Mark 6:38 How many loaves do you have?

KJV Verse: 

Mark 6:38 H How many loaves have ye? go and see.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

How many loaves do you have? Go. Look.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated as "loaves" here is the same word translated as "bread" throughout the Gospels. There is no "and" between the "go" and "see."  It is added to make a verbal statement more like a written sentence. Commands in Greek are the same form as requests. The version in Matthew 15:34 or Mark 8:5 have the commands to "go" and "see."

 

KJV Analysis: 

How many The Greek adjective translated as "how many" means "[of number] of what quantity," [in distance] "how far," [of time] "how long," [of value] "how much", "how great", "how many," and "how much."

loaves The word translated as "loaves" means "small loaf or cake of bread". It is more like a slice of bread today. In every part of the chapter, the word translated both as "bread" and "loaves" is the same in Greek. It describes a thin 1/2 inch thick round or loaf of wheat bread, meant to be torn into pieces and not cut. It was closer to a flour tortilla that a load of bread. "Bread" is one of Christ's most basic symbols, representing temporary physical nourishment as contrasted with permanent spiritual nourishment.

have The word translated as "have" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is. It means to have in you possession or at hand.

ye? This comes from the second-person, plural form of the previous verb.

Go "Go" is a Greek verbal command that means literally "go under" or "bring under," but Christ usually uses it to mean "go away" and "depart."

and There is no conjunction "and" in the Greek.

see. The word translated as "see" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Πόσους (adj pl masc acc) "How many" is from posos, which means "of what quantity," [in distance] "how far." [of number] how many," [of time] "how long," [of value] "how much", "how great", "how many," and "how much."

ἄρτους (noun pl masc acc) "Bread" is from artos, which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread."ἔχετε; (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Have" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ἔχετε  (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Have" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ὑπάγετε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Go" is from hupago. which means "to lead under", "to bring under", "to bring a person before judgment", "to lead on by degrees", "to take away from beneath", "to withdraw", "to go away", "to retire", "to draw off," and "off with you."

ἴδετε. (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "See" is from eido, which is another word that means "to see", "to examine," and "to know." It has more the sense of understanding.

Wordplay: 

The word Christ uses for "see" here also is often used to mean "know."

The Spoken Version: 

Bread, wine, and house are the central to Christ's symbolism representing our temporal world: bread for the physical, wine for the mental, and the house for the emotional aspects of our lives. Unlike our mental or emotional life, aspect of our physical life can be counted and measured. Our physical possessions can be held, protected, and kept safe at least temporarily until it spoils, a topic Christ deals with elsewhere.

Bread, like wine, is Christ's symbol for transformation. The seed creates the plant. The plant duplicates the seed into grain. The grain becomes dough. Dough becomes bread. Bread is converted to body. The physical world exists in a process of transformation. Everything is temporary. Everything is limited.

Transformation is also multiplication. Through the cycle, the seed is duplicated, yielding fruit on good ground, in Christ's words, a hundred fold. The miracle of the physical world is that though each stage is temporary, it is productive.

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Bread, wine, and house are the central to Christ's symbolism representing our temporal world: bread for the physical, wine for the mental, and the house for the emotional aspects of our lives. Unlike our mental or emotional life, aspect of our physical life can be counted and measured. Our physical possessions can be held, protected, and kept safe at least temporarily until it spoils, a topic Christ deals with elsewhere.

Bread, like wine, is Christ's symbol for transformation. The seed creates the plant. The plant duplicates the seed into grain. The grain becomes dough. Dough becomes bread. Bread is converted to body. The physical world exists in a process of transformation. Everything is temporary. Everything is limited.

Transformation is also multiplication. Through the cycle, the seed is duplicated, yielding fruit on good ground, in Christ's words, a hundred fold. The miracle of the physical world is that though each stage is temporary, it is productive.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 25 2019