John 10:11 I am the good shepherd:

Spoken to: 

audience

Jesus says that he is the door of the sheep and that he seeks to give others more life.

KJV: 

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

NIV : 

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

LISTENERS HEARD: 

I myself am the shepherd, the good one. The shepherd, the good one, puts that self of his in defense of the sheep.

MY TAKE: 

We want to dedicate ourselves on behalf of  those we serve.

GREEK (Each Word Explained Bottom of Page): 

LOST IN TRANSLATION: 

This verse is clever wordplay having at many different interpretations with two of them near opposites. Its ending has issues with the words translated as "lay down," "life," and "for." The noun translated as "life"  is not the word translated as "life" in the previous verse, John 10:10. It is most commonly translated as "soul" in the Bible but its primary meaning, as Jesus uses it, is the conscious "self." See this article for detail about this word. 

The literal translation of the verse's ending, using the most common meaning of its words is: "The shepherd, the good one, puts that self of his above the sheep." Doesn't this sound a lot like the opposite of the way it is translated? However,  the "to put" verb can also "to dedicate." Another meaning of the "over" preposition is "on behalf of." So we can also hear the last part as: "...dedicates that self of his on behalf of the sheep."  This is likely how his listeners heard it, given the immediate context of being a good shepherd and offering more life. However, it has a third and fourth, perhaps deeper meanings. If we see the "self" as a blanket or barrier of protection, it is a statement of defense:  "...places that self of his over the sheep." However, if we see that "self" as a personality and set of values, it is a statement of changing their own personalities and values: "put that self of his upon the sheep."

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

6
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "good" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before the second "good" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "give" is not the common word usually translated as "give."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "life" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "life" is not the most common word usually translated as "life."

# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

7
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "good" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before the second "good" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "lay" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "down" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "life" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "life" is not the most common word usually translated as "life."

EACH WORD of KJV : 

I -- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

am -- The verb "am" 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.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article before "shepherd." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," before "good" as well as "shepherd. 

good -- The word translated as "good means "good," "beautiful," "noble," or "of good quality."    It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless," "noble" and "base." See this article on the Greek words translated as "good." -- As an adverb,the word translated as "well" means, "well," "rightly,"  "happily,"  "thoroughly," "altogether," and "deservedly."

shepherd: "Shepherd" is a noun that means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article before "shepherd." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," before "good" as well as "shepherd. 

good -- The word translated as "good means "good," "beautiful," "noble," or "of good quality."    It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless," "noble" and "base." See this article on the Greek words translated as "good." -- As an adverb,the word translated as "well" means, "well," "rightly,"  "happily,"  "thoroughly," "altogether," and "deservedly."

shepherd: "Shepherd" is a noun that means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

giveth -- (CW) The Greek verb translated as "give" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "to put," "to dedicate," "to assign," "to award," and "to place," and in the military, "to bear arms," "to lay down and surrender," but which has many related meanings as well. However, it is not the word usually translated as "give."

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," 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. 

life -- (CW) The word translated here as "life" is psyche, a common word in Greek, familiar in English, meaning "life," "soul," "consciousness," and "a sense of self." Jesus uses it to specifically mean our identity in our worldly life, the role we play on earth, the "self" or what we commonly call our "ego." See this article for detail about this word.

for -- "For" is a preposition that means "over" "beyond," "concerning," "on behalf of,"  "for" and "because of" (of the cause or motive), and "instead of" with many other specific uses.

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. 

sheep. -- "Sheep" is Christ's symbol for his followers. The Greek word refers to any domesticated animal and works better if translated simply as "flock" or "herd." The flock follows the shepherd, which is above them. It is also together, a united group.

