John 4:23 But the hour cometh,

KJV Verse: 

Jhn 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

But the season starts and now exists when real worshippers might start bowing down to the Father with divine inspiration as reality. Even as the Father desires such as these bowing down to him.

Hidden Meaning: 

The phrase "worship in spirit and truth" seems more than a little vague. In the alternative, we attempt to flesh it out with alternative meanings of the words used.

The Greek word translated as "spirit" primarily means "breath," and "the breath of life." It takes a meaning of "divine inspiration." That sense seems to work best here.

While the word translated as "and" usually acts as a conjunction, it can also mean "as."

The word translated as "truth" also means "reality" as opposed to appearances.

With this translation, the verse takes on the meaning of someone being being physically humbled, the sense of the word translated as "worship," by recognizing divine inspiration as reality.

In Jhn 4:21, Christ said that people will no long bow down in a specific place. Here, the place is replaced with a sense of awareness. It is almost as if Christ felt that people were bowing down TO the place, rather than God, out of tradition rather than inspiration.

Vocabulary: 

ἀλλὰ "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.

ἔρχεται 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Cometh" 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).

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."

νῦν "Now" is from class="greek">νῦν nun (nyn), which means "now", "at the present moment", "at the present time", "just now", "presently," and "as it is."

ἐστίν "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.")

ὅτε "When" is from (hote), which means "when", "as when", "at the time when," and "sometimes."

οἱ ἀληθινοὶ "True" is from alethinos, which is an adjective that means "truthful" and "trustworthy" when applied to a person, "true" and "genuine" when applied to objects and as an adverb "really" and honestly."

προσκυνηταὶ "Worshippers" is from proskynētēs, which means "worshipper" and "one who bows down."

προσκυνήσουσιν (3rd pl aor subj act) "Shall worship" is from proskuneô (proskyneo), which means "make obeisance", "fall down and worship," and "to kiss like a dog licking his master's hand." It specifically means to prostrate yourself before authority, as we would use the Chinese term, "kowtow."

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

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".

πνεύματι "Spirit" is pneuma (pneuma), which means "blast", "wind", "breath", "the breath of life", "divine inspiration", "a spiritual or immaterial being," and "the spirit" of a man.

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."

ἀληθείᾳ, "Truth" is from aletheia, which means literally "the state of not being hidden," means "truth" and "reality" as opposed to appearances.

καὶ "Untranslated is 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."

γὰρ "For" comes from gar (gar) which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what."

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

τοιούτους "Such" is from toioutos, which means "such as this," and "of this kind."

ζητεῖ (3rd sg pres ind act) "Seeketh" is from zeteo, which means "to seek", "to inquire after", "to seek after", "to desire," and "to feel the want of."

τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας (part pl pres act masc acc) "To worship" is from proskuneô (proskyneo), which means "make obeisance", "fall down and worship," and "to kiss like a dog licking his master's hand." It specifically means to prostrate yourself before authority, as we would use the Chinese term, "kowtow."

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."

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