A Workbook of New Testament Greek

The vineyard owner has asked one of his sons to go and work in the vineyard.

Ὁ δέ ἀποκριθείς εἴπεν, . . . He having answered said,

Οὐ θέλω·  . . . . “I do not wish”

ὕστερον δέ μεταμεληθείς, . . . later having changed his mind

ἀπῆλθεν. . . . he went.

He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.  (KJV)


There are different versions of this verse in the Greek; some texts reverse the order of Matthew 21:29 and 21:30 and begin with the other son, who says that he will go (spoiler alert), but doesn’t.

I’ve given the King James for this verse because it uses the two-verb formula for answering; ‘he answered+he said’.  This is common and idiomatic in Greek, but arguably superfluous in English.

The verb θέλω has a long history in Greek; it has been used…

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