Matthew 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

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

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

He declared, that lord of his, to him: "Fortunately! You servant, a worthy and trustworthy one! Over a few things he was trustworthy, over many [others] you I will set down. Enter into the joy of that lord of yours.

My Takeaway: 

We are made joyful by our Lord's joy in us.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.​

NIV : 

Matthew 25:23 His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is a duplicate of Matthew 25:2, an exact duplicate. Something I am not away of happening anywhere else. A lot is hidden here. A couple of jokes and great little plays on words. This verse also uses a couple of very uncommon words that only appear in other stories that Christ tells and a couple of words commonly not used in this form.

The first little joke is that the adverb translated as "well" means "thoroughly," "competently," and "fortunately." The idea of saying "fortunately" to someone who is bragging about risking and doubling his money is funny. The word is uncommon for Jesus to use in this form, but it is the prefix of common words such as the Greek word translated as "gospel" which means "good news."

The word translated as "make...ruler" and "put...in charge" literally means "set down." So Jesus is saying "over others, I will set you down." We think of being in authority as being higher, but Jesus thinks of it as being under, supporting them.

The preposition twice translated as "over" in the KJV has a lot of different meanings taken from the context and the word form of its object. With genitive, it means  "over" things in authority. With accusative, it means  "over" other people when referring to authority. So the "few" means things and the "many" means people. The Biblical translators miss this shift in meaning entirely.

Wordplay: 

A play on the meaning of a Greek word that means "over" things when used with one word  form and "over people" when used with a different word form. Here, the contrast is "over a few things" and "over many people." 

The word translated as "faithful" means "trusting" and "trustworthy." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἔφη [3 verses](verb 3rd sg imperf ind act) "Said" is phemi, which means to "say," "affirm," "assert," "write (of an author), "deem," "allege," "command," and "order."

αὐτῷ [720 verses](adj sg masc acc) "Him" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself," "yourself," "himself," "herself," "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him," "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

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

κύριος [92 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

αὐτοῦ [720 verses](adj sg masc gen) "His" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself," "yourself," "himself," "herself," "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him," "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

Εὖ, [4 verses](adv) "Well done" is eu, the word for "well," "thoroughly," "competently," "fortunately," and "happily."

δοῦλε [56 verses](noun sg masc voc) "The servant" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

ἀγαθὲ [23 verses](adj sg masc voc) "Good" is from agathos which means "good" and, when applied to people, "well-born," "gentle," "brave," and "capable." When applied to things, it means "serviceable," "morally good," and "beneficial."

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."

πιστέ, [11 verses](adj sg masc voc) "Faithful" is pistos means "believing," "trustful," "obedient," "genuine," "deserving belief," "credible," "unmistakable," "believing," "relying on," "obedient," and "loyal."

ἐπὶ [138 verses](prep) "Over" is from epi. which means "on," "upon," "at," "by," "before," "across," and "against." Its sense differs if used with genitive, dative, or accusative forms. With genitive, it means  "over" things in authority. With accusative, it means  "over" other people when referring to authority.

ὀλίγα [6 verses] (adj pl neut acc) "A few things" is from oligos, which means "little," "small," "slight," "few," and "weak." As an adverb it means "a little," "slightly," and "little."

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

πιστός [11 verses]( adj sg masc nom ) "Faithful" is pistos means "believing," "trustful," "obedient," "genuine," "deserving belief," "credible," "unmistakable," "believing," "relying on," "obedient," and "loyal."

ἐπὶ [138 verses](prep) "Over" is from epi. which means "on," "upon," "at," "by," "before," "across," and "against." Its sense differs if used with genitive, dative, or accusative forms. With genitive, it means "upon" with verbs of rest or motion. "in" describing relationships, "in the time of" in the context of time, and "over" things in authority, so "possessing." With accusative, it means "up to" or "as far as" referring reaching a height or "towards" a place with verbs of motion or rest, "against" in a hostile sense, "during" a certain time, "for" implying purpose, and "over" others referring to authority .

πολλῶν [61 verses](adj pl masc/fem/neut gen) "Many things" 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."

σε [47 verses](pron 2nd sg acc) "Thee" is su the pronoun of the second person, "you." -- The "you" here is plural, indicating many of Christ's listeners.

καταστήσω: [7 verses]((verb 1st sg fut ind act) "Will make...ruler" is from kathistemi which means "to set down," "to bring down," "to bring into a certain state," "to make," "to be established," "to be instituted," and "to stand against."

εἴσελθε [68 verses](verb 2nd sg aor imperat act) "Enter" is from eiserchomai which means both "to go into," "to come in," "to enter," "to enter an office," "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind."

εἰς [325 verses](prep) "Into" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)," "until (of time)," "as much as (of measure or limit)," "as far as (of measure or limit)," "towards (to express relation)," "in regard to (to express relation)," "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

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

χαρὰν [14verses](noun sg fem acc) "Joy" is from chara, which means "joy" and "delight."

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

κυρίου [92 verses]noun sg masc gen) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family." -- The Greek word translated as "lord," means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family." However, two different Hebrew words are translated as this Greek word in the OT, the name for God and another Hebrew word with a very similar meaning to this one, referring to someone in authority.

σου. [144 verses](adj sg masc gen) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your." -- The word translated as "thy" is the possessive form of the second person pronoun.

