John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth,

KJV Verse: 

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Not only are you going to learn to know what is real, but also what is real is going to set you free.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

When the word translated as "and" is used in a series like this, it usually works best to translate it as "not only...but also."

The Greek word "truth" is different than the English word. Its opposite is not "lies" as much as it is "what is hidden" or "illusion." "Knowing the truth" is much closer in meaning to "perceiving reality."

Christ consistently portrays the human condition as one of ignorance. We do not know where we are coming from or where we are going. The path to God is the path to understanding, to seeing what is real. The world in which we live is temporary, transitional. The real world is, the universe of God, is what is real, what is permanent.

Christ's view of "freedom" is less clear. He uses this word, "to set free" only a couple of times. He uses the adjective form, that is "free," a couple of more. All these uses are very general. However, in the other books of the NT, Paul and the other writers most commonly use this term in the sense of "free from blame."

We think of "freedom" in terms of "free" versus "slave." This view may come from Christ's teaching. Though you cannot see it in English translation, the word "slave" is very common in the NT. It is translated as "servant." When Christ says, "The servant is not greater than the master" or "A man sent his servant," what he is really saying is "The slave is not greater than his master" or "A man sent his slave." However, for people in Christ era, being a slave was very common. In a sense, all men were slaves in one sense or another to their lords. In the Roman Empire, all men were legally slaves to Rome and the Emperor. Only Roman citizens had rights in a legal sense. In a sense, being a slave was the human condition.

The best clue we have to Christ's view about freedom is in Matthew 17:26. In that verse, Christ asks Peter who rulers demand tribute, that is, their subjects to pay taxes. Because the children of rulers don't have to pay taxes, Christ said, "Then the children are free." By Christ's definition, anyone who must pay a debt to another is not free.

However, the only real debt is our debt to God for giving us our lives. All other debts are temporary illusions. That is why the Lord's prayer has us promise to let go of those who we think out us.

 

 

 

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."

γνώσεσθε (2nd pl fut ind mid) "You shall know," is from ginosko which means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

τὴν ἀλήθειαν, "The truth" is from aletheia, which means literally "the state of not being hidden," means "truth" and "reality" as opposed to appearances.

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."

ἀλήθεια "The truth" is from aletheia, which means literally "the state of not being hidden," means "truth" and "reality" as opposed to appearances.

ἐλευθερώσει (3rd sg fut ind act) "Shall make...free" is from eleutheroo, which means "to set free", "to free from blame", "to indulge in license," and "to release from"

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

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