Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A long section about "the end of the world" or, more precisely, "the culmination of an era."

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Also, through the popularity of immorality, it will be made frigid, the caring of the many.

My Takeaway: 

Lawlessness destroys caring among people.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

NIV : 

Matthew 24:12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The two key verbs here, "shall abound/increase" and "wax cold/grow cold" are only used by Jesus in this verse. The first is used as a noun and the second as a verb, but both are passive though not translated that way. There is a sexual suggestion here that is a setup for the punchline in the next verse. The idea is the immorality lead to frigidity. in caring. Jesus avoids the Greek word for sexual love but strongly suggests it. See this article on love for more about these words.

Wordplay: 

The ideas immorality, becoming frigid, and love are all used together. 

It also connects "the deceiving of a great many" in the previous verse, Matthew 24:11, with "the love of the great many" in this verse. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

διὰ  [88 verses](prep) "Because" is from dia which means "through," "in the midst of," "in a line (movement)," "throughout (time)," "by (causal)," "among," and "between." --

τὴν [821 verses](article sg neut nom/acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

πληθυνθῆναι [1 verse](verb aor inf pass) "Shall abound" is plethyno, which means to " increase," "multiply," "make multiple," in the passive, "to be in the majority," and "prevail."

ἀνομίαν [4 verses](noun sg fem acc/gen) "Iniquity" is anomia, which means "lawless," "lawless conduct," and "the negation of law." -- "Iniquity" is translated from a Greek word meaning "lawlessness." It means violating customs and common standards of civility, so "immorality" and "criminality."

ψυγήσεται [1 verse](verb 3rd sg fut ind pass) "Wax cold" is psycho, which means to "breathe," "blow," "make cool or cold," "cool," "refresh," "dry," "make dry," and ​in passive, "to be frigid," ​

[821 verses](article sg fem nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἀγάπη [12 verses](noun sg fem nom) "The love" is agape, which means "the love of a husband and wife," "love of God by man," "brotherly love," "charity," and "alms." See this article on love for more information.

τῶν [821 verses](article pl masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

πολλῶν. [61 verses](adj pl masc gen) "Many" is from polus, which means "many (in number)," "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)." As an adverb, it means "far," "very much," "a great way," and "long." -- The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

KJV Analysis: 

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

because - (CW) The word translated as "because" means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." It is not the word usually translated as "because" in Greek.

iniquity  - (WF) "Iniquity" is translated from a Greek word meaning "lawlessness." It means violating customs and common standards of civility, so "immorality" and "criminality." The juxtaposition here with "love" makes "immorality" work better. The form of the word is not a subject but either an object or a possessive.

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

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. 

abound,  - (WF, WV)The verb translated is used as the subject of the sentence. The form in Greek is an infinitive introduced by an article, which makes it a noun describing the action. In the passive, the verb means "to be in the majority," so, as a concept, "the prevalence" or "the popularity."

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. 

love  - The word translated as "love" expresses a lot of different ideas including "love of spouses" "love of God" and "charity" in the sense of giving, but Jesus uses it to mean caring for those for whom we are responsible. See this article on love for more information.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

many -- The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

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

wax cold.  -(WV)  "Wax cold" is from a Greek verb that means to "breathe," "blow," "make cool or cold," "cool," "refresh," "dry," "make dry," and ​in passive, "to be frigid." This word is used as a bit of levity.

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "because" is not the common word usually translated as "because."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "iniquity" is not a subject but an object or a possessive.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "shall" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "popularity" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "abound" is not an active verb but an infinitive used as a noun, "popularity."
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb "abound"  here is translated as active but it is passive.
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb "wax cold"  here is translated as active but it is passive.

NIV Analysis: 

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

Because - (CW) The word translated as "because" means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." It is not the word usually translated as "because" in Greek.

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

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. 

increase  - The verb translated is used as the subject of the sentence. The form in Greek is an infinitive introduced by an article, which makes it a noun describing the action. In the passive, the verb means "to be in the majority," so, as a concept, "the prevalence" or "the popularity."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

wickedness, - "Wickedness" is translated from a Greek word meaning "lawlessness." It means violating customs and common standards of civility, so "immorality" and "criminality." The juxtaposition here with "love" makes "immorality" work better.

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. 

love  - The word translated as "love" expresses a lot of different ideas including "love of spouses" "love of God" and "charity" in the sense of giving, but Jesus uses it to mean caring for those for whom we are responsible. See this article on love for more information.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

many -- The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

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

grow cold, - (WV)  "Grow cold" is from a Greek verb that means to "breathe," "blow," "make cool or cold," "cool," "refresh," "dry," "make dry," and ​in passive, "to be frigid." This word is used as a bit of levity.

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "because" is not the common word usually translated as "because."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb "grow cold"  here is translated as active but it is passive.

Front Page Date: 

Sep 9 2021