Matthew 20:26 But it shall not be so among you...

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

After answering the question about the places of James and John, the other apostles were made at them for asking for special places.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Not, in this way, is it among you. Rather, that one, when he desires among you great to become, he will be your attendant.

My Takeaway: 

The greatest will be judge by their service.

KJV : 

Matthew 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

NIV : 

Matthew 20:26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The verse doesn't say "he must" be your servant, but that he "will be your attendant." It is a prediction of the future, not a command. I notice that all Biblical translations except the NAS get the verb form wrong, making it into a "must" or "let." The word meaning "attendant" is related to nursing someone to health.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὐχ (partic) "Not" is from ou 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.

οὕτως (adv) "So" is from houtos, which, as an adverb, it means "in this way," "therefore," "so much," "to such an extent," and "that is why."

ἐστὶν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Shall be" is from esti which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible."

ἐν (prep) "With" is en, which means, with a dative object, "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," "during,"  and "with".

ὑμῖν: (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from the 2nd person pronoun.

ἀλλ (conj) "But" is from alla, which means "otherwise," "but," "still," "at least," "except," "yet," nevertheless," "rather," "moreover," and "nay."

ὃς (pron sg masc nom) "Who-" is from hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἂν (conj) "-soever" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if) and an (might), which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event.d."

θέλῃ [64 verses](verb 3rd sg pres subj act) "Will" 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."

ἐν (prep) "Among" is from en, which means "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," and "with". -- The word translated as "in" also means "within," "with," or "among."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from humin, the 2nd person pronoun.

μέγας [47 verses](adj sg masc nom) "Great" is from megas, which means "big," "full-grown," "vast," "high," "great," "mighty," "strong (of the elements)",l "Loud" (of sounds), "over-great,(with a bad sense), "impressive" (of style), AND "long" ( of days).

γενέσθαι [117 verses](verb aor inf mid) "Be" is from ginomai, which means "to become," "to come into being," "to happen," "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state. --

ἔσται (verb 3rd sg fut ind mid) "Be" is from esti which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible."

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is from humon, the 2nd person pronoun.

διάκονος, (noun sg masc nom) "Minister" is from the noun diakonos, which means "servant," "messenger," and "attendant." This is the source for our word "deacon." As a verb, it is from diakoneô, which "to act as a servant," "to minister," and "to perform services."

KJV Analysis: 

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

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

shall -- (WT) This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense, but the verb is not the future, but the present.

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,

be  - The verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is not in the future tense, but the present, "it is."

so  - The adverb translated as "so" means "in this way," "so much," and "that is why."

among -- The word translated as "among" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

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

but  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather". Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, not doing something, with a positive one, "instead do this."

who- - This is is a demonstrative pronoun ("this," "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("he," "she," "who").

-soever - The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

will  - (WW) The Greek word translated as "will" is not the same as the "will" in English, which primarily expresses the future tense. Its primary purpose is to express consent and even a delight in doing something, "want," and "desire" capture it.

be --- (WW, WF) The word translated as "be" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Jesus, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state.

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

among -- The word translated as "among" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

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

let  - (OS) The helping verb here should indicate a third-person command, but that was the verb form in the KJV source.

him -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

be  - The verb translated as "let...be" is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is not the 3rd person imperative, which is usually translated as "let be" (as it was in the KJV source, but the 3rd person future, "he will be."

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case.

minister  - The word translated here as "minister," actually means "servant." It is not the Greek word usually translated as "servant," which really means "slave."

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "but" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "will" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "but" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "will" should be "want."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be" should be "become."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "be" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to become."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "let" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.

NIV Analysis: 

missing "it is"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "it is" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is not in the future tense, but the present, "it is."

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,

so  - The adverb translated as "so" means "in this way," "so much," and "that is why."

with -- The word translated as "among" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

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

Instead-   The Greek word translated as "instead" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather". Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, not doing something, with a positive one, "instead do this."

who- - This is is a demonstrative pronoun ("this," "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("he," "she," "who").

-ever - The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

wants - The Greek word translated as "wants" is not the same as the "will" in English, which primarily expresses the future tense. Its primary purpose is to express consent and even a delight in doing something, "want," and "desire" capture it.

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

become--  The word translated as "become" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Jesus, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state.

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

among -- The word translated as "among" means "in," "within," "with," "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

must - (WW) The helping verb here should indicate a third-person command, but this verb is the future tense, active so "will" is correct. .

be  - The verb translated as "be" is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is not the 3rd person imperative, which is usually translated as "let be" (as it was in the KJV source, but the 3rd person future, "he will be."

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case.

servant-  (CW) The word translated here as "minister," actually means "servant." It is not the Greek word usually translated as "servant," which really means "slave."

NIV Translation Issues: 

2
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "must" should be "will."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "servant" is not the common word usually translated as "servant."

Front Page Date: 

May 27 2021