," or "minimal trust." It an adjective, but it is in a form that makes it a masculine form of address.  It is a phrase Christ uses when challenging how people feel (see Matthew 8:26). Used as a noun, it is more like "tiny-trusters." This word appears after the main clause, not before.

why  - There word translated as "why" primarily means "anything" or "anyone," but works as a question word: "who," "why," or "what.

reason  - (CW) "Reason" is from a Greek verb that means "to calculate exactly," "to add up account," "to debate," and "to argue." The apostles are arguing, not reasoning.

ye  - -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

among  - -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

yourselves, - This is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself," "herself," and so on.

because -- The word translated as "because" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

ye - -- This is from the second-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, which is present.

brought  - (OS) The verb translated as "brought" means "to possess," "to hold," or "to keep." The Greek source of the KJV translators used a different word.

no - (WP) The Greek word translated as "no" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. Here, it negates the verb, not the noun.

bread? -- The word translated as "bread" means "small loaf or cake of bread." It is more like a slice of bread today. It describes a thin 1/2 inch thick round or an oblong loaf of wheat bread, meant to be torn into pieces and not cut. It was closer to a flour tortilla than a loaf of bread.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "little faith" doesn't appear here but after the initial clause.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is the present.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "brought" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "not" doesn't appear here but before the verb.

NIV Analysis: 

You - This is from the vocative form of the noun that means it names the person being talked to.

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

little faith,  - (WP) "Little faith" is a single word in Greek that means literally, "little faith," "small confidence," or "minimal trust." It an adjective, but it is in a form that makes it a masculine form of address.  It is a phrase Christ uses when challenging how people feel (see Matthew 8:26). Used as a noun, it is more like "tiny-trusters." This word appears after the main clause, not before.

why  - There word translated as "why" primarily means "anything" or "anyone," but works as a question word: "who," "why," or "what.

are -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb..

you  - This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

talking - (WW) "talking" is from a Greek verb that means "to calculate exactly," "to add up account," "to debate," and "to argue." The apostles are arguing, not reasoning. It is not one of the common words used to mean "talking."

among  - -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

yourselves, - This is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself," "herself," and so on.

about -- (WW) The word translated as "about" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

having - (WF) The verb translated as "brought" means "to possess," "to hold," or "to keep." It is not int he form of a participle, but an active verb.

no - (WP) The Greek word translated as "no" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. Here, it negates the verb, not the noun.

bread? -- The word translated as "bread" means "small loaf or cake of bread." It is more like a slice of bread today. It describes a thin 1/2 inch thick round or an oblong loaf of wheat bread, meant to be torn into pieces and not cut. It was closer to a flour tortilla than a loaf of bread.

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "little faith" doesn't appear here but after the initial clause.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "talking" should be "arguing."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "about" should be "because."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "having" is an active verb not a participle, "have."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "not" doesn't appear here but before the verb.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

"Bread" is Jesus's symbol for nourishment, both physical and spiritual, the theme of this chapter and the last.

Front Page Date: 

Feb 7 2021