Matthew 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A parable describing a man traveling abroad, turning over his stuff to personal servants.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And to this one, indeed, he gave five weights [of gold], to this one, two, and to another one; to each according to his personal capacity; and he went abroad.

My Takeaway: 

Everyone is always judging everyone else in terms of who they want to support.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

NIV : 

Matthew 25:15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.

What is Lost in Translation: 

Jesus uses this Greek word translated as "talents" of "bags of gold" specifically to set up a play on words in the punchline. This is completely lost in translation. "Talents" is an adapted rather than translated word Greek word meaning "weight." It was used to refer to a sum of money like we would say "five large" or "five big ones" referring to large denomination bills. As with bills, its meaning changed depending on the type of currency. It was the name of the scales of Zeus on which was balanced the fortunes of men, an important aspect of this moral of this story. However, the concept of "weight" is the key to the punchline that comes before the moral.

Another important word in this verse and in the last, Matthew 25:14, is simply translated as "his" in "his servants." This word is a key idea here. This word is not the normal possessive pronoun but one that means "personal" implying a closer relationship.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but."

[294 verses](pron sg masc dat) "Unto one" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

μὲν [31 verses](partic) Untranslated is men, which is generally used to express certainty and means "indeed," "certainly," "surely," and "truly."

ἔδωκεν [147 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "He gave" is didomi, which means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe."

πέντε [12 verses](numeral) "Five" is from pente, the number five.

τάλαντα [8 verses](noun pl neut acc) "Talent" is talanton, which means "a weight," "a pair of scales," "a commercial weight," and "a sum of money." In Greek mythology, it was the scales on which Zeus balanced the fortunes of men. As money, the amount varied in different systems.

[294 verses] (pron sg masc dat) "To another" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings. -- The word translated as "who" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause..

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").

δύο. [36 verses](numeral) "Two" is from duo, which means the number "two," "a couple," and "a pair." -- The Greek word for "two" means "two" or a "couple."

[294 verses] (pron sg masc dat) "To another" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings. -- The word translated as "who" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause..

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").

ἐν [413 verses](prep) (noun sg neut acc) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

ἑκάστῳ [9 verses](adj sg masc dat) "To every man" is from hekastos, which means "each," "all and each severally," and "each by himself."

κατὰ [60 verses](prep) "According" is from kata, which means "downwards," "down from," "down into," "against," "down toward," "opposite," "separately," "individually," "at a time," "towards," "in accordance with," "concerning," "corresponding with," "during the course of a period," and "severally."

τὴν [821 verses](article sg masc dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἰδίαν [16 verses](adj sg fem acc ) "His" is from idios, which means "one's own," "pertaining to oneself," "private," "personal," "personally attached" to one, "separate," "distinct," "strange," and "unusual." idios, which means "one's own," "pertaining to oneself," "private," "personal," "personally attached" to one, "separate," "distinct," "strange," and "unusual."

δύναμιν, [16 verses] (noun sg fem acc) "Ability" is dynamis, which means "power," "might," "influence," "authority," "capacity," "elementary force," "force of a word," and "value of money." Elemental forces are forces such as heat and cold.

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."

ἀπεδήμησεν. [5 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Traveling into a far country" is from apodemeo, which means "to be far from home," "to be abroad," "to be on one's travels," and "to go abroad." --

KJV Analysis: 

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

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

one -- The word translated as "one" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

missing "indeed" or "truly:  -- (MW) The untranslated word here that "indeed" or "truly." It is the Greek equivalent of the word "amen."

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

gave  - The verb translated as "gave" means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe."

five -- This is the Greek word for the number five.

talents,  - "Talents" is an untranslated word in Greek meaning "a weight" as in a weight balancing a scale. It was used to refer to a sum of money like we would say "five large" or "five big ones" referring to large denomination bills. As with bills, its meaning changed depending on the type of currency.

