John 4:37 And herein is that saying true,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

His apostles ask if someone else has brought him something to eat and he talks about his future work and the place being ripe for harvest.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

For in this, the idea is true because one is the one seeding and another the one harvesting.

My Takeaway: 

The future is a gift (or punishment) our past selves give to our future selves.

KJV : 

John 4:37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.

NIV : 

John 4:37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse clarifies the previous verse, but it confuses the poor biblical translations. In most translations, the sower and reaper are described as celebrating together, but in this verse it is clear that they are different people, at least separated in time. As in that verse, the two Greek words here, translated as "sow" and "reap" are not regular verbs but present participles, "the one sowing" and "the one reaping."  In Greek, there is an interesting contrast in times between these two words, "sowing" and "reaping" that are not apparent in English. The word for "sowing" is based on the word for "seed." The word for "reaping" is based on the word for "summer." The sense of the passing seasons is much stronger.

Grain harvest was at the beginning of the Judean dry season or summer. See  John 4:35 for an explanation of the Judean agricultural calendar.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "In" is en, which means, with a dative object, "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," "during,"  and "with." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." Referring to time, it means. "in the course of" or "during."

γὰρ [205 verses](partic) "For" comes from 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."

τούτῳ [93 verses](adj sg masc/neut dat) "That" is touto, which means "from here," "from there," "this [thing]," or "that [thing]."

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

λόγος, [80 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Word" is logos, which means "word," "computation," "relation," "explanation," "law," "rule of conduct," "continuous statement," "tradition," "discussion," "reckoning," "reputation" (when applied to people), and "value."

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.

ἀληθινὸς [8 verses](adj sg masc nom) "True" is from alethinos, which is an adjective that means "truthful" and "trustworthy" when applied to a person, "true" and "genuine" when applied to objects and as an adverb "really" and "honestly."  -

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj) "That" is 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."

ἄλλος [34 verses](adj sg masc nom) "One" is allos, which means "another," "one besides," "of another sort," "different," "other than what is true," "as well," "besides," with numerals: "yet," "still," "further," "of other sort," "other than what is," "untrue," "unreal," "other than right," "wrong," "bad," "unworthy," [with an article] "the rest," "all besides," and [in series] "one...another."

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. -- 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. With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to."-- 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."

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

σπείρων [31 verses](part sg pres act masc nom) "Soweth" is speiro, which means "to sow a seed," "to beget offspring," "to scatter like a seed," and "to sow a field."

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."

ἄλλος [34 verses](adj sg masc nom) "The other" is allos, which means "another," "one besides," "of another sort," "different," "other than what is true," "as well," "besides," with numerals: "yet," "still," "further," "of other sort," "other than what is," "untrue," "unreal," "other than right," "wrong," "bad," "unworthy," [with an article] "the rest," "all besides," and [in series] "one...another."

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

θερίζων 10 verses](part sg pres act masc nom) "Reapeth" is therizo, which means "to do summer work," "to reap," "to mow," "to cut off," and, in some areas, "to plunder."

KJV Analysis: 

And -- (WW) The word translated as "and" 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." 

herein   -- The word translated as "herein" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."

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.

that -- (WP) The word translated as "that" means "from here" or "this/that thing. It comes after the following noun, emphasizing it. This word does not modify "saying" but it is the object of the "herein" preposition.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "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. 

saying -- (CW)  "Saying" is translated from a Greek word that means "calculation," or "reasoning," but it has many, many specific meanings from "deliberation" to "narrative."  It is the source of our word "logic" and is the root word for all the English words that end in "-ology." Most biblical translations translated it as "word" for somewhat poetic reasons. However, when applied to people, it means "repute" or "reputation." More about this word in this article. In English, we would say "idea" to describe it but it also means the communication of various types, so "message" often works better. This is not the word usually translated as "saying."

true, - "True" is an adjective that means "truthful" and "trustworthy" when applied to a person, "true" and "genuine" when applied to objects and as an adverb "really" and honestly."

missing "because"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "because" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

One --  The word translated as "one" means "another," "one besides," "of another sort," "different," "other than what is true," "as well," "besides," with numerals: "yet," "still," "further."  In a series, this means "one...another."

missing "is"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "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.

missing "the one"  -- (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. 

soweth, -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "sow" means specifically to "sow seeds" and "to scatter" as in sowing seeds. It is, however, from the same root word as the Greek word for "seeds" so "seeding" is closer to its meaning. The form of the word is not an active verb but a participle, a verb in the form of an adjective, "sowing."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

another --  The word translated as "another" means "another," "one besides," "of another sort," "different," "other than what is true," "as well," "besides," with numerals: "yet," "still," "further."

missing "is"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "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.

missing "the one"  -- (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. 

reapeth. -- -- (WF)  The Greek word translated as "reap" means "to do summer work" and "to reap." The form of the word is not an active verb ut a participle, a verb in the form of an adjective, "reaping."

KJV Translation Issues: 

11
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be "for."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "that" doesn't appear here but after the "in."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "saying" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "saying" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "because" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "is" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the one" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sow" is not an active verb but a participle, "sowing."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "is" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the one" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "reap" is not an active verb but a participle, "reaping."

NIV Analysis: 

Thus -- (CW) The word translated as "thus" 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 "in"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."

missing "this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "this" means "from here" or "this/that thing. It comes after the following noun, emphasizing it. This word does not modify "saying" but it is the object of the "herein" preposition.

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. 

saying -- (CW)  "Saying" is translated from a Greek word that means "calculation," or "reasoning," but it has many, many specific meanings from "deliberation" to "narrative."  It is the source of our word "logic" and is the root word for all the English words that end in "-ology." Most biblical translations translated it as "word" for somewhat poetic reasons. However, when applied to people, it means "repute" or "reputation." More about this word in this article. In English, we would say "idea" to describe it but it also means the communication of various types, so "message" often works better. This is not the word usually translated as "saying."

missing "because"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "because" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

One --  The word translated as "one" means "another," "one besides," "of another sort," "different," "other than what is true," "as well," "besides," with numerals: "yet," "still," "further."  In a series, this means "one...another."

missing "is"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "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.

missing "the one"  -- (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. 

sows, -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "sows" means specifically to "sow seeds" and "to scatter" as in sowing seeds. It is, however, from the same root word as the Greek word for "seeds" so "seeding" is closer to its meaning. The form of the word is not an active verb but a participle, a verb in the form of an adjective, "sowing."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

another --  The word translated as "another" means "another," "one besides," "of another sort," "different," "other than what is true," "as well," "besides," with numerals: "yet," "still," "further."

missing "is"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "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.

missing "the one"  -- (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. 

reaps -- -- (WF)  The Greek word translated as "reaps" means "to do summer work" and "to reap." The form of the word is not an active verb ut a participle, a verb in the form of an adjective, "reaping."

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.

true, - "True" is an adjective that means "truthful" and "trustworthy" when applied to a person, "true" and "genuine" when applied to objects and as an adverb "really" and honestly."

NIV Translation Issues: 

11
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "thus" is not one of the common words usually translated as "thus."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "in" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "this" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "saying" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "because" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "is" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the one" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sows" is not an active verb but a participle, "sowing."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "is" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the one" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "reaps" is not an active verb but a participle, "reaping."

Front Page Date: 

Feb 12 2022