John 17:1 Father, the hour is come;

KJV Verse: 

Jhn 17:1 Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Father, the hour has started [once and for all]. May you magnify your Son's [reputation] so that the Son might represent You.

Hidden Meaning: 

The word translated as "is come" primarily means "to start" and that meaning works fine here. It is in the perfect form, which means that its action been completed "once and for all time." It is the start that is completed at this point in time.

The word (doxazo) translated as "glorify" means "to think", "to imagine," and "to suppose." Its noun form (doxa) means "a reputation" or "repute" and can mean a bad reputation as well a good one. In both words, there is a clear sense of "seeming" as opposed to "being." Only in the NT are these words consistently translated as "glorify" and "glory" respectively. The use of that translation seems to tinge God's true glory as a mere seeming, which doesn't always fit well.

This "glorious" interpretation comes from the word's meaning of "magnify." But this sense of magnifying is that a inflating a reputation, not the person. Of course, nothing can be bigger than God, since God is more than we have the capacity to imagine. However, God reputation among many groups is much less than we might desire.

Christ seems to use this word most commonly to describe the way he represents and reflects the Father or, more precisely, the Father's reputation in the world. By what we see in him and his actions, we can imagine the Father. He is a symbol, an illustration, of the hidden God, that is beyond our direct knowledge.

The form Christ uses to ask of the Father is the imperative. In English, we think of the imperative as a command, but in Greek it is also used for requests, as it is here.

Notice that his second use of this word regarding himself representing the Father, he uses the "subjunctive" form, indicating a possibility or probability of an action, not a certainty. He wishes or tries to represent the Father. He makes no absolute claim. this is very humble.

Regarding the certainty of the action in the future, the Greek imperative (used here in the request) is considered the least certain form. Very sensible of them. The alternative translation tries to capture this feeling with the "may".

Wordplay: 

The reversing of the Father glorifying the son and the son glorifying the Father. 

Vocabulary: 

Πάτερ "Father" is from pater (pater), which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

ἐλήλυθεν (3rd sg perf ind act) "Is come" is from erchomai (erchomai), which means "to start," "to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

ὥρα "The hour" is from (hora), which means "any period", "season," (especially springtime), "year' (generally), "climate" (as determined by seasons), "duration", "the twelve equal parts into which the period of daylight was divided", "the fitting time" (for a task).

δόξασόν (2nd sg aor imperat) "Glorify" is from doxazo (doxazo), which primarily means "to think", "to imagine," or "to suppose." Secondarily, it means "to magnify" or "to extol," which is where we get the "glorify" used in the translation.

σου "Thy" is from su (su) which the second person, singular pronoun. It means "you" or "your" depending on its form.

τὸν υἱόν "Son" is from huios (huios), which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." (Greek show the preceding article as well as the word.)

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

υἱὸς "Thy son" is from huios (huios), which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." (Greek show the preceding article as well as the word.)

δοξάσῃ (3rd sg aor subj act) "Glorify" is from doxazo (doxazo), which primarily means "to think", "to imagine," or "to suppose." Secondarily, it means "to magnify" or "to extol," which is where we get the "glorify" used in the translation.

σέ "Thee" is from su (su) which the second person, singular pronoun. It means "you" or "your" depending on its form.

Related Verses: