Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you...for you pay tithes of mint and anise and cumin,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

A long condemnation of the religious leaders of the time. their focusing on small things, not big ones.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Sadly for you, writers and distinguished, actors, that you take a tenth from the mint, and the dill and the cumin, and you let go of the burdens of the Law: this judgment, and this compassion, and this trust. These, however, are needed to produce those things there, not wanting to leave them.

KJV : 

Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In this verse, Jesus starts with the humorous form repeating the pattern of a number of earlier verses. The KJV translation disguises some keywords, translating the same words differently in different parts of the text, such as "omitted" and "leave." Also hidden here is the idea that the virtues of justice, mercy. and faith are needed to produce the spices listed, metaphorically meaning the good things in life.

The KJV and NIV translators really didn't like the words that Jesus used here, leaving out a bunch, adding a lost of their own, changing most of the verbs from their basic meanings, changing many of the word forms. I almost certainly lose track of all the issues in trying to list them. This is a shame because a literal, word for word translation is perfectly understandable and more specific than their convolutions.

NIV : 

Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

My Takeaway: 

The good things in life come from the virtues in our society and won't survive long without it.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Οὐαί [27 verses](exclam) "Woe" is ouai, which is an exclamation of pain or anger meaning "woe" or "alas."

ὑμῖν [289 verses] (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is hymin (humin), which is the 2nd person plural dative pronoun. Dative is the case which indicates to whom something is given. --

γραμματεῖς [17 verses]((noun pl masc nom/acc/voc) "Scribes" is from grammateus, which is generally a "secretary", "registrar", "recorder," and "scholar," but specifically means someone who uses gramma which is Greek for "drawings", "a letter," (as in an alphabet)"diagrams," and "letters" (as in correspondence).]

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."

Φαρισαῖοι  [19 verses](noun pl masc nom/voc) "Pharisees" is Pharisaios, which means "the separated", "the separate ones", "separatist" and refers to the religious sect. The word comes from the Hebrew, parash, which means "to distinguish." So the sense is also "the distinguished" or "the elite."

ὑποκριταί, [18 verses](noun pl masc nom/voc) Hypocrites" is from hypokrites, which means "an interpreter", "an actor", "a stage player," and "a dissembler."

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj) "For" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

ἀποδεκατοῦτε [3 verses] (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Pay tithe" is apodekatoo, which means to "tithe," "to take a tenth of," or "to pay a tithe." It is only used in the NT and is a combination of two Greek words "apo" ("from") and "dekatoo," ("to take a tenth").

τὸ [692 verses](article sg neut acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἡδύοσμον [2 verses] (adj sg neut acc) "Mint" is from hedyosmon, which means "sweet-smelling," "fragrant," and, as a noun, "green mint."

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."

τὸ [692 verses](article sg neut acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἄνηθον [1 verse] (noun sg neut acc) "Anise" is anethon, which means "dill."

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."

τὸ [692 verses](article sg neut acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

κύμινον, [1 verse](noun sg neut acc) "Cummin" is kyminon, which means "cumin."

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."

ἀφήκατε [73 verses](verb 2nd pl aor ind act) "Have omitted" is aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

τὰ [692 verses](article pl neut acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

βαρύτερα [2 verses] (adj pl neut acc) "Weightier" is barys, which means "heavy in weight", "heavy of strength and force", "heavy with age, infirmity or suffering", "pregnant", "heavy, slow", "heavy to bear", "grievous", "burdensome," "oppressive", "causing disgust", "unwholesome," of persons, "severe", "stern", "wearisome", "troublesome", "overbearing," of sound, "strong", "deep", "bass," of smell, "strong," and "offensive."

τοῦ [692 verses](article sg masc gen)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

νόμου, (noun sg masc gen) "Of the law" is from nomos, which means "anything assigned", "a usage", "custom", "law", "ordinance," or "that which is a habitual practice." It is the basis of the English words "norm" and "normal."

τὴν [692 verses](article sg fem acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

κρίσιν [26 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Judgment" is krisis, which means "separating", "distinguishing", "judgment", "choice", "election", "trial", "dispute", "event," and "issue."

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."

τὸ [692 verses](article sg neut acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἔλεος [4 verses](noun sg neut acc) "Mercy" is eleos, which means "pity", "mercy," and "compassion."

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."

