John 11:40 Said I not unto thee,

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

After Lazarus's death, Jesus comes to the tomb and asks for the stone to be removed.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Didn't I tell to you that when trust, you should see with your own eyes, the reputation of the Divine?

My Takeaway: 

Some things, we have to wait for in order to see them with our own eyes.

KJV : 

John 11:40 Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

NIV : 

John 11:40 Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?

What is Lost in Translation: 

Again, what is lost here is the humor. The Greek word translated as "see" here is not one of the top three Greek words usually translated as "to see" in the Gospels. Jesus used this verb in a very specific way, always in the future tense, and always in the middle voice, which means the subjects is acting on, by, or for themselves. The sense with this verb is "see for yourself." However, the verb is from the same root as the Greek word for "eye" so it would be nice to work the eye in the translation, but our English verb "to eye" doesn't have the same connotations. However, our saying "will see with your own eyes" comes very close.

The word translated as "glory" is only really translated that way in the Bible. It has more the sense of a "reputation" and "recognition," both for better or worse. The positive version has the sense is of a shining reputation and bad repute. The verb form means "to recognize" in the sense that we use "recognize" to mean "to honor" someone as in "recognize with a promotion." However, though in English we can talk about "bestowing honors" on someone, the meaning of word "honor" changes when we talk about the "honor" of a person.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Οὐκ  [269 verses](partic) "Not" is ou , the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences.  The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

εἶπόν [162 verses] (verb 1st sg aor ind act) "Said I" is eipon, which means "to speak," "to say," "to recite," "to address," "to mention," "to name," "to proclaim," "to plead," "to promise," and "to offer." 

σοι [81 verses](pron 2nd sg dat) "To thee" is soi which is the singular, second-person pronoun, "you," in the form of an indirect pronoun.

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."

ὰν [162 verses](conj) "If" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if) and an (might), which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. This is how we use the word "when."

πιστεύσῃς [69 verses] (verb 2nd sg aor subj act) "Thou wouldest 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."

ὄψῃ [13 verses](2nd sg fut ind mid or 2nd sg aor subj mid) "Thou shouldest see" is optanomai, which means "to see," "to look," "to aim at," "to look towards," "to have sight," "to take heed," (in transitive) "to behold," "to perceive," "to observe," "to look out for," and "to be seen (passive)." It is a metaphor for mental sight, "to perceive," "to discern," "to see visions," "to appear in visions (passion), and "to interview."

τὴν [821 verses](article sg fem acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

δόξαν [26 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Glory" is doxa, which means "expectation," "notion," "opinion," "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are found primarily in translating the Bible. The words "recognition," "honor." and "reputation" come closest to capturing the Greek word, but Jesus uses it only in the most positive sense so "imminence" may come closest.

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

θεοῦ [144 verses](noun sg masc gen) "God" is theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

KJV Analysis: 

Said - The word translated as "said" means "to say" and "to speak." It is one of the two most common words translated "speak," "say" and "tell," but it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

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

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

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

unto -- This word "unto" 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.

thee-- The word for "thee" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun in the form of an indirect pronoun.

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

if -- (CW) The Greek word meaning "when" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is how we use the word "when." This is not the simple "if."

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

wouldest -- This helping verb in English comes from the form of the Greek verb that indicates a possibility. We would usually say "might" or "should" in English. This is unnecessary because the possibility is indicated by the "if."

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.

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

shouldest -- This helping verb "shouldest " indicates that the verb is the future tense or a form that indicates possibility at some time. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

see   -- (CW) "Shall see" is a verb that means "to see," "to look," "to aim at," "to look towards," and similar meanings.  Jesus uses this verb in a specific way,  in the future tense and the middle voice. The middle voice means that the subject is acting for or by themselves so "will see for yourself." However, it also has the same root as the Greek word "eye," so "will see with your own eyes" comes the closest. It is a light-hearted way to make a promise about the future.

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

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. 

glory-- (CW) The Greek noun translated as "glory" means "expectation," "notion," "opinion," "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are found primarily in translating the Bible. Though it can have both a positive ("shining reputation") and negative ("bad repute") in Greek, Jesus only uses it to describe the shining aspect so "eminence" may be the closest. The verb form has the sense of "recognize," but "recognition" while positive in the sense of rewarding people simply means knowing them in the noun form.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

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. 

God? -- The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God," "the Divine" or "the divine one." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The word translated as "if" has more of a probability of "if" alone, more like our "when."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "for yourself" is not shown in the English translation to capture the middle voice of the verb.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "glory" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

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

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

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

tell - The word translated as "tell" means "to say" and "to speak." It is one of the two most common words translated "speak," "say" and "tell," but it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

you -- The word for "you" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun in the form of an indirect pronoun.

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

if -- (CW) The Greek word meaning "when" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is how we use the word "when." This is not the simple "if."

you -- This is from the second-person, singular 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.

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

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense or a form that indicates possibility at some time. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

see -- (CW) "See" is a verb that means "to see," "to look," "to aim at," "to look towards," and similar meanings.  This is not one of the two most common words that Jesus means to means "to see," but this word also has the sense of referring to mental sight and visions. Jesus uses this verb in a specific way,  in the future tense and the middle voice. The middle voice means that the subject is acting for or by themselves so "will see for yourself." However, it also has the same root as the Greek word "eye," so "will see with your own eyes" comes the closest. It is a light-hearted way to make a promise about the future.

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

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. 

glory-- (CW) The Greek noun translated as "glory" means "expectation," "notion," "opinion," "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are found primarily in translating the Bible. The English words "acclaim" and "recognition" come closest to capturing the way Jesus uses the word. The verb form has the sense of "recognize."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

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. 

God? -- The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God," "the Divine" or "the divine one." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The word translated as "if" has more of a probability of "if" alone, more like our "when."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "for yourself" is not shown in the English translation to capture the middle voice of the verb.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "glory" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Aug 5 2022