Matthew 26:53 Did you think that I cannot now pray...

KJV Verse: 

Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Or don't you suppose that I do not really have the power to summon my Father, and he might now supply me with more than twelve legions of messgengers?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse looks like it contains common words for Christ, such as "pray" and "give." It doesn't. It doesn't even contain a word that really means "think", though the word it uses for that is commonly used in the Gospels and often translated as "think," though that is not its actual meaning or how Christ usually means it.

Untranslated here is the Greek word that means "or".

The word translated as "thinkest thou" doesn't mean think as much as it means "expect" or "imagine." Christ uses it to address people's false expectations or imaginings.

The word translated as "I can" means having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something. Often, in English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. In Greek, it indicates ability or power.

The Greek word translated as "not" in "cannot" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea.

There is not Greek word for "now" in this part of the sentence, but there is in the next clause.

"Pray" is a verb that is an uncommon one for Christ that means "call to","summon", " or "demand." It is not the Greek word usually translated as "pray."

"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."

"Shall...give me" comes from another uncommon verb that means "to cause to stand beside", "to present", "to furnish", "to supply", "to deliver", and similar ideas. It is not the word usually translated as "give." It is translated in the future tense, which matches its form but doesn't quite work because of the word "now" follows it. So its form is one that indicates something that might happen at some time with the time being indicated by the "now."

The Greek word translated as "more than" is an adjective that means "more" or "more than."

"Legions" was the Greek word for a military force of between three and five thousand men.

"Angels" is from a noun meaning "messenger" and "envoys" though it became to mean "semi-divine beings" in later use from its use in the NT.

Christ's final lessons are about duty and power. The sword is the symbol of power, but Christ's real power is the relationship with his Father who is the true source of power. The cup, that is the duty you accept, is more important than the power, especially since everyone has the power to avoid their duty.

Greek Vocabulary: 

(conj) "Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

δοκεῖς (verb 2nd sg pres ind act) "Thinkest thou" is from dokeo, which means "expect", "suppose", "imagine", "have an opinion", "seem", "seem good," and "to be reputed."

ὅτι "That" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

οὐ "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.

δύναμαι (verb 1st sg pres ind mp) "I can" is from the verb, dynamai, which means "to have power by virtue of your own capabilities", "to be able," and "to be strong enough."

παρακαλέσαι (verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Pray" is from parakaleo which means "call to", "call in", "send for", "invite," "summon", "address", "demand", "exhort", "encouraged", "excite", "demand," and "beseech." It means literally "call closer."

τὸν πατέρα (noun sg masc acc) "Father" is from pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

μου, (pron 1st sg masc gen) "Me" is from emou, which means "me", and "mine". -- "Me" is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

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."

παραστήσει (verb 3rd sg fut ind act or verb 3rd sg aor subj act epic) "He shall presently give" is from paristemi, which means "to cause to stand beside", "to place besides", "to set before the mind", "to present", "to furnish", "to supply", "to deliver", "to make good", "to show", "to offer," and "to render."

μοι (pron 1st sg masc dat) Me" is from emoi, which is 1st person,singular dative pronoun meaning "me' as the indirect object of a verb. -- "Me" is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

ἄρτι "Now" is from arti, which means "just", "exactly," and "just now."

πλείω (adj sg neut gen) "More than" is from pleiôn, which means "more [of number, size, extent]", "longer [of time]," "greater than," "further than," (with an article) "the greater number", "the mass or crowd", "the greater part", "the advantage. As an adverb, "more," or "rather."

δώδεκα "Twelve" is from dodeka, which is the number "twelve," and a noun meaning "a group of twelve."

λεγιῶνας (noun pl fem acc) "Legions" is from legion, which means a military unit of between three and five thousand men.

ἀγγέλων; (noun pl masc gen) "Angels" is from aggelos, which means "messenger" and "envoys" though it became to mean "semi-divine beings" in later use.

Wordplay: 

"Pray" is from a word that both "to call" and "to summon."

Dec 4 2016