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 13:16 ...The servant is not greater than his lord;

Jhn 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

I am teaching you the real truth. There is no follower that is more important than his leader. Nor is there an envoy more important than the one sending him. 

 The phrase "Verily, verily" or "Truly, truly" often introduces a concept that has many levels of meaning, often, if not always, they deal with the nature of reality or true information. Both "reality" and "truth" are the source meaning for the word translated as "verily."

Often in "generic" posts of Christ's, we translated to the actual meaning in Greek. Here, the actual meaning of the first part of this verse is "No slave is greater than his master." The word translated as "servant" means "slave." It is was translated as "servant" to make it more relevant in the era of the KJV. If we were to do a similar update into today's terms, we would say "No employee is greater than his boss." 

However, in "Verily" posts, we want to look for an even deeper level. Here, this idea of slave and master is best captured by "follower" and "leader." 

The last part of this verse also has several levels of meaning. On surface, it is about an envoy's or ambassor's importance relative to the one who sent him. However, on a deeper level, it is about the truth. There is no message about the truth that is as important as the truth itself. In other words, the symbols we use are not as important as the underlying reality. 

ἀμὴν  "Verily" is from amên (amen), which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly," "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek before the NT.

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is from legô (lego) means "pick up," "choose for oneself," "pick out," and "count,"  "recount," "tell over," "say," "speak," "teach," "mean," "boast of," "tell of," "recite,"  "nominate," and "command."

 ὑμῖν, "You" is from humas (humas) and humôn (humon), which are the plural forms of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

οὐκ  "Not" is from οὐ ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both singles words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

ἔστιν (3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi (eimi), which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

δοῦλος "The servant" is from doulos (doulos), which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

 μείζων  "Greater than" is from meizôn, (meizon) which means "bigger," and "greater" and is the comparative form of megas, which means "big" and "great."

τοῦ κυρίου "Lord" is from kurios (kyrios), which means "having power," "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord," "master of the house," and "head of the family."

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."

οὐδὲ  "Neither" is from oude , which means "but not," "neither," "nor,"and  "not even."

ἀπόστολος "He that is sent" is from apostoloswhich means "messenger," "ambassador," "envoy," "order for dispatch," and "cargo dispatched by order."

 μείζων   "Greater than" is from meizôn, (meizon) which means "bigger," and "greater" and is the comparative form of megas, which means "big" and "great."

τοῦ πέμψαντος  (part sg aor act masc gen) "He that sent" is from pempo, which means "send," "send forth," "send away," "conduct," and "escort." 

αὐτόν. "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 13:16 ...The servant is not greater than his lord;

I am teaching you the real truth. There is no follower that is more important than his leader. Nor is there an envoy more important than the one sending him. 

Jhn 13:15 For I have given you an example,

This is because I gave you an illustration, where, even as I did for you, you also must do

Jhn 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master,

If, therefore, washed up your feet, the Master as the Teacher, you also are obliged to wash up the feet of each other. 

Jhn 13:13 Ye call me Master and Lord

 You called me [by the names] "the teacher" and "the master" and you choose nobly since I am. 

Jhn 13:12 Know ye what I have done

Have you begun to see what have I made for you.

Jhn 13:10 He that is washed needeth not

Anyone bathing doesn't have a need to wash up, p[ause] except the feet. Otherwise, he is entirely clean as you all are clean, [pause] but not really all of you. 

Jhn 13:8 If I wash thee not,

  If I am not going to wash up you[r feet] off, you don't have a destiny together with me. 

Jhn 13:7 What I do thou knowest no

What I am creating you don't see right now, but you will learn by [the aid of] this. 

Jhn 12:50 And I know that his commandment

 Also, I have known that fact that his command is perpetual existence. What then do relay? How has the Father spoken to me? This I relay [to you].

Jhn 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself;

This is because I didn't communicate out of myself. Rather, the one dispatching me, Father himself, gave me an order: whatever I might have said and what I will relay. 

Jhn 12:48 He that rejecteth me,

Someone denying me and not getting my remarks has someone cutting him off. [pause] The idea that I have relayed is going to cut him off during the final day. 

Jhn 12:47 And if any man hear my words,

Also, if anyone has listened to my remarks and didn't trust them, I will not cut him off. This is because I did not set out in order to cut society off but to rescue society. 

Jhn 12:46 I am come a light into the world,

I have started a light in society in order that anyone trusting in me might not remain in the darkness. 

Jhn 12:45 And he that seeth me

And someone gazing at me gazes at the one who dispatched me.

Jhn 12:44 He that believeth on me,

Someone trusting in me, doesn't trust in me [pause] but [pause] in the one who dispatched me. 

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.