Jhn 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
No, really, I am powerful myself to create nothing out of myself. When I hear and understand, I will decide, and my choice is observant of the rules because I do not desire my pleasure but the pleasure of the one who sent me out.
Interesting and Hidden Aspects:
This verse has several aspects of "self" hidden in it that are lost in translation. See this article on Power and Ego to discuss the first part of it.
The verse begins with an untranslated Greek word that is the Greek negative ("no", "not") used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea. So, the verse starts with "No, really."
The "I" here as a pronoun, which is only used as the subject of the sentence to emphasize it since the information is always part of the verb. This is like saying "I, myself" in English. It emphasizes the self, which is the key to this verse.
The word translated as "can" in the KJV means "having power" or "having an ability" in a way that the English word "can" doesn't. The first part of the verse seems to refer generally to Jhn 5:26, but there the topic wasn't having power inside but having life or existence inside. Jesus says that he does not have power or ability in himself.
The Greek word translated as "do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. It describes a productive action. It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. The reference seems to be to the act of judging, so the context is "making a judgment."
The key word here is "of" which reads in English like "by myself", that is, using yourself as an agent. But, in Greek, that would use the form of an indirect object. Here, a proposition phrase is used. That preposition doesn't mean "of", but "from" in both location and when referring to a source. The sense here is from a source. To make this clearer, we might use "out of" in English.
The pronoun translated as "myself" is the pronoun "of myself" in the form matching the preposition.
The word translated as "judge" is krino, which means "to separate" and "to distinguish." However, we must remember that in Hebrew, to be separate means literally to be holy and dedicated to God. In the previous verse, the KJV translates the idea of judgment as damnation (Jhn 5:29). There is a thin line in translation between holiness as separation for God, and damnation as separation from God.
More interesting is the concept translated as "will." It also means "pleasure." Interestingly enough, the word translated as "seek" also means "desire." "Not seeking after my own will" also means "not desiring my own pleasure." However, saying you desire the satisfaction of another's pleasure means that their happiness creates your own. Let us just skip the theological debate over the separation of "wills" in the Trinity, which I am certainly am too simple to comment upon.
Οὐ Untranslated is from 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.
ποιεῖν (pres inf act) "Do" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."
ἀπ᾽(prep) "Of" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.
ἀκούω (1st sg pres ind act) "I hear" is from akouô (akouo), which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand."
κρίνω (1st sg fut ind act ) "I judge" 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.
καὶ "And" is from 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."
δικαία "Just" is from dikaios (dikaios) which means "observant of rules", "observant of customs", "well-ordered", "civilized," and "observant of duty." Later it means "well-balanced", "impartial," and "just."
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, class="greek">μήapplies to will and thought; class="greek">οὐ denies, class="greek">μή rejects; class="greek">οὐ is absolute, class="greek">μή relative;class="greek">οὐ objective, class="greek">μή subjective.