Matthew 25:14 For [the kingdom of heaven] is as a man traveling into a far country

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

After a parable describing the realm of the skies as like teens waiting for a party, Jesus begins another parable describing the realm as another type of waiting. 

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Because, as for instance, a man traveling abroad called these personal servants of his and gave over to them those accumulations of his.

My Takeaway: 

This is the answer, but what was the question?

KJV : 

Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

NIV : 

Matthew 25:14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Surprise! This analogy doesn't include the words "the kingdom of heaven." It starts by answering an unrecorded question (see Unrecorded Question Theory). The English translations try to hide this by eliminating the Greek word that works like our "because," used in answering questions.  But the beginning of the verse is quite hard to translate unless we assume there was a question.

Wordplay: 

The word translated is "goods" is in a form where it means "possession" and "resources," but the word is a verb that has a primary meaning of "take the initiative" and also means "past record" in this form.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

σπερ [13 verses](adv/prep) "As" is from hosper, which means "like as," "just as," "so long as,"and "even as." With certain words, "as for instance." To apologize for a metaphor, "as it were."

γὰρ [205 verses](partic) "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."

ἄνθρωπος [209 verses](noun sg masc nom) "A man" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

ἀποδημῶν . [5 verses](part sg pres act masc nom) "Traveling into a far country" is from apodemeo, which means "to be far from home", "to be abroad", "to be on one's travels," and "to go abroad."

ἐκάλεσεν [38 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Who called" is from kaleo, which means "call", "summon", "invite", "invoke", "call by name," and "demand."

τοὺς [692 verses](article pl masc acc )  "His" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἰδίους [16 verses](adj pl masc/fem acc) "Own" is from idios, which means "one's own", "pertaining to oneself", "private", "personal", "personally attached" to one, "separate", "distinct", "strange," and "unusual."

δούλους (noun pl masc acc )) "The servant" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

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."

παρέδωκεν [43 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Delivered" is paradidomi, which means "to give over to another", "to transmit", "to hand down", "to grant", "to teach," and "to bestow."

αὐτοῖς [720 verses](adj pl masc dat ) "Him" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

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

ὑπάρχοντα [7 verses](part pl pres act neut acc ) "Goods" is hyparchonta, which is the past participle noun form of huparcho, which means "to take the intiative", "to begin", "take the initiative in","to be the beginning", "to exist really", "to be laid down", "to be taken for granted", and of persons "to be devoted to one." In this form, a participle used as a noun, it means "existing circumstances", "present advantages", "possessions", "resources, "that which is in existence," and "the past record."

αὐτοῦ [720 verses](adj sg masc gen) "His" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." -

KJV Analysis: 

For  - The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation. To prevent a run-on sentence, it can be translated as "this is why" or "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

the kingdom of heaven  is - (IP) The Greek phrase translated as "the kingdom of heaven is" doesn't appear at all. The last place it appears it at the beginning of the story of ten virgins, that is, the teenage girls.

as  - The Greek word translated as "as" if from an adverb that means "like as," "just as," "so long as,"and "even as."

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

man -- The Greek word for "man" means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men", "people", and "peoples". 

traveling  - The uncommon verb translated as "traveling into a far country" that means "to be far from home" and "to go abroad." It is in the form of an adjective participle, "going abroad."

into a far country,  - This phrase completes the idea of the verb.

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

called  - The term translated as "called" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address."

his -- (WW) The word translated as "his" 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. 

own  - The word translated as "own" is a very unusual word that means "one's own", "pertaining to oneself," and "private."

servants,  - The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

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

delivered  - "Delivered" is from a compound word which literally means "to give over."

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

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

his  - - The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

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. 

goods. - - "Goods" is from an uncommon verb, not a noun, that means "to take the initiative", "to begin." However, it has a number of shades of meaning which is why Christ uses it here, specifically it means "take the initiative," which is the message of this story. In this form, it is used here, it means, "possessions", "resources, and "the past record." The effect is primarily humorous. Perhaps "accumulations" works best to capture this in English. 

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "the kingdom of heaven is" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "his" should be "the."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "goods" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

Again, - (WW) The word translated as "again" introduces a reason or explanation. To prevent a run-on sentence, it can be translated as "this is why" or "this is because..." to start a new sentence. It is not the Greek word that means again.

it will be   - (IP) The Greek phrase translated as "it will be" doesn't appear at all. The last place it appears it at the beginning of the story of ten virgins, that is, the teenage girls.

like - The Greek word translated as "as" if from an adverb that means "like as," "just as," "so long as,"and "even as."

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

man -- The Greek word for "man" means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men", "people", and "peoples". 

going -  The uncommon verb translated as "going on a journey" that means "to be far from home" and "to go abroad." It is in the form of an adjective participle, "going abroad."

on a journey,   - This phrase completes the idea of the verb.

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

called  - The term translated as "called" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address."

his -- (WW) - The word translated as "his" is a very unusual word that means "one's own", "pertaining to oneself," and "private." It is not the word normally translated as "his."

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. 

servants,  - The noun translated as "servant" means "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

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

entrusted - (CW) "Entrusted " is from a compound word which literally means "to give over." It has nothing to do with trust.

his  - - The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

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. 

wealth. - - (CW)  "Wealth" is from an uncommon verb, not a noun, that means "to take the initiative", "to begin." However, it has a number of shades of meaning which is why Christ uses it here, specifically it means "take the initiative," which is the message of this story. In this form, it is used here, it means, "possessions", "resources, and "the past record." The effect is primarily humorous. Perhaps "accumulations" works best to capture this in English.  It is not the common word meaning "wealth."

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

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

NIV Translation Issues: 

8
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "again" should be "because."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "it will be" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "his" should be "personal."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "servants" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "entrusted" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "wealth" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "wealth" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

Front Page Date: 

Nov 1 2021