Mark 12:24 Do you not therefore err, because you know not...

KJV Verse: 

Mark 12:24 Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

No, through this you lead do not want to lead yourself astray, seeing neither these writings nor this power of the Divine.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In this verse, the word always translated as "scriptures" doesn't seem to fit the context. As you can see from the definition below, it actually doesn't refer to scriptures directly at all, but to writing generally and, even more generally, to drawing, capturing concepts with lines, or, what we would describe more simply, especially in this context, as design.

Also, the word used here for "know" is not the word meaning learning through study (gignôskô) but knowing by simply looking at something. Christ uses these two ideas very differently, indicating that some things are meant to be hard while others are meant to be obvious. They are both translated simply as "know" in English, which can be very misleading.

KJV Analysis: 

Do  -- This helping verb is added to make this a question, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

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. This word begins the sentence with a "now."

therefore -- This therefore is not one of the common Greek words usually translated as "therefore," but rather it is a phrase that means "through this." This phrase follows the negative "no."

err, --  "Err" is from a verb that means "to cause to wander", "to lead astray", "to mislead", "to wander", "to stray," and "to be misled." It is in a form where it is either passive of the subject acts on themselves, so either "you are misled" or "you lead yourselves astray."

because -- There is no Greek word that is translated as "because" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was because the following verb was changed from an adjective to an active verb.

ye -- This is from the plural, masculine form of the following verb. However, the verb is not active, so it is not in the second-person.

know --  The word translated as "know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is in the forming of an adjective, "knowing." ]

not  -- The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something or "don't think" something. This is a change from the negative used at the beginning of this verse.

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

scriptures,  "Scriptures" is from a very general noun that "representing by means of lines", "a drawing," "writing," and "that which is written." It is in the plural, so something like "the writings." It came to mean "scripture" from its use in the Gospels.

neither -- The word for "nor" is the Greek subjective negative plus the Greek word for "but."

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

power -- "Power" is from a word that describes abilities and capacities, what actions a person can do or has done so "power", "might", "influence", "authority," and "force." It does not carry the sense of authority over others, either people or laws.

of -- This word comes from the genitive case of the following word(s) that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive nouns. 

untranslated -- The untranslated word is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

God? -- The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Οὐ (adv) "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.

διὰ (prep) "Therefore" is dia (with touto below) which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between." -- The word translated as "through" means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)."

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

πλανᾶσθε (verb 2nd pl pres ind mp) "Ye..err" is from planao which means "to cause to wander", "to lead astary", "to mislead", "to wander", "to stray," and "to be misled."

μὴ (partic) "Not" is from me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. --

εἰδότες (part pl perf act masc nom) "Knowing" is from eido, which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

τὰς (article pl fem acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

γραφὰς (noun pl fem acc) "Scripture" is from graphe, which means "representing by means of lines", "a drawing", "writing", "the art of writing," and "that which is written."

μηδὲ "Nor" is from mede, which means "and not", "but not", "nor," and "not." -- The word for "nor" is the Greek subjective negative plus the Greek word for "but."

τὴν  (article sg fem acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

δύναμιν (noun sg fem acc) "Power" is from dynamis (dunamis), which means "power", "might", "influence", "authority", "capacity", "elementary force", "force of a word," and "value of money." Elemental forces are forces such as heat and cold. Much more about the meaning of this word in this article about "power" and "authority."

τοῦ  (article sg masc gen)  Untranslated 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."

θεοῦ: (noun sg masc gen) "God" is from theos, which means "God," the Deity."

Wordplay: 

The wordplay here juxtaposes going astray with not seeing. People go astray, wander, and get off track because they cannot see

Related Verses: 

Nov 24 2019