Matthew 8:26 Why are you fearful,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

The apostles are frightened by a storm and wake Jesus.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Why cowardly? Are you all tiny trusters?

My Takeaway: 

Trust gives us courage.

KJV : 

Matthew 8:26 Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

NIV : 

Matthew 8:26 You of little faith, why are you so afraid?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The Greek is much shorter than the English and pithier. It is hard to say if it is a question, two questions, or a statement.

However, the phase "you of little faith" acts as the punchline, coming at the end of the verse. This is how Jesus used this same word in the Sermon on the Mount. This  Greek word is only used in the NT. It seems to have been invented for light-hearted teasing.

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."

δειλοί (adj pl masc nom ) "Fearful" is from deilos, which means "cowardly" "vile," "worthless," "lowborn", "mean", "miserable," and "wretched."

ἐστε, (2nd pl pres ind act) "Are ye" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

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

KJV Analysis: 

Why  -  The term translated as "why" is an indefinite pronoun which means primarily "any one" or "any thing," and "something." In questions, it can mean "who," "why," or "what?" There was no punctuation in the original Greek to tell us if this was a question or not.

are -- The verb "are " is simply the second-person, present form of the verb "to be." It is plural.

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

fearful,  -- (CW) The word translated as "fearful" means "cowardly" but has a lot of meanings, both critical and sympathetic, relating to being "lowborn" and "wretched." It is not a form of the word "fear."

O ye  of -- This comes from the adjective's form, which is one of address. in the plural masculine, Since it is addressed to the listeners, we can the "you" to it, though the Greek word "you" doesn't appear in the source.

little faith? -- The final "little faith" word is addressed to the Apostles. The word itself is used only in the NT. It means "small trust" or "little faith." This acts as the verse's punchline.

KJV Translation Issues: 

1

CW - Confusing Word -- The "fearful" is not common from the Greek word for "fear," but it means "cowardly."

NIV Analysis: 

You of  -- This comes from the adjective's form, which is one of address. in the plural masculine, Since it is addressed to the listeners, we can the "you" to it, though the Greek word "you" doesn't appear in the source.

little faith? -- (WP) The "little faith" word is addressed to the Apostles. The word itself is used only in the NT. It means "small trust" or "little faith." It comes at the end of the verse and serves as the punchline,

little faith, why are you so afraid?

why  -  The term translated as "why" is an indefinite pronoun which means primarily "any one" or "any thing," and "something." In questions, it can mean "who," "why," or "what?" There was no punctuation in the original Greek to tell us if this was a question or not.

are -- The verb "are " is simply the second-person, present form of the verb "to be." It is plural.

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

so afraid,  -- (CW) The word translated as "so afraid" means "cowardly" but has a lot of meanings, both critical and sympathetic, relating to being "lowborn" and "wretched." It is not a form of the word "fear."O ye  of

WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "little fair" doesn't appear here but at the end of the verse.

CW - Confusing Word -- The "so afraid" is not common from the Greek word for "fear," but it means "cowardly."

Front Page Date: 

Aug 1 2020