Mark 6:4 A prophet is not without honor...

KJV Verse: 

Mark 6:4 A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

No, he isn't, a luminary, unvalued if not in that fatherland of his and in that family of his and in that household of his.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The construction of the first phrase here is a repetition of three negatives ideas, both in Greek and English (not, without, but/except). It is then followed by three words than also have a very similar meanings, all indicating people with whom you have a blood relationship. The word translated as "country" means "of one's father" which can mean "fatherland" but it doesn't actually mean country.

As we have seen repeatedly, Christ uses the pattern of three to refer to our three temporal states of the physical, mental, and emotional. Though the idea of family usually relates directly to emotional relationships, this is one of several places where Christ takes one aspect of these three, in this case the emotional, and says that it too has its own physical, mental, and emotional dimensions.

In the Greek, it is much clearer that Christ is not referring to a prophet receiving honor or praised from others. The term translated as "without honor" literally means "without value." Christ is saying that because a prophet's family doesn't value the prophet's words, they can get no value from those words.

Giving value is required in order to receive value. The physical, intellectual, and emotional familiarity of family make it impossible to get physical, intellectual, and emotional values from the ideas of a prophet. They are too close to see that value.

KJV Analysis: 

A There is no indefinite article ("a", "an") in ancient Greek, but the absence of a definite article ("the") can be translated as an indefinite article.

prophet The Greek word translated as "prophet" means "one who speaks for God", "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt. Christ uses it to refer not only to divine spokespeople, but their books in the OT. It is the verb that means "to shine before." Our word "luminaries" captures the idea very well. 

is The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.

not The Greek word translated as "not" 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.

without honour, "Without honor" is a Greek adjective that means "dishonored", "unhonored", "not deemed worthy", "deprived of civic rights," and "without value." It is the negative of timos which means having a set value with a negative prefix so "unvalued."

but Two Greek words are translated as "but". Literally, they mean "if not" but this phrase is used to mean "except", "instead", and "but." 

in  The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." The same word is translated as "among" in the next phrase.

his The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  This word follows the noun so "of his."

own There is no special Greek word here to indicate "own." There is such a Greek pronoun, but it isn't used.

untranslated The word usually translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, precedes the noun here.  The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

country, The Greek word translated as "country" is a noun that means "of your fathers" so "fatherland". 

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

among The word translated as "among" also means "in," "within", "with," or "among." The same word is translated as "in" in the previous and next phrases.

his The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  This word follows the noun so "of his."  

own There is no special Greek word here to indicate "own." There is such a Greek pronoun, but it isn't used.

untranslated The word usually translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, precedes the noun here.  The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

kin, The noun translated as "kinsmen"  "inborn",  "of the same family", "kinsfolk", and "akin." This word is not used in Matthew, appears in Mark only here, and twice in Luke, though in unrelated verses.

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

in The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." The same word is translated as "among" in the previous phrase.

his The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.  This word follows the noun so "of his."

own There is no special Greek word here to indicate "own." There is such a Greek pronoun, but it isn't used.

untranslated The word usually translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, precedes the noun here.  The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

house.  The Greek word translated as "house," refers to the building itself, all the people that dwell in it, including slaves and servants, all property owned by that family, and all the descendants of the continued line. We might say "estate" in English to capture this idea.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Οὐκ (partic) "Not" is 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. --

ἔστιν ( verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") --

προφήτης ( noun sg masc nom ) "A prophet" is prophetes, which means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will", "interpreter", "keepers of the oracle", "the highest level of priesthood in Egypt", "interpreter," and "herald." It is a verb that means "to shine forth" It is a form of the verb, prophao. which means "to shine forth," or "to shine before." --

ἄτιμος [uncommon] adj sg masc nom ) "Without honor" is from atimos, which means "dishonored", "unhonored", "not deemed worthy", "deprived of civic rights," and "without value." It is the negative of timos which means having a set value.

εἰ μὴ (conj + particle) "But" is ei me, which is the conjunction that means "if not", "but," and "except." εἰ is the particle use with the imperative usually to express conditions "if" or indirect questions, "whether." (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." - 

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

τῇ (article sg fem dat) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

πατρίδι ( noun sg fem dat ) "Country" is from patris, which means "of one's father's" and "ones fatherland," and "country." --

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." -- 

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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."

ἐν  (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τοῖς (article pl masc dat) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

συγγενεῦσιν [uncommon](noun pl masc dat) "Kin" is from syggenes, which means "inborn", "character", "natural,""of the same family", "kinsfolk", "kindred," and "akin."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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."

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

τῇ (article sg fem dat) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

οἰκίᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "House" is oikia, which means "house", "building," and "household."

αὐτοῦ. (adj sg masc gen) "His" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

Related Verses: 

Jul 20 2019