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

KJV Verse: 

Jhn 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

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

Hidden Meaning: 

The Greek verb translated as "wash" means specifically to wash the hands or feet. We use the phrase "wash up" in a similar way. Other words are used for washing the whole body or objects.

Notice that the phrase "Master and Lord" is reversed in this verse to "Lord and Master." This makes little difference given the KJV translation, where the two words are synonyms. However, the word translated as "Master" in both cases really means "Teacher," so the reversal here makes perfect sense because in washing the apostles' feet, the master is acting as a teacher.

This alternative translated "the Master as Teacher" works because the Greek word kai usually translated as "and" also means "as". Christ is making a play on words by reversing the phrase, making it a comparison of the two roles. Notice how the KJV had to move this phrase up in the sentence and add "your," which is not in the Greek, to make sense of it. However, if we translate kai as "as" it makes perfect sense where it is.

The word translated as "ought" really means "to owe a debt." This idea of obligation is very strong in all of Christ's teaching, but it is often as here, filtered out in the KJV.

What Christ is saying is that by washing their feet, he created a debt. this is what he was referring to earlier (Jhn 13:7 ) when he said that they did know what he was doing in washing there feet. In creating a debt, they are obligated to pay it back. The way that they must do this is to wash up one another's feet.

Wordplay: 

 A play on the reversal of "Teacher and Master" making it "Master as Teacher." 

Vocabulary: 

εἰ "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

οὖν "Then" is from oun (oun), which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

ἐγὼ "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and for myself.

ἔνιψα 1st sg aor ind act) "Have washed" is from nipto, which means specifically "to wash hands or feet," and generally "to clean", "to purge," and "to wash off."

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

τοὺς πόδας "Feet" is from pous (pous), which means a "foot", "a talon [of a bird]," and the concept of "to trample" or "to tred upon."

κύριος "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."

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."

διδάσκαλος, "Master" is from didaskalos (didaskalos), which means "teacher", "master", "trainer," and "producer."

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."

ὑμεῖς "You" is from hymeis, which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you."

ὀφείλετε (2nd pl pres ind act) =" color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">"=" font-family: 'Trebuchet MS';">Ought" is from opheilô which means "to owe", "to have to pay for", "to account for", "a debt [as a participle], "to be owing [passive]", "to be bound to render", "to be bound to", "to be obliged to", "ought," and "it behooves."

ἀλλήλων "One another's" is from allêlôn (allelon), which means "one another", "to one another", "mutually," and "reciprocally."

νίπτειν (pres inf act) "To wash" is from nipto, which means specifically "to wash hands or feet," and generally "to clean", "to purge," and "to wash off."

τοὺς πόδας: "Feet" is from pous (pous), which means a "foot", "a talon [of a bird]," and the concept of "to trample" or "to tred upon."

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