Matthew 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Teaching about forgiving people for mistakes leads to an analogy about forgiving debts.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And, being angered, that master of his gave him over to those examiners until he gave back all that being owed.

My Takeaway: 

We are tortured by debts.

KJV : 

Matthew 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

NIV : 

Matthew 18:34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

What is Lost in Translation: 

This verse is built around a play on words, two forms of the word "give," one translated as "delivered/handed over" and the other translated as "pay/pay back." The end echoes the end of Matthew 18:30 so this lord/master copies what the slave demanded quite literally. The sense is that "as you do it shall be done to you."

Also lost is the idea that the master wanted to find out more about the assets of the slave. The word "tormenters" or "jailers"  means "examiners," "testers," or "questioners" but the idea was the questioning was done using various motivating techniques to get people to talk. The point is that the master wanted this man questioned about his finances. He had hidden his assets, the debts owed to him by others, until his debt to his master was forgiven. The lord assumes that more was hidden.

Wordplay: 

 The words translated as "deliver" and "he should pay back" are both based on the same word and can both be translated as "deliver." 

The end of this verse is identical with Matthew 18:30 where the slave put his fellow slave in prison. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

ὀργισθεὶς [6 verses](part sg aor pass masc nom) "Was wroth" is orgizo, which means "to be made angry," "to be provoked to anger," and "to be irritated."

(article sg masc nom)  "The" 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."

αὐτοῦ ( adj sg masc gen) "His" 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."

παρέδωκεν [43 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Delivered " is paradidomi, which means "to give over to another," "to transmit," "to hand down," "to grant," "to teach," and "to bestow." -

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."

τοῖς (article spl masc dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

βασανισταῖς [1 verse](noun pl masc dat) "Tormentors" is from basanistes, which means "examiner," "questioner," "torturer," "jailer," and "one who tests."

ἕως (prep) "Till" is heos which means "until," "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that." -

[οὗ] (pron sg masc gen) Untranslated is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἀποδῷ [22 verses](verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "He should pay" 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." -- 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."

πᾶν [212 verses](adj sg neut nom ) "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."

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

ὀφειλόμενον (part sg pres mp masc acc) "Was due" is from opheilo, which means "to owe," "to have to pay," "to be bound," "to be obliged (to do)" and "to account for."

KJV Analysis: 

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

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

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. 

lord  - The word translated as "lord" means "master," but it is also the word used to refer to the Lord in the Gospels.

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

wroth,  - (WF) The word translated as "was wroth" is not an active verb, but a verb in the form of an adjective, "being angered."

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source. It was added because the previous verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

delivered  - The word translated as "delivered" means literally to "give over" from the word usually translated as "give" in the Gospels. As different form of "give" is at the end of this verse.

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

to -- This word "to" 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.

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. 

tormentors,  - The word translated as "tormentors" means "examiners," "testers," or "questioners" but the idea was the questioning was done using various motivating techniques to get people to talk.

till  - The word translated as "till" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

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

should --This helping verb "should" means the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English are appropriate but are assumed in an "until" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

pay  - The word translated as "pay back" means "give back." It is the same base as the "delivered" word above.

all -- The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way," "on every side," and "altogether."

that -- The word translated as "that" 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. 

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

due  - "Due" is from a verb in the form of a noun that means "to owe," "to have to pay," and "to account for."

unto him. -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "unto him" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "lord" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "wroth" is not an active verb but a participle, "being angered."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "unto him" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.

NIV Analysis: 

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

anger ,  - (WF) The word translated as "anger " is not a noun, but a verb in the form of an adjective, "being angered."

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

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

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. 

master - The word translated as "master " means "master," but it is also the word used to refer to the Lord in the Gospels.

handed - The word translated as "handed " means literally to "give over" from the word usually translated as "give" in the Gospels. A different form of "give" is at the end of this verse.

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

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

to -- This word "to" 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.

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.

jailers ,  - (WW) The word translated as "jailers " means "examiners," "testers," or "questioners" but the idea was the questioning was done using various motivating techniques to get people to talk.

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

until - The word translated as "until " means "until" but it also means "in order that."

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

should --This helping verb "should" means the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English are appropriate but are assumed in an "until" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

pay  - The word translated as "pay back" means "give back." It is the same base as the "delivered" word above.

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

all -- The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way," "on every side," and "altogether."

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "that" 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. 

owed- (WF) "Owed" is from a verb in the form of a noun that means "to owe," "to have to pay," and "to account for."

NIV Translation Issues: 

7
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "In" should be something more like "was."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "anger" is not a noun but a participle, "being angered."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "master " is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "jailers" should be something more like "torturers."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "to be tortured" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" before "owed" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "owed" is not a participle, but an active verb "he owed."

Front Page Date: 

Apr 15 2021