John 20:29...Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed:

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Because you have observed me, you have trusted. Fortunate the ones not knowing and trusting.

KJV : 

John 20:29...Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is the last verse of John and it has a number of interesting features that are lost in translation. It uses two different words for "see." And the negative here isn't the objective negative, really not seeing, but the subjective negative, which changes the meaning of the second "see."

Thomas: The word doesn't exist in the Greek, nor was it in the Greek used by the KJV translators. They added it.

because: The word translated as "because" introduces a statement of fact or cause. "because" or "in order that." Jesus often uses it to explain his answer to a question.

thou hast seen: "Thou hast seen" is a lesson common Greek verb that means "to see with the eyes", "to look," and "to observe."  It is not the most common form of "to see" (used below) or the one that specifically refers to the eyes. It is used mostly by John's Christ referring to seeing him and the Father.

me: "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

thou hast believed: The Greek verb translated as "thou hast believe" does not apply to religious belief as much as it does trusting in other people, especially their word. Christ usually uses it in contexts that apply to trusting words, but here it is more trusting a fact.

blessed: The word "blessed" in Greek is an adjective a noun meaning "happy" or "fortunate" but with the sense of favored by God. It can also mean "wealthy" with in the sense of "the wealthy" (men with a fortune). This is the word used comically in the Beatitudes to first describe the beggars.

are: There is no "are" here, but since all the words in this clause are in the form of a subject, it can be assumed.

they that: The word translated as "they that" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

have: See "seen" below.

not: The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. It is used with commands and verbs of thought and judgment, but when used with regular verbs, the sense is that "not want to" or "not think to" to do that thing.  In this case, it means that the verb below refers to "knowing" more than physical seeing.

seen: The word translated as "have...seen" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. This is the most common word for "to see." Since the subjective negative is used, the sense is "no knowing" or, if it refers to physically seeing,  "not wanting to see." The form is not an active verb but an adjective, "seeing." Nor it is in the past, but a form indicating at some point in time.

and: The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). Here, it joins two verbal adjectives, "seeing" and "believing."

yet : There is no "yet" in the Greek.

have believed: The Greek verb translated as "have believed" does not apply to religious belief as much as it does trusting in other people, especially their word. The form is not an active verb but an adjective, "trusting." Nor it is in the past, but a form indicating at some point in time.

Wordplay: 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore." -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

ἑώρακάς (verb 2nd sg perf ind act ) "Thou hast seen" is from horaô (horao), which means "to see with the eyes", "to look," and "to observe."

με (noun sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which means "I", "me", and "my". --

πεπίστευκας; ( verb 2nd sg perf ind act ) "Thou hast believed" is 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." --

μακάριοι ( adj pl masc nom ) "Blessed" is makarios which means "blessed", "prosperous", "happy", "fortunate," and "blissful." --

οἱ (article pl masc nom) "They that" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." --

μὴ (partic) "Not" is 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. --

ἰδόντες ( part pl aor act masc nom ) "Have...seen" is oida which is a form of eido, (eido) which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know." --

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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." --

πιστεύσαντες. (part pl aor act masc nom ) "Have believed" is 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." --

Front Page Date: 

May 11 2019