John 5:42 But I know you,

Greek Verse: 

Literal Translation: 

Rather I have learned to understand you, seeing that you do not possess the love of God within yourselves.

KJV Verse: 

Jhn 5:42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The conjunction "alla" denotes and exception or opposition. However, in this case, the English "but" doesn't quite work because this idea isn't really an exception of the previous verse stating that Christ doesn't care about their opinion about him in Jhn 5:41. This works in Greek because the Greek negative doesn't quite work the same as it does in English. Christ is contradicting the positive version of his previous statement not the negative. We capture this sense better with "rather."

The first verb, "know", in Greek is not the present tense as shown in the KJV. It is the perfect tense, which refers to an action completed in the past. At this point, Christ has learned to understand his critics.

Then Greek verb translated as "have" also means to "hold" and "possess" in a way that the English doesn't. Similarly, the preposition "en heautou" means "having something in one's power" in a way that our English doesn't quite capture. We might capture this idea better in English by saying, "You are not capable of loving God."

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀλλὰ "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.

ἔγνωκα (1st sg perf ind act) "I know," is from gignôskô (ginosko) which means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

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

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

τὴν ἀγάπην "The love" is from agape, which means "the love of a husband and wife", "love of God by man", "brotherly love", "charity," and "alms."

τοῦ θεοῦ "Of God" is from theos (theos), which means "God," the Deity."

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".

ἑαυτοῖς "You" is from heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

Related Verses: