John 5:38 And ye have not his word abiding in you

KJV Verse: 

Jhn 5:38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Also, his word [the evidence] is not sticking within you. The fact is he has sent it [his evidence] in this way [through Christ's miracles]. This, you do not trust.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In the English translation, a lot of the flow of this discourse here seems to get lost. This statement about "his word" seems like a generic condemnation of his listeners, but reading the Greek in context, the statement has as specific meaning.

The term "logo" clearly refers to the evidence given by the Father. The term doesn't just mean the vague idea of a "word" or, as it comes to generally mean in the NT, God's law. It more generally means any explanation and any statement made.

The term translated as "abide" is also misleading in this translation. It (meno) means holding power. When used as a verb, it means being able to hold onto a position or an idea. What Christ is saying is that this evidence that the Father has provided, specifically Christ's miracles, do not make an impression of the thinking of his doubters.

The last part of the verse becomes a lot clearer if we divide it better into English sentences and translated all the words.

It sounds like Christ is referring again to the Father sending him. However, in the Greek, though the pronoun used is "he," it clearly refers to logo, "word", the previous masculine noun. Christ is talking about how the Father sends his evidence. The "how" part is made clear by the used of the word "ekeinos", which is untranslated in the KJV. When referring to a verb rather than a noun, it means "in that way." Hence, The Father sent his message in this way.

This brings us to the final phrase. It begins (at least in the way I read it) with toutos, meaning "this", referring to the previous sentence. It ends by saying, "You did not believe." See the previous verse for notes on the importance of word order and shorter sentences in understanding the Greek.

Compare the two translations, the KJV and alternative, and see which is closer to the Greek original. The KJV (and other popular versions) are so vague as to be meaningless, when in fact, Christ is saying something very specific here that is lost in translation.

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

τὸν λόγον "Word" is from logos (logos), which means "word", "computation", "relation", "explanation", "law", "rule of conduct", "continuous statement", "tradition", "discussion," "reckoning," and "value."

αὐτοῦ "His" 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."

οὐκ "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.

ἔχετε (2nd pl pres ind act) "Have" is from echô (echo), which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ἐν "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

ὑμῖν "You" is from humas (humas) and humôn (humon), which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

μένοντα (part sg pres act masc acc) "Abide" is from meno, which, as a noun, means "might," "force", "strength", "fierceness," and "passion"; as a verb, it means "stand fast" (in battle), "stay at home", "stay", "tarry", "remain as one was", "abide", and (transitive) "await."

ὅτι "For" is from hoti (hoti), which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that" and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what," and "wherefore." A form of hostis.

ὃν "Whom" is from hos (hos), which is the demonstrative pronoun in its various forms (hê, ho, gen. hou, hês, hou, etc. ; dat. pl. hois, hais, hois, etc. gen. hoou). It means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

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

ἐκεῖνος "He" is from ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

τούτῳ "Him" is from toutô (touto), which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]."

ὑμεῖς "Ye" is from hymeis, which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you."

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.

πιστεύετε (2nd pl pres ind act) "Believe" is from pisteuô (pisteuo), which means "to trust, put faith in, or rely on a person", "to believe in someone's words", "to comply", "to feel confident in a thing," and "to entrust in a thing."

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