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "however" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand."

another -- (CW) The word translated as "another" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause. This is not the word usually translated as "another."

two," -- The "two" is the numeral, "two," which, like numbers in English, plays a lot of roles.

and -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "and" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand."

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

another -- (CW) The word translated as "another" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause. This is not the word usually translated as "another."

one; -- The Greek word translated as "one " means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

every man  - (CW) "Every man" is translated from a Greek word meaning "each," "all and each severally," and "each by himself."

according  - "According" is from a word that primarily means "downwards," "against," but in this context means "in accordance with," "concerning," and "corresponding with."

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

his  - (WW) -- The word translated as "his" 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. 

several - (CW) The word translated as "several " is a very unusual word. It is not the very common pronoun usually translated as "several,"  which could be teh word above, but a specific word that means "one's own," "pertaining to oneself," and "private."

ability;  - "Ability" is from a word that describes abilities and capacities, what actions a person can do or has done so "power," "might," "influence," "authority," and "force." It is usually translated as "power" or "authority" in the NT, but "capacity" and "ability" are perhaps closer to the way Christ uses it.

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

straightway -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "straightway " in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

took his journey.  - -- (CW) The uncommon verb translated as "took his journey" was translated as "traveling to a far country" in the previous verse. It means "to be far from home" and "to go abroad."

KJV Translation Issues: 

10
  1. MW - Missing Word -- The word "indeed" is not shown in the English translation.
  2. MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  3. CW - Confusing Word -- The "another" is not the common word usually translated as "another."
  4. WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be something more like "however."
  5. CW - Confusing Word -- The "another" is not the common word usually translated as "another."
  6. CW - Confusing Word -- The "every man" is not the common words usually translated as "every man."
  7. WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "his" should be something more like "the."
  8. CW - Confusing Word -- The "several" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  9. OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "straightway " existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  10. CW - Confusing Word -- The word translated as  "took his journey" was translated differently in the earlier verse.

NIV Analysis: 

To -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

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

one -- The word translated as "one" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

missing "indeed" or "truly:  -- (MW) The untranslated word here that "indeed" or "truly." It is the Greek equivalent of the word "amen."

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

gave  - The verb translated as "gave" means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe."

five -- This is the Greek word for the number five.

bags of gold,  - The word translated as "bags of gold," is a word in Greek meaning "a weight" as in a weight balancing a scale. It was used to refer to a sum of money like we would say "five large" or "five big ones" referring to large denomination bills. As with bills, its meaning changed depending on the type of currency.

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "however" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand."

another -- (CW) The word translated as "another" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause. This is not the word usually translated as "another."

two," -- The "two" is the numeral, "two," which, like numbers in English, plays a lot of roles.

and -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "and" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand."

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

another -- (CW) The word translated as "another" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause. This is not the word usually translated as "another."

one; -- The Greek word translated as "one " means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."

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

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

each   - "Each" is translated from a Greek word meaning "each," "all and each severally," and "each by himself."

according  - "According" is from a word that primarily means "downwards," "against," but in this context means "in accordance with," "concerning," and "corresponding with."

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "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. 

his  - (CW) The word translated as "his" is a very unusual word. It is not the very common pronoun usually translated as "his," but a specific word that means "one's own," "pertaining to oneself," and "private."

ability;  - "Ability" is from a word that describes abilities and capacities, what actions a person can do or has done so "power," "might," "influence," "authority," and "force." It is usually translated as "power" or "authority" in the NT, but "capacity" and "ability" are perhaps closer to the way Christ uses it.

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

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

went on his journey.-  - -- means "to be far from home" and "to go abroad."

NIV Translation Issues: 

10
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "indeed" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "another" is not the common word usually translated as "another."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "bag" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be something more like "however."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "another" is not the common word usually translated as "another."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "ability" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "his" is not the common word usually translated as "his."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "then" should be something more like "and."

Front Page Date: 

Nov 2 2021