John 4:10 If thou knewest the gift of God,

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

To the Samaritan woman after she asks him why he, a Judean, asked her for a drink of water.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

If you had really seen the gift of the Divine and who is the one saying to you "Give me to drink," you could ask him and he could give to you  water living.

My Takeaway: 

We need water to live.

KJV : 

John 4:10 If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

NIV : 

John 4:10 “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

What is Lost in Translation: 

As in the last scene with Nicodemus, Jesus is talking about being born of "water." Here to the Samaritan woman it is described as the "water of life." It is important to not that Again, it is not clear whether water means physical life or spiritual life. It is certainly required for physical life. It could also symbolize spiritual life. The word "life" here is physical life, it is not the word, also translated as "life," that means "soul" (see this article for detail about this word). or the other word that means "breath of life" translated as "spirit." Read this article on the use of this word with "holy" and this article when contrast with similar terms for the soul, life, and mind.

This is the only time Jesus uses the Greek word translated as "gift."  The Greek word has the broader sense of "bounty" and indicates a strong sense of generosity, that is, that the things that are given freely. It is appropriate that the only time Jesus uses this word is in the phrase "gifts of the Divine."

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Εἰ [90 verses](conj) "If" is ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever," "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

ᾔδεις [166 verses](2nd sg plup ind act) "Thou knewest" is eido 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."

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

δωρεὰν [1 verse](noun sg fem acc) "Gift" is from dorea, which means "gift," "present," "bounty," and, as an adverb, "free gift," and "freely."

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

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

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" 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."

τίς [252 verses](pron masc nom) "Who" is tis which can mean "someone," "something," "any one," "everyone," "they [indefinite]," "many a one," "whoever," "anyone," "anything," "some sort," "some sort of," "each," "any," "the individual," "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who," "why," or "what."

ἐστίν.[614 verses](3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen,"  and "is possible." With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

[294 verses](pron sg masc nom ) "That" is hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

λέγων [264 verses] (part sg pres act masc nom) "Saith" is lego, which means "to recount," "to tell over," "to say," "to speak," "to teach," "to mean," "boast of," "tell of," "recite," nominate," and "command." When used with an object is has the sense of "call by name."  It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself," "pick up," "gather," "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

σοὶ [81 verses](pron 2nd sg dat) "To thee" is soi which is the singular, second-person pronoun, "you," in the form of an indirect pronoun.

Δός [147 verses](2nd sg aor imperat act) "Give" is didomi, which means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe."

μοί, [96 verses](pron 1st sg masc/fem dat) "Me" is moi (emoi) , which means "I," "me," and "my."

πεῖν, [36 verses](2nd aor act inf) "To drink" is  pino, which means "to drink," "to celebrate," and "soak up."

σὺ [27 verses](pron 2nd sg nom) "Thou" is su which means "you" and "your."

ἂν [60 verses](particle) "Would" is 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 "possibly," "would have," "might," "should," and "could."

ᾔτησας  [28 verses](2nd sg aor ind act) "Have asked" is from aiteo, which means "to ask for," "to demand," "to beg of," "to postulate or assume [in logic]," "to claim," and "to ask for one's own use." In passive, "to be asked" and "to have a thing begged from one."

αὐτὸν [720 verses](adj sg masc acc) "Of 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." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" 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."

ἔδωκεν [147 verses](3rd sg aor ind act ) "He...have given" is didomi, which means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe." -- The verb translated as "given" means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

ἂν [60 verses](particle) "Would" is 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 "possibly," "would have," "might," "should," and "could."

σοὶ [81 verses](pron 2nd sg dat) "To thee" is soi which is the singular, second-person pronoun, "you," in the form of an indirect pronoun.

ὕδωρ [12 verses](noun sg neut acc)  "Water"" is hydor, which means "water," "spring water," "drinking water," "rain water," "rain," "time running out" (from the water clocks used in courts), "liquid," the constellation Aquarius, the winter solstice, and a place with mineral waters.

ζῶν." [15 verses](part sg pres act neut acc) "Living" is zao, which means "to live," "the living," and "to be alive." It is a metaphor for "to be full of life," "to be strong," and "to be fresh."

KJV Analysis: 

If -- The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever."

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

knewest  --- The verb translated as "knewest" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive." In th KJV, it is almost translated as many times as "know" as it is "see." It is in the pluperfect tense, which occurs rarely. It corresponds to the sense of the English pluperfect, which indicates an event viewed as having been once and for all accomplished in past time.

