John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead,

Spoken to: 

challengers

Context: 

Jesus is accused of breaking the Sabbath making himself a god by calling God his Father.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Because, just as the Father awakens the dead and makes [them] alive in this way, also the Son these maintains, he makes [them] alive.

My Takeaway: 

The Father and the Son both bring us alive.

KJV : 

John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

NIV : 

John 5:21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Both the verbs translated as "raises the dead," and "quicken/gives life" are in the present tense. This means that God is giving life to the dead, not at some future time in the resurrection, but now. The word translated as "gives life" means, literally, "makes alive." As Jesus said, "No, he is not a God of the dead but of the living (Mark 12:27). Of course in Mark 9:12, Jesus makes a pretty straightforward statement about the reincarnation of Elijah. Is this verse a reference to a more general process or reincarnation?

The last part of this verse that is translated as the Son giving life to "whom he will" and "whom he is pleased to give it" may not mean that at all. The verb translated as "will/pleased" also means "maintain/hold." A more straightforward reading of the Greek is "the Son wants/maintains these. He makes them alive." All the objects of the verbs in this verse seem to be "the dead." Jesus may be saying that the Father gives the physically dead life and the Son gives the spiritually dead life.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ὥσπερ [13 verses](adv/prep) "As" is hosper, which means "the very man who," "the very thing, which," "the same as," "wherefore," and "although."

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."

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

πατὴρ [191 verses](noun sg masc nom) "The Father" is pater, which means "father," "grandfather," "author," "parent," and "forefathers."

ἐγείρει [41 verses] (3rd sg pres ind act) "Raiseth up" is egeiro, which means "to awaken," "to stir up," and "to rouse."

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

νεκροὺς [21 verses](adj pl masc acc)"The dead" is nekros, which specifically means "a corpse" as well as a "dying person," "the dead as dwellers in the nether world," "the inanimate," and "the inorganic"

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."

ζωοποιεῖ [2 verses](3rd sg pres ind act) "Quickeneth them" is from zōopoieo, which means "make alive", "endow with life," and "preserve with life."  

οὕτως [137 verses](adv) "So," as an adverb,  means "in this way," "therefore," "so much," "to such an extent," and "that is why." There are two other common forms, the genitive toutou, [51 verses] and the accusative, touto, [93 verses].

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."

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

υἱὸς [158 verses](noun sg masc nom​) "The Son" is huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." It is used generally to refer to any male descendant.

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

θέλει[64 verses] (3rd sg pres ind act) "He will" is thelo, which as a verb means "to be willing (of consent rather than desire)," "to wish," "to ordain," "to decree," "to be resolved to a purpose" "to maintain," "to hold," "to delight in, and "will (too express a future event with inanimate objects)." It is a prolonged form (only found in NT) of a verb that means "to be resolved to a purpose" so, in a sense, "to decide," and "to desire." As a participle, it means "being willing" or, adverbially, "willingly," and "gladly." In the Hebrew, "will" or "desire" is chaphets, which means "to delight in," "to take pleasure in," and "to be pleased with."

ζωοποιεῖ [2 verses](3rd sg pres ind act) "Quickeneth them" is from zōopoieo, which means "make alive", "endow with life," and "preserve with life."

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." 

as -- The Greek word translated as "as" indicates a match with a person or thing, "the very thing, which," "the same as."

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. 

Father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

raiseth up -- (CW) The word for "raise" means "awaken" and is the same word Jesus uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising.

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. 

dead, -- The word translated as "the dead" means "corpse," "a dying man," and "inanimate, non-organic matter." Christ uses it in all three senses, referring to the actual dead, the spiritually dead, and inanimate matter.

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."

quickeneth --   "Quicken" is a verb that means "make alive", "endow with life," and "preserve with life." It is a compound verb, created from the word for "life" and the Greek word that means "to make," which most Bible translations translates a "to do." The word "life" also means "existence.

them; -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

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

so  -- The word translated in KJV as "so" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner," "so much," or "in this way."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. 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 "descendant." The phrase "the son of man" is the common way Christ refers to himself. It is discussed in detail in this article. Its sense may be "the child of the man."

quickeneth   --   "Quicken" is a verb that means "make alive", "endow with life," and "preserve with life." It is a compound verb, created from the word for "life" and the Greek word that means "to make," which most Bible translations translates a "to do." The word "life" also means "existence.

whom -- (WN) The word translated as "whom" 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. It is plural.

he will. --  (WP) The Greek word translated as "will" expresses consent and even delight in doing something. It is not the same as the helper verb "will" in English. It means "to consent" and "to be resolved to a purpose." As a participle, it can mean "willingly" and "gladly."

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "raises up" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "whom" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "the ones that."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The verb "will" doesn't appear here but before the verb "makes alive.

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." 

just as -- The Greek word translated as "just as" indicates a match with a person or thing, "the very thing, which," "the same as."

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. 

Father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

raises-- (CW) The word for "raise" means "awaken" and is the same word Jesus uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising.

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. 

dead, -- The word translated as "the dead" means "corpse," "a dying man," and "inanimate, non-organic matter." Christ uses it in all three senses, referring to the actual dead, the spiritually dead, and inanimate matter.

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."

gives --   "Gives life" is a verb that means "make alive", "endow with life," and "preserve with life." It is a compound verb, created from the word for "life" and the Greek word that means "to make," which most Bible translations translates a "to do." The word "life" also means "existence.

them; -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

life - This completes the meaning of the verb.

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

so  -- The word translated in KJV as "so" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner," "so much," or "in this way."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. 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 "descendant." The phrase "the son of man" is the common way Christ refers to himself. It is discussed in detail in this article. Its sense may be "the child of the man."

gives life --   "Gives life" is a verb that means "make alive", "endow with life," and "preserve with life." It is a compound verb, created from the word for "life" and the Greek word that means "to make," which most Bible translations translates a "to do." The word "life" also means "existence.   --   "Quicken" is a verb that means "make alive", "endow with life," and "preserve with life." It is a compound verb, created from the word for "life" and the Greek word that means "to make," which most Bible translations translates a "to do." The word "life" also means "existence.

to -- (WC) This word "to" comes from the indirect object form of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, this word is a direct object.

whom -- (WN) The word translated as "whom" 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. It is plural.

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

is -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb.

pleased --  (WP) The Greek word translated as "will" expresses consent and even delight in doing something. It is not the same as the helper verb "will" in English. It means "to consent" and "to be resolved to a purpose." As a participle, it can mean "willingly" and "gladly."

to give it. -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "to give it" in the Greek source.

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "raises" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • WC - Wrong Case -  The "whom" is not an indirect object but a direct object.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "whom" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "the ones that."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The verb "will" doesn't appear here but before the verb "makes alive.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "to give it" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Feb 17 2022