Are 98% of the English translated "you"s from the Greek New Testament tranlated into the plural rather than singular form and meaning of "you"?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Nigel J, Keelan, enegue, curiousdannii, Nathaniel Oct 25 '18 at 3:22

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Welcome to BH. Questions about biblical topics but without a specific Bible passage are off-topic as hermeneutical methods cannot be applied when no text is referenced. You would need to edit your question in reference to a particular text. – Nigel J Oct 12 '18 at 23:07
  • Why is this question important? Could you add some context to help those answering? – Mac's Musings Oct 13 '18 at 21:09

The facts are these. The occurrence of the second person pronoun in the original Greek (NA28/UBS5) are (according to Exhaustive Concordance of the Greek NT by Kohlenberger, et al):

"su" (= thou or you singular, nominative) 173

"sou" (thine = your singular, genitive) 481

"soi" (to or for thee singular, dative) 213

"se" (thee or you singular, accusative) 197 - at total of 1064 singular (37%)

"humeis" (you plural, nominative) 236

"humon" (you plural, genitive) 562

"humin" (you plural, dative) 609

"humas" (you plural accusative) 435 - a total of 1842 plural (63%)

However, pronouns are used rather sparingly and so the above does not account for all the pronouns that one would find in a typical English translation. Many of the pronouns are implied by the verb itself as well as the article and sometimes a demonstrative pronoun. The English translators must often supply an implied pronoun to make English sense and this will vary depending on the sentence structure.

Unfortunately, modern English uses the same pronoun for the second person singular and plural, "you". So in most cases there is no syntactical way to determine whether those being addresses are one or many. To make matters worse, the same pronoun is used for both nominative and accusative. This is not a fault of any translator but a quirk of our English language. If one were to be overly pedantic about this the translators would have to revert to using thou (nominative singular), thine (genitive singular) and thee (accusative and dative singular) which would make the translation stilted and archaic.

  • And, for these reasons the KJV is still helpful. Thee -singular objective - and thou -singular subjective - are distinctive. – Gina Oct 16 '18 at 8:47

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.