John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

In the midst of this [creating one people], the Father cares for me. Since I put out my spirit, I get it back. >

KJV : 

Jhn 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The Greek translated as "therefore" means literally "through this," which seems to refer to Christ's previous statement (Jhn 10:16) of about creating one. In this means, the phrase refers what makes the process possible. However, the phrase can also be translated as "By this" referring to the fact of the Father is caring for him. In this second meaning, the phrase means that what follows explains what is made possible by the Father's love.

In both meanings, the point is that Christ doesn't do this on his own, either uniting people or putting out and receiving spirit. His Father is taking care of him. After examining the word as "love" extensively, the best English translation consistent with the way that Christ uses it is "to care for." This phrase works better than "love" simply because "love" has so many romantic associations that the Greek word agapao doesn't have. It captures that physical sense of agapao as well as its emotional sense. Agapao is an embrace, providing support, not making love.

Christ connects that the Father's support with the statement from Jhn 10:15 that he puts his spirit into his followers.

Here, he says simply that he puts out his spirit and he gets it back. Again, was we observed in the earlier verse, translating this to refer to Christ's death and resurrection also works, but it would not have been what people at the time heard. The words uses, especially the word translated as "life" (psyche) are not used to mean physical life since the soul, which is the usual translation of psyche, is seen to survive death. The idea that Christ loses his spirit and regains it seems odd. It makes more sense to think of him putting out his spirit and getting spirit back.

There is a longer discussion on this site regarding what Christ means by "spirit" (literally in Greek, "breath) and how it relates to the "Holy Spirit" but those ideas evolve as we include verses such as this that make direct statements about how "spirit" works.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

διὰ "Therefore" is from dia (dia) (with touto below) which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between."

τοῦτό "Therefore" is from toutô (touto) (with dia above), which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]."

με "Me" is from eme, which means "I", "me", and "my".

πατὴρ "The Father" is from pater (pater), which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

ἀγαπᾷ (3rd sg pres subj act) "Love" is from agapaô (agapao), which means "to be fond of", "to greet with affection", "to persuade", "to caress", "to prize", "to desire", "to be pleased with," and "to be contended with." This love is more associated with affection than passion.

ὅτι , "Because" is from hoti (hoti), which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

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.

τίθημι (3rd sg pres subj act) "Lay down" is from tithêmi (tithemi) which means "to put", "to place", "to propose", "to suggest", "o deposit", "to set up", "to dedicate", "to assign", "to award", "to agree upon", "to institute", "to establish", "to make", "to work", "to prepare oneself," and a metaphor for "to put in one's mind." In a military sense, it means both "to bear arms" and "to lay down and surrender." It also means to "lay in a grave," and "bury." In writing, it means putting words on paper.

τὴν ψυχήν "Life" is from psuchê (psyche), which means "breath", "life", "self", "spirit," and "soul." It has the 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 often translated as "soul."

μου "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

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

πάλιν "Again" is from palin (palin), which means "back", "backward", "contradiction", "again", "once more," and "in turn."

λάβω . (1st sg aor subj act) "I might take" is from lambanô (lambano) means "to take", "to receive", "to apprehend with the senses", "to take hold of," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean seized with emotion.

αὐτήν "It" is from autos (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."