τὴν [692 verses](article sg fem acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

πίστιν: (noun sg fem acc) "Faith" is from pistis, which means "confidence", "assurance", "trustworthiness", "credit", "a trust," "that which give confidence," and, as a character trait, "faithfulness."

ταῦτα (adj pl neut nom/acc) "These" is tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

δὲ [446 verses](conj) Untranslated is 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").

ἔδει [28 verses](verb 3rd sg imperf ind act) "Ought ye" is from, dei, which means "it is needful for one", "it was fated", "it being needful or fitting", ""there wants," and "there is need of."

ποιῆσαι [168 verses](verb aor inf act) "To have done" is poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

κἀκεῖνα [107 verses](adj pl neut acc) "the others" is ekeinos, which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

μὴ [447 verses](partic) "Not" is from me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. --

ἀφεῖναι.[73 verses](verb aor inf act) "Leave...undone" is aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

KJV Analysis: 

Woe  - "Woe" is from an exclamation of grief, meaning "woe" or "alas." Today we would say "sadly" or "boo-hoo." More about this phrase in this article on Christ's humor, under the subtitle, "exaggeration."

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.

you, --  The "you" here is from the plural, dative, second-person pronoun.

scribes  - "Scribes" is translated from a Greek word describing anyone who used written records in their job, "secretary", "registrar,' and "scholar." However, Christ used it to name those scholars who specifically studied the Bible and wrote about its meanings.

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

Pharisees, -- (UW) "Pharisees" is an example of where we use the Greek word as the name of the religious sect, instead of translating it. In Greek, the word means the "separatists" or "the judgmental," but it is a Hebrew word meaning "distinguished" or "elite."

hypocrites! -- (UW) The Greek for "the hypocrites" is a great example of a word that has taken its English meaning from how it is used in the Bible rather than the original Greek. The primary meaning during Christ's era was "an actor." See this article on the word and its wordplay. 

for -- (CW) The word translated as "for" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore." It is not the word normally translated as "for" in the Gospel, used below, but a word normally translated as "that."

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

pay tithe - "Pay tithe" is a Greek verb that means "to take a tenth from," which describes paying a tithe. It is only used in the NT and is a combination of two Greek words, the prefix meaning "from" and a root meaning "to take a tenth."

of -- (CW)  This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "from."

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. 

mint  - The word translated as "mint" is an adjective meaning "sweet-smelling," but meaning "green mint" when used as a noun, as it is here. It is a aromatic spice.

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

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. 

anise - (WW) The word translated as "anise" means the spice, "dill," and this is the first part of dill's latin name and looks like the English word "anise." Dill is often confused with fennel and anise seed, because the plants all look similar though unrelated. It is a sweet/bitter spice.

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

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.

cummin,   - The word translated as "cummin" means "cumin" and looks like it, since it is the source of our English word. It is a pungent spice.

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

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.

omitted  - (CW) The word translated as "omitted" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. The same word appears later in the verse but it is disguised as "leave...undone."

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. 

weightier  - The Greek word translated as "the weightier," used by Jesus twice, is an adjective used as a noun that means "heavy in weight", "heavy with age, infirmity or suffering", "grievous", "oppressive", "causing disgust," and many other negative ideas. This negativity comes from the idea that negative things fall to earth and positive ones fly to the heavens. However, here, Christ seems to use it in a positive way, but he is describing his opponents' reaction to these positive ideas in a negative way.

matters  -   - There is no word, "matters," in the Greek source, but this word comes from the neuter, plural form of the previous adjective.

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.

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. 

law,  - The Greek word translated as "matters of the law" describes the social norms, which can be from "tradition", "common practice," or the "laws." Christ also uses it to refer to the first five books of the OT written by Moses. It is possessive.

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.

judgment,  - The Greek word translated as "judgment" means distinguishing among choices and "separating" things. Christ uses it in a variety of ways, though the KJV usually translates it as "judgment." It also means a "turning point," since it is the source of the meaning of "crisis" has in English. Only secondarily does it means "judgment" as in a court judgment.

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.

mercy,  - The Greek term translated as "mercy" means "goodwill toward the afflicted." It also means "pity" and "compassion."

