Matthew 25:12 But he answered and said,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

The parable continues the topic, staying vigilant, in the context of comparing the realm of the skies to dumb kids and sensible kids going to a party.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

The one, however, answering said, "Truly I tell you, I never really saw you."

My Takeaway: 

To be seen, we must prepare to keep our lights shining.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

NIV : 

Matthew 25:12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The joke here is crystal clear to anyone familiar with Jesus's words. The "bridegroom" here is identified by the catch phrase that begins his response. The "verily.truly" phrase was established by its repetition in the Sermon on the Mount. See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

The punchline here is the phrase translated as "don't know you." The word translated as "know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the phrase "I see" to mean "I know" in English. It is in the tense that indicates something completed in the past so it is "I haven't seen you." The joke is the double meaning of "know" and "see" tied to lamps, where light is the analogy for knowledge. He didn't "see" them because they weren't ready. Their lamps weren't working. Their lights went out. They were "dim." 

Wordplay: 

The double meaning of the word translated as "know" is that it also means "see". 

Greek Vocabulary: 

[692 verses](article sg masc nom) "He" is from the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." When it preceded an adjective (the "answering" below), it makes the adjective work like a noun.

δὲ [446 verses](conj) "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

ἀποκριθεὶς [17 verses](part sg aor pass masc nom) "Answered" is from apokrinomai that means to "set apart," "choose", "exclude," "reject on examination", "decide", "answer" the question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself" and, in the passive, "to be parted or separated." In the Gospels, it is always translated as "answered."

εἶπεν [162 verses] (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "And said" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer." -- "Speak you" is from means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

ἀμὴν [88 verses](exclaim) "Verily" is amen, which is the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek of this meaning before the NT. However, this is also the infinitive form of the Greek verb amao, which means "to reap" or "to cut."

λέγω [264 verses](1st sg pres ind act) "I say" is lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὑμῖν, [289 verses](pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

οὐκ [269 verses](partic) "Not" is ou ( οὒ ) which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences.  The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

οἶδα [38 verses] (verb 1st sg perf ind act) "Know" is oida which is a form of eido, (eido) which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

ὑμᾶς [210 verses](pron 2nd pl acc) "You" is humas which is the plural objective form of the second-person pronoun, "you.

KJV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

answered - (WF) "Answered" is a verb that means to "set apart," "choose", "answer" a question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself." In the NT, in this form, it means "answering", but the adjective "answering" is preceded by a "the", the sense is "the one answering" or "the answerer."

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

said,  - The word translated as "said" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

Verily -- The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

say -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc.

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

know  -  (WT) The word translated as "know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is in the tense that indicates something completed in the past. The joke is the double meaning. He didn't "see" them because they weren't ready, their lamps weren't working, but Jesus uses this word to also means "see."

you " -- The "you" here is the second-person, plural pronoun in the form of an object.

not. - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. This word, coming before the verb in the Greek, is also part of the job because it means he isn't expressing an opinion but a fact.

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "answered" is not an active verb but a participle, "answering."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "see" is the present tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have seen."

NIV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

replied- (WF) "Replied" is a verb that means to "set apart," "choose", "answer" a question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself." In the NT, in this form, it means "answering", but the adjective "answering" is preceded by a "the", the sense is "the one answering" or "the answerer."

missing "said"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "said" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

Truly -- The word translated as "truly " is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

tell -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc.

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

do -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

n’t  - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. This word, coming before the verb in the Greek, is also part of the job because it means he isn't expressing an opinion but a fact.

know  -  (WT) The word translated as "know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is in the tense that indicates something completed in the past. The joke is the double meaning. He didn't "see" them because they weren't ready, their lamps weren't working, but Christ uses this word to also means "see."

you " -- The "you" here is the second-person, plural pronoun in the form of an object.

  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "answered" is not an active verb but a participle, "answering."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "said" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "see" is the present tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have seen."

Front Page Date: 

Oct 30 2021