John 8:14 Though I bear record of myself,

KJV Verse: 

Jhn 8:14 Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Just possibly I might have given evidence concerning myself. My evidence is honest because I have seen the source from which I came and where I am going. You, however, have not seen where I am coming from and where I am going.

Hidden Meaning: 

Earlier in Jhn 5:31, Christ says that if he gives evidence about himself it isn't true. this is a point of Jewish law that Christ agrees with: none of us can objectively and honestly talk about ourselves. We lack that perspective to do so.

In this verse, he allows that his statement about being the light of the world (Jhn 8:12) might be construed as giving evidence about himself. However, in doing so, he uses the subjunctive voice, indicating only the possibility. Elsewhere, Jhn 14:10, he explains that he doesn't speak on his own authority but his words are those of the Father, but he doesn't get into explaining that idea here.

In this verse, he makes a large point about the human perspective and how his perspective is different. His point is that we, as ordinary humans, lack the ability to put our own lives and actions into perspective because we don't see the big picture: where we came from and where we are going. Modern Christianity might express this idea in terms of not knowing God's plan for us. Christ tells us that he is different in that he does know God's plan for him.

Notice that he uses the Greek past tense expressing a completed action (the perfect) describing his "seeing" the course of his life. The verb translated as "know" in the KJV has the primary meaning of "to see" and means "to know" in the same sense we use "I see" to mean "I know." This verb is used because the issue is not what we understand as much as it is our viewpoint concerning our situation.

Christ then goes on to make the point that the ones challenging him have not seen the course of his life, they have no perspective from which to see it. Again, he uses the perfect tense to describe their "not having seen."

Interestingly, however, he changes the tense of the verb referring to where he "came" from. In referring to his seeing, his viewpoint, it was in the aorist tense, usually translated as past (where I came from), but in referring to his opponents's view, he uses the present tense, "where I am coming from." this is a little play on words having the same sense as it does in English. When we don't understand where someone is coming from, we are missing their context, their point. In other words, we are missing their viewpoint.

Wordplay: 

 The use of "coming from" as a references to the discussion's perspective as well as to a physical source. 

Vocabulary: 

Κἂν "Although" is from kan, which means "and if", "even if," and "although." It is a conjunction of kai an. Kai 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." aAn, 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."

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.

μαρτυρῶ (1st sg pres subj act ) "Bear record" is from martyreo, which means "to bear witness", "to give evidence", "give a good report", "testify to," and "acknowledge the value of." It is the basis for our word "martyr."

περὶ "Of" is from peri (peri), which means "round about (Place)", "around", "about", "concerning", "on account of", "in regard to", "before", "above", "beyond," and "all around."

ἐμαυτοῦ, "Myself" is from emautou, which means "of me," and "of myself".

ἀληθής "True" is from alethes, which means "unconcealed", "so true", "not forgetting", "careful," [of persons] "truthful" "honest," [of oracles] "true" "unerring," and [as adverb] "actually" "in reality,"

ἐστιν "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.")

μαρτυρία"Record" is from martyria, which means "testimony," and "evidence."

μου, "Yet my" is from emou, which means "me", and "mine".

ὅτι "For" is from hoti (hoti), which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

οἶδα (1st sg perf ind act) "I know" is from (eidon) which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

πόθεν "Whence" is from pothen , (pothen) which means "whence" and "from what source."

ἦλθον (1st sg aor ind act) "I came" 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.

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."

ποῦ "Wither" is from pou, which means "where", "at what point," and [of manner] "how." Other forms mean "somewhere", "anywhere", "doubtless," and "perhaps."

ὑπάγω: (1st sg pres ind act) "I go" is from hupagô (hupago), which means "to lead under", "to bring under", "to bring a person before judgment", "to lead on by degrees", "to take away from beneath", "to withdraw", "to go away", "to retire", "to draw off," and "off with you."

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

δὲ "But" is from de (de), which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

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

οἴδατε (2nd pl perf ind act) "Tell" is from (eidon) which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

πόθεν "Whence" is from pothen , (pothen) which means "whence" and "from what source."

ἔρχομαι (1st sg pres ind mp) "I 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.

"And" is from e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

ποῦ "Wither" is from pou, which means "where", "at what point," and [of manner] "how." Other forms mean "somewhere", "anywhere", "doubtless," and perhaps.

ὑπάγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I go" is from hupagô (hupago), which means "to lead under", "to bring under", "to bring a person before judgment", "to lead on by degrees", "to take away from beneath", "to withdraw", "to go away", "to retire", "to draw off," and "off with you."

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