Thursday, January 14, 2016

About the "Go" in the Great Commission

The following is from Chpt. 72 - The Great Commission VII of my ongoing book on "The Hardshell Baptist Cult" book (SEE HERE). The Hardshells, with all their argumentation on the word "go" in the Great Commission, fail to realize that such is not even the main verb, and that the Greek word should have been translated in English as "as you go," so that we have "as you go, make disciples."

In the Greek syntax of the passage the word "disciple" (or"teach" or "make disciples") is both the main thought and the main verb. The other verbs, baptize and teach, are the ways one fulfills the command to "disciple" (or 'make disciples'). The main verb is imperative. The verb "go" is not the main verb and is not necessarily imperative. It may be translated "as you go." Thus, we may translate the verse as follows:

"As you go (depart or proceed) into all the world, disciple the nations as you go, and baptizing them as you go, and continue to teach them as you go."

The root word for "go" is poreuō, and according to Strong means:

1) to lead overcarry over, transfer
a) to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue one's journey 
b) to depart from life
c) to follow one, that is: become his adherent
1) to lead or order one's life

The Greek word poreuo itself is from that base root word "peira"and means, according to Strong:

1) a trial, experience, attempt
2) to attempt a thing, to make trial of a thing or of a person
3) to have a trial of a thing
4) to experience, learn to know by experience

On these points a writer says:

"It is a well-known fact that the Greek text of Matthew 28:19-20 does not include an imperative verb that must be translated "go." Instead, the Greek text has a participle from which the command to go has been translated."

"The verb that is translated "go" (if transliterated exclusively from the English alphabet and without accent marks) is "poreuthente"which is an aorist particle of "poreuo." In A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, Second Edition, Copyright 1958, page 692, the lexicographers make this double-pronged comment: 

"The aorist participle (of poreuo) is often used pleonastically to enliven the any case the idea of going or traveling is not emphasized."

Referring to the root verb, and not to the aorist participle in particular, also on page 692, the lexicographers describe two other ways that the verb is used(1) "conduct oneself, live, walk"and (2) "of life generally" (page 692).

Why then is Matthew 28:19 translated "go," as if the Greek New Testament included an explicit command to go? It may be because of the command to disciple all nations. However, the command to disciple all nations may not have been given to command "going."


In Matthew 10: 7 the same word is translated "as you go preach." (KJV) So, I am not translating the word differently than how it was translated elsewhere in the King James Version.

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