Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

After the parable comparing the realm of the skies to a man, a king, who gave a wedding feast.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Many, for this reason, are invited. Few, however, pure.

KJV : 

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few [are] chosen.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse doesn't seem to match the parable.  The only one "chosen" at its end is the one man who is ejected. The only "few" are the invited guests who refused to come. The usual translation reinforces the idea that the wedding feast is somehow restricted, or, for those who interpret the feast as the afterlife, that few will be chosen to go into heaven. The word translated as "chosen" is only used by Jesus eight times, but it is also translated as "the elect," but it also means "the pure."  This is confusing, however, because everyone is invited to the wedding feast in the parable. The word translated as "chosen" means "picked out.," but it also means "pure."  Few are pure, certainly. But that doesn't connect to the parable.

To me, this verse doesn't sounds like a summary to the parable the answer to a question someone asks about it.  This is reinforced by the fact is starts with "because," which sounds like an answer to a question.

Like so many of Jesus's "punchlines," it is a play on words that is hidden in translation. The Greek word translated as "called" is only used twice by Jesus. Here, it is a play on the sound of the Greek word translated as "chosen" since both sound alike.

NIV : 

Matthew 22:14 For many are invited, but few are chosen.

Wordplay: 

The Greek word translated as "called" (klêtos) is play on the sound of the Greek word translated as "chosen" (eklektos).  

My Takeaway: 

Everyone is invited, even if they aren't pure.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

πολλοὶ [61 verses](adj pl masc nom) "Many" 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."

γάρ [205 verses](conj) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what."

εἰσιν [614 verses](verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

κλητοὶ [2 verses](adj pl masc nom) "Called" is kletos, which means "invited", "welcome", "called out", "chosen," and "summoned to court."

ὀλίγοι [19 verses](adj pl masc nom) "Small" is oligos, which means "little", "small", "slight", "few," and "weak." As an adverb it means "a little", "slightly," and "little."

δὲ (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").

ἐκλεκτοί. [8 verses](adj pl masc nom) "Chosen" is eklektos, which means "picked out", "select", "choice," and "pure."  The adjective is from is eklektoo, the verb form meaning "to be separated," or "to be purified". 

KJV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

many  - The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

are -- The verb "is" 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. With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to."

called,  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "called" means "invited", "welcome", "called out", "chosen," and "summoned to court." It is NOT the word usually translated as "called" in the NT, which is more like our word "called."

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

few  - "Few" is translated from a Greek word that means "little", "small", "slight", "few," and "weak." It is the base for our word "oligarchy" meaning "rule of the few."

are ---- There is no verb "are" in the Greek source. It is implied by the equating of "workman" with "worthy" both in the Greek form of subjects.

chosen. - "Chosen" is translated from a Greek word that means "picked out", "select", "choice," and "pure." The "chosen" are not those specially selected for the feast. They are the few guests that are truly "pure," that is, that are without fault.

KJV Translation Issues: 

1

CW - Confusing Word -- The "called" is not the common word usually translated as "called."

NIV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, in written English, as "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

many  - The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

are -- The verb "is" 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. With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to."

invited,  - The Greek word translated as "invited" means "invited", "welcome", "called out", "chosen," and "summoned to court." It is NOT the word usually translated as "called" in the NT, which is more like our word "called."

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

few  - "Few" is translated from a Greek word that means "little", "small", "slight", "few," and "weak." It is the base for our word "oligarchy" meaning "rule of the few."

are ---- There is no verb "are" in the Greek source. It is implied by the equating of "workman" with "worthy" both in the Greek form of subjects.

chosen. - "Chosen" is translated from a Greek word that means "picked out", "select", "choice," and "pure." The "chosen" are not those specially selected for the feast. They are the few guests that are truly "pure," that is, that are without fault.

NIV Translation Issues: 

0

Front Page Date: 

Jul 7 2021