Matthew 26:39 O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass

KJV Verse: 

Mat 26:39 O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Father, if it is practical, pass this cup away from me, except not really as I want, but as you.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

It is worth pointing out that, since Jesus was alone, either someone overheard this prayer or he related it to someone before his death. Otherwise it could not have been recorded. However, since there are three different versions of this line, it was clearly reported as a paraphrase. The Greek negative used in this version and the one in Mark seems to be the wrong one.

There is no exclamation "O" in the Greek source.

"Father" is the common word that Christ uses to address his own Father, though it can mean any male ancestor. When referring to others, Christ uses it to refer to their ancestors, that is, "forefathers."

The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever."

"It is" is the common Greek verb of "to be". When the verb "to be" appears early in the sentence before the subject, the sense is more like "it is".

"Possible" is an adjective which means "strong", "mighty", "possible," and "practicable." This is the adjective form of the noun usually translated as "power." Power is what makes things possible.

The phrase "let...pass" is a verb that means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), and "pass away". It is in the form of a command, but in the third person. And, in Greek, the command form is also used for requests. As a convention, these phrases get translated into English in the Gospels with "let" introducing them, however, other forms such as passive forms also work. (For more than you want to know about the 3rd imperative, see this article.) Both Luke and Mark used a different verb that is not a command of any kind.

The word for "cup" means "a drinking-cup", "a wine-cup", "a jar," and "a receptacle" for offerings in the temple. The cup is used by Christ as a symbol for sharing burdens. Christ uses "drinking from the cup" as a sign of accepting a mission. It was first used that way in Mat 20:22, but its repetition here clarifies the symbol. This idea changes the meaning of Christ offering of the cup of wine in Mat 26:27 and his statement, "Drink all of it!" Wine is Christ symbol for the mind and blood is his symbol from relationships. Accepting the wine as blood becomes a conscious acceptance of a relationship and, by extension, a mission from a superior.

The word translated as "from" means "from" referring either to location or to a source.

"Me" is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

"Nevertheless" is a preposition meaning "except" and it is often used with the negative, as here, so "except not."

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions, desires, or thoughts. It makes a negative statement of fact. This is strange because the context of the negative is "will" or "desire", which requires a different form of negative, the subjective not objective form.

The word translated as "as" has a very broad meaning, translating as "how", "when", "where", "just as", "like," and related words.

The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

The Greek word translated as "but" denote an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things.

The word translated as "as" has a very broad meaning, translating as "how", "when", "where", "just as", "like," and related words.

"Thy wilt" is from su which means "you." The "wilt" is assumed.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Πάτερ (noun sg masc voc) "Father" is from pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers." --

μου, (noun sg masc gen)"Me" is from emou, which means "me", and "mine". -- "Me" is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

εἰ "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions. --

δυνατόν (adj sg masc/fem/neut acc) "Possible" is from dynatos, which means "strong", "mighty", "possible," and "practicable."

ἐστιν, (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "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.")

παρελθάτω (verb 3rd sg aor imperat act) "Let...pass" is from parerchomai (parerchomai), which means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), "pass away", "outwit", "past events" (in time), "disregard", "pass unnoticed," and "pass without heeding." --

ἀπ᾽ "From" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.

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

τὸ ποτήριον (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Cup" is from poterion, which means "a drinking-cup", "a wine-cup", "a jar," and "a receptacle" for offerings in the temple.

τοῦτο: (adj sg neut acc) "This" is from touto, which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]." -- The word translated as "this" means "from here" or "this/that thing."

πλὴν "Nevertheless" is from plen, which is a preposition meaning "except", "save", "besides," and "in addition to." Often used with the negative as a conjunction, "except not."

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.

ὡς (adv) ""As" is from hos, an adverb which means to "thus", "as", "how", "when", "where", "like", "just as", "so far as", "as much as can be", "that", "in order that", "nearly (with numbers)," and "know that."

ἐγὼ *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."

θέλω (verb 1st sg pres ind/subj act) "I 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."

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

ὡς (adv) "As" is from hos, an adverb which means to "thus", "as", "how", "when", "where", "like", "just as", "so far as", "as much as can be", "that", "in order that", "nearly (with numbers)," and "know that."

σύ.(pron 2nd sg nom) "Thy" is from su which means "you" and "your."

Wordplay: 

"Father, if it is practical," he prayed, pass this cup away from me."

He paused as if thinking about his request.

"Except," he added, "not really as I want, but as you."

The Spoken Version: 

Father, if it is practical, pass this cup away from me, except not really as I want, but as you.

Related Verses: 

Nov 25 2016