Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

A parable about the final judgment of the sheep and the goats.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Then, they will answer also they themselves saying to him saying, "Lord when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or strange or naked or sickly or imprisoned and did not help you?

My Takeaway: 

We cannot see what we don't believe in.

KJV : 

Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

NIV : 

Matthew 25:44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse repeats the vocabulary of Matthew 25:37, but it makes some surprising changes. Notice how these people

The earlier verse had a phase identifying who was answering as "the righteous" or "the law-abiding," but that phrase is left out here, replace with a subjective pronoun, which are rare in Greek because that information is part of the verb ending. This is only done to emphasize the subject as we might say "they themselves" in English, repeating the same information.

The term used here for "minister/help" means "to minister", "to do service," and "to render a service." It is a new term used in this story, used to summarize all the other terms of service. It is first used by Jesus as a description of his purpose on earth. It is a verb from a noun that means "servant" and as an adjective, "servile" and "menial." In Jesus's period, this term was also used to indicate an attendant or official at a temple. It is the source word for the English term "deacon."

Greek Vocabulary: 

τότε [53 verses](adv) ""Then" is from tote, which means "at that time" and "then."

ἀποκριθήσονται [17 verses](verb 3rd pl fut ind pass) "Shall answer" is from apokrinomai that means to "set apart," "choose," "exclude," "reject on examination," "decide," "answer" the question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself" and, in the passive, "to be parted or separated." In the Gospels, it is always translated as "answered."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "Also" 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."

αὐτοὶ [720 verses](adj pl masc nom) "They" 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."

λέγοντες [264 verses](part pl pres act masc nom) "Saying" is from lego, which means "to recount," "to tell over," "to say," "to speak," "to teach," "to mean," "boast of," "tell of," "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself," "pick up," "gather," "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

Κύριε, [92 verses](noun sg masc voc) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

πότε[26 verses] (part) "When" comes from pote, which means "when," "at what time," "at some time or other," "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future."

σε [47 verses](pron 2nd sg acc) "Thee" is from su which means "you" and "your."

εἴδαμεν [166 verses](1st pl aor act ind) "Saw we" is from 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."

πεινῶντα [9 verses](part sg pres act masc acc) "An hungered" is peino, which means "to be hungry," "crave after," or "to be starved," and it is a metaphor for desire and cravings.

[92 verses](conj/adv)  "Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either," "or," or "than." --

διψῶντα [10 verses](part sg pres act masc acc) "Thirst" is from dipsao, which means "to thirst," "to be thirsty," "to be parched," "to be in want of," "to lack," and "to thirst after" a thing.

[92 verses](conj/adv)  "Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either," "or," or "than." --

ξένον [4 verses] (noun sg masc acc) "Stranger" is from xenos, which means "guest-friend" in the sense of someone from a friendly country, 'visitor," "stranger",:wander:, "refugee", "stranger to a thing", "ignorant of a thing", and "unusual".

[92 verses](conj/adv)  "Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either," "or," or "than." --

γυμνὸν [4 verses](adj sg masc acc) "Naked" is from gymnos, which means "naked", "unclad", "unarmed", "stripped" of a thing, "lightly clad", of facts, "bald", "destitute", and "beardless".

[92 verses](conj/adv)  "Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either," "or," or "than." --

ἀσθενῆ [6 verses](adj sg masc nom) "Sick" is from asthenes, which means "without strength," "weak", in body "feeble", "sickly", in power, "weak", "feeble", in property, "weak", "poor", and "insignificant." It could be the verb (meaning "to be weak" or "to be sickly") used in the earlier verse, but it would be in the second person, singular, "You are/were weak/sickly." So it doesn't fit.

[92 verses](conj/adv)  "Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either," "or," or "than." --

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "In" is from en, which means "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," and "with."

φυλακῇ [10 verses]((noun sg fem dat) "Prison" is phylake, which means "a watching or guarding," "a guard," "a ward," "a watch," " "a station," "a post," "a keeping," "a preserving," "safekeeping," "a safe-guard," and "a precaution."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "Also" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but."

οὐ [269 verses](partic) "Not" is ou ( οὒ ) 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.

διηκονήσαμέν [12 verses](verb 1st pl aor ind act) "Minister" is diakoneô, which "to act as a servant", "to minister," and "to perform services."

σοὶ [81 verses](pron 2nd sg dat) "You" is soi which is the singular, second-person pronoun, "you."

KJV Analysis: 

Then " -- The "when"  is from an adverb meaning "then," "at what time," "at some time or other," "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future."

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

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

missing "by/for themselves"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to  act on "themselves," "for themselves" or "by themselves."

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

answer-- (WF) This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb."Shall answer" is a verb that means to "set apart," "choose," "answer" a question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself."

saying, - The word translated as "saying" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak." It is in the form of a participle, "saying" and "speaking."

