John 1:38 What seek ye?

Spoken to: 

group

Context: 

To Andrew and another who were following John after John told them to follow Jesus.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Something you are searching for?

My Takeaway: 

We must know what we are looking for to find it.

KJV : 

John 1:38 What seek ye?

NIV : 

John 1:38 What do you want?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

These words are simple, yet many modern translations translated the word that means "search" into "want." Jesus uses this word consistently to refer to searching.

Wordplay: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τί (pron sg neut acc) "What" 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."

ζητεῖτε; (verb 2nd pl pres ind act ) "Seek ye" is zeteo, which means "inquire for," "search for," "seek after," "desire," and "feel the want of."

KJV Analysis: 

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

seek -- The Greek verb translated as "seek" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring." It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim. 

ye?  - -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

KJV Translation Issues: 

0

KJV Analysis identifies the location of translation issues with their abbreviations in bold face.

NIV Analysis: 

What do ?

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

do -- 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.

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

want -- (CW) The Greek verb translated as "want" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring." It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim. It is not the word commonly translated as "want."

NIV Translation Issues: 

1

CW - Confusing Word -- The "want" is not the common word usually translated as "want."

Front Page Date: 

Mar 9 2021