Matthew 20:26 But it shall not be so among you...

KJV Verse: 

Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

It is not in this way among you. Rather, he, who desires to become great among you, he is going to be your servant.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There are a couple of misleading KJV translation here. The desire for greatness is lost in translated as it the need to measure greatness by service.

KJV Analysis: 

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact,

The adverb translated as "so" means "in this way," "so much," and "that is why."

The verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is not in the future tense, but the present, "it is."

The Greek word translated as "but" denote an exception or simple opposition. "Rather" works well when the leading to an alternative as here.

Two words are translated as "whosoever." The first is a demonstrative pronoun ("this," "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("he", "she", "who"). The second is a particle usually translated as "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

The Greek word translated as "will" is not the same as the "will" in English, which primarily expresses the future tense. Its primary purpose is to express consent and even a delight in doing something, "want," and "desire" capture it.

The word translated as "be" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state. It is an infinitive, "to become."

The word translated as "great" means "big", "high" "great," and "impressive."

The verb translated as "let...be" is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is not the 3rd person imperative, which is usually translated as "let be" but the 3rd person future, "he will be."

The word translated here as "minister," actually means "servant." It is not the Greek word usually translated as "servant," which really means "slave."

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὐχ "Not" is from 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.

οὕτως "So" is from houtos, which, as an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why." -- "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer."

ἐστὶν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Shall be" is from esti which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible."

ἐν "Among" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

ὑμῖν: (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from the 2nd person pronoun.

ἀλλ "But" is from alla, which means "otherwise", "but", "still", "at least", "except", "yet," nevertheless", "rather", "moreover," and "nay."

ὃς (pron sg masc nom) "Whosoever" is from hos, (with an below) which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἂν "Whosoever" is from an, (with hos above) which is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

θέλῃ (verb 3rd sg pres subj act) "Will" is from thelo, which as a verb means "to be willing (of consent rather than desire)", "to wish", "to ordain", "to decree", "to be resolved to a purpose" "to maintain", "to hold", "to delight in, and "will (too express a future event)." As an adverb, "willingly," and "gladly." and "to desire." As an adjective, it means "wished for" and "desired."

ἐν "Among" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from humin, the 2nd person pronoun.

μέγας (adj sg masc nom) "Great" is from megas, which means "big", "full-grown", "vast", "high", "great", "mighty", "strong (of the elements)",l "Loud" (of sounds), "over-great,(with a bad sense), "impressive" (of style), AND "long" ( of days).

γενέσθαι (verb aor inf mid) "Be" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state. --

ἔσται (verb 3rd sg fut ind mid) "Be" is from esti which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible."

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is from humon, the 2nd person pronoun.

διάκονος, (noun sg masc nom) "Minister" is from the noun diakonos, which means "servant", "messenger," and "attendant." This is the source for our word "deacon." As a verb, it is from diakoneô, which "to act as a servant", "to minister," and "to perform services."

The Spoken Version: 

It isn't like this among you. Rather, if someone wants greatness among you, he is going to serve you.

Related Verses: