Matthew 23:10 Neither are you called masters:

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Jesus is speaking to a crowd including his disciples about scribes and Pharisees.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Nor should you be called "mentors" since a mentor of yours is one, the anointed.

My Takeaway: 

A teacher for brothers, a father, a heavenly one, and a mentor, the anointed.

KJV : 

Matthew 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

NIV : 

Matthew 23:10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated as "masters/master" and "instructors/instructor" in this verse is a Greek word, only used in the verse. The sense is a "mentor" or "guide," someone who you follow. This is also the only time that Christ is mentioned.

However, this "the anointed" acts as a punchline here. In the previous verse, the punchline was "the heavenly one."

This verse is interested because both the KJV and NIV versions have about the same number of translation issues, they are all different issues.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

μηδὲ [24 verses] (partic)  "Neither" is from mede, which means "and not", "but not", "nor," and "not."

κληθῆτε [38 verses](verb 2nd pl aor subj pass) "Be ye called" is from kaleo, which means "call", "summon", "invite", "invoke", "call by name," and "demand."

καθηγηταί, [1 verse](noun pl masc dat) "Masters" is kathêgêtês, which means "guide" and "teacher" and "professor."

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj)  "For" 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."

καθηγητὴς [1 verse](noun sg masc nom) "Master" is from kathêgêtês, which means "guide" and "teacher" and "professor."

ὑμῶν [168 verses](pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is from humon, the plural possessive form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ἐστὶν [614 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible."

εἷς [94 verses](noun sg masc nom) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."

(article sg masc dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

χριστός: [15 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Christ" is from christos, which means "to be rubbed with salve," "used as an ointment," and, of persons, "anointed."

KJV Analysis: 

Neither  - The word for "neither" is the Greek subjective negative plus the Greek word for "but." It means "neither nor"

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.

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

called  - The term translated as "called" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address." The verb is in the form that indicates something that might or should happen.

masters:  - (WW) The Greek word translated as "masters" here is different than the word translated as "master" two verses previously in Matthew 23:8. That word more clearly meant "teacher" while this one's basic meaning is "guide" though it can also mean "teacher" or "professor." In English, the sense would be "mentor" someone who advises and leads by example.

for  - -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "also" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used. In today's Greek sources, the word translated as "for" is a different word. It means "since" or "that." So what follows is a dependent clause.

one  - As in English, the word translated as "one" can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

is -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. 

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

Master,  - (WW) "Master" here is the same root as "masters" above. That word more clearly meant "teacher" while this one's basic meaning is "guide" though it can also mean "teacher" or "professor." In English, the sense would be "mentor" someone who advises and leads by example.

even  - (IW) There is no Greek word for "even" appearing here.

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. 

Christ. -- (UW) The word translated as "Christ" means "anointed." Our word is basically the English form of the Greek word, not a translation. In the NT, it is understood to mean the Messiah, following the anointing of the kings of Israel. The Jews of Jesus's era thought they understood who the Messiah was and the source of his authority. He was a descendant of David, and his authority came from David as "the anointed" king of the Jews.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "masters" should be "mentors."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "for" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "master" should be "mentor."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "Christ" is not shown in the English translation.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "Christ" means "anointed." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

NIV Analysis: 

Nor - The word for "neither" is the Greek subjective negative plus the Greek word for "but." It means "neither nor"

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

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

to be -- (WT) This indicates the future tense, but the verb is not the future.

called  - The term translated as "called" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address." The verb is in the form that indicates something that might or should happen.

instructors:  -  The Greek word translated as "instructors" means "guide" though it can also mean "teacher" or "professor." In English, the sense would be "mentor" someone who advises and leads by example.

for  - -- (CW) This is not the word translated as "for" in this series of verse. This word means "since" or "that." So what follows is a dependent clause.

you - (WF) The pronoun is not the subject of the sentence but a possessive, "your," appearing after the verb while the word for "Father" appears before the verb. Normally, if the sense was "your father," they would appear together, usually before the verb. The sense is not to call someone "yours."

have  - (WW) The verb here is not "have" but "is" that equates the nouns in the form of a subject. Here those nouns are "one", and "father."

one  - As in English, the word translated as "one" can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

Instructor,  - "Instructor" here is the same root as "instructor" above, meaning "guide" though it can also mean "teacher" or "professor." In English, the sense would be "mentor" someone who advises and leads by example.

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. 

Messiah. -- The word translated as "Messiah" means "anointed." Our word is basically the English form of the Greek word, not a translation. In the NT, it is understood to mean the Messiah, following the anointing of the kings of Israel. The Jews of Jesus's era thought they understood who the Messiah was and the source of his authority. He was a descendant of David, and his authority came from David as "the anointed" king of the Jews.

  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "to be" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "for" is not the common word usually translated as "for."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "you" is not the subject but a possessive, "your."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "have" should be "is."

Front Page Date: 

Aug 1 2021