John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

This is not because God sent the Son off into the world of men in order that he might divide that world, but in order that the world might be saved by him.

KJV : 

Jhn 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The Greek word translated as "For" at the beginning of the verse introduces and explanatory clause. However, in this case, the entire sentence seems to be an explanation.

This verse contains two occurrences of the conjunction/adverb "hina". The first of these occurrences is untranslated in the KJV. In the alternative, this word is translated as "in order that." The "but" conjunction here separates the two "in order that" phrases.

However, there is a problem here. God DID sent his son into the word. Logically, the "not" seems to apply to the first "in order that" phrase. In other words, dividing the world is not the cause for his sending his son.

The word translated here as "condemn" is usually translated as "judge" in the KJV. However, its precise meaning is to separate or to discern differences. In Jhn 5:22, Christ says that he is the one appointed to "judge" the world. How do we reconcile this seeming contradiction? In the alternative, we suggest a different aspect of separating, that is, dividing. This perspective is suggested by the previous verse and later ones where a division between those who believe in Christ and those who do not is explicitly raised.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὐ "Not" is from οὐ ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

γὰρ "For" comes from gar (gar) which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what."

ἀπέστειλεν (3rd sg aor ind act ) "Sent" is from apostellô (apostello), which means "to send off", "to send away," or "to dispatch." It is our source of the word "apostle."

θεὸς "God" is from theos (theos), which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

τὸν υἱὸν "The Son" is from huios (huios), which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

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."

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

κρίνῃ (3rd sg pres subj act) "To condemn" is from krino, which primarily means "to separate", "to put asunder," and "to distinguish." It has a lot of other secondary meanings, including "to pick out", "to choose", "to decide" disputes or accounts, "to win" a battle, "to judge" especially in the sense of "estimate", "to expound," or "to interpret" in a particular way.

τὸν κόσμον "The world" is from kosmos, which mean "order", "good order", "ruler", "world order", "universe," and "the world of men."

ἀλλ᾽ "But" is from alla (alla), which means "otherwise", "but", "still", "at least", "except", "yet," nevertheless", "rather", "moreover," and "nay." It denotes an exception or a simple opposition.

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

σωθῇ (3rd sg aor subj pass) "Might be saved" is sôizô (sozo), which means "save from death", "keep alive", "keep safe", "preserve", "maintain", "keep in mind", "carry off safely," and "rescue."

κόσμος "The world" is from kosmos, which mean "order", "good order", "ruler", "world order", "universe," and "the world of men."

δι᾽ "Through" is from dia (dia) which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by", "among," and "between."

αὐτοῦ "Him" 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."