John 1:39 Come and see.

Spoken to: 

group

Context: 

Andrew and another follower of John asks Jesus where he lives.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Show up and you will watch for yourselves.

My Takeaway: 

We must follow the right things to see the important things.

KJV : 

John 1:39  Come and see.

NIV : 

John 1:39  Come and you will see.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated as "see" is not the common word for "see" and has more the feel of "watch."  It is in the middle voice, which means gives it the sense of "watch for yourselves." It has a two other problems in the KJV translation. It is not a command, and it is in the future tense.

Wordplay: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἔρχεσθε [198 verses](verb 2nd pl pres imperat mp) "Come" is 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.

καὶ (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."

ὄψεσθε [20 verses](verb 2nd pl fut ind mid) "Take heed" is horao, which means "to see with the eyes," "to look," "to observe," "see," "aim," "have sight," "behold," "keep in sight," and as a metaphor of mental sight, "discern," and "perceive.

KJV Analysis: 

Come - The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

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

see. -- (CW, WF, WT) "See" is from a Greek verb, which means "to see with the eyes," "to look," and "to observe." It is a metaphor for mental seeing, that is, perceiving. However, it is one of the many words that Christ uses to mean "see," but it is not one of the most common ones. Jesus seems to use this word often to mean "watch out" or "look out" as a warning. The form here is the middle voice, which indicates doing something to/by/for yourselves. The verb is not a command nor it is the future tense.

missing "by/for yourself"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to  act on "yourself," "for yourself" or "by yourself."

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" is not  one of the common words usually translated as "see."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "see" is not an command but a statement, "you will see."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The English verb is the present tense, but Greek is in the future tense.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is in the middle voice requiring the concept of "yourselves" as its object.

NIV Analysis: 

Come and you will see.

Come - The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

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

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

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

see. -- (CW) "See" is from a Greek verb, which means "to see with the eyes," "to look," and "to observe." It is a metaphor for mental seeing, that is, perceiving. However, it is one of the many words that Christ uses to mean "see," but it is not one of the most common ones. Jesus seems to use this word often to mean "watch out" or "look out" as a warning. The form here is the middle voice, which indicates doing something to/by/for yourselves. The verb is not a command nor it is the future tense.

missing "by/for yourself"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to  act on "yourself," "for yourself" or "by yourself."

Front Page Date: 

Mar 10 2021