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. 

gift  - The word translated as "gift" has the broader sense of "bounty" and indicates a strong sense of generosity, that is, that the things that are given freely.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

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.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

who  -- The word translated as "who" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who," "what," or even "why."

it 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. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

that -- The word translated as "that" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

saith -- The word translated as "sayeth" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak,"  but when used with an objective noun or pronoun, the sense is "say of" or "speak of." 

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

thee, -- The word for "you" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun in the form of an indirect pronoun.

Give -- The verb translated as "give" means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

me -- The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me," though the form has other uses in Greek.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

drink; -- The word "drink" is the Greek for meaning to "drink." It also has a double meaning. "To drink" also means "to celebrate."

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

wouldest  - The particle translated as "wouldest" describes a limitation of circumstances. While it can mean "would" in the sense of a person having a choice, it might be better translated here as "could" since the limitation is one of ability, that is, the ability to perceive. The sense of this verse in Greek is almost wistful, if you could only seen the situation as the opportunity of a lifetime, you could have made so much more of it.

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

asked -- The Greek word translated as "asketh" means "ask" but has shades of meaning from "demand" to "claim." It means to beg or even to demand something from someone else.

of -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "of" in the Greek source.

him, -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

would - The particle translated as "would" describes a limitation of circumstances. While it can mean "would" in the sense of a person having a choice, it might be better translated here as "could" since the limitation is one of ability, that is, the ability to perceive. The sense of this verse in Greek is almost wistful, if you could only seen the situation as the opportunity of a lifetime, you could have made so much more of it.

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

given  -- The verb translated as "given" means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

thee -- The word for "you" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun in the form of an indirect pronoun.

living - -- The verb means "live," "to be alive,” “to be full of life," "to be strong," and "to be fresh." So it is life in the sense of having a vital life, strong and growing. Perhaps in English, “thrive” would be more precise.

water. . -- "Water" is the noun that means "water," "spring water," "drinking water," "rain water," "rain," "time running out" (from the water clocks used in courts),  "liquid," the constellation Aquarius, the winter solstice, and a place with mineral waters.

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).

NIV Analysis: 

If -- The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever."

you -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

knew --- The verb translated as "knew " means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive." In th KJV, it is almost translated as many times as "know" as it is "see." It is in the pluperfect tense, which occurs rarely. It corresponds to the sense of the English pluperfect, which indicates an event viewed as having been once and for all accomplished in past time.

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. 

gift  - The word translated as "gift" has the broader sense of "bounty" and indicates a strong sense of generosity, that is, that the things that are given freely.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

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.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

who  -- The word translated as "who" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who," "what," or even "why."

it 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. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

that -- The word translated as "that" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

asks -- (WW) The word translated as "asks" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak,"  but when used with an objective noun or pronoun, the sense is "say of" or "speak of." It is not the word "ask" used below.

you  -- The word for "you" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun in the form of an indirect pronoun.

missing "give"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "give" means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

missing "me"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me," though the form has other uses in Greek.

for -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "for" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as a noun.

a drink -- (WF) The word "drink" is the Greek verb meaning to "drink." It also has a double meaning. "To drink" also means "to celebrate." It is not a noun but a infinitive.

you -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

would  - The particle translated as "would" describes a limitation of circumstances. While it can mean "would" in the sense of a person having a choice, it might be better translated here as "could" since the limitation is one of ability, that is, the ability to perceive. The sense of this verse in Greek is almost wistful, if you could only seen the situation as the opportunity of a lifetime, you could have made so much more of it.

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

asked -- The Greek word translated as "asked" means "ask" but has shades of meaning from "demand" to "claim." It means to beg or even to demand something from someone else.

him, -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

would - The particle translated as "would" describes a limitation of circumstances. While it can mean "would" in the sense of a person having a choice, it might be better translated here as "could" since the limitation is one of ability, that is, the ability to perceive. The sense of this verse in Greek is almost wistful, if you could only seen the situation as the opportunity of a lifetime, you could have made so much more of it.

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

given  -- The verb translated as "given" means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

you -- The word for "you" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun in the form of an indirect pronoun.

living - -- The verb means "live," "to be alive,” “to be full of life," "to be strong," and "to be fresh." So it is life in the sense of having a vital life, strong and growing. Perhaps in English, “thrive” would be more precise.

water. . -- "Water" is the noun that means "water," "spring water," "drinking water," "rain water," "rain," "time running out" (from the water clocks used in courts),  "liquid," the constellation Aquarius, the winter solstice, and a place with mineral waters.

NIV Translation Issues: 

8
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "asks" should be something more like "says."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "give" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "me" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "for" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "a drink" is not a noun but an infinitive, "to drink."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).

Front Page Date: 

Jan 28 2022