Matthew 22:21 Render therefore unto Caesar

KJV Verse: 

Mat 22:21 Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

So give back everything of Caesar to Caesar, and everything of the Divine to the Divine.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is one of those verse where Jesus demonstrates both his depth of understanding and his cleverness with words. The original Greek is much shorter, because it doesn't have the cumbersome phrase, "the things which are" in it, but instead, a single short word. This verse follows the common pattern of Jesus's sayings, repeating two phrases with one change between them. Here the duplicated phrase also repeats its key word.

One key different between the Greek and the KJV is that the word translated as "the things" actually can mean "everything" in the plural. So one sense is "everything of Caesar's" and "everything of the Divine."

 

KJV Analysis: 

Render The word translated as "render" means "to give back." In a financial sense, to "pay back." This word is translated "deliver" and "reward" elsewhere in the NT.

therefore -- The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

unto  -- This word comes from the dative case of the following word(s) that requires the addition of a preposition in English: a "to" as an indirect object, a "with" for instruments, an "in" for locations, an "as" for purposes, an "of" for possession, a "by" for agents, an "as" for comparisons, "at" or "on" a time, and an "in" for area of affect.

Caesar -- The Greek spelling of "Caesar" primarily  means Julius but also Augustus and, generally, "the Roman emperor."

the things -- The word translated as "the things" means primarily "anything" or "anyone." In the plural means "everything", "some", "they," and "those." Here, it is plural.

which are -- There is no Greek word(s) that are translated as "which are" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity.

Caesar's; -- The Greek spelling of "Caesar" primarily  means Julius but also Augustus and, generally, "the Roman emperor." The apostrophe "s" is from the genitive case, "of "Caesar."

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

unto -- This word comes from the dative case of the following word(s) that requires the addition of a preposition in English: a "to" as an indirect object, a "with" for instruments, an "in" for locations, an "as" for purposes, an "of" for possession, a "by" for agents, an "as" for comparisons, "at" or "on" a time, and an "in" for area of affect.

untranslated -- The untranslated word is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

God -- -- The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

the things -- The word translated as "the things" means primarily "anything" or "anyone." In the plural means "everything", "some", "they," and "those." Here, it is plural.

which are -- There is no Greek word(s) that are translated as "which are" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity.

untranslated -- The untranslated word is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

God's. -- The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods. The apostrophe "s" is from the genitive case, "of "Caesar."

 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἀπόδοτε (verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Render" is from apodidomi which means "to give back", "to restore," and "to deliver." It has the economic sense of "to sell" or "to give something for one's own profit." It begins with apo the preposition of separation and origin, the idea of "from" in English, didômi which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over," and "to describe."

οὖν (adv) "Therefore" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

τὰ (irreg pl neut acc) "The things which are" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what." -- The Greek word translated as "some" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those."

Καίσαρος (noun sg masc gen) "Caesar" is Kaisar, which means "Caesar" primarily Julius but also Augustus and, generally, "the emperor."

Καίσαρι (noun sg masc dat) "Caesar" is from Kaisar, which means "Caesar" primarily Julius but also Augustus and, later, generally, "the emperor."

καὶ "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."

τὰ (irreg pl neut acc) "The things which are" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

τοῦ  (article sg masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "God" is from theos, which means "God," the Deity."

τῷ (article sg masc dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

θεῷ. (noun sg masc dat) "God" is from theos, which means "God," the Deity."

Wordplay: 

Repeating identical phrases with the change of one word. Then within the phrase, repeating the same word, one as the owner and then as the receiver. 

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