KJV Analysis: 

His   -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

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. 

lord -- The Greek word translated as "lord," means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

said-- (CW) The word translated here as "said" is a very uncommon for Christ. This word means "to make known," and "to explain." "Informed" works well because this verb takes the one spoken to as a direct object.

unto -- (IW) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "unto" in the Greek source. The "him" is the object of the verb, not an indirect object.

him,   -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  

Well ,  - The adverb translated as "well " means "thoroughly," "competently," and "fortunately." The word is uncommon for Christ to use in this form, but he commonly uses it in compound words such as the Greek word translated as "gospel" which means "good news."

done --  -- (IW) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "done" in the Greek source. It was added because the "well" doesn't

good  - The adjective translated as "good" means "useful," "worthwhile," and "of high quality. See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."

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

faithful  - The word translated as "faithful" means "trustful," "obedient," "loyal," and "deserving belief." Strangely enough, Christ doesn't commonly use it as an adjective, but he commonly uses this word in its verb and noun forms. It has both the sense of trusting someone else and being trustworthy.

servant:  - The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible. Today, we would say "employee."

you  - (WW) This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb. It is not the second-person form as translated.

have  - (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here, which is something started in the past.

been -- The verb "been" 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. It is in the past tense.

faithful  - -- The word translated as "faithful" means "trusting" and "trustworthy." 

over  -  -- The word translated as "over" means "on," "over," "upon," "against," "before," "after," "during," "by" "in the case of." or "on."

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

few  - The adjective translated as "few" means a "few" in the plural, as it appears here. The form, with the word above, indicates it refers to things.

things -- Though the subject is plural, the verb is singular because neuter plural verbs are treated as a collective.

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

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

make  - The verb translated as "make... ruler" means "to set down," "to bring down," "to bring into a certain state," "to make," "to be established," "to be instituted," and "to stand against." 

thee -- The word translated as "thee" is the objective form of the second-person, singular pronoun.

ruler -- This completes the idea of the verb.

over -- The word translated as "over" means "on," "over," "upon," "against," "before," "after," "during," "by" "in the case of." or "on." The "over" here has the sense of the sense is of being "in charge of" or "over" people in the sense of having authority.

many  - The word translated as "many" means many in number and here, because of its form with the above preposition has the sense of it being "many people."

things: -- (WW) The form of the word  "many" can be either things or people. Because of the preposition, ut is more likely people.

enter  - "Enter" is a word that means "go or come into" and has the specific meaning of entering into an official position. It also has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind." It is in the form of a command.

thou - This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

into -  The "into" here is a preposition that means "into" or "towards" when expressing a relationship. Like most prepositions, it has many uses.

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. 

joy - The word translated as "joy" means "joy" or delight."

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.

thy -- The word translated as "thy" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

lord. -- The Greek word translated as "lord," means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

KJV Translation Issues: 

8
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "lord" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "said" is not the common word usually translated as "said."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "unto" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "done" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "thou" should be "he."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "things" should be "others."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "lord" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

His   -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

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. 

lord -- The Greek word translated as "lord," means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

replied -- (CW) The word translated here as "said" is a very uncommon for Jesus. This word means "to make known," and "to explain." "Informed" works well because this verb takes the one spoken to as a direct object.

missing "him"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  

Well ,  - The adverb translated as "well " means "thoroughly," "competently," and "fortunately." The word is uncommon for Christ to use in this form, but he commonly uses it in compound words such as the Greek word translated as "gospel" which means "good news."

done --  -- (IW) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "done" in the Greek source. It was added because the "well" doesn't

good  - The adjective translated as "good" means "useful," "worthwhile," and "of high quality. See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."

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

faithful  - The word translated as "faithful" means "trustful," "obedient," "loyal," and "deserving belief." Strangely enough, Christ doesn't commonly use it as an adjective, but he commonly uses this word in its verb and noun forms. It has both the sense of trusting someone else and being trustworthy.

servant:  - The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible. Today, we would say "employee."

you  - (WW) This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb. It is not the second-person form as translated.

have  - (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here, which is something started in the past.

been -- The verb "been" 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. It is in the past tense.

faithful  - -- The word translated as "faithful" means "trusting" and "trustworthy." 

over  -  -- The word translated as "over" means "on," "over," "upon," "against," "before," "after," "during," "by" "in the case of." or "on."

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

few  - The adjective translated as "few" means a "few" in the plural, as it appears here. The form, with the word above, indicates it refers to things.

things -- Though the subject is plural, the verb is singular because neuter plural verbs are treated as a collective.

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

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

put - The verb translated as "make... ruler" means "to set down," "to bring down," "to bring into a certain state," "to make," "to be established," "to be instituted," and "to stand against." 

you -- The word translated as "you" is the objective form of the second-person, singular pronoun.

in charge-- This completes the idea of the verb.

over -- The word translated as "over" means "on," "over," "upon," "against," "before," "after," "during," "by" "in the case of." or "on." The "over" here has the sense of the sense is of being "in charge of" or "over" people in the sense of having authority.

many  - The word translated as "many" means many in number and here, because of its form with the above preposition has the sense of it being "many people."

things: -- (WW) The form of the word  "many" can be either things or people. Because of the preposition, ut is more likely people. 

Come - (WW) "Come" is a word that means "go or come into" and has the specific meaning of entering into an official position. It also has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind." It is in the form of a command.

missing "into"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "into" here is a preposition that means "into" or "towards" when expressing a relationship. Like most prepositions, it has many uses.

and share -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "and share" in the Greek source.

your -- The word translated as "thy" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

Master's. -- The Greek word translated as "master's," means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family." This word "'s"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "'s" of possession.

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. 

happiness- The word translated as "happiness" means "joy" or delight."

NIV Translation Issues: 

12
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "master" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "replied" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "him" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "done" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "you" should be "he."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "things" should be "others."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "come" should be "enter."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "into" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "and share" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "master" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "happiness" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Nov 9 2021