Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Because many are going to make their way against my name saying, "I am the Christ." And at that time lead many astray.

KJV : 

Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This statement is a problem in Greek. The KJV tries to hide that problem with punctuation, which doesn't exist in the greek source. The statement "I am the Christ" can either be what Christ's opponents say about him or what they are saying about themselves. So this could be a denial by Jesus that he is the Christ. The statement that the people doing this are coming in his name makes this more confusing because it doesn't sound like he is speaking against him. We have to assume it is not by the larger context of Christ's other statements about the Christ. The revealing element is the preposition "I."

The word translated as "for" can be treated as supporting a dependent clause, or, to prevent a run-on sentence, translated as a "this is because..." to start a new sentence.

The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out." It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Christ, however, uses it most often, but not always, in the sense of "come." It is in the future tense.

The word translated as "in" means "against", "before", "by" or "on." It is NOT the word Christ usually uses with the Greek phrase usually translated "in" someone's name, for example, Mat 23:39. for "in the name of the Lord." That Greek word has the sense of "in the power of." This word does not have the same sense, not is it the other Greek word commonly translated as "in" that means "within". "Against" seems to be the only meaning here that makes sense.

The Greek word translated as "name" is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply mean a "name" as in English, this can be many things. It doesn't mean the thing itself, but what people call it. For example, it can mean a "false name," or "a pretense" as we say "this is a marriage in name only." It can also mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss" or, in this case, "against the name."

The word translated as "saying" 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. However. it also means "to proclaim," which is how it usually works best when Christ puts it in the mouth of his opponent.

The pronoun "I" is added to add emphasis that he is referring to his own words. It is unnecessary because the first person is part of the verb ending. Christ sometimes uses it humorously to refer to himself. However, when you put the accent on "I" when you speak this phrase, it makes the statement sound like a claim his opponents are saying about themselves, not about Christ.

The verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek in the first person, present form.

The word translated as "Christ" means "the anointed". In the NT, it is understood to mean the Messiah, following the tradition of anointing of the kings of Israel.

"Deceive" is from a verb that means "to cause to wander", "to lead astray", "to mislead", "to wander", "to stray," and "to be misled." The form indicates something that "might" or "possibly happens. It is could be in the future tense, but its form is also tense indicating something that might happen at a point in time.

The word translated at the end of the verse as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size. It is the same word that began the verse.


the reference to two different groups, both referred to as "many." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

πολλοὶ (adj pl masc nom) "Many" is from polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)." As an adverb, it means "far", "very much", "a great way," and "long."

γὰρ "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what."

ἐλεύσονται (verb 3rd pl fut ind) "Shall come" is from erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

ἐπὶ "In" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

τῷ ὀνόματί (noun sg neut dat) "Name" is from onoma, which means "name." It means both the reputation of "fame," and "a name and nothing else," as opposed to a real person. Acting in someone's name means to act on their behalf, as their representative.

μου (noun sg masc gen) "Me" is from emou, which means "me", and "mine".

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."

Ἐγώ (pron 1st sg masc nom) "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and "for myself."

εἰμι (pron 1st sg masc nom) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") -

χριστός, (noun sg masc nom) "Christ" is from christos, (christos), which means "to be rubber with salve," and "anointed."

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."

πολλοὺς (adj pl masc acc) "Many" is from polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)." As an adverb, it means "far", "very much", "a great way," and "long."

πλανήσουσιν. (verb 3rd pl aor subj act ) "Deceive" is from planao which means "to cause to wander", "to lead astray", "to mislead", "to wander", "to stray," and "to be misled."

The Spoken Version: 

"Because," he continued. "Many are going to make their case against my reputation."

The apostles agreed, having already seen this.

"Saying," he continued, switching to one of his funny voices. "'I am the Christ.'"

The apostles laughed and objected to the idea.

"And," he said, pausing until they quieted down. "At that time lead many astray."

Front Page Date: 

Jul 13 2016