Matthew 14:27 Be of good cheer;

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

Jesus walks on water

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Be courageous, I myself am. You don't want to scare yourselves.

KJV : 

Matthew 14:27 Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In the Greek, the first part is not an announcement of who he is as much a statement of confidence. The second part seems much more light-hearted, making light of their fear. Again, the statement comes across as mostly humorous. Someone less light-hearted would have sunk.

The statement "I am" doesn't read like an announcement "It is I," where the verb would have preceded the noun. However, with the pronoun coming first, it is a personal claim on being courageous "myself."

NIV : 

Matthew 14:27 Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.

My Takeaway: 

Jesus was so light-hearted that he could walk on water.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Θαρσεῖτε, [5 verses] - (verb 2nd pl pres imperat) "Be of good cheer" is  tharseo which means "fear not", "have courage", "have confidence", "have no fear," and "make bold." This is the verb form of the Greek noun that means "boldness" and "courage."

ἐγώ (pron, sg, masc, nom) "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."

εἰμι: (verb 1st sg pres ind act) "Am" is from 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.")

μὴ  (partic) "Not" is from me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

φοβεῖσθε. (verb 2nd pl pres imperat/ind mp) "Be...afraid" is phobeo, which means to "put to flight. ""terrify", "alarm", "frighten," and in the passive, "be put to flight", "be seized with fear," be frightened", "stand in awe of" (of persons)", "dread (of persons)," and "fear or fear about something."

KJV Analysis: 

Be of good cheer;  - (WW) The verb translated as "be of good cheer" is from a noun that means courage. It is best translated as "have courage" or "be brave." The noun form of this word means "courage." It has nothing to do with "cheer."

it-- (WW) This indicates as third-person, singular form of the verb, but the verb is the first-person.

is - The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. However, that is not the case here where the "I" clearly comes first.

I  - This is the first-person pronoun used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

not --  The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" or "think" something, not that it isn't done or thought.  This is the appropriate negative for an emotion.

afraid. -- This is translated from a Greek verb that means "to terrify" and "to put to flight," but in the passive, it means to be put to flight and be frightened. When applied to people, it means to "be in awe of" or "dread." The form is midway between an active and passive form, where the subject acts on himself, "frighten yourselves."

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be of good cheer" should be "be courageous."
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "it" should be "I."

NIV Analysis: 

Take courage;  -The verb translated as "take courage" is from a noun that means courage. It is best translated as "have courage" or "be brave." The noun form of this word means "courage."

it-- (WW) This indicates as third-person, singular form of the verb, but the verb is the first-person.

is - The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. However, that is not the case here where the "I" clearly comes first.

I  - This is the first-person pronoun used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

Do- -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

n’t --  The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" or "think" something, not that it isn't done or thought.  This is the appropriate negative for an emotion.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

afraid. -- This is translated from a Greek verb that means "to terrify" and "to put to flight," but in the passive, it means to be put to flight and be frightened. When applied to people, it means to "be in awe of" or "dread." The form could be passive or the middle voice where the subject acts on himself, "frighten yourselves."

NIV Translation Issues: 

2
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "it" should be "I."
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Symbolically, walking on water demonstrates the power of the spirit over physical nature.

The Spoken Version: 

"Be courageous," said the Master. He gestured toward his feet standing on water and added, "I myself am."
His students didn't laugh. Their eyes were wide, wondering at what they were seeing.
"You don't want to scare yourselves," the Master said, assuring them.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 11 2021