John 5:19 ...The Son can do nothing of himself,

KJV Verse: 

Jhn 5:19 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Truly, truly I teach you. The son has no power to bring about anything from his own [abilities] if he didn't see what the Father is doing. Which is why he only brings about these things in this way. The son just acts in a like manner.

Hidden Meaning: 

As we have discussed many times before, the verb translated as "can" is not just a "helper" verb as it is in English. In Greek, it (dunamai) means having power. "Power" is the meaning of its noun form, dunamis. From these words we get "dynamic", "dynasty," and "dynamite." Christ uses these words specifically to discuss the limits of power. A good way to understand what Christ says about the nature of power is to read the verses that use these words.

The Greek verb translated as "see" in this verse is the more tangible form of seeing. It isn't used normally, as other "seeing" verbs are, the mean "understand." Christ isn't merely saying that he understand what the Father does, he is talking about physically seeing it.

The Greek verb translated as "to do" (poieo) is used over and over here. Like "can", it has a more specific meaning in Greek than generic actions. It specifically means of bringing something about, creating and producing. Another way of expressing is the idea here is that Christ can create nothing from his own being, but simply emulates what he sees God creating.

In the KJV, ekeinos is translated as "he," referring to Christ but this word is not typically used as self-referencing pronoun. However, the word also means "in this manner", which fits much better with the larger since of the verse.

Vocabulary: 

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."

οὐ Not" is from οὐ ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, class="greek">μήapplies to will and thought; class="greek">οὐ denies, class="greek">μή rejects; class="greek">οὐ is absolute, class="greek">μή relative;class="greek">οὐ objective, class="greek">μή subjective.

δύναται (3rd sg pres ind mp) "Can" is from the verb, dunamai (dynamai), which means "to have power by virtue of your own capabilities", "to be able," and "to be strong enough."

υἱὸς "The son" is from huios (huios), which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

ποιεῖν (pres inf act) "Do" is from poieô ( poieo), which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

ἀφ᾽ "Of" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.


ἑαυτο
"Himself" is from heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

οὐδὲν "Nothing" is from oudeis, (oudeis) which means "no one", "not one", "nothing", "naught", "good for naught," and "no matter."

ἂν μή "But" is from ean me, which means "if not." "If" is from ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. "Not" is from (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no."

τι "What" 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."

βλέπῃ (3rd sg pres subj act) "He seeth" is from of blepô (blepo), which means "to look" and "to see." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding.

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

ποιοῦντα (part sg pres act masc acc "Do" is from poieô ( poieo), which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

"Whatever" is from hos (hos)--with an below, 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.

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."

ἂν "Whatever" is from an, which is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

ἐκεῖνος "He" is from ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

ποιῇ (3rd sg pres subj act) "Doeth" is from poieô ( poieo), which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

ταῦτα "These" is from tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

καὶ "Also" 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."

υἱὸς "The son" is from huios (huios), which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

ὁμοίως "Likewise" is from homoios (homoios), which means "like", "resembling", "the same", "equal in force, "a match for one", "suiting", "of the same rank", "alike", "in like manner," and "equally."

ποιεῖ (3rd sg pres ind act) "Doeth" is from poieô ( poieo), which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

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