A Prayer of Jesus
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.


(Greek, anthropos)


Whenever Jesus uttered the Greek word for man, anthropos, in its plural form, it carried special significance.  It defined a category of human beings that was (and is) evil.  It had (and has) values diametrically opposed to those of Jesus and his Father.  Jesus stated this nowhere more clearly than in the following verse (Luke 16:15) repeated from below:
You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
He uttered this word, translated into English as "men", about fifty times in the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke.  In every case the word could, and does, refer to a category of evil persons.  In twenty-one of these cases it overtly defines a category of persons alien to God.  These are highlighted in purple below.

Never in the synoptic gospels did he apply this word to persons who maintained a positive relationship with him and his Father in heaven.  This means that he never applied it to his disciples.  Furthermore, he never uttered it in conjunction with positive adjectives  For example, he never spoke of "righteous men" or "good men".  In his mind, that would have been a contradiction in terms.

Those who translate the scriptures from Greek to English seldom know him well and therefore often have him saying things he never said.  As I stated above, he uttered this word, anthropos, about fifty times in the synoptics.  But, if you examine the English versions, you will find saying "men" many more times -- about ninety-three times in the Revised Standard Version, which has him uttering, "righteous men" in Matthew 13:17.  It also has him addressing his disciples as "foolish men" in Luke 24:25.  These are interpolations by translators expert in Greek and English but who had very little familiarity with the mind of Jesus.

This generalization does not apply to the singular form of this word.  Thus, we hear him say in Matthew 12:35:

The good man (anthropos) out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man (anthropos) out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
His favorite designation of himself was "The Son of Man" (anthropos).  This points to the individualism that is central to his message.  Human beings as a category are essentially evil, but here and there, any single individual who listens to Jesus and responds to his message becomes a "good man" or, yes, a "good woman."  The seed of the Word falls where it will.   It is only when it falls on good soil that it brings forth fruit for the kingdom of God.  Thus, in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14) when the Publican (tax collector) went up to the temple to pray, he was one of "Two men" (v. 10).  But when he came down, having been justified before the Father, he was "this man".  The Pharisee remained one of the "men".

Jesus utilizes this word (anthropos) only four times in the fourth gospel.  I have presented these at the bottom of this page.  The same generalizations apply, although two of these cases may seem at first to be exceptions.  8:17 is not an exception because it is a generalized quotation spoken to those who possessed the law ("your law").  The strongest case for an exception comes in 17:6, where he applied the word to his disciples in an apparent violation of his usual practice:

I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world . . .
I can see four possible reasons for this, and Ieave you to suggest others.  They are:
  • He was addressing the Father in prayer, rather than teaching.
  • The words as we have them serve to identify another term, kosmos, (world) as equivalent to "men".
  • The word may have been an interpolation by the author of the fourth gospel, precisely as the translators interpolate in modern versions.
  • The word may be a redaction by a later scribe.
Whatever the reason, this use in John 17:5 is atypical for Jesus.  The fourth gospel displays the consistent and expected use in the first two incidents listed below.

The fact that John 17:5 displays an equivalence of meaning of "kosmos" (world) and anthropos in its plural form (men) in this gospel suggests why Jesus there uses anthropos so seldom.  The author of this gospel chose to use kosmos instead of anthropos because he realized they were equivalent in Jesus' mind.  Indeed, we do find kosmos very often there with exactly this definition.  John 7:7 is a prime example:

The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
The other word generally rendered "men" by the translators, aner, Jesus utilized so little in the gospels that it is not significant to this discussion.


4:19 And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."


1:17 And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men."


5:10 . And Jesus said to
Simon, "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men."


6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!
23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
26 Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

7:31 To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like?
32 They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, 'We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.'
33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, 'He has a demon.'
34 The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'
35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.

12:35 "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning,
36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks.
37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them.


5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
19 Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
6:1 Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by
them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
5 And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you;
15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16 And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18 that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

7:12 So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for
this is the law and the prophets.


6:31 And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them


10:17 Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog
you in their synagogues. . .

10:32 So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven;
33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.


12:8 And I tell you, every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God;
9 but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.


12:31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter;


3:28 Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;
29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin --
30 for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."


13:24 Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25 but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.


15:7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
8 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'


7:6 And he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'
8 You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men."


16:13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?"

16:21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
22 And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you."
23 But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men."

17:22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men,
23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed.


8:27 And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?"

8:31  And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men."

9:31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise."

32 But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him.


9:43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But while they were all marveling at everything he did, he said to his disciples,
44 "Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men."

45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.


16:14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at him.
15 But he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 "The law and the prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one enters it violently.

18:9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others:
10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.'
13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."


19:10 The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry."
11 But he said to them, "Not all can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.
12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it."


19:25 When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"
26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."


10:26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?"
27 Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."


18:26 Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?"
27 But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."


23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead  bones and all uncleanness.
28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.


11:43 Woe to you Pharisees! for you love the best seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market places.
44 Woe to you! for you are like graves which are not seen, and men walk over them without knowing it."
46 And he said, "Woe to you lawyers also! for you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.

Luke 21

25 "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
26 men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

The Fourth Gospel
(Commonly called that of John)
3:19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

5:39 You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me;
40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
41 I do not receive glory from men.
42 But I know that you have not the love of God within you.

8:17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true;
18 I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me.

17:5 and now, Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.
6 I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me, and they have kept thy word.
7 Now they know that everything that thou hast given me is from thee. . .

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