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

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.

faith:  -  (CW) The term translated as "faith" was much closer to our general idea of having "confidence" or "trust" in people and especially their words rather than the general sense of religious belief.

these -- The "these" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. It is often used in the neuter plural to refer to "these things." As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "however" separates this last section from the one above. It appears in today's Greek sources, but not the source used by the KJV. It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. This word makes the following clause seem to be a contradiction to something someone else said.

ought  - (WT)  The Greek verb translated as "ought" is a special verb that means  "it is needful," and "there is a need." It is always singular, 3rd person. It can also mean "to lack." It works something like our word "must" but its form is fixed. So there is no "you" in this verb, just necessity itself. The tense is the simple past, "it was needed," which is unusual for this word and this verse, where the verbs before and after are the tense of something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).

ye  - -- (WW) This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

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

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.

done,  - The Greek word translated as "done" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source. This lack of this word makes the following clause seem to be a contradiction to something someone else said.

not  - (CW) The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used.

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

leave  - The word translated as "leave" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word was translated as "have omitted" earlier in the verse.

the other  - (WN) The word translated as "the other" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there." This actually appears after "produce" and could to indicate the spices discussed earlier. However, it could also refer to the burdens dropped. This word is plural, "the others."

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

KJV Translation Issues: 

21
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "Pharisees" means "distinguished." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "hypocrites" means "actors." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "for" is not the common word usually translated as "for."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "of" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mint" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "anise" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "anise" should be "dill."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "cumin" is not shown in the English translation.
  • 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).
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "omitted" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "judgment" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mercy" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "faith" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb  "ought" is the present tense, but Greek is in the simple (imperfect) past, "it was needed."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "ye" should be "it."
  • 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).
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is the subjective negative of opinion with the sense of "not wanting," "not thinking" or not seeming when used with a non-opinion verb.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "other" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "others."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "undone" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

Woe - "Woe" is from an exclamation of grief, meaning "woe" or "alas." Today we would say "sadly" or "boo-hoo." More about this phrase in this article on Christ's humor, under the subtitle, "exaggeration."

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.

you, --  The "you" here is from the plural, dative, second-person pronoun.

teachers - (WW) "Teachers" is translated from a Greek word describing anyone who used written records in their job, "secretary", "registrar,' and "scholar." However, Christ used it to name those scholars who specifically studied the Bible and wrote about its meanings.

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

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

Pharisees, -- (UW) "Pharisees" is an example of where we use the Greek word as the name of the religious sect, instead of translating it. In Greek, the word means the "separatists" or "the judgmental," but it is a Hebrew word meaning "distinguished" or "elite."

you, - This is from the vocative form of the noun that means it names the person being talked to.

hypocrites! -- (UW) The Greek for "the hypocrites" is a great example of a word that has taken its English meaning from how it is used in the Bible rather than the original Greek. The primary meaning during Christ's era was "an actor." See this article on the word and its wordplay.

missing "since"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "since" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

You -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

give a tenth - "Give a tenth" is a Greek verb that means "to take a tenth from," which describes paying a tithe. It is only used in the NT and is a combination of two Greek words, the prefix meaning "from" and a root meaning "to take a tenth."

of -- (CW)  This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "from."

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

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. 

mint  - The word translated as "mint" is an adjective meaning "sweet-smelling," but meaning "green mint" when used as a noun, as it is here. It is a aromatic spice.

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

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. 

dill - The word translated as "dill" means the spice, "dill," and this is the first part of dill's latin name and looks like the English word "anise." Dill is often confused with fennel and anise seed, because the plants all look similar though unrelated. It is a sweet/bitter spice.

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

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.

cummin,   - The word translated as "cummin" means "cumin" and looks like it, since it is the source of our English word. It is a pungent spice.

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

you - -- (WW) This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

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.

omitted  - (CW) The word translated as "omitted" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. The same word appears later in the verse but it is disguised as "leave...undone."

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. 

more important - (CW) The Greek word translated as "more important ," used by Jesus twice, is an adjective used as a noun that means "heavy in weight", "heavy with age, infirmity or suffering", "grievous", "oppressive", "causing disgust," and many other negative ideas. This negativity comes from the idea that negative things fall to earth and positive ones fly to the heavens. However, here, Jesus seems to use it in a positive way, but he is describing his opponents' reaction to these positive ideas in a negative way. In any case, it doesn't mean "important."

matters  -   - There is no word, "matters," in the Greek source, but this word comes from the neuter, plural form of the previous adjective.

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.

