Matthew 18:25 But because as he had not paid,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

A section about forgiving people's offenses, which equal debts.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Not possessing, however, of it to give back, he commanded him, that lord, to be sold, also the wife, also the children, also everything, as much as he had, also to be given back.

My Takeaway: 

We don't ever know how much our mistakes will cost us.

KJV : 

Matthew 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

NIV : 

Matthew 18:25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

What is Lost in Translation: 

Jesus arranges this verse so that it ends on a series of nine "and/also" conjunctions. Verbally, this is like ratcheting up the punishment, making it more and more serious, but in a playful way.

Wordplay: 

This verse uses a lot of "ands" but in a playful way, highlighting all the different meanings of the word. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

μὴ (partic) "Not" 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.

ἔχοντος [181 verses](part sg pres act masc gen) "Had" 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." --

δὲ (conj) "But for as much" 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").

αὐτοῦ ( adj sg masc/neut gen) "He" 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."

ἀποδοῦναι [22 verses](verb aor inf act) "To pay" is apodidomi which means "to give back," "to restore," and "to deliver." It has the economic sense of "to sell" or "to give something for one's own profit." It begins with apo the preposition of separation and origin, the idea of "from" in English, didômi which means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," and "to describe." -- The word translated as "reward" doesn't mean "reward." It means "to give back." In a financial sense, to "pay back." Prayer, like charity in the earlier verse, is treated as though it is an activity or for of work for which we are compensated. Hence, the idea of "paying back."

ἐκέλευσεν [1 verse](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Command" is keleuô, which means "urge on," "drive on," "exhort," "order," "command," (of inferiors) "urge," and "entreat."

αὐτὸν (adj sg masc acc) "Him" 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."

(article sg masc nom)  "His" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

κύριος (noun sg masc nom) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

πραθῆναι [2 verses](verb aor inf pass) "To be sold" is pipraskô, which means "to sell
and specifically, "to sell for a bribe (of political leaders)." It is a form of pernêmi which means "to sell," and more specifically, "to export for sale," and often used to apply specifically to slaves.

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."

τὴν (article sg fem acc)  "His" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

γυναῖκα (noun sg fem acc) "Wife" is from gyne, which means "woman (as opposed to man)," "wife," "spouse," "mortal woman (as opposed to a goddess)," and "female mate (among animals)."

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."

τὰ (article pl neut nom/acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

τέκνα [25 verses]((noun pl neut nom/acc) "Children" is teknon, which means "that which is born," "child," and "the young."

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."

πάντα [212 verses](adj pl neut acc) "All" is from pas, which means "all," "the whole," "every," "anyone," "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way," "on every side," "in every way," and "altogether."

ὅσα [28 verses](adj pl neut nom/acc) "That" is from hosos, which means "as many," "as much as," "as great as," "as far as," and "only so far as."

ἔχει [181 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "He had" 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." -- The word translated as "have" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb than the English "have" is.

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."

ἀποδοθῆναι.[22 verses] (verb aor inf pass) "Payment to be made" is from apodidomi which means "to give back," "to restore," and "to deliver." It has the economic sense of "to sell" or "to give something for one's own profit." It begins with apo the preposition of separation and origin, the idea of "from" in English, didômi which means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," and "to describe." -

KJV Analysis: 

But  - The Greek word translated as "but" is the word usually translated as "but," the conjunction that joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

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

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

had -- (CW, WF) The word translated as "had" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "keep close," "have means to do,"  "to have due to one," or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English.  It is not the helping verb used in English to create past tenses or the idea of "must," so translating it as "possess clarifies the difference here. It is not an active verb at all, but a verbal adjective, "possessing,"

missing "of it"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. It is the possessive form.

not -- The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

pay,  - (CW) "Pay" is a Greek verb that means literally, "give back" or "give up," and also means "restore," "return," "yield," "give account," and "sell." The form here is an infinitive: "to give back." When we ask God to "give" is our daily bread, the term used for "give" is the base form of this word which is formed by adding a prefix meaning "back."

his -- (WW) The word translated as "his" 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. 

lord -- The word translated as "master" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

commanded  - "Command" is from a verb that means "urge on," "exhort," "order," "command," and "entreat." Jesus only uses this word here.

