Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

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

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

They will be awakened, consequently, fake anointed and fake enlightened, and they will give signs, great ones, and marvels so as to mislead for themselves, if powerful, even those selected.

My Takeaway: 

The wonders of science have created new false prophets, wrong about the future more than right.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

NIV : 

Matthew 24:24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There are a number of contrasts in this verse that are hidden in translation. "False christs" and "false prophets" contrast worldly leaders and spiritual leaders. "Signs" and "wonders" contrast signals which are known with mysteries. The KJV makes a complete hash of this, some of it because of problems in their source. The NIV straightens some things out, but still gets the ending wrong.

"False christs" and "false prophets" are from compound words. The first part of these words is both the same, a word that in English has come to mean "false" or "fake" but it an adjective from a Greek verb meaning "to cheat by lying," so the participle would normally be rendered as "those who are cheating by lying," or, more simply, "the lying cheaters,"

The word translated as "deceive" is in a form that is either passive, "be led astray" or a middle voice where the subject acts on themselves, "deceive themselves," "deceived for themselves," or "deceive by themselves." The  "elect" is the object of the deception so the sense is "by or for themselves." The "possible" actually means "strong" or "powerful," so the verse says that if these deceives are powerful they will mislead even the elect by themselves.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐγερθήσονται [41 verses]((verb 3rd pl fut ind pass) "Shall arise" is egeiro, which means "to awaken," "to stir up," and "to rouse."

γὰρ [205 verses](partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for," "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what."

ψευδόχριστοι [2 verses](noun pl masc nom) "False christs" is pseudochristos which means "cheating, lying anointed." It is a compound of pseudo and christos. Pseudo means "to cheat by lies," "to beguile," and "to cheat" or "disappoint" someone about something. Christos, which means "to be rubbed with salve," "used as an ointment," and, of persons, "anointed." ---

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."

ψευδοπροφῆται,” [5 verses] (noun pl masc nom) is from pseudoprophetes, which means "cheating, divine spokesperson." It is from pseudo and christos and prophetes. Pseudo means "to cheat by lies," "to beguile," and "to cheat" or "disappoint" someone about something. "The prophets" is from prophetes, which means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will," "interpreter," "keepers of the oracle," "the highest level of priesthood in Egypt," "interpreter," and "herald." It is a verb that means "to shine forth" It is a form of the verb, prophao. which means "to shine forth," or "to shine before."

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."

δώσουσιν [147 verses](verb 3rd pl fut ind act) "Shall shew" is didomi, which means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe."

σημεῖα [15 times] (noun pl neut nom/acc) "Signs" is from sêmeion, which means "sign," "signal," "mark" by which a thing is known. Specifically used to mean "sign from the gods."

μεγάλα [47 verses](adj pl neut nom/acc) "Great" is from megas, which means "big," "full-grown," "vast," "high," "great," "mighty," "strong (of the elements),""loud" (of sounds), "over-great (with a bad sense), "impressive" (of style), and "long" ( of days).

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."

τέρατα [3 verses](noun pl neut nom/acc) "Wonders" is teras, which means "sign," "wonder," "marvel," "portent," and "monstrosity."

ὥστε  [9 verses] (adv/conj) "Insomuch that" is hoste, which marks the power or virtue by which one does a thing, "as being," "inasmuch as," expresses the the actual or intended result of the action in the principal clause: "as," "for," implying "on condition that," at the beginning of a sentence, to mark a strong conclusion, "and so," "therefore," and with subj. " in order that."

πλανᾶσθαι [12 verses](verb pres inf mp ) "They shall deceive" is planao which means "to cause to wander," "to lead astray," "to mislead," "to wander," "to stray," and "to be misled."

εἰ  [90 verses](conj) "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever," "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

δυνατὸν [9 verses](adj sg masc acc) "It were possible" is dynatos, which means "strong," "mighty," "possible," and "practicable."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv)  Untranslated 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."

τοὺς [821 verses] (article pl masc acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ἐκλεκτοὺς [8 verses](adj pl masc acc) "The elect's " is eklektos, which means "picked out," "selected," "choice," and "pure."

KJV Analysis: 

For -- The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation.

there -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the following verb. "There" works but "they" is more accurate.

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

arise -- (WV) The word for "arise" means "awaken" and is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising. It is not active but in the future passive, so "they will be awakened."

false -- This is from the prefix that means "cheating" and "lying" of the compound noun.

Christs, -- (UW) We think"christos" means "Christ," but the original meaning is "anointed." The anointed were the kings of Israel. these were worldly leaders. This is the root word of the noun here.

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

false -- This is from the prefix that means "false"of the compound noun.

prophets, (UW The Greek word translated as "prophets" means "one who speaks for God," "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt. It is from the verb that means "to shine before." So our ideas of "light bringers" or "enlightened" is closer to the source.

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

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

shew -- (WW) The verb translated as "shew" means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

great -- The word translated as "great" means "big," "high" "great," and "impressive."

signs -- "Signs" are a signature by which something is identified.