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. 

law,  - The Greek word translated as "matters of the law" describes the social norms, which can be from "tradition", "common practice," or the "laws." Christ also uses it to refer to the first five books of the OT written by Moses. It is possessive.

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.

justice,  - The Greek word translated as "justice" means distinguishing among choices and "separating" things. Christ uses it in a variety of ways, though the KJV usually translates it as "judgment." It also means a "turning point," since it is the source of the meaning of "crisis" has in English. Only secondarily does it means "judgment" as in a court judgment.

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.

mercy,  - The Greek term translated as "mercy" means "goodwill toward the afflicted." It also means "pity" and "compassion."

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

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.

faithfulness:  -  (CW) The term translated as "faithfulness" was much closer to our general idea of having "confidence" or "trust" in people and especially their words rather than the general sense of religious belief.

You  - -- (WW) This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

should - (WW)  The Greek verb translated as "should" is a special verb that means  "it is needful," and "there is a need." It is always singular, 3rd person. It can also mean "to lack." It works something like our word "must" but its form is fixed. So there is no "you" in this verb, just necessity itself. The tense is the simple past, "it was needed," which is unusual for this word and this verse, where the verbs before and after are the tense of something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future). It does not mean "should."

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.

practiced,  - (WF) The Greek word translated as "practiced" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. The verb is in an infinitive form, not an active verb.

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

latter, -- (WW) The "these" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. It is often used in the neuter plural to refer to "these things." It doesn't mean "later."

without  - (WW) The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used. It doesn't mean "without."

missing "however"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "however" separates this last section from the one above. It appears in today's Greek sources, but not the source used by the KJV. It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. This word makes the following clause seem to be a contradiction to something someone else said.

neglecting - (WW, WF)  The word translated as "neglecting" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word was translated as "have omitted" earlier in the verse. It does not mean "neglecting."

the former - (WW,WN) The word translated as "the former" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there." This actually appears after "produce" and could to indicate the spices discussed earlier. However, it could also refer to the burdens dropped. This word is plural, "the others."

NIV Translation Issues: 

31
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "but" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "teachers" should be "writers."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "of the law" doesn't exist in the source.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "Pharisees" means "distinguished." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "hypocrites" means "actors." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "since" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "of" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mint" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "dill" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "cumin" is not shown in the English translation.
  • 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 "but" should be "and."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "you" should be "it."
  • 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).
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "omitted" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "more important" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "judgment" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mercy" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "faith" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "you" should be "it."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "should" should be "is needful."
  • 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).
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "practice" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to produce."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "later" should be "these."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "however" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "without" should be "not want."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "neglecting" should be "leave."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "neglecting" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to leave."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "the former" should be "others."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "other" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "others."

The Spoken Version: 

"Boo-hoo, however, to you," he said, rubbing his eyes with the knuckles of his fists.

The crowd laughed.

"Scholars and elites," he announced as if praising them, and then added dismissively. "Actors!"

The crowd laughed at the familiar refrain.

"Because you that offer a tenth," he said, holding his thumb and forefinger apart to indicate how small the amount was.

"Of the mint!" he exclaimed as if the mint was wonderful, making a gesture of setting over the tiny amount on the ground.

The crowd laughed.

"And..." he said, pausing for the crowd to quiet.

"The dill," he said reverently, making another gesture of setting down a tiny amount next to the first.

Again the crowd laughed.

"And..." he said, pausing again.

"The cumin!" he continued, now screwing up his face as if in pain, while making a gesture of setting down another tiny amount next to the other two.

The crowd laughed.

"And..." he said, pausing again, pantomiming walking under a heavy burden

The crowd laughed again.

"You drop," he continued, using his hands to indicate plopping down something large from his back to the ground. "The burden of our traditional values."

The crowd laughed as he pretended to wipe sweat from his forehead.

"The good judgment," he said with a shrug, pointing at the imaginary burden resting on the ground.

The crowd quieted, noting the sadness in his tone.

"And..." he continued, pointing again. "The compassion."

Some in the crowd began to object.

"And.." he continued, pointing again with a tilt of his head and lifting an eyebrow. "The trust."

"These, however," he said, again indicating the burdens that he had dropped. "Are necessary to produce those there."

At "those there," he indicated the area where he had put down three tiny amounts of spice.

"You don't want to let them go," he concluded sadly, gesturing back to the burdens.

Front Page Date: 

Aug 14 2021