John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night. They discuss the nature of man's origin. Nicodemus asked how anyone is able to know these things himself.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

This is not because God sent the Son off into the world of men in order that he might divide that world, but in order that the world might be saved by him.

My Takeaway: 

Jesus came to rescue civilization.

KJV : 

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

NIV : 

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated here as "condemn" is usually translated as "judge" in the KJV. However, its precise meaning is "to separate" or "to discern differences." I like "compare." In John 5:22, Jesus says that he is the one appointed to "judge" the world using the same word. So here Jesus says he was not sent to judge, but there he says the Father does not judge but he does. How do we reconcile this seeming contradiction? What is being judged here is "the world order," that is, the society or the social group and its hierarchy. In the later verse, it is individuals who are being judged.  People are not judge by their groups but as individuals.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὐ [269 verses](partic) "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.

γὰρ [205 verses](partic) "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."

ἀπέστειλεν [60 verses](3rd sg aor ind act )"Send" is apostello, which means "to send off," "to send away," or "to dispatch."

[821 verses](article sg masc nom)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

θεὸς [144 verses](noun sg masc nom) "God" is theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

τὸν [821 verses] (article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

υἱὸν [157 verses](noun sg masc acc) "The Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child."

εἰς [325 verses](prep) "In" is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)," "until (of time)," "as much as (of measure or limit)," "as far as (of measure or limit)," "towards (to express relation)," "in regard to (to express relation)," "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

τὸν [821 verses](article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

κόσμον [63 verses](noun sg masc acc) "World" is kosmos, which mean "order," "good order," "ruler," "world order," "universe," and "the world of men." It is a form of the is verb kosmeô, which means "to order," "to arrange," "to rule," "to adorn" (especially women), and "to equip." It especially means controlling and arranging an army.

ἵνα [134 verses](adv/conj) "That" is hina, which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because."

κρίνῃ [30 verses](3rd sg pres subj act) "To condemn" is krino, which primarily means "to separate," "to put asunder," and "to distinguish." It has a lot of other secondary meanings, including "to pick out," "to choose," "to decide" disputes or accounts, "to win" a battle, "to judge" especially in the sense of "estimate," "to expound," or "to interpret" in a particular way.

τὸν [821 verses](article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

κόσμον [63 verses](noun sg masc acc) "World" is kosmos, which mean "order," "good order," "ruler," "world order," "universe," and "the world of men." It is a form of the is verb kosmeô, which means "to order," "to arrange," "to rule," "to adorn" (especially women), and "to equip." It especially means controlling and arranging an army.

ἀλλὰ [154 verses](conj) "But" is alla, which means "otherwise," "but," "still," "at least," "except," "yet," nevertheless," "rather," "moreover," and "nay."

ἵνα [134 verses](adv/conj) "That" is hina, which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because."

σωθῇ [25 verse](3rd sg aor subj pass) "Save" is sozo (soizo), which means "save from death," "keep alive," "keep safe," "preserve," "maintain," "keep in mind," "carry off safely," and "rescue."

[821 verses](article sg masc nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

κόσμος [63 verses](noun sg masc nom) "World" is kosmos, which mean "order," "good order," "ruler," "world order," "universe," and "the world of men." It is a form of the is verb kosmeô, which means "to order," "to arrange," "to rule," "to adorn" (especially women), and "to equip." It especially means controlling and arranging an army.

δι᾽ [88 verses](prep) "Through" is dia which means "through," "in the midst of," "in a line (movement)," "throughout (time)," "by (causal)," "for (causal)," "among," and "between." With the accusative, it can also be "thanks to," "because of,"  "by reasons of," and "for the sake of."

αὐτοῦ [720 verses](adj sg masc gen) "Him" (adj sg masc acc) "Him" is 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."

KJV Analysis: 

For --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why." However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause." 

