Mark 12:31 And the second like, this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Translation: 

A second one: you might care for those near you as much as yourself, better than these another commandment? No there isn't. 

KJV Verse: 

Mark 12:31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The core of this verse is the Greek from the Septuagint, Leviticus 19:18.  

Jesus emphasizes the absolute equality of loving God with loving those near us. Notice, the word that Christ uses for "neighbor" is not a word that can be applied to the faceless masses. This is a word that refers only to personal acquaintances but not normally used to refer to family or friends.

The last part of this verse doesn't exist Matthew. In Greek, it is more of a question and ironic answer than the sentence the KJV translators created.

Greek Vocabulary: 

  δευτέρα (adj sg fem nom) "The second" is from deuteros, which means "second", "next", "second of two," and "later."

αὕτη (adj sg fem nom) "Like" (adj sg masc acc) "This" is from 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."

Ἀγαπήσεις (verb 2nd sg aor subj act or verb 2nd sg fut ind act) "Love" is from agapao, which means "to be fond of", "to greet with affection", "to persuade", "to caress", "to prize", "to desire", "to be pleased with," and "to be contended with." "Agape" takes its modern meaning of "brotherly love" from the English translations of the New Testament.

τὸν (article 2nd sg gen) "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. 

λησίον (adj sg masc acc)"Neighbor" is from plesion, which means "close", "near,"neighboring, " and "one's neighbor."

σου  (pron 2nd sg gen) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

ὡς  (adv) "As" is from hos, an adverb which means to "thus", "as", "how", "when", "where", "like", "just as", "so far as", "as much as can be", "that", "in order that", "nearly (with numbers)," and "know that."

σεαυτόν.” (adj sg masc acc) "Yourself" is from seatou, which means "of yourself."

μείζων (adj sg masc nom comp) "Greater" is meizon which means "bigger", "higher", "longer," and "greater" and is the comparative form of megas, which means "big" and "great." The superlative form "greatest" is megistos, μέγιστος.--

τούτω (adj pl masc gen)"This" is houtos, which as an adjective means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why." -- "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer."

νἄλλη (adj sg fem nom )"The other" is allos, which means "another", "one besides", "of another sort", "different", "other than what is true", "as well", "besides," {with numerals: "yet", "still", "further"), "of other sort", "other than what is", "untrue", "unreal", "other than right", "wrong", "bad", "unworthy," [with an article] "the rest", "all besides," and [in series] "one...another."

ἐντολὴ (noun sg fem nom) "Commandment" is from entolê (entole) which means "injunction", "order," and "command." --

οὐκ (partic) "None" 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) "There is" is from eim), which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

KJV Analysis: 

And  -- There is no Greek word that is translated as "and" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

the -- There is no Greek word that is translated as "the" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity because in Greek we can see that the following word refers to the word "commandment."

second  -- The word for "second" means specifically the second of two and "later" in time. There is also no "the" to mark the adjective as a noun. However, the form of the word refers to earlier "commandment."

is -- There is no verb "to be" here in the Greek. However, when noun and pronouns appear in the form of a subject without a verb, the verb "to be" is assumed.

like, -- There is no Greek word that is translated as "like" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

namely  -- There is no Greek word that is translated as "namely" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity.

this, The word translated as "this" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English. An "it" or "one" would be more appropriate. The Greek that the KJV translators used has another word that more clearly means "this."

Thou --  This is where the quote from Leviticus starts. The "thou" is from the second-person, singular form of the following verb.

shalt  -- This helping verb could indicate the future tense, but that the following verb could also describe a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" in English is more appropriate.

love The Greek word translated as "love" means "to be fond of", "to greet with affection," and "to be contended with." This love is more associated with affection than passion. See this article on love for more information, "embrace" or "care for" work the best. It is not in the form of a command, but a suggestion: "you might care for". 

thy -- The word translated as "thy" is possessive form of the second person pronoun.

untranslated -- The untranslated word 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. 

neighbour -- The word translated as "neighbor"  means "close", "near,"neighboring, " and "one's neighbor." Notice, the word that Christ uses for "neighbor" is not a word that can be applied to the faceless masses nor to close friends and family. This is a word that refers only to personal acquaintances and those physically nearby.

as -- The word translated as "as" has a very broad meaning, translating as "how", "when", "where", "just as", "like," and related words.

thyself. -- "Yourself" is the second person reflexive pronoun.

There -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the following verb. "It," "he," or "she" would also work. The last part of this verse works better as a spoken statement in response to a question than a written sentence. 

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. When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."  This word ends the verse as a punchline, "it isn't."

none -- The Greek word translated as "none" is the Greek negative (no, not) used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea.  It is not usually translated as "none" for which Greek has a different word. It precedes the "is' and begins the clause that ends the verse like an answer to a question, "No, it isn't."

other The word translated as "other"\ means "another", "one besides", "of another sort", "different", and "other than what is true",

commandment  -- The word translated as "commandments" has the sense of a direct "order" or "command" given by someone as opposed to a body of law or tradition in society.

greater -- "Greater" is an adjective which is the comparative form of the word meaning "big" or "great." It means "bigger", "higher", "longer", "greater" and simply, "superior." When it is introduced by an article, it means "the greater." It is not the superlative form.

than -- This word comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but here the "than" for a comparisons is best.

these. -- The word translated in KJV as "thus" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner" or "in this way." The word is plural and matches the gender of "commandment.

Wordplay: 

Christ repeats two different words meaning the same, emphasizing the equality of two different types.

Related Verses: 

Matthew 22:39 And the second [is] like it,

Leviticus 19:18: ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν

Front Page Date: 

Nov 30 2019