Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A long section about "the end of the world" or, more precisely, "the culmination of an era." The immediate context is the sky and earth passing away from the previous verse.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Concerning, however, the day there and time, no one has seen, neither the messengers of the skies nor the son, except the father alone.

My Takeaway: 

Only the Father sees outside of time. Both the messengers of the Divine and his Son are bound in time.

KJV : 

Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

NIV : 

Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[fn] but only the Father.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This statement makes it clear that this chapter was not about the end of the world, but simply the culmination of the era. Here Jesus says he hasn't seen the "passing of the sky and the earth," or at least not its time. In Matthew 24:33, Jesus refers to "knowing" when the culmination is coming: before the current generation passes.

This fact clearly bothered even early Christians. The phrase "nor son" does not appear in the Greek source used in the KJV,  being originally omitted in the Latin Vulgate, edited out by people in the fourth century.

However, it has been added back in all modern Bibles, demonstrating the power of the preserved text even over dogma.

The "days" here refers to the days in a certain place, but the place can be in time as well as space.

It is a form of the word translated as "see" in Matthew 24:33. More interesting, it is not in the present or future tense but the tense of an action completed in the past. So no one has already seen this completed in the past except the Father.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Περὶ [73 verses](prep) "Of" is from peri, which means "round about (Place)," "around," "about," "concerning," "on account of," "in regard to," "before," "above," "beyond," and "all around."

δὲ [446 verses](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").

τῆς [821 verses](article sg fem gen) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ἡμέρας [96 verses](noun sg fem gen) "Day" is hemera, which, as a noun, means "day" "a state or time of life," "a time (poetic)," "day break" and "day time." It is also and also has a second meaning, of "quiet," "tame (animals)," "cultivated (crops)," and "civilized (people)." --

ἐκείνης [107 verses](adj sg fem gen) "That" is ekeinos, which means "the person there," "that person," "that thing," "in that case," "in that way," "at that place," and "in that manner."

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."

ὥρας [37 verses](noun sg fem gen) "Hour" is from hora, which means "any period," "season," (especially springtime), "year' (generally), "climate" (as determined by seasons), "duration," "the twelve equal parts into which the period of daylight was divided," "the fitting time" (for a task).

οὐδεὶς [69 verses](adj sg masc nom) "No man" is oudeis which means "no one," "not one," "nothing," "naught," "good for naught," and "no matter."

οἶδεν,[38 verses] (verb 3rd sg perf ind act) "Knoweth" is from oida which is a form of eido, (eido) which means "to see," "to examine," "to perceive," "to behold," "to know how to do," "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

οὐδὲ [51 verses](partic) "No, not" is from oude , which means "but not," "neither," "nor,"and "not even."

οἱ [821 verses](article pl masc nom) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ἄγγελοι [25 verses](noun pl masc nom) "Angels" is from aggelos, which means "messenger" and "envoys" though it became to mean "semi-divine beings" in later use. --

τῶν [821 verses](article pl masc gen) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

οὐρανῶν [111 verses](noun pl masc gen) "Of heaven" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky," "heaven as the seat of the gods," "the sky," "the universe," and "the climate."

οὐδὲ [51 verses](partic) Untranslated is oude , which means "but not," "neither," "nor,"and "not even."

[821 verses](article sg masc nom) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." "

υἱός, [158 verses](noun sg masc nom) Untranslated is huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

εἰ μὴ [14 verses](conj particle) "But" is ei me, which is the conjunction that means "if not," "but," and "except;" εἰ is the particle use with the imperative usually to express conditions "if" or indirect questions, "whether;" (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no."

[821 verses](article sg masc nom) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

πατὴρ [191 verses](noun sg masc nom) "The Father" is pater, which means "father," "grandfather," "author," "parent," and "forefathers."

μόνος. [18 verses](adj sg masc nom) "Only" is monos, which means "alone," "solitary," "only," "single," "unique," "made in one piece," "without [someone]," "only [something]," "unique," "one above all others," and "on one condition only."

KJV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

of -- The Greek word translated as "of" means "around" when referring to a place, but, in this context, it means "about," "concerning," "on account of," and "in regard to." This is the way Christ usually uses it.

that -- The word translated as "that" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there." This word appears after the word translated as "day."

