John 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me,

Spoken to: 

challengers

Context: 

Jesus says that if he doesn't do the words of his father then don't trust him.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

If, however, I perform and then you don't trust in me, trust in the deeds so that you may learn to know [at some time] and may know [now] that in me the Father [is] and I myself [am] in the Father.

My Takeaway: 

We must learn at some time in order to know now.

KJV : 

John 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

NIV : 

John 10:38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”

What is Lost in Translation: 

This verse starts with an uncommon  Greek word combination translated as "but it" that has the effect of creating an "if...then" statement. So, the sense of the beginning here is: "If I perform and then you don't trust me." Both verbs express something that is possible, not certain. Then comes the command or request to trust "those deeds."

The two verbs translated as "may know and understand" in the NIV are actually the same word that means "learn to know." (The KJV source has a different verb.) The difference between the two verbs is one of tense. The first verb is something that happens at some point of time, so the sense is more "learn to know at some time." Whilte the second verb is th presented tense, "know now." The sense is "you may learn to know [at some time] and "know [now]."

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

εἰ [90 verses](conj) "If" is ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever," "in case," and "whenever." In citing a fact, it can mean "as sure as" or "since."  It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions. When appearing as εἰ δὲ (literally, "if however") the sense is "if this...then that".

δὲ [446 verses](conj) "But" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

ποιῶ, [168 verses](1st sg pres ind/subj act) "I do"is poieo, which means "to make," "to produce," "to create," "to bring into existence," "to bring about," "to cause," "to perform," "to render," "to consider," "to prepare," "to make ready," and "to do."

κἂν [8 verses](conj)  "And if" is kan, which means "and if," "even if," and "although." It is a contraction of kai anKai 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." An, is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have," "might," "should," and "could."

ἐμοὶ [96 verses](pron 1st sg masc/fem dat) "Me" is moi (emoi) , which can be the object of some prepositions and as the object of a verb means "to me" "for me," and "by me."

μὴ [447 verses](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. With pres. or aor. subj. used in a warning or statement of fear, "take care" It can be the conjunction "lest" or "for fear that." Used before tis with an imperative to express a will or wish for something in independent sentences and, with subjunctives, to express prohibitions.

πιστεύητε [69 verses](verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Do you...believe" 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."

τοῖς [821 verses](article pl neut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἔργοις [31 verses] (noun pl neut dat) "Works" is ergon, which means "works," "tasks," "deeds," "actions," "thing," and "matter."

πιστεύετε,[69 verses] (2nd pl pres imperat act) "Believe" 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."

ἵνα [134 verses](adv/conj) "That" is hina, which means "in that place," "there," "where," "when,"  but when beginning a phrase "that," "in order that," "when," and "because."

γνῶτε [62 verses](verb 2nd pl aor subj act contr) "Ye may know" is ginosko which means "to learn to know," "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

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."

γινώσκητε [62 verses](2nd pl pres subj act) "Believe" is ginosko which means "to learn to know," "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

ὅτι [332 verses](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."

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "In" is en, which means, with a dative object, "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," "during,"  and "with." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." Referring to time, it means. "in the course of" or "during." 

ἐμοὶ  [96 verses](pron 1st sg masc/fem dat) "Me" is moi (emoi) , which can be the object of some prepositions and as the object of a verb means "to me" "for me," and "by me.""

[821 verses](article sg masc nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). When not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

πατὴρ [191 verses](noun sg masc nom) "The Father" is pater, which means "father," "grandfather," "author," "parent," and "forefathers."

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." --

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "In" is en, which means, with a dative object, "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," "during,"  and "with." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." Referring to time, it means. "in the course of" or "during." 

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

πατρί. [191 verses](noun sg masc dat) Untranslated is pater, which means "father," "grandfather," "author," "parent," and "forefathers."

KJV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  It can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

if -- The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever." When this word is paired with the word translated as "but" above, the structure works like an "if then" statement in English.

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

do,-- The Greek word translated as "to do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. It describes a productive action.   In English, "do" is also frequently a helper verb. This Greek word is not used as broadly. When it doesn't have an object, the verb is more clearly translated as  "perform."

though --  "Though" is from a conjunction that means "and if," "even if," and "although."  It is a contraction of the conjunction "and" that joins and the particle that indicates a possibility.

