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Preposition + Casing in Matthew 6:4 and 6:6

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  • Preposition + Casing in Matthew 6:4 and 6:6

    Hello,

    Different verses this time! I was reading Matthew 6:4 and thought that we should pray "in secret". But then I read Matthew 6:6 and went hmmm.

    Greek here: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/6-4.htm

    I see preposition (+ article) + adjective in dative case. Would I be correct in saying that "in secret" means "in the state of secret-ness"? That is, God is in the state of secret-ness?

  • #2
    I think you have to look at the overall context - and the motive.

    If you are seeking "reward" with your public prayer and/or giving (as Jesus indicated the hypocrites were doing), that's the "reward" you get.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      But is the manner that we need to behave "secretive" or rather, just not like the hypocrites and God is the one who is in a state of "secret-ness"?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by oopsies View Post
        But is the manner that we need to behave "secretive" or rather, just not like the hypocrites and God is the one who is in a state of "secret-ness"?
        What does that even mean? What is a "state of secret-ness?"

        Are you asking if the verse is saying God is hiding or something?


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        • #5
          Ya, I mean, I've always thought that we ought to do it "in secret". But the second verse seems to suggest that God is the one who is, I guess, hidden. Hence my question.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by oopsies View Post
            Ya, I mean, I've always thought that we ought to do it "in secret". But the second verse seems to suggest that God is the one who is, I guess, hidden. Hence my question.
            Meh.... It's the conversation with God that is "hidden" or secret. God is a party to the conversation, which is "in secret".

            Young's Literal Translation says - `But thou, when thou mayest pray, go into thy chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who [is] in secret, and thy Father who is seeing in secret, shall reward thee manifestly.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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            • #7
              See, even Youngs says that... God is in secret. But he also sees in secret. That's why I looked up the Greek to check. Hence my question... is the format, eis + dative suggesting that it is God who is in the state of "secret-ness"?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by oopsies View Post
                See, even Youngs says that... God is in secret. But he also sees in secret. That's why I looked up the Greek to check. Hence my question... is the format, eis + dative suggesting that it is God who is in the state of "secret-ness"?
                I think you're WAY overthinking this. (not to mention you don't seem to comprehend what it means when words are in [brackets])
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                • #9
                  I don't think it's unreasonable to wonder. The relevant verses from the ESV:

                  Matthew 6:4
                  4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

                  1. the giving may be in secret
                  2. then God sees in secret

                  Matthew 6:6
                  6But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

                  1. pray to God who is in secret
                  2. God who sees in secret

                  It is an awkward way of wording things. If you're only looking at the English, then from the text alone, I can challenge your stance and say that it is unnecessary to say "pray to your Father who is in secret". You can simply write "pray to your Father in secret". Two very different interpretations. Or, your giving is already done in secret. Why then does God see in secret?

                  That's why I'm asking about the Greek. Sometimes, there may be nuances that are undetectable in English but can be detected in the Greek. I could very well be reading too much into it. But there's also an appreciation to be gained from seeing how it all fits in Greek. If you know the Greek portion of it, it would be helpful to me if you could explain it.
                  Last edited by oopsies; 06-20-2019, 07:32 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I think I figured it out for Matthew 6:4...

                    mt6-4.jpg

                    Starting at the conjunction "And"...

                    [the Father of you] -> nominative

                    the (One) seeing -> nominative, simple present-tense participle performed by the Father

                    in secret -> adjective, dative but neuter which means using "that which" for abstract idea. Therefore, "that which is in secret".

                    will reward -> future tense, main verb

                    you -> object

                    ((( the Father of you ) the One seeing ) that which is in secret) + will reward + you

                    Therefore...

                    God sees that which is done in secret will reward you.

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                    • #11
                      And just finished looking at 6:6. Same thing but probably "whatever" sounds nicer.

                      ... pray to God whatever is in secret and God who sees that which is in secret will reward you.

                      Ok, I think I answered my own question unless I interpreted the grammar incorrectly!

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                      • #12
                        ο πατηρ σου ο βλεπων ... εν τω κρυπτω ... αποδωσει σοι ... εν τω φανερω
                        The Father of you (the one) seeing ... in the concealed ... will give_back/return/reward to you ... in the open/public.

                        Note that φανερω is also an adjective, with which we have no problem ... a reward being given "in the open" needs no explanation, and there is no need to provide a noun (readily understood, "the" in "the open" presses the adjective into service as a noun.) Koine Greek uses that process more often than does English, but with "in the concealed," concealed being an adjective (in KG), "the" presses "concealed" into service as a noun. Similarly, "the" + "blind" or + "lame" or + "rich" or + "poor" (which are also technically adjectives).

                        So: "your Father, seeing (what is done) secretly, will reward openly." (in + noun or adjective frequently presses the noun or adjective into service as an adverb.)
                        Last edited by tabibito; 06-20-2019, 09:24 PM.
                        sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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                        • #13
                          How did you get εν τω φανερω? o.O

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                          • #14
                            εν τω φανερω is recorded in the Byzantine Majority Text and the Textus Receptus for both verses. UBS5 doesn't have that part, but it still provides a useful demonstration, in a familiar context, for how "εν τω κρυπτω" works.
                            sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                              εν τω φανερω is recorded in the Byzantine Majority Text and the Textus Receptus for both verses. UBS5 doesn't have that part, but it still provides a useful demonstration, in a familiar context, for how "εν τω κρυπτω" works.
                              I feel very left out right now lol I guess "free" has its limitations!

                              Are you using software like Logos or something to get the texts?

                              BTW, that is a really cool link and metaphor - the hypocrites put their deeds on display, the believer hides it, God sees what is hidden and exposes it to everyone. Thanks for that extra bit of info!

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