Matthew 20:11 And when they had received [it],

KJV Verse: 

Mat 20:11 And when they had received [it], they murmured against the goodman of the house, [Saying]

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

So the ones getting[at the time], they [began to] grumble concerning the master of the house

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The Greek word translated as "and" is usually translated as "but" because it joins phrases in an adversarial way. However, it also is an explanation of cause like "so."

There is no "when" here. It is added because of the form of the verb.

One verb is translated as "they had received" primarily means "take," and has many different uses as we use "take" and especially "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing." The form is of an adjective acting as a noun, "the ones receiving." It is not in a past tense but a tense that means "at that time" which can refer to the present, past, or future. The story has been told either in this tense or the present tense so in English, we should default to the present.

There is no "it" in the Greek source. Though it can be assumed, its absence seems intentional to emphasize the fact they are the ones gaining here.

"They murmured" is from a verb that means "to mutter", "to murmur," and "to grumble." It is not in the present tense but a tense indicating something that was begun but not finished.

"Against" is from a preposition that means "downwards", "against", "down toward," and "concerning."

"Goodman of the house" is from a compound Greek word that is literally the "master of the house." It was translated as "householder."

The word translated as "Saying" appears in this verse in the current sources, but in the KJV it appears next verse Mat 20:12. It is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

Greek Vocabulary: 

λαβόντες (part pl aor act masc nom) "When they had received" is from lambano means to "take", "take hold of", "grasp", "seize", "catch", "overtake", "find out", "detect", "take as", "take [food or drugs]", "understand", "take in hand", "undertake", "take in", "hold", "get", "receive [things]", "receive hospitably", "receive in marriage", "receive as produce", "profit", "admit", "initiate", "take hold of", "lay hold on", "seize and keep hold of", "obtain possession of", "lay hands upon", "find fault with", "censure," "to apprehend with the senses", "to take hold of," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean "seized with emotion."

δὲ "And" 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").

ἐγόγγυζον (verb 3rd pl imperf ind act) "They murmured" is from goggyzo, which means to "mutter," "murmur," and "grumble."

κατὰ "Against" is from kata, which means "downwards", "down from", "down into", "against", "down toward", "opposite", "separately", "individually", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

τοῦ οἰκοδεσπότου (noun sg masc gen) "Goodman of the house" is from oikodespotês , which is the "master of the house" and also means "steward of a house," and "native ruler." It is a combination of two words. The first part is from oikia, which means "building", "house", "family," and "household," and the second is despotes, which means "master" and "lord" but it isn't the word normally translated as "lord" in the Gospels.

λέγοντες (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 spelt the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "murmur" sounds like grumbling, goggyzo,

Related Verses: