Word Study of "Change" in Matthew 18:3

Topics: New Testament, Jesus, Gospel of Matthew Pages: 7 (1491 words) Published: February 6, 2014
WORD STUDY OF CHANGE

A Paper
Submitted to
of the
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Course
New Testament Word Studies: BSCM2322
in Leavell College

December 5, 2013

Step 1: Select a Word

The word selected for this study is “change” in Matthew 18:3. This word was chosen because translations vary in their use of the word. Was Jesus telling his disciples they had to “change”, “convert”, or “turn” from their sins?“

Several translations of this verse are translated below:1
Matthew 18:3 "I assure you," He said, "unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (HCSB)

Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (KJV)

Matthew 18:3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven’” (NASB)

Matthew 18:3 And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV)

Matthew 18:3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (ESV)

Matthew 18:3 Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” (NLT)

Matthew 18:3 and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (NRSV)

Step 2: Find which Greek Word is Used for the English Translation

strafh=te is the Greek word translated “change” in Matthew 18:3.2

Step 3: Determine the Root Form

The root form of strafh=te is stre/fo.3

Step 4: Consult Concordances

The term stre/fo is used 21 times in the New Testament. Matthew the Apostle uses the term 6 times in his account of the Gospel.4

The term stre/fo is used in the following verses. Each verse is given in the New International Version, and the term used to translate stre/fo is highlighted in italics.

Matthew 5:39 – But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

Matthew 16:23 – Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."

Matthew 27:3 – When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.

Luke 7:9 – When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.

Luke 10:23 – Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.”

Luke 23:28 – Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.

John 1:38 – Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are you staying?"

John 20:16 – Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means "Teacher").

Acts 7:39 – But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.

Acts 7:42 – But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: "'Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?

Revelation 11:6 – They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of...

Bibliography: Brown, Colin, ed., The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Grand Rapids. Zondervan, 1986.
Douglas, J. D. ed. The New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament. Translated by Robert K. Brown and Philip W. Comfort. Wheaton, IL. Tyndale House, 1990.
Friberg, Timothy, Barbara Friberg, and Neva Miller. Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids. Baker Books, 2000.
Friedrich, Gerhard ed. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 7. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1964.
Kohlenberger, John R. III, Edward Goodrick, and James Swanson. The Greek-English Concordance to the New Testament. Grand Rapid. Zondervan, 1997.
Liddell, Henry and Robert Scott, eds. A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford. Clarendon Press, 1996.
Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene A Nida, eds. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament on Semantic Domains. 2 vols. 2nd ed. New York. United Bible Societies, 1989.
Mounce, William D. The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids. Zondervan, 1993.
Thayer, Joseph Henry. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Nashville. Broadman Press, 1977.
Vinyard, Denis W., and Donald F. Williams. The New Testament Greek-English Dictionary. Springfield. The Complete Biblical Library, 1990.
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