This site examines Christ's words in the ancient Greek. It discusses any shades of meaning lost in translation and provides alternative translations.


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Jhn 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down

Jhn 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

This is why the loaf is coming down from heaven: in order that anyone might eat of it and might not die. 

The  Greek translated as "This" in the KJV is often used as an adverb to introduce an a reason for something. This is especially true when it is paired with the word "hina" (translated here as "that") which is the conjunction/adverb that is usually translated as "in order that" or, more simple, as "because." 

So, in the verse, Christ is saying that "the bread of life," that is, he himself and his message, have come down from heaven for this specific reason, so that that people might not die.

Notice that word translated as "cometh down" is actually a present participle better translated as "is coming down." This is something that is happening now. Christ always refers to himself as being "sent" by the Father in either that past or aorist tense, something that happens at a certain point in time. However, this bread is still coming down, making him a conduit for it. 

In Christ's use of symbols, the physical fact that the bread we eat becomes our flesh is a metaphor for what happens on a spiritual level and the ideas that we consume become our thought pattern, that is, our spirit, our soul. 

More and more, as I read Christ's words and think especially about what he says regarding "demons" and "sons of the devil," that he is referring to these "spirits" as what we might call "thought worms" today. Patterns of thought which inhabit us, taking control of our spirit. I think back about the story about a caste-out demon returning to his host and bringing other spirits with him in Mat 12:45 (Then he goes and takes with him...).

In this context, the bread or loaf of his teaching brings us eternal life, the spiritual life. This is critical in understanding the upcoming verses.  


οὗτός "This" 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."

ἐστιν (rd 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.")

 ἄρτος 3"The bread" is from artos (artos), which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread."

 "Which" is from hos (hos), which is the demonstrative pronoun in its various forms (hê, ho, gen. hou, hês, hou, etc. ; dat. pl. hois, hais, hois, etc. gen. hoou). It means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἐκ "From" is from ek, which means "out of," "from," "by," and "away from."

τοῦ οὐρανοῦ "Heaven" is  from ouranos (ouranos), which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky," "heaven as the seat of the gods," "the sky," "the universe," and "the climate."

καταβαίνων  (part sg pres act masc nom) "Came down" is from katabaino, which means "go down," "come down from," and "dismount from." Metaphorically, it means "attain," "conform to," "condescend," "fall in value," and "arrive at the end [of a speech]."

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

τις  "A man" is from tis (tis) which can mean "someone," "any one," "everyone," "many a one," "whoever," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who," "why," or "what."

ἐξ "Thereof" is from ek, which means "out of," "from," "by," and "away from."

αὐτοῦ Untranslated is 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."

φάγῃκαὶ  (3rd sg aor subj act) "May eat" is from esthiô (esthio), which means "to eat," "devour," "fret," "vex," and to "take in one's mouth." It is also a metaphor for decay and erosion.

καὶ "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as  you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even," "also," and "just."

μὴ "Not" is from mê (me), which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

ἀποθάνῃ (3rd sg aor subj act) "Die" is from apothnesko, which means "to die" and "to die off." 

Christ's Words Posts in Verse Order

  • Gospel of John: Most recent posts in current format, but starting at last supper speeches
  • Gospel of Mark: Almost entire gospel with later posts in current format. 
  • Gospel of Matthew: Complete gospel but very primitive posts by today's standards.

Most Recent Verses

Jhn 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down

This is why the loaf is coming down from heaven: in order that anyone might eat of it and might not die. 

Jhn 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna

 Those forefathers of yours took in desolation the granules [of food] and they did die. 

Jhn 6:48 I am that bread of life.

 I exist [as] the bread of existence. 

Jhn 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you,

I am teaching you the real truth. The believer [already] holds perpetual life. 

Jhn 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father

This is because no one has seen the Father except by this being from God. In this way, he has seen the Father. 

Jhn 6:45 It is written in the prophets,

 It is what has been written by the prophets: "And they will be all instructed by God."
All hearing from the Father and understanding [Him] move toward me. 

Jhn 6:44 No man can come to me

No one has the power to have started toward me if not [for] the Father, the sender, having attracted him, and I might rouse him to action on the worst day. 

Jhn 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me,

Since this is the pleasure of my Father: every one contemplating the Son [as an oracle] and believing in him holds perpetual life and I should raise him up [from the dead] on the last day. 

Jhn 6:39 And this is the Father's will

 This, however, is the pleasure of the one sending me. In order that I will not to destroy all that he has given me from himself, rather I should raise it all [from the dead] on the last day. 

Jhn 6:38 For I came down from heaven,

This is because I stepped down out of the universe not in order to satisfy my pleasures but the pleasure of the one sending me away. 

Jhn 6:37 All that the Father giveth me

Everyone who the Father gives me will return to me, and I will not ever toss away the one moving towards me to the outside. 

Jhn 6:36 But I said unto you,

 Still, I promised you since you have just observed but do not trust. 

Jhn 6:35 I am the bread of life:

 I am the bread of existence. The one moving toward me might never ever start to crave and trusting in me might never ever start to yearn at any time. 

Jhn 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh

 This is because the divine loaf is the one stepping down out of the universe and he granting substance to the world order. 

Jhn 6:32 Moses gave you not that bread from heaven

I am teaching you the real truth.  Moses didn't give you the bread from the sky but my Father. He is [now] really giving you bread from the sky.