John 11:14 Lazarus is dead.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Lazarus died [at this point], >

KJV : 

Jhn 11:14 Lazarus is dead.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Christ says this to explain that he was using "sleep" as a metaphor in his earlier statement (Jhn 11:11). In the Greek, the whole scene reads as comical because Christ has to explain his metaphor to the Apostles who are very relieved to hear that Lazarus was only sleeping.

In Greek, Christ does not simply say "Lazarus is dead." If the Greek was like the KJV English, the verb "to be" in the present tense with an adjective meaning "dead," the statement would have a different meaning. Christ uses to the verb "to be" in an absolute sense of being. However, he didn't use the verb "to be" here (eimi) but another verb being "to die."

What is interesting is the tense of this verb. It isn't the perfect tense, which would have indicated as completed action or the imperfect tense, an action begun but not completed. Instead, it is in the aorist tense, a verb whose action starts or ends at a particular point in time. The aorist is usually translated as the past tense in English, but Christ is talking about what the Lazarus is doing, not what he is. He has begun or ended the process of dying a this point.

Christ uses exactly the same verb in the same tense to describe Jarius's daughter, but to make the opposite statement. He says she has not died (Mar 5:39} this seems to indicate a real difference in status between Lazarus and Jarius's daughter even though both are described as being raised from the dead.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Λάζαρος "Lazarus" is from "Lazaros," which is a Greek form of the Hebrew name Eleazar, which means "He who God helps."

ἀπέθανεν, (3rd sg aor ind act) "Is dead" is from apothnesko, which means "to die" and "to die off."