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. 

day -- The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers to a "specific time of life."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

hour -- The word translated as "hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment."

knoweth -- (WT) The word translated as "knoweth" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "understand" in English in a phrase like "Do you see?" Its tense describes an action completed in the past, "has seen."

no man,  - The Greek word translated as "no man" also means "no one" and other negatives nouns.

no, -- (IW) There is no Greek double negative here as translated. A Greek double negative form does exist, but it is not used here. 

not -- (CW) "Not " is not the normal Greek negative. It is from a negative conjunction that means "but not" and as both parts of "neither...nor." The "neither-nor" is the sense here.  Jesus typically uses this word in the "neither...nor" construction, making the elimination of the "nor" phrase here difficult to explain. The "no, not" translation is also hard to explain because, appearing alone, this word is more like "but not."

the -- The word translated as "the" 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. 

angels  -  (UW) "Angels" is from a noun meaning "messenger" and "envoys" though it became to mean "semi-divine beings" in later use from its use in the NT.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of," "which is," "than" (in comparisons), or  "for," "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

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. 

heaven, The word translated as "of heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.

missing "nor the son"-- (OS) The missing "nor the son" appears here in the source we use today. 

but - (WW) Two Greek words are translated as "except." Literally, they mean "if not" but this phrase is used to mean "except," "instead," and "but."   However, this is neither of the two common words more legitimately translated as "but" since Jesus uses this phrase to me "except."

my -- (WW) The word translated as "my" is the Greek definite article, "the," not the pronoun "my." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

Father "Father" is the common word that Christ uses to address his own Father, though it can mean any male ancestor. When referring to others, Christ uses it to refer to their ancestors, that is, "forefathers."

only.  -  "Only" is from monos, which means "alone," "solitary," "only," "single," and "unique."

KJV Translation Issues: 

9
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" before "day" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "knoweth" is the present tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have seen."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "no" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is not one of the two Greek negatives but negative conjunction, "neither."
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "angels" means "messengers." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "nor the son" did not exist in the KJV Greek source but it does appear in the source we use today.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "but" means "except." This is a conjunction, but a negative one.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "my" means "the." This is not the possessive pronoun.

NIV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

about -- The Greek word translated as "of" means "around" when referring to a place, but, in this context, it means "about," "concerning," "on account of," and "in regard to." This is the way Christ usually uses it.

that -- The word translated as "that" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there." This word appears after the word translated as "day."

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. 

day -- The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers to a "specific time of life."

or -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "or" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

hour -- The word translated as "hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment."

no one,  - The Greek word translated as "no one" also means "no one" and other negatives nouns.

knows -- (WT) The word translated as "knows" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "understand" in English in a phrase like "Do you see?" Its tense describes an action completed in the past, "has seen."

not -- (CW) "Not " is not the normal Greek negative. It is from a negative conjunction that means "but not" and as both parts of "neither...nor." The "neither-nor" is the sense here.  Jesus typically uses this word in the "neither...nor" construction, making the elimination of the "nor" phrase here difficult to explain. The "no, not" translation is also hard to explain because, appearing alone, this word is more like "but not."

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

the -- The word translated as "the" 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. 

angels  -  (UW) "Angels" is from a noun meaning "messenger" and "envoys" though it became to mean "semi-divine beings" in later use from its use in the NT.

in --  (WW) This word "in "  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of," "which is," "than" (in comparisons), or  "for," "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

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. 

heaven, The word translated as "of heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.

nor  - "Nor" is from a negative conjunction that means "but not" and as both parts of "neither...nor." The "neither-nor" is the sense here.  Jesus typically uses this word in the "neither...nor" construction, making the elimination of the "nor" phrase here difficult to explain. The "no, not" translation is also hard to explain because, appearing alone, this word is more like "but not."

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. 

Son, -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "children." It can refer to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Jesus also used it metaphorically to describe those who follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article.

but - (WW) Two Greek words are translated as "except." Literally, they mean "if not" but this phrase is used to mean "except," "instead," and "but."   However, this is neither of the two common words more legitimately translated as "but" since Jesus uses this phrase to me "except."

only.  -  "Only" is monos, which means "alone," "solitary," "only," "single," and "unique."

the --  The word translated as "my" is the Greek definite article, "the," not the pronoun "my." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

Father "Father" is the common word that Christ uses to address his own Father, though it can mean any male ancestor. When referring to others, Christ uses it to refer to their ancestors, that is, "forefathers."

NIV Translation Issues: 

9
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" before "day" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "or" means "and."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb "knows" is the present tense, but Greek is in the past perfect, a completed action, "have seen."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is not one of the two Greek negatives but negative conjunction, "neither."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "even" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "angels" means "messengers." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "in" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "but" means "except." This is a conjunction, but a negative one.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 3 2021