John 8:12 I am the light of the world:

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

I am the bright spot of the world order. Someone following me will not ever wander in the dark. Rather, he will hold onto the knowledge of existence. >

KJV : 

Jhn 8:12 I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The Greek concepts of light and dark are very closely related to knowledge and ignorance. We have this same sense in English when we say things such as "when he was thinking, a light went on" and "he is in the dark."

The word translated as "world" is kosmos, which means specifically, the world order. Christ uses it to refer to the powers-that-be in this world. He contrasts it over and over again to concept of "heaven," which is perhaps translated as the "universe" or "universal."

Christ makes the point several times that he is not "of the world," most clearly in Jhn 17:16. When he say's "I am the light of the world," he is not saying that he is part of the world. Instead, he setting himself apart from the world, a bright spot in a place that is often in darkness, that is, ignorance.

The negative here about walking in the dark is a double negative. It uses both negatives in Greek, the one for facts and opinion, what is seen and believed. By using both, Christ emphasized the two different meaning of "light" and "darkness." The objective light that we see by and the subjective light we understand the world through.

The Greek verb "to have" has a much stronger sense of possession and holding onto something than the English verb, which has many generic "helper" functions in language that the Greek does not have. Often, using the verb "hold" instead of "have" makes this clearer.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἐγώ "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.

εἰμι (1st sg pres ind act) "Am" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

τὸ φῶς "The light" is from phos, which means both "light" and is the metaphor for "knowledge."

τοῦ κόσμου: "Of the world" is from kosmos, which mean "order", "good order", "ruler", "world order", "universe," and "the world of men."

ἀκολουθῶν (part sg pres act masc nom) "He that followeth" is from akoloutheô (akoloutheo), which means "to follow," and "to go with." It also means "to be guided by" and means following a leader as a disciple.

μοι "Me" is from moi, which means "I", "me", and "my".

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.

μὴ "Not" is from (me), which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

περιπατήσῃ (3rd sg aor subj act) "Walk" is from peripateô (peripateo), which means "to walk up and down", "to walk about," and "to walk about while teaching."

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".

τῇ σκοτίᾳ, "Darkness" is skotia, which means both "darkness" and is the metaphor for "ignorance."

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.

ἕξει (3rd sg fut ind act) "Shall 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."

τὸ φῶς"The light" is from phos, which means both "light" and is the metaphor for "knowledge."

τῆς ζωῆς. "Of life" is from zôê (zoe), which means "living", "substance", "property", "existence," and, incidentally, "the scum on milk." It has the sense of how we say "make a living" to mean property. Homer used it more to mean the opposite of death.