John 9:39 For judgment I am come

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

In regard to a decree, I myself have shown up in this here society so that those who are not watching might watch and those [now] watching might become lacking in a vision of the future.

KJV : 

Jhn 9:39 For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated as "judgment" (krima) is not the word we usually see translated as "judgment" in the NT (krisis). Neither word captures our idea of judgment exactly. Krisis means judgment in the sense of choosing, deciding, and separating, a decision point. Krima is more like a pronouncement of judgment, a decree or a sentence, the announcement of a decision made by a leader.

Next, we have Christ statement about coming into the world. "The world" is better understood as "society." The "this" used to identify that society makes it clear that he is talking about the Jewish world of his era. No other society had the proper context to understand his message and meaning, both of his words and his existence.

However, the most interesting part of this verse is the next couple of sections. The way it is presented in the KJV makes it sounds like Christ is giving a blessing on the cursed and a curse on the blessed. That idea really doesn't capture what is says in the Greek.

Let us take Christ's logic, that is, his words (logos) one step at a time.

First, the statement about those people "not seeing" is not about blind people or people without the ability to see. Such as statement would have used the verb about the ability to see ("cannot see"), which this verse doesn't. It would also use an objective negative, which in Greek is a different word from the subjective negative used here. The negative here is more like a choice or a point of view.

What happens to these people who choose not to see? Nothing for certain. The voice of the verb for "seeing" is subjunctive, indicating something that might happen. Their seeing is a possibility, not something that must happen or cannot happen.

Here, the context is Jewish society. So what Christ is saying that there are people who choose not to look or see certain things in Jewish society. The first part of his mission is to try to force them to look, cause them to see. They may or may not do this.

In the next part of this verse, he is not referring to a different group of people, those that have seen without him affecting them. He is referring to the same people, those he has caused to look and see. They didn't seen, now they do. They once turned a blind eye to certain aspects of their life. He has forced them open their eyes. The new issue is what happens next.

Well, when they see, they might go blind. He might open their eyes, but they still might not understand what they seen. They can still deny it. Again, the verb "become" here is subjunctive: something that might happen. This is another point of possible: when they see, or will they become blind, denying what they have see?

Do they see and understand or do they see and turn away?

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Εἰς "For" is from eis (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)."

κρίμα "Judgment" is from krima (krima), which means "decision", "judgment", "decree", "resolution," and a "legal decision."

ἐγὼ "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.

εἰς "Into" is from eis (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 κόσμον "The world" is from kosmos, which mean "order", "good order", "ruler", "world order", "universe," and "the world of men."

τοῦτον "This" is from houtos (houtos), which means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

ἦλθον, (1st sg aor ind act) "Am come" is from erchomai (erchomai), which means "to start," "to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

ἵνα "That" is from hina (hina), which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because."

μὴ "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.

οἱβλέποντες (part pl pres act masc nom) "Those which see" is from of blepô (blepo), which means "to look" and "to see." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding.

βλέπωσιν (3rd pl pres subj act) "Might see" is from of blepô (blepo), which means "to look" and "to see." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding.

καὶ "And" is from 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."

οἱ βλέποντες (part pl pres act masc nom) "That those which see" is from of blepô (blepo), which means "to look" and "to see." It is the more tangible sense of seeing, such as seeing what is right in front of you rather than understanding.

τυφλοὶ "Blind" is from typhlos, which means "blind", "lacking vision of the future," [of things]"dim", "obscure", "dark," [of passages] "blind", "enclosed", "with no outlet," and is a metaphor for lacking sense."

γένωνται. (3rd pl aor subj mid) "Might be made" is from gignomai (ginomai), which means "to become", "to come into being", "to happen", "to be produced," and "to be."