John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice,

Spoken to: 

challengers

Context: 

People asked Jesus whether or not he is the Christ. He responds by saying his deeds speak for him, but they don't trust him because they are not his sheep.

KJV : 

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me

Literal Verse: 

These sheep, these ones of mine own, this voice of mine they hear. And I learn to know them and they follow me.

What is Lost in Translation: 

This verse starts with the same wordy construction that ended the previous verse, "These sheep, these ones of mine own." It sounds like a restatement of the end of John 10:4 but casting the shepherd in the first person but there is a change between the two verses meaning "know." In the earlier verse, the joke is that the "know" is the verb "to see" so it described the sheep "having seen" his voice. Here, Jesus uses the plain form of "know" which means "learn to know."

Though Jesus sometimes uses verbs in the singular with a plural neuter subject like "the sheep," here he uses the plural of both the verbs  "hear" and "know" because they create a rhyming literation.

My Takeaway: 

We follow because we learn to know.

Greek : 

Wordplay: 

On the similar sounds of "hear" (ἀκούουσιν, akouousin) and "follow" (ἀκολουθοῦσίν, akolothousin) in the forms used here. 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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

πρόβατα [26 verses](noun pl neut nom) "Sheep" is probaton, which means any domesticated four-footed animal, "sheep," "cattle," "herds," and "flocks.

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

ἐμὰ [28 verses](adj pl neut nom) "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."

τῆς [821 verses](article sg fem gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

φωνῆς [13 verses] (noun sg fem gen) "Sound" is phone, which means "sound", "tone", "sound of a voice", "speech", "voice", "utterance", "cry" [of animals], "sounds" [of inanimate objects], "faculty of speech", "phrase", "saying", "rumor," and "report." --

μου [239 verses](adj sg masc gen) "Me" is from mou (emou), which means "me," and "mine." As a genitive object means movement away from something or a position away from something else.

ἀκούουσιν,[95 verses](3rd pl pres ind act) "Hear" is akouo,  which means "hear of," "hear tell of," "what one actually hears," "know by hearsay," "listen to," "give ear to," "hear and understand," and "understand." The accusative object is the person/thing heard about, while the genitive is the person/thing heard from.  However, two genitives can be used with the sense of "hear of a thing from a person."

κἀγὼ [31 verses](pron 1st sg masc nom ) "And...I" is kago, a contraction of kai-ego. "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." "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." --

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

αὐτά [720 verses](adj pl neut acc) "His" (adj sg masc acc) "Them" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself," "yourself," "himself," "herself," "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him," "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

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."

ἀκολουθοῦσίν [22 verses](verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "They follow" is akoloutheo, which means "to follow," and "to go with." It also means "to be guided by" and means following a leader as a disciple.

μοί, [96 verses](pron 1st sg masc/fem dat) "My" is moi (emoi) , which means "I," "me," and "my."

KJV Analysis: 

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. 

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. Unlike the genitive pronoun used as a possessive, its case matches its noun. Perhaps "mine own" captures its best. It is preceded by an article and follows "sheep," so "these ones of mine own."

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. 

sheep, -- "Sheep" is Christ's symbol for his followers. The Greek word refers to any domesticated animal and works better if translated simply as "flock" or "herd." The flock follows the shepherd, which is above them. It is also together, a united group. The genitive form indicates motion away from something.

hear - -- "Hear" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.  It is the most common verb that Christ uses meaning "to hear." It also means "to listen" and "to understand," but amusingly, it also means "to be silent." The accusative object is the person/thing heard about, while the genitive is the person/thing heard from.  However, two genitives can be used with the sense of "hear of a thing from a person."

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

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. 

voice,  -- The noun translated as "call"  means "sound", "speech", "voice",  "cry" [of animals], "sounds" [of inanimate objects], and "report."

and I  -- This is from a contraction of the conjunction "and" and the subject pronoun "I". Since the verb is already in the first person, that addition of the pronoun is like saying "and I myself," emphasizing the first- person speaker.

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

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

them, -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

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 can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

follow -- The term "follow" means "to follow," or "go with," in a physical sense, but it is also a metaphor meaning "to be guided by" or "to follow the meaning of."

me -- The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me," though the form has other uses in Greek.

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mine own" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "sheep" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "voice" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

NIV : 

John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

NIV Analysis: 

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. 

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. Unlike the genitive pronoun used as a possessive, its case matches its noun. Perhaps "mine own" captures its best. It is preceded by an article and follows "sheep," so "these ones of mine own."

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. 

sheep, -- "Sheep" is Christ's symbol for his followers. The Greek word refers to any domesticated animal and works better if translated simply as "flock" or "herd." The flock follows the shepherd, which is above them. It is also together, a united group. The genitive form indicates motion away from something.

listen - -- "Listen" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.  It is the most common verb that Christ uses meaning "to hear." It also means "to listen" and "to understand," but amusingly, it also means "to be silent." The accusative object is the person/thing heard about, while the genitive is the person/thing heard from.  However, two genitives can be used with the sense of "hear of a thing from a person."

to -- This word "to"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.   This is what is heard from so "to" works in English.

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

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. 

voice,  -- The noun translated as "call"  means "sound", "speech", "voice",  "cry" [of animals], "sounds" [of inanimate objects], and "report."

missing "and"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "and" is from a contraction of the conjunction "and" and the subject pronoun "I".

-- Since the verb is already in the first person, that addition of the pronoun is like saying "and I myself," emphasizing the first- person speaker.

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

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

them, -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

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 can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

follow -- The term "follow" means "to follow," or "go with," in a physical sense, but it is also a metaphor meaning "to be guided by" or "to follow the meaning of."

me -- The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me," though the form has other uses in Greek.

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mine own" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "sheep" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "voice" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" before "I" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Jul 15 2022