EACH WORD of NIV : 

I -- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

am -- The verb "am" 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.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article before "shepherd." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," before "good" as well as "shepherd. 

good -- The word translated as "good means "good," "beautiful," "noble," or "of good quality."    It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless," "noble" and "base." See this article on the Greek words translated as "good." -- As an adverb,the word translated as "well" means, "well," "rightly,"  "happily,"  "thoroughly," "altogether," and "deservedly."

shepherd: "Shepherd" is a noun that means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article before "shepherd." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," before "good" as well as "shepherd. 

good -- The word translated as "good means "good," "beautiful," "noble," or "of good quality."    It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless," "noble" and "base." See this article on the Greek words translated as "good." -- As an adverb,the word translated as "well" means, "well," "rightly,"  "happily,"  "thoroughly," "altogether," and "deservedly."

shepherd: "Shepherd" is a noun that means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

lays .-- (CW) The Greek verb translated as "lays" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "to put," "to dedicate," "to assign," "to award," and "to place," and in the military, "to bear arms," "to lay down and surrender," but which has many related meanings as well. However, it is not the word usually translated as "give."

down -- (IW) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "down" in the Greek source.

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," 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. 

life -- (CW) The word translated here as "life" is psyche, a common word in Greek, familiar in English, meaning "life," "soul," "consciousness," and "a sense of self." Jesus uses it to specifically mean our identity in our worldly life, the role we play on earth, the "self" or what we commonly call our "ego." See this article for detail about this word.

for -- "For" is a preposition that means "over" "beyond," "concerning," "on behalf of,"  "for" and "because of" (of the cause or motive), and "instead of" with many other specific uses.

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. 

sheep. -- "Sheep" is Christ's symbol for his followers. The Greek word refers to any domesticated animal and works better if translated simply as "flock" or "herd." The flock follows the shepherd, which is above them. It is also together, a united group.

COMPARISON: GREEK to KJV : 

Ἐγώ [162 verses](pron 1st sg masc nom) "I" is ego, which is the first-person singular pronoun meaning "I." It also means "I at least," "for my part," "indeed," and for myself.

εἰμι [614 verses](1st sg pres ind act) "Am" i 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.

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

ποιμὴν [8 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Shepherd" is from poimen, which means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

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

καλός: [48 verses](adj sg masc nom) "Good" is kalos, which means "beautiful," "good," "of fine quality," "noble," and "honorable." Referring to parts of the body, "fair" and "shapely."As an adverb, the word translated as "well" means, "well," "rightly,"  "happily,"  "thoroughly," "altogether," and "deservedly."  

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

ποιμὴν [8 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Shepherd" is from poimen, which means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

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

καλός: [48 verses](adj sg masc nom) "Good" is kalos, which means "beautiful," "good," "of fine quality," "noble," and "honorable." Referring to parts of the body, "fair" and "shapely."As an adverb,the word translated as "well" means, "well," "rightly,"  "happily,"  "thoroughly," "altogether," and "deservedly."  

τὴν [821 verses](article sg fem acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

ψυχὴν [33 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Life" is psyche, which means "breath," "life," "self," "personality," "spirit," and "soul." It is used for different aspects of "self," the emotional self, the conscious self, the intellectual self. It has a clear sense of the conscious self and is often translated as "life" in the Gospels. It is also used to describe "the spirit" of things. It is also often translated as "soul."

αὐτοῦ [720 verses](adj sg masc gen) "His" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself," "yourself," "himself," "herself," "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him," "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

τίθησιν[24 verses](3rd sg pres ind act ) "Giveth" is tithemi which means "to put," "to place," "to propose," "to suggest," "to deposit," "to set up," "to dedicate," "to assign," "to award," "to agree upon," "to institute," "to establish," "to make," "to work," "to prepare oneself," "to bear arms [military]," "to lay down and surrender [military]," "to lay in the grave," "to bury," and "to put words on paper [writing]," and a metaphor for "to put in one's mind."

ὑπὲρ [17 verses](prep) "For" is hyper (huper), which means "over" (of place), "above' (in a state of rest), "off' (ships at sea), "over" and "across (in a state of motion), "over," "beyond," "on behalf of one (metaphor), "for," "instead of," "in the name of," "as a representative of" (in an entreaty), "for" and "because of" (of the cause or motive), "concerning," "exceeding" "above" and "beyond" (of measure), "above" and "upwards" (of numbers), "before" and "earlier than" (of time), "over much" and "beyond measure" (as an adverb), "for" and "in defence of" (doing a thing), and "above measure." 

τῶν  [821 verses](article pl neut acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

προβάτων: [26 verses](noun pl neut acc) "Sheep" is probaton, which means any domesticated four-footed animal, "sheep," "cattle," "herds," and "flocks.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 5 2022