John 10:14 I am the good shepherd,

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Jesus says that he seeks to give others an extraordinary life but that someone working for money flees when he sees danger.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

I myself am the shepherd, the good one. Not only do I learn to know those ones of mine own, but also they know me those ones of mine own.

My Takeaway: 

Those ones of his learn to know him.

KJV : 

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

NIV : 

John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me

What is Lost in Translation: 

The Greek for this verse doesn't mention sheep here at all. This is clearly intentional on Jesus's part, but the translators choose to ignore his intent. What Jesus references instead of sheep is "those one of mine" or "these ones of mine." He uses this same unusual phrase twice to emphasize it.

The "know" here is the Greek word that means "learning to know" not the one that means "seeing to know."

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

This verse generally extends the idea that both the leader and his followers learn to recognize each other. This clarifies the earlier verse about followers recognizing the sound of a leader in John 10:4. How does Jesus sound in the minds of his challengers? When his challengers debate whether Jesus is crazy or "possessed by a devil," as they saw it, one of them often seems to question that, saying that Jesus doesn't sound like someone who is crazy even if you don't understand his words.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐγώ [162 verses](pron 1st sg masc nom) "I" is ego, which is the first-person singular pronoun meaning "I." It also means "I at least," "for my part," "indeed," and for myself.

εἰμι [614 verses](1st sg pres ind act) "Am" i is eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen,"  and "is possible." With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

 [821 verses](article sg masc nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ποιμὴν [8 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Shepherd" is from poimen, which means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

[821 verses](article sg masc nom)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

καλός: [48 verses](adj sg masc nom) "Good" is kalos, which means "beautiful," "good," "of fine quality," "noble," and "honorable." Referring to parts of the body, "fair" and "shapely."As an adverb, the word translated as "well" means, "well," "rightly,"  "happily,"  "thoroughly," "altogether," and "deservedly."  

 [821 verses](article sg masc nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ποιμὴν [8 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Shepherd" is from poimen, which means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "also." 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."

γινώσκω [62 verses] (1st sg pres ind act ) "I know," is ginosko which means "to learn to know," "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

τὰ [821 verses](article pl neut acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

ἐμὰ [28 verses](adj pl neut acc) "My" is emos, which means "mine," "of me," "my," "relating to me," and "against me." The form can also be the object of a preposition, "me."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "also." 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."

γινώσκουσί [62 verses] (3rd pl pres ind act) "Know," is ginosko which means "to learn to know," "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive." -- "Be known" is a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn.

με [49 verses](pron 1st sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which is the objective first-person, objective, singular pronoun that means  "me."

τὰ [821 verses](article pl neut acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  - missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," 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. 

ἐμὰ [28 verses](adj pl neut acc) "My" is emos, which means "mine," "of me," "my," "relating to me," and "against me." The form can also be the object of a preposition, "me." -- "Me" is the first-person adjective, not the common pronoun, used in Greek to create a possessive or as the object of a preposition. Unlike the genitive pronoun used as a possessive, its case matches its noun. Perhaps "mine own" captures its best.

KJV Analysis: 

I -- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

am -- The verb "am" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article before "shepherd." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," before "good" as well as "shepherd. 

good -- The word translated as "good means "good," "beautiful," "noble," or "of good quality."    It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless," "noble" and "base." See this article on the Greek words translated as "good." -- As an adverb,the word translated as "well" means, "well," "rightly,"  "happily,"  "thoroughly," "altogether," and "deservedly."

shepherd: "Shepherd" is a noun that means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

know -- "Know" is a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn.

missing "those ones"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," 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. 

my -- "My" is the first-person adjective, not the common pronoun, used in Greek to create a possessive or as the object of a preposition. Perhaps "mine own" captures its best. Here, it follows the article, "those one of mine own."

sheep, -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "sheep" in the Greek source.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

am -- (OS) There is no first-person passive verb in the Greek that can be translated with the helping verb "am" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

known -- "Known" is a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn.

missing "those ones"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," 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. 

of -- This word "of"  comes from the possessive meaning of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. 

mine. -- "Mine" is the first-person adjective, not the common pronoun, used in Greek to create a possessive or as the object of a preposition. Perhaps "mine own" captures its best. Here, it follows the article, "those one of mine own."

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "good" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "those ones" before "my" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "sheep" doesn't exist in the source.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "am" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the source we use today.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "those ones" before "my" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

I -- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

am -- The verb "am" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article before "shepherd." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," before "good" as well as "shepherd. 

good -- The word translated as "good means "good," "beautiful," "noble," or "of good quality."    It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless," "noble" and "base." See this article on the Greek words translated as "good." -- As an adverb,the word translated as "well" means, "well," "rightly,"  "happily,"  "thoroughly," "altogether," and "deservedly."

shepherd: "Shepherd" is a noun that means "herdsmen," "shepherd," and, generally, "captain," and "chief."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

missing "and"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

know -- "Know" is a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn.

missing "those ones"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," 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. 

my -- "My" is the first-person adjective, not the common pronoun, used in Greek to create a possessive or as the object of a preposition. Perhaps "mine own" captures its best. Here, it follows the article, "those ones of mine own."

sheep, -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "sheep" in the Greek source.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also."

missing "those ones"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," 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. 

my . -- "My" is the first-person adjective, not the common pronoun, used in Greek to create a possessive or as the object of a preposition. Perhaps "mine own" captures its best. Here, it follows the article, "those ones of mine own."

sheep, -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "sheep" in the Greek source.

know -- "Know" is a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn.

me -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition. As the object of a preposition, an accusative object indicates movement towards something or a position reached as a result of that movement.

NIV Translation Issues: 

7
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "good" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "those ones" before "my" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "sheep" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "those ones" before "my" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "sheep" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 8 2022