Matthew 20:21 What do you want?...

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

Salome, James and John's mother, asks Jesus for a place of honor for her sons.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

What do you desire?

My Takeaway: 

We must know what we want.

KJV : 

Matthew 20:21 What wilt thou?

NIV : 

Matthew 20:21What is it you want?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is a short phrase, addressed to the mother of two of his apostles, requesting a favor. As with most of Jesus's casual conversations, it is straightforward language. However, it is the most basic question in life.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τί (irreg sg neut nom/acc) "What" is from tis which can mean "someone," "any one," "everyone," "they [indefinite]," "many a one," "whoever," "anyone," "anything," "some sort," "some sort of," "each," "any," "the individual," "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who," "why," or "what."

θέλεις; [64 verses](verb 2nd sg pres ind act) "Wilt thou" is thelo, which as a verb means "to be willing (of consent rather than desire)," "to wish," "to ordain," "to decree," "to be resolved to a purpose" "to maintain," "to hold," "to delight in, and "will (too express a future event)." As an adverb, "willingly," and "gladly." and "to desire." As an adjective, it means "wished for" and "desired." --

KJV Analysis: 

What  - There word translated as "what" means "anything" or "anyone," but in short questions it means "who," "what," or "why"

wilt  - The Greek word translated as "wilt thou" is not the same as the helper verb "will" in English, which primarily expresses the future tense. Its primary purpose is to express consent and even delight in doing something. It means "to be resolved to a purpose" and "to desire."

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

KJV Translation Issues: 

0

NIV Analysis: 

What  - There word translated as "what" means "anything" or "anyone," but in short questions it means "who," "what," or "why"

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

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

want - The Greek word translated as "want" is not the same as the helper verb "will" in English, which primarily expresses the future tense. Its primary purpose is to express consent and even delight in doing something. It means "to be resolved to a purpose" and "to desire."

NIV Translation Issues: 

1
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "is it" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

May 23 2021