Mark 4:13 Know ye not this parable?

Spoken to: 

Apostles

The beginning of the explanation of the parable of the sower.

KJV : 

Mark 4:13 Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

NIV : 

Mark 4:13 Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?

Listeners Heard: 

Don't you know the analogy, this one? Just how then will you learn to know all these analogies by yourselves?

My Takeaway: 

We must learn how to decode Jesus's comparisons.

Lost in Translation: 

The two Greek verbs both translated as "know"(in KJV) or "understand" (in NIV) are different Greek words. The first means "know" as "have seen" and the second, "to learn to know." The first verb is the past perfect tense meaning literally "have seen." When used to mean "to know" this past perfect is translated as the present. The past is represented by the pluperfect. However, it cannot be used in the future tense. So the other verb is used, having a more futuristic meaning "learn to know."

This second verb is in the middle voice, meaning "by yourselves." This is necessary to capture Jesus's meaning here. In the future, we must to decipher the meaning for ourselves because Jesus doesn't explain all his analogies. The word "parables" means "comparisons" and "analogies."

Original Word Order: 

Οὐκ  οἴδατε       τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην,
Don't you know this analogy,     this one?

καὶ   πῶς         πάσας τὰς    παραβολὰς γνώσεσθε;
Just  how then all       these analogies    will you learn to know by yourselves?

WORD-BY-WORD COMPARISON OF THE GREEK TO ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS: 

Οὐκ [269 verses](partic) "Not" is ou 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. --

οἴδατε [38 verses] ( verb 2nd pl perf ind act ) "Know ye" is oida which has the sense of "to know." This listing is not a root word, but the past perfect tense of 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." That which "has been seen" is that which is "known." This is a somewhat legalistic idea because the truth can only be established by eyewitnesses.

τὴν [821 verses](noun sg fem acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

παραβολὴν[12 verses] (noun sg fem acc) "Parable" is from parabole, which means "comparison", "illustration," and "analogy." It is most often translated in the NT as "parable" but occasionally as "comparison." -- 

ταύτην, [96 verses] ( adj sg fem acc ) "This" 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." --

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

πῶς [36 verses] (adv/conj) "How then" is pos, which means "how", "how in the world", "how then", "in any way", "at all", "by any mean", "in a certain way,"and "I suppose." -- 

πάσας [212 verses]( adj pl fem acc ) "All" is pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether." -- The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way", "on every side," and "altogether."

τὰς [821 verses](article pl fem acc )  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

παραβολὰς [12 verses]( noun pl fem acc ) "Parable" is from parabole, which means "comparison", "illustration," and "analogy." It is most often translated in the NT as "parable" but occasionally as "comparison." -- "Parable" is Greek for "analogy", "comparison," and "illustration." It doesn't mean simply "educational story" as it has come to mean in English. The fact that Christ speaks in analogies and illustrations is critical in understanding His words.

γνώσεσθε [62 verses] ( verb 2nd pl fut ind mid ) "You know," is ginosko which means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive." --

KJV Analysis: 

Know -- -- The word translated as "know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know" as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is the past perfect tense so "have seen" but it is translated as the present tense of "know."  What someone "has seen" is what they "know" in the present. Since the past perfect of "see" forms the present tense of "know" the pluperfect tense used here, which indicates an action completed before some other action in the past, is used as the simple past tense, "knew." 

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

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. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. 

this  - The "this" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why." It is not typically used as an adjective. It follows the noun.

missing "the/this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article," the," 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," and "those"). See this article for more. 

parable?  -- (UW) "Parable" is Greek for "analogy," "comparison," and "illustration." It doesn't mean simply "educational story" as it has come to mean in English.  UW --Untranslated Word -- The word "parabls" means "comparison." "Parable" is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

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".

how then  - "How" is the adverb that means "how", "how then,"  "by any means", and "I suppose". 

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.

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

know -- (CW) "Know" is a verb that means "to learn to know," "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn." The idea of "learn" seems to translate this word better. The "see" verb used above cannot be used here because it is the future tense and the "see" verb is always the past perfect tense when used to means "know." This is not the "know" word used above, which is "have seen."

missing "by/for yourselves"-- (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 "yourselves," "for yourselves" or "by yourselves."

all -- The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way," "on every side," and "altogether."

missing "the/this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article," the," 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," and "those"). See this article for more.

parables?   -- (UW) "Parables" is Greek for "analogy," "comparison," and "illustration." It doesn't mean simply "educational story" as it has come to mean in English. 

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "parable" is not shown in the English translation.
  • UW --Untranslated Word -- The word "parable" means "comparison." "Parable" is an untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "know" is not the same word translated as "know" above.
  • WV -- Wrong Voice -- This verb is a middle voice, which requires a "by/for yourselves" or a "yourselves" as an object. 
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "parables" is not shown in the English translation.
  • UW --Untranslated Word -- The word "parables" means "comparison." "Parables" is an untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

NIV Analysis: 

Do- -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English.

n’t -- 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. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. 

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

understand -- -- (CW)  The word translated as "understand" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know" as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is the past perfect tense so "have seen" but it is translated as the present tense of "know."  What someone "has seen" is what they "know" in the present. Since the past perfect of "see" forms the present tense of "know" the pluperfect tense used here, which indicates an action completed before some other action in the past, is used as the simple past tense, "knew." 

this  - The "this" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why." It is not typically used as an adjective. It follows the noun.

missing "the/this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article," the," 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," and "those"). See this article for more. 

parable?  -- (UW) "Parable" is Greek for "analogy," "comparison," and "illustration." It doesn't mean simply "educational story" as it has come to mean in English. "Parable" is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

missing "and  "  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "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".

how then  - "How" is the adverb that means "how", "how then,"  "by any means", and "I suppose". 

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.

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

understand -- (CW) "Understand " is a verb that means "to learn to know," "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn." The idea of "learn" seems to translate this word better. The "see" verb used above cannot be used here because it is the future tense and the "see" verb is always the past perfect tense when used to means "know." This is not the "know" word used above, which is "have seen."

missing "by/for yourselves"-- (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 "yourselves," "for yourselves" or "by yourselves."

any -- (WW) The word translated as "any" is the Greek adjective meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way," "on every side," and "altogether."

missing "the/this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article," the," 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," and "those"). See this article for more.

parable?   -- (UW, WN) "Parable" is Greek for "analogy," "comparison," and "illustration." It doesn't mean simply "educational story" as it has come to mean in English.  "Parable" is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

NIV Translation Issues: 

10
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "understand" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "parable" is not shown in the English translation.
  • UW --Untranslated Word -- The word "parable" means "comparison." "Parable" is an untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "understand " is NOT the same word translated as "understand " above.
  • WV -- Wrong Voice -- This verb is a middle voice, which requires a "by/for yourselves" or a "yourselves" as an object. 
  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "any" should be something more like "all."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "parables" is not shown in the English translation.
  • UW --Untranslated Word -- The word "parables" means "comparison." "Parables" is an untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • WN  --Wrong Number- The word "parable" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "parables."

Related Verses: 

None

Front Page Date: 

Mar 17 2023