This site examines Christ's words in the ancient Greek so you can make your own translation. Our alternative translations and explanations emphasize the humor, wordplay, and hidden meanings lost in translation. 

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Jhn 9:3 Neither hath this man sinned,

Jhn 9:3 Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Neither has this one failed nor have his predecessors [failed] rather [this blindness exists] in order that divine actions might be seen clearly in him. 

 Christ says this in response to his followers asking why someone should be born blind. 

First, some basic vocabulary. "Sinning" is a religious translation of a verb, hamartanô, which means something more like "to fail" or "to make mistake."  An article about these problems is here (go down about midway). 

The next interesting word is the one translated as "manifest," which means "make clear."  This word is the key to this verse because one of Christ's primary teachings is that God is hidden. Just recently, in Jhn 8:55, Christ made the point that people have not seen God, but that he has seen God. The Father is, by his nature hidden, Mat 6:5-6. God is only seen through his actions in the world. 

Today, we mistakenly hear Christ's answer in the context of his upcoming miracle. However, this is not the acts of God Christ is referring to here. What his followers heard at the time was that, generally, such suffering was not a matter of divine judgment but a matter of the divine making itself visible. 

Christ was saying that being born blind is not some kind of justice or payback. Rather this blindness, and, by extension other unpleasant acts of nature, had a different purpose entirely. They make the fact of a hidden divine power visible. In other words, this type of "evil" in the world makes it clear that not everything is in the control or result of the decisions of humanity. This is discussed in a larger context in this article on ...

Οὔτε "Neither" is from oute, which means "and not," and "neither/nor" when used in a series. 

οὗτος   "This man" is from houtos (houtos), which means "this," "that," "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way," "therefore," "so much," "to such and extent," and "that is why."

ἥμαρτεν (3rd sg aor ind act) “Hath sinned” is from hamartanô which mean “to miss the mark,” “to fail in one’s purpose,” “to err,” "fail in having," "to be deprived of," “to be mistaken,” and “to neglect.”

οὔτε "Nor" is from oute, which means "and not," and "neither/nor" when used in a series. 

οἱ γονεῖς "Parents" is goneus, which mean "progenitor" and can refer to parents or ancestors.

αὐτοῦ,  "His" is from autos (autos), which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself," "yourself," "himself," "herself," "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him," "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of ones own accord."

ἀλλ᾽  "But" is from alla (alla), which means "otherwise," "but," "still," "at least," "except," "yet,"  nevertheless," "rather," "moreover," and "nay." It denotes an exception or a simple opposition.

ἵνα "That" is from hina (hina), which means "in that place," "there," "where," "when," "that," "in order that," "when," and "because."

φανερωθῇ (3rd sg aor subj pass) "Should be made manifest" is from phaneroô (phaneroo), which means "make manifest," "reveal," "make clear," "make known," and "make famous."

τὰ ἔργα  "The works" is from ergon (ergon ), which means "works," "tasks," "deeds," "actions," "thing," and "matter."

τοῦ θεοῦ  "Of God" is from theos (theos), which means "God," the Deity."

ἐν "In" is from en, which means "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

αὐτῷ.  "Him" is from autos (autos), which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself," "yourself," "himself," "herself," "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him," "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of ones own accord."

Christ's Words Posts in Verse Order

  • Gospel of John: Most recent posts in current format.
  • Gospel of Mark: Almost entire Gospel with later posts in current format. 
  • Gospel of Matthew: Complete Gospel but more primitive posts, being updated through the In His Own Words project.

Most Recent Verses

Jhn 9:3 Neither hath this man sinned,

Neither has this one failed nor have his predecessors [failed] rather [this blindness exists] in order that divine actions might be seen clearly in him. 

Jhn 8:58 Before Abraham was, I am.

 I'm telling you what is really true. Before Abraham came into being, I exist.

Jhn 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced

 Abraham, your father, applauded when he saw my time. Not only did he see [it] but he also welcomed [it].

Jhn 8:55 Yet ye have not known him;

You just haven't learned to know him [the Father]. I, however, have seen him. If I might say that I haven't seen him, I will be the same as you, a liar. Except I have seen him and I observe his words. 

Jhn 8:54 If I honour myself,

 If I was recognizing myself, my recognition is good for nothing. My father is the one recognizing me. You point him out because he is your God. 

Jhn 8:51 ... If a man keep my saying,

I am teaching you the real truth. If someone might have observed my words, he might not ever face death in this life. 

Jhn 8:50 And I seek not mine own glory

I, on the other hand, do not look for recognition for myself. He [the Father] is the one searching and deciding. 

Jhn 8:49 I have not a devil

 I don't possess any second-rate spiritual power. However, I praise my father just as you insult me. 

Jhn 8:47 He that is of God heareth God's words:

 Whoever is living by the Divine hears and understands the voice of the Divinity. By this [idea], since you do not hear and understand, you are not from the Divine. 

Jhn 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin?

Besides you, who cross examines me about my "failures"? If I point out the truth, why don't you trust me?  

Jhn 8:45 And because I tell you the truth

 However, since I pick out the truth, you do not trust me. 

Jhn 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil,

 You are from the father of slanderers and wish to create the desires of your father.  That one was a man-killer from the start as he didn't keep with the truth. This is because the truth is not in him.

When you tell lies, he has spoken from his own. This is because he is  liar and the father of the same.

Jhn 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech?

What aren't you not getting about this plain talk of mine? Is it because you don't have the power to listening to my ideas? 

Jhn 8:42 If God were your Father,

 If God was a parent of yours, you might welcome me since I set forth and have come out from God. For I never set out for myself since, after all, he sent me. 

Jhn 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father.

All of you, produce the works of your father! 

Christ: In His Own Words

Imagine Christ addressing an audience today describing his life and message.

Let me start by saying that for now, we must let go of what we think is "proper." It's the only way we can see everything through to the finish. 

I let everything go by walking into the desert. After a little while I was so hungry that I was tempted to eat stones, but I discovered that, God's words filled me with more life than food ever could.

Filled with God's word, I was tempted to test the powers that I discovered within myself by braving death, but those same words told me that we cannot test the source of my power, God.

God has the power to test us, We don't have the power to test him. 

Thinking about my being the Christ, the Messiah, I was tempted use my power to free my people, rule a kingdom, build an empire, maybe even write a book. I saw that these desires were my person demons.

I put my demons out of my mind, humbling myself to my Father's will, putting Him above everything else.