Matthew 14:27 Be of good cheer;

KJV Verse: 

Mat 14:27 Be of good cheer; it is I; do not be afraid.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Be confident, I am. You don't want to scare yourselves.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Jesus said this when he walked on water and the apostles see him, but the statement is good advice in any context. In the Greek, the first part is not an announcement of who he is as much a statement of confidence. The second part seems much more light-hearted, making light of their fear.

 

KJV Analysis: 

The verb translated as "be of good cheer" is from a noun that means courage. It is best translated as "have courage" or "be brave."

The pronoun "I" is added to add emphasis. It is unnecessary because the first person is part of the verb ending. Christ sometimes uses it humorously to refer to himself.

The verb "it is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. When the verb "to be" appears early in the sentence before the subject, the sense is often more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." However, that is not the case here where the "I" clearly comes first.

"Be...afraid" is translated from a Greek word that means "to terrify" and "to put to flight," but in the passive, it means to be put to flight and be frightened. When applied to people, it means to "be in awe of" or "dread." The form is midway between an active and passive form, where the subject acts on himself, "frighten yourselves."

The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Θαρσεῖτε, (verb 2nd pl pres/imperf imperat/ind)"Be of good cheer" is from tharseô (tharseo), which means "fear not", "have courage", "have confidence", "have no fear," and "make bold." This is the verb form of the Greek noun that means "boldness" and "courage."

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: "Am" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

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.

φοβεῖσθε. (verb 2nd pl pres imperat/ind mp) "Be...afraid" is phobeo, which means to "put to flight. ""terrify", "alarm", "frighten," and in the passive, "be put to flight", "be seized with fear," be frightened", "stand in awe of" (of persons)", "dread (of persons)," and "fear or fear about something."

 

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Symbolically, walking on water demonstrates the power of the spirit over physical nature.