2

I am looking for an answer based on the structure of the original Greek.

I observe in my reading of Matthew 25:31-46 that the term " my brethren " occurs only in the first passage of Jesus' pronouncement of judgement on the righteous. The term does not occur in the second passage of Jesus' pronouncement of judgement on the cursed.

The people who are the recipients of the acts of mercy are the same in both passages, but the agents of mercy ( or not ) are different.

Is it possible that Jesus is referring to the righteous with this term ?(since it is absent from his statement to the cursed )

so that the passage would read like ;

' Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren you did it to me ? '

( note where I place the comma )

2

English Standard Version Matthew 25:40

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

of these
τούτων (toutōn)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3778: This; he, she, it.

brothers
ἀδελφῶν (adelphōn)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 80: A brother, member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian. A brother near or remote.

"these brothers" form a syntactic unit. Both words are in Genitive Masculine Plural.

In order to have

Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren you did it to me ?

you need a nominative for "brethren".

0

The assertion that "brethren" is absent from the cursed is not entirely correct. Let us first establish who the "brethren" are.

In Matt 25:35-40, Jesus defines "my brothers" as anyone in need, specifically, those who are hungry, thirsty, lonely, naked, sick, imprisoned. See V40. That is, such needy are simply needy whether they are righteous or not.

When Jesus addresses the neglectful, those who do not minister to the needy, He says this (V45)

Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.

The "these" pronoun refers back to the brothers of Jesus who are hungry, thirsty, lonely, naked, sick, imprisoned.

Thus, the brothers are effectively mentioned in each case.

1
  • It would be pointless speaking to such persons about 'brethren' as their behaviour during life has indicated they do not love such people and do not behave in a brotherly way towards them. Therefore 'brethren' is left out of the discussion, and a mere demonstrative pronoun points to the persons in view. – Nigel J Feb 27 at 22:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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