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

believe  -- The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much but trusting or relying upon other people, especially their words. Jesus usually uses it in contexts, such as the one here, that applies to trusting words.

not  -- The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" or "think" something, not that it isn't done or thought.   With the verb "to be," the sense is "doesn't seem." When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. This is the negative used with commands or requests. Used with an imperative to express a will or wish. Used in negative "when" and "if" clauses.

me, -- The "me" is in the indirect object form of the first-person pronoun. A dative object of a preposition implies no movement, but in a fixed position, events that occur at a specified time or while the action was being performed.

believe -- The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much but trusting or relying upon other people, especially their words. Jesus usually uses it in contexts, such as the one here, that applies to trusting words. This is in the form of a command or a request.

missing "in"  -- (MW) The untranslated word"in" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

works: --   The Greek word translated as "works" means "deeds," "actions," and "things" in the sense of "every thing." This is in the dative, indirect object, form not the object form.

that -- The word translated as "that" is an adverb "in that place," "there," "where," "when," or as a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "in order that" or "because."

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

may -- This helping verb "may" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility, the subjunctive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

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

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." After words implying sameness "as."

believe, -- (OS)  "Believe" is a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn. The source used by the KJV translators had he word "believe" here.

that -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. When not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

Father  -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

is -- The is not "is" in the Greek, but when a word appears as a subject ("the Father") without a verb, the "is" is assumed.

in -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

me, -- The "me" is in the indirect object form of the first-person pronoun. A dative object of a preposition implies no movement, but in a fixed position, events that occur at a specified time or while the action was being performed.

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."

in -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."

him. -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "also" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

missing "the"  -- (OS) 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. This was not in the KJV source.

missing "father"  -- (OS) The untranslated word means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father. This was not in the KJV source.

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "in" from the dative form is not shown in the English translation.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "believe" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the source we use today.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "him" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the source we use today.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "the" did not exist in the KJV Greek source but does in the one we used today.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "father" did not exist in the KJV Greek source but does in the one we used today.

NIV Analysis: 

But -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  It can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

if -- The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever." -- The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. When this word is paired with the word translated as "but" above, the structure works like an "if then" statement in English.

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

do,-- The Greek word translated as "to do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do," which covers all actions, productive or not. 

them, -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

even though  --  "Though" is a conjunction that means "and if," "even if," and "although."  It is a contraction of the conjunction "and" that joins and the particle that indicates a possibility.

you -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

do -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English.

not  -- The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" or "think" something, not that it isn't done or thought.   With the verb "to be," the sense is "doesn't seem." When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. This is the negative used with commands or requests. Used with an imperative to express a will or wish. Used in negative "when" and "if" clauses.

believe  -- The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much but trusting or relying upon other people, especially their words. Jesus usually uses it in contexts, such as the one here, that applies to trusting words.

me, -- The "me" is in the indirect object form of the first-person pronoun. A dative object of a preposition implies no movement, but in a fixed position, events that occur at a specified time or while the action was being performed.

believe -- The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much but trusting or relying upon other people, especially their words. Jesus usually uses it in contexts, such as the one here, that applies to trusting words. This is in the form of a command or a request.

missing "in"  -- (MW) The untranslated word"in" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

works: --   The Greek word translated as "works" means "deeds," "actions," and "things" in the sense of "every thing." This is in the dative, indirect object, form not the object form.

that -- The word translated as "that" is an adverb "in that place," "there," "where," "when," or as a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "in order that" or "because."

you -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

may -- This helping verb "may" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility, the subjunctive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

know, -- (WT) "Know" is a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn. This English verb is in a tense that means "at some point in time" usually translated as the simple past.

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." After words implying sameness "as."

understand , -- (CW) "Understand" is a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn.  It is the same verb used about translated as "know." The change is one of tense, not word.

that -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. When not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

Father  -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

is -- The is not "is" in the Greek, but when a word appears as a subject ("the Father") without a verb, the "is" is assumed.

in -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. 

me, -- The "me" is in the indirect object form of the first-person pronoun. A dative object of a preposition implies no movement, but in a fixed position, events that occur at a specified time or while the action was being performed.

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."

in -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."\

the   -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

Father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "in" from the dative form is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "know" indicates the present tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "understand" is the same word translated as "know" above.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

Front Page Date: 

Jul 24 2022