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

God -- The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God," "the Divine" or "the divine one." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

sent -- The "sent" here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly."

his  -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "his" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

Son, -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "children." It can refer to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Jesus also used it metaphorically to describe those who follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article.

into --  The word translated as "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure. None of this fit that well, but it also means "as much as (of measure or limit)," and that meaning does fit with a person.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

world, -- Jesus uses the word translated as "the world" to mean "the world order," specifically the powers-that-be. Today, we use the word "society" or "regime" in this sense. More about this word in this article about related words.

to -- (CW) The word translated as "to" is an adverb "in that place," "there," "where," "when," or as a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "in order that" or "because." This word is translated as "that" below.

condemn -- (CW) The term used here for "condemn" is a much more complicated idea. He can mean "judge," "criticize," "decide," "discriminate," and "separate," depending on the context.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

world, -- Jesus uses the word translated as "the world" to mean "the world order," specifically the powers-that-be. Today, we use the word "society" or "regime" in this sense. More about this word in this article about related words.

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather." It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise." Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, not doing something, with a positive one, "instead do this."

that -- The word translated as "that" is an adverb "in that place," "there," "where," "when," or as a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "in order that" or "because." This word is translated as "that" below.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

world, -- Jesus uses the word translated as "the world" to mean "the world order," specifically the powers-that-be. Today, we use the word "society" or "regime" in this sense. More about this word in this article about related words.

through--  The preposition translated as "through" means "through," "in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." It indicates movement through a place or time, but it also means "by" the sense of "by means of" a given method.

him - The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

might -- This helping verb in English comes from the form of the Greek verb that indicates a possibility. We would usually say "might" or "should" in English.

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.

saved. -- "Saved" is the Greek word that means "to keep alive" when applied to people or "to keep safe" when applied to things. Christ uses it to mean "rescue" in most cases.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "his" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "Son" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "to" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "condemn" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

NIV Analysis: 

For --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why." However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause." 

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

did -- 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.

God -- The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God," "the Divine" or "the divine one." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly."

send -- The "send" here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

his  -- (IW) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "his" in the source we use today.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

Son, -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "children." It can refer to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Jesus also used it metaphorically to describe those who follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article.

into --  The word translated as "into" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure. None of this fit that well, but it also means "as much as (of measure or limit)," and that meaning does fit with a person.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

world, -- Jesus uses the word translated as "the world" to mean "the world order," specifically the powers-that-be. Today, we use the word "society" or "regime" in this sense. More about this word in this article about related words.

to -- (CW) The word translated as "to" is an adverb "in that place," "there," "where," "when," or as a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "in order that" or "because." This word is translated as "that" below.

condemn -- (CW) The term used here for "condemn" is a much more complicated idea. He can mean "judge," "criticize," "decide," "discriminate," and "separate," depending on the context.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

world, -- Jesus uses the word translated as "the world" to mean "the world order," specifically the powers-that-be. Today, we use the word "society" or "regime" in this sense. More about this word in this article about related words.

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather." It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise." Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, not doing something, with a positive one, "instead do this."

to -- (CW) The word translated as "to" is an adverb "in that place," "there," "where," "when," or as a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "in order that" or "because." This word is translated as "that" below.

untranslated "might" (MW) The verb is in the form that indicates something is possible. In requires that a helping verb "might" or "should" to the possibility intended in English.

save -- (WV)  "Save" is the Greek word that means "to keep alive" when applied to people or "to keep safe" when applied to things. Christ uses it to mean "rescue" in most cases.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

world, -- Jesus uses the word translated as "the world" to mean "the world order," specifically the powers-that-be. Today, we use the word "society" or "regime" in this sense. More about this word in this article about related words.

through--  The preposition translated as "through" means "through," "in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." It indicates movement through a place or time, but it also means "by" the sense of "by means of" a given method.

him - The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

NIV Translation Issues: 

8
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "his" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "Son" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "to" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "condemn" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "to" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "might" needed from the form of the verb is not shown in the English translation.
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb here is translated as active but it is passive .

Front Page Date: 

Jan 23 2022