Mark 4:23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

KJV Verse: 

Mark 4:23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

If anyone has ears to hear, they must hear.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Christ repeats similar statements at least nine times in the Gospels. Most recently in Mark 4:9 at the first telling of this parable. As pointed out in that previous verse, this may have been a more general phrase referring to speaking on coded terms, as this parable does. However, the use of this phrase here means that even the explanation of the parable requires some decoding or thought to understand. This raises a question about a possible reason for the parables: so Jesus could say more revolutionary things about the coming of the kingdom of heaven without triggering laws against sedition.  This may become a plot line in the series of novels I am writing about Jesus's words.

KJV Analysis: 

If 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."

any man The Greek word translated as "some" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those." The form is singular and can be either masculine or feminine.

have The word translated as "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. The verb is singular, not plural, so "has."

ears The term translated as "ears" means "ear," things resembling a handle and is a metaphor for understanding. 

to This comes from the infinitive form of the following verb.

hear, "To hear" is translated from a Greek word that has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.

let This word is added to translated the third-person command form of this word. In English, we would probably use "must."

him This comes from the singular form of the verb, but the preceding pronoun could be either

hear. "Hear" is translated from a Greek word that has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.

 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Εἴ (conj) "If" is 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. --

τις ( pron sg masc/fem nom ) "Any man" is 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." --

ἔχει  ( verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "Have" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to have due to one", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ὦτα (noun pl neut acc/nome)  "Ears" is from ous, which means "ear" and things that resemble an ear, such as a handle on pitchers, cups, etc. -- 

ἀκούειν ( verb pres inf act ) "to hear" is akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand." --

ἀκουέτω. ( verb 3rd sg pres imperat act ) "Let him hear" is akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand." -- "Hear" is translated from a Greek word that has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.

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