Lord,-- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.The Greek word translated as "lord," means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of" and means "lord" or "master."

when -- The "when"  is from an adverb meaning "when," "at what time," "at some time or other," "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future."

saw --  The verb translated as "saw we" means "to see" but it is often used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

we -- This is from the first-person, plural form of the verb.

thee -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

an hundred,  - (WF) The "an hungered" here is the same verb translated as "hungered" in Matthew 25:35, but here it is in the form of an adjective, "hungering."

or -- "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

athirst,  - (WF) The word for "thirst" is the same used in Matthew 25:35 that means "to be thirsty" or, more generally, "to want" or "lack" anything. It is in the form of an adjective, "thirsting."

or -- "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

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.

stranger,  - "Stranger" is not a common word but a specific noun that means "guest-friend", specifically meaning someone who should receive hospitality. Both Greek and Aramaic traditions offered hospitality to travelers who had no place to stay. The word also means someone that is a "stranger to a thing", "ignorant of a thing", and "unusual". We could include the homeless in this, but perhaps "lost" comes closest to the idea.

or -- "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

naked,  - The word for "naked" means both "naked" and "destitute." It also means bald and beardless.

or -- "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

sick,  - The word used for "was sick" is also an uncommon verb despite all of Jesus's work healing, he only uses it once before. It means "to be weak or sickly."

or -- "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

in -- The word translated as "in" also means "within," "with," or "among."

prison,  - "Prison" is a word that means a "watcher," "guard," "chain," "keeper," and "a place where people are watched." Jesus uses it to clearly mean prison elsewhere, but the play on words is against the positive way of being "watched over."

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

did -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

not - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact.

minister  - The term used here for "did...minister" means "to minister", "to do service," and "to render a service." It is a new term used in this story, used to summarize all the other terms of service. It is first used by Jesus as a description of his purpose on earth. It is a verb from a noun that means "servant" and as an adjective, "servile" and "menial." In Jesus's period, this term was also used to indicate an attendant or official at a temple. It is the source word for the English term "deacon."

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.

thee? -- The word for "thee" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun.

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "they themselves."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "an hungered" is not a noun or adjective but a participle, "hungering."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "athirst" is not an adjective but a participle, "thirsting."

NIV Analysis: 

missing "then"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "then," "at what time," "at some time or other," "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future."

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

missing "by/for themselves"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to  act on "themselves," "for themselves" or "by themselves."

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

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

answer-- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb."Shall answer" is a verb that means to "set apart," "choose," "answer" a question, "answer charges," and "defend oneself."

saying, - The word translated as "saying" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak." It is in the form of a participle, "saying" and "speaking."

Lord,-- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.The Greek word translated as "lord," means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of" and means "lord" or "master."

when -- The "when"  is from an adverb meaning "when," "at what time," "at some time or other," "at some unknown time, and "at some time in the future."

did -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

we -- This is from the first-person, plural form of the verb.

see- The verb translated as "see" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

you -- The word translated as "you" is the objective form of the second-person, singular pronoun.

hungry ,  - (WF) The "an hungered" here is the same verb translated as "hungered" in Matthew 25:35, but here it is in the form of an adjective, "hungering."

or -- "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

athirst,  - (WF) The word for "thirst" is the same used in Matthew 25:35 that means "to be thirsty" or, more generally, "to want" or "lack" anything. It is in the form of an adjective, "thirsting."

or -- "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

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.

stranger,  - "Stranger" is not a common word but a specific noun that means "guest-friend", specifically meaning someone who should receive hospitality. Both Greek and Aramaic traditions offered hospitality to travelers who had no place to stay. The word also means someone that is a "stranger to a thing", "ignorant of a thing", and "unusual". We could include the homeless in this, but perhaps "lost" comes closest to the idea.

or -- "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

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

clothes  - (WW) The word for "naked" means both "naked" and "destitute." It also means bald and beardless.

or -- "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

sick,  - The word used for "was sick" is also an uncommon verb despite all of Jesus's work healing, he only uses it once before. It means "to be weak or sickly."

or -- "Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

in -- The word translated as "in" also means "within," "with," or "among."

prison,  - "Prison" is a word that means a "watcher," "guard," "chain," "keeper," and "a place where people are watched." Jesus uses it to clearly mean prison elsewhere, but the play on words is against the positive way of being "watched over."

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

did -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

not - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact.

help - The term used here for "help" means "to minister", "to do service," and "to render a service." It is a new term used in this story, used to summarize all the other terms of service. It is first used by Jesus as a description of his purpose on earth. It is a verb from a noun that means "servant" and as an adjective, "servile" and "menial." In Jesus's period, this term was also used to indicate an attendant or official at a temple. It is the source word for the English term "deacon."

you? -- The word for "you" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun.

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "then" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "they themselves."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "hngry" is not a noun or adjective but a participle, "hungering."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "thirsty" is not an adjective but a participle, "thirsting."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "needing" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "clothes" should be "naked."

Front Page Date: 

Nov 30 2021