Matthew 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A parable describing a man traveling abroad, turning over his stuff to personal servants.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Lift, really, from him, that weight [of gold] and give it to the one bearing those ten weights.

My Takeaway: 

Being in charge of other people's money is a heavy weight to bear.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

NIV : 

Matthew 25:28 So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The main play on words here in the punchline is lost in translation. The word translated as "take" means "lift." The meaning of the word "talent" or "bag of gold" means "weight." So the first line means "lift from him that weight." The Greek word translated as "hath" and "has" also means "to bear" or "to carry." So the final phrase means "give the one bearing the ten weights."

The joke is equating managing money with carrying a burden. This play on words was the whole point of using the term meaning "weight" for money in this story. Bible translators don't get any of Jesus's humor.

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἄρατε [56 verses](verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Take" is from airo, which means "to lift up," "to raise," "to raise up," "to exalt," "to lift and take away," and "to remove."

οὖν [82 verses](adv)"Therefore" is from oun, which means "certainly," "in fact," "really," "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

ἀπ᾽ [190 verses]​(prep)"From" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.

αὐτοῦ [720 verses](adj sg masc gen) "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."

τὸ -[821 verses](article sg neut acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

τάλαντον [8 verses](noun sg neut acc) "Talent" is from talanton, which means "a balance," "a weight," "a pair of scales," "a commercial weight," and "a sum of money." In Greek mythology, it was the scales on which Zeus balanced the fortunes of men. As money, the amount varied in different systems.

καὶ [1089 verses](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."

δότε [147 verses](verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Give" is from didomi, which means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe."

τῷ -- [821 verses](article sg masc dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἔχοντι [181 verses](part sg pres act masc dat) "Unto him which " 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 carry," "to keep close," "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

τὰ -- [821 verses](article pl neut acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

δέκα (numeral) "Ten" is from deka, which means the number ten.

τάλαντα:  [8 verses] (noun pl neut acc) "Talent" is from talanton, which means "a weight," "a pair of scales," "a commercial weight," and "a sum of money." In Greek mythology, it was the scales on which Zeus balanced the fortunes of men. As money, the amount varied in different systems.

KJV Analysis: 

Take  - (WW) "Take" is from a verb that has a lot of meanings from "to raise up," "elevate," "to take away," and "to cause to cease." It is not the usual word that Christ commonly uses to mean "take" or "get." However, in this from, it is also an adjective meaning "accursed" referring to a man or woman. It is can command addressed to many people. It is not the common word translated as "take" and translating it this way ruins the joke.

therefore  - The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly," "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

talent  - The noun translated as "talent" means a "balance" and "a weight" and refers to different amounts of money in different times and places. However, in Christ's time, it seems to means around a hundred dollars. However, more generically, we could all it a "packet" of money,

from  -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both locations and when referring to a source or a cause. It also means the instrument "by" which a thing is done and "away from."

him,   -- 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").

give The verb translated as "give" means "to give," "to hand over," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give." It to is a command for a group of people.

it -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

unto -- This word "unto" 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.

him -- (CW) The word translated as "him" is the Greek definite article, "the" without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. It is not the pronoun usually used for "him."

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

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

ten -- "Ten" is the Greek word for the numeral "ten."

talents.  "Talents" is an untranslated word in Greek meaning "a weight" as in a weight balancing a scale. It was used to refer to a sum of money like we would say "five large" or "five big ones" referring to large denomination bills. As with bills, its meaning changed depending on the type of currency. It was the name of the scales of Zeus on which was balanced the fortunes of men, an important aspect of this moral of this story.

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "take" should be "lift."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "him" is not the common word usually translated as "him."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "which" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

So - The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly," "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

Take  - (WW) "Take" is from a verb that has a lot of meanings from "to raise up," "elevate," "to take away," and "to cause to cease." It is not the usual word that Christ commonly uses to mean "take" or "get." However, in this from, it is also an adjective meaning "accursed" referring to a man or woman. It is can command addressed to many people. It is not the common word translated as "take" and translating it this way ruins the joke.

therefore 

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

bag of gold- The noun translated as "bag of gold" means a "balance" and "a weight" and refers to different amounts of money in different times and places. However, in Christ's time, it seems to means around a hundred dollars. However, more generically, we could all it a "packet" of money,

from  -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both locations and when referring to a source or a cause. It also means the instrument "by" which a thing is done and "away from."

him,   -- 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").

give The verb translated as "give" means "to give," "to hand over," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give." It to is a command for a group of people.

it -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

unto -- This word "unto" 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 one .-- The word translated as "the one" is the Greek definite article, "the" without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. It is not the pronoun usually used for "him."

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

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

ten -- "Ten" is the Greek word for the numeral "ten."

bags.  "Bags" is a word in Greek meaning "a weight" as in a weight balancing a scale. It was used to refer to a sum of money like we would say "five large" or "five big ones" referring to large denomination bills. As with bills, its meaning changed depending on the type of currency. It was the name of the scales of Zeus on which was balanced the fortunes of men, an important aspect of this moral of this story.

NIV Translation Issues: 

2
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "take" should be "lift."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Nov 14 2021