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

wonders;  - The "wonders" can be anything that is unexplained, including "sign," "wonder," "marvel," "portent," and "monstrosity."

insomuch that, -- (CW) "Insomuch that" is from an adverb that indicates the power or virtue by which one does a thing. At the beginning of a sentence, it marks a strong conclusion. However, here it comes before an infinitive verb so the sense is "so as" to do something, in this case, "to lead astray."

if  -  The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever."

it -- (IW) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "it were" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity.

possible, -- (CW) "Possible" is from an adjective which means "strong," "mighty," "possible," and "practicable." This is the adjective form of the noun usually translated as "power." Power is what makes things possible, but the primary sense of this adjective is "strong." Following with "if" the sense is "if strong."

they -- (WF) This indicates a third-person, plural form of the following verb, but the verb isn't active but an infinitive. 

shall -- (WT) This indicates a future tense, but the following verb is the present tense.

deceive -- (WV, WP) "Deceive" is from a verb that means "to cause to wander," "to lead astray," and "to mislead." It is in the for of an infinitive, "to mislead." This verb is either the passive or middle voice, not the active voice. So. it means "be led astray" or "lead astray bu or for themselves."  It is an infinitive, not an active verb so "to be led astray" or "to lead astray by themselves." This verb comes before the "if" clause, after the adverb "so as" not after the "if."

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

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"). See this article for more. 

very  -- (OS) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "very" in the source we use today but a word does exist in the source that the KJV translators used, but that word should be translated as "even" not "very."

elect. -- - (UW) "Elect" is from an adjective that means "picked out," "select," "choice," and "pure." It is used as a noun there, "the ones selected." Our English word is adapted from Biblical Greek through Latin. This word is the subject of "deceive." In Greek, the subject of an infinitive is in the form of an object. This sounds confusing but in English, we would express this idea with a pronoun in the form of an object, "to have them be deceived/deceive themselves."

KJV Translation Issues: 

13
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb here is translated as active but it is passive .
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "christos" means "anointed." It is not translated but a title is substituted.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "prophets" means "shining light" or "oracle." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "shew" means "give." This is not the adverbial form.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "insomuch as" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "it were" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "possible" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "deceive" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to lead astray."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "shall" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is in the middle voice requiring the concept of "yourselves" as its object or the passive voice.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "deceive" doesn't appear here but before the "if" phrase.
  • MW - Missing Word -- There is an "even" here in the Greek text that is not translated.
  • OS - Outdated Source -- The word "very" doesn't exist in the source we use today but there was a word in the KJV source that could be poorly translated as "very."
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "elect" means "chosen." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

NIV Analysis: 

For -- The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation.

false -- This is from the prefix that means "cheating" and "lying" of the compound noun.

messiahs , -- The word translated as "messiahs " means "anointed." In the NT, it is understood to mean the Messiah, following the anointing of the kings of Israel.

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

false -- This is from the prefix that means "false"of the compound noun.

prophets, (UW The Greek word translated as "prophets" means "one who speaks for God," "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt. It is from the verb that means "to shine before." So our ideas of "light bringers" or "enlightened" is closer to the source.

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

appear -- (WW, WV) The word for "arise" means "awaken" and is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising. It is not active but in the future passive, so "they will be awakened."

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

perform -- (WW) The verb translated as "perform " means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

great -- The word translated as "great" means "big," "high" "great," and "impressive."

signs -- "Signs" are a signature by which something is identified.

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

wonders;  - The "wonders" can be anything that is unexplained, including "sign," "wonder," "marvel," "portent," and "monstrosity."

missing "so as"  -- -- (MW) The missing word is from an adverb that indicates the power or virtue by which one does a thing. At the beginning of a sentence, it marks a strong conclusion. However, here it comes before an infinitive verb so the sense is "so as" to do something, in this case, "to lead astray."

to   - This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

deceive -- (WV) "Deceive" is from a verb that means "to cause to wander," "to lead astray," and "to mislead." It is in the for of an infinitive, "to mislead." This verb is either the passive or middle voice, not the active voice. So. it means "be led astray" or "lead astray bu or for themselves."  It is an infinitive, not an active verb so "to be led astray" or "to lead astray by themselves."

if  -  The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever."

possible, -- (CW) "Possible" is from an adjective which means "strong," "mighty," "possible," and "practicable." This is the adjective form of the noun usually translated as "power." Power is what makes things possible, but the primary sense of this adjective is "strong." Following with "if" the sense is "if strong."

even -- --  This is usually the conjunction translated as "and, but it also is used to add emphasis ("even," "also").

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"). See this article for more.

elect. -- (UW) "Elect" is from an adjective that means "picked out," "select," "choice," and "pure." It is used as a noun there, "the ones selected." Our English word is adapted from Biblical Greek through Latin. This word is the subject of "deceive." In Greek, the subject of an infinitive is in the form of an object. This sounds confusing but in English, we would express this idea with a pronoun in the form of an object, "to have them be deceived/deceive themselves."

NIV Translation Issues: 

8
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "prophets" means "shining light" or "oracle." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "appear" should be "awaken."
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb here is translated as active but it is passive.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "perform" means "give." This is not the adverbial form.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "so as" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is in the middle voice requiring the concept of "yourselves" as its object or the passive voice.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "possible" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "elect" means "chosen." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

Front Page Date: 

Sep 21 2021