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

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

No. By this, you lead yourself astray, not wanting to have seen these writings nor the power of the Divine.

KJV : 

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

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

English translations miss the main point here, avoiding the beginning word of the verse, "no," where Jesus  initially denies the challenge objectively.  He then continues with two other words that are not translated, "by this," referring to the challenge regarding multiple marriages that the Pharisees have posed.

The KJV translation comes closest to the Greek, inserting only one word and changing the meaning of a couple. The NIV and NLT try to capture the sense of the verse without using its actual words or their proper forms. Also, the word used here for "know" is not the word meaning learning through study 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.

NIV : 

Mark 12:24 Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?

NLT : 

Mark 12:24 Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.

Wordplay: 

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

Related Verses: 

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."

τοῦτο ( adj sg neut acc ) "Therefore" is touto, (with dia above) which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "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 (partic) "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," "divine," and "Deity."

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 "not." Since it doesn't come before a verb, it doesn't negate the whole clause.

therefore --  (WW) This therefore is not one of the common Greek words usually translated as "therefore," but rather it is a phrase that means "by 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 -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "because" in the Greek source.

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

know --  (WF) 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." It is in the past perfect tense, "having seen."

not  -- The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. 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." "But not" works much better than "neither." This Greek word works as a "neither...nor" but only when it occurs in a series.

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 verbs. 

untranslated "the" -- (MW) 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.

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "therefore" means "by this."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "because" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "know" is not an active verb but a participle, "having known."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

untranslated "By"-- (MW) The untranslated word  means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)."

untranslated "This"-- (MW) The untranslated word means "from here" or "this/that thing."

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

you -- 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 "not." Since it doesn't come before a verb, it doesn't negate the whole clause.

in --  (IW) The word "in" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.

err, --  (WF) "Err" is not a noun, but  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 -- (IW) There is no Greek word that is translated as "because" in the Greek source.

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

do -- (WT) This helping verb put the following verb in the present tense, but it is in the past perfect tense, "having known.)

know --  (WF) 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." It is in the past perfect tense, "having seen."

not  -- The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. 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.

nor -- The word for "nor" is the Greek subjective negative plus the Greek word for "but." "But not" works much better than "neither." This Greek word works as a "neither...nor" but only when it occurs in a series.

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 verbs. 

untranslated "the" -- (MW) 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.

  • MW - Missing Word -- The preposition "by" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The pronoun "this" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "in" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "err" is not a noun but the verb, "to err."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "because" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "do" indicates the present tense, but the verb is the past perfect tense.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "know" is not an active verb but a participle, "having known."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.

NLT Analysis: 

untranslated "No"-- (MW) The untranslated word  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 "not." Since it doesn't come before a verb, it doesn't negate the whole clause.

untranslated "By"-- (MW) The untranslated word  means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)."

untranslated "This"-- (MW) The untranslated word means "from here" or "this/that thing."

Your -- (WF) This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

mistake, --  (WF) "Mistake" is not a noun, but  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."

is that --  (IP) The words "is that" don't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.

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

do -- (WT) This helping verb put the following verb in the present tense, but it is in the past perfect tense, "having known.)

n't  -- The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. 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.

know --  (WF) 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." It is in the past perfect tense, "having seen."

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.

and -- (WW) The word for "nor" is the Greek subjective negative plus the Greek word for "but." "But not" works much better than "neither." This Greek word works as a "neither...nor" but only when it occurs in a series.

you don't know --  (IP) The words "you don't know" don't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.

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 verbs. 

untranslated "the" -- (MW) 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.

NLT Translation Issues: 

11
  • MW - Missing Word -- The particle"no" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The preposition "by" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The pronoun "this" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "your" is not  possessive but the subject, "you."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "mistake" is not a noun but the verb, "to err."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "do" indicates the present tense, but the verb is the past perfect tense.
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "is that" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "do" indicates the present tense, but the verb is the past perfect tense.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "know" is not an active verb but a participle, "having known."
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "you don't know" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Nov 24 2019