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

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

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

sold,  - "Sold" is from a verb that which means "to sell," and more specifically, "to export for sale," and often use to apply specifically to slaves.

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

his -- (WW) The word translated as "his" 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. 

wife, -- The word translated as "woman" is  the Greek word that means "woman (as opposed to man)," "wife," "spouse," "mortal woman (as opposed to a goddess)," and "female mate (among animals)." It is closer to our "female." 

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

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. 

children, - The word translated as "children" means "child" but in the most general sense of "offspring." Jesus does not use it to refer specifically to children under seven, which is another term. See this article more about these words for "child."

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

all  - The word translated as "all" is the word meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas.

that  - (WW) The word translated as "that" means "as great as," ""as much as," and similar ideas of comparison.

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

had,  - The word translated as "had" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "keep close," "have means to do,"  "to have due to one," or "keep" and many specific uses.

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

payment  - (CW, WF) "Payment" is from a Greek verb that means literally, "give back" or "give up," and also means "restore," "return," "yield," "give account," and "sell." The same word as above and in the same form, an infinitive: "to give back."

to be made. -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "to be made" in the Greek source.

KJV Translation Issues: 

12
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "forasmuch as" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "had" is not the helping verb.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "had" is not an active verb but a participle, "possessing."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "of it" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "pay" is not the common word usually translated as "pay" This word means "give back."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "his" before "lord" should be something more like "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "his" before "woman" should be something more like "the."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "children" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "that" before "as much as."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "payment" is not the common word usually translated as "pay" This word means "give back."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "payment" is not a noun but a verb in the form of an infinitive.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "to be made" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

Since - (WW) The Greek word translated as "since" is the word usually translated as "but," the conjunction that joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

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

was -- (WW, WF) The word translated as "had" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "keep close," "have means to do,"  "to have due to one," or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English.  It is not the helping verb used in English to create past tenses or the idea of "must," so translating it as "possess clarifies the difference here. It is not an active verb at all, but a verbal adjective, "possessing,"

not -- The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests.

missing "of it"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. It is the possessive form.

able -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "forasmuch as " in the Greek source.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

pay,  - (CW) "Pay" is a Greek verb that means literally, "give back" or "give up," and also means "restore," "return," "yield," "give account," and "sell." The form here is an infinitive: "to give back." When we ask God to "give" is our daily bread, the term used for "give" is the base form of this word which is formed by adding a prefix meaning "back."

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. 

master -- The word translated as "master" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

ordered - "Ordered " is from a verb that means "urge on," "exhort," "order," "command," and "entreat." Jesus only uses this word here.

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

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

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

his -- (WW) The word translated as "his" 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. 

wife, -- The word translated as "wife" is  the Greek word that means "woman (as opposed to man)," "wife," "spouse," "mortal woman (as opposed to a goddess)," and "female mate (among animals)." It is closer to our "female." 

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

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. 

his -- (WW) The word translated as "his" 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.

children, - The word translated as "children" means "child" but in the most general sense of "offspring." Jesus does not use it to refer specifically to children under seven, which is another term. See this article more about these words for "child."

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

all  - The word translated as "all" is the word meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas.

that  - (WW) The word translated as "that" means "as great as," ""as much as," and similar ideas of comparison.

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

had,  - The word translated as "had" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "keep close," "have means to do,"  "to have due to one," or "keep" and many specific uses.

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

sold,  - (WF)  "Sold" is from a verb that which means "to sell," and more specifically, "to export for sale," and often use to apply specifically to slaves. The word should be an infinitive, not an active verb.

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

repay - (WF) "Repay " is a Greek verb that means literally, "give back" or "give up," and also means "restore," "return," "yield," "give account," and "sell." The same word as above and in the same form, an infinitive: "to give back."

to the debt.-- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "to the debt." in the Greek source.

NIV Translation Issues: 

14
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "since" should be something more like "but."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "forasmuch as" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "was" should be something more like "possessing."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "was" is not an active verb but a participle, "possessing."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "of it" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "pay" is not the common word usually translated as "pay" This word means "give back."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "his" before "woman" should be something more like "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "his" before "children" should be something more like "the."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "that" before "as much as."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sold" is not a noun but a verb in the form of an infinitive.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "repay" is not a noun but a verb in the form of an infinitive.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "to the debt" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Apr 6 2021