John 12:44 He that believeth on me,

Spoken to: 

group

Context: 

The Evangelist says that many believed in Jesus but were afraid to admit it because of the Pharisees, quoting Isaiah about not hearing and seeing.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Someone trusting in me, doesn't trust in me [pause] but [pause] in the one who dispatched me.

My Takeaway: 

We must trust our Father, who sent us all.

KJV : 

John 12:44 He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

NIV : 

John 12:44 Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.

What is Lost in Translation: 

The humor in Jesus is lost because we don't imagine the effect of listening to him in the order that his words were spoken. After hearing the first two phrases what would his audience think, "What did he just say? Someone trusting him doesn't trust him??!!" We have to imagine, however, Jesus pausing long enough to have them wonder.

Then if Jesus said the word, "Instead" slowly, his audience would know they are being set up for a punchline, "the one sending me." Now the audience gets it. It isn't about trusting or not trusting, but about who you trust. Jesus was very consistent in representing his words as not his own but as given to him by the Father (John 14:10).

Wordplay: 

 A contradiction to set up a punchline. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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

πιστεύων [69 verses] (part sg pres act masc nom) "That believeth" 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."

εἰς [325 verses](prep) "Into" is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)," "until (of time)," "as much as (of measure or limit)," "as far as (of measure or limit)," "towards (to express relation)," "in regard to (to express relation)," "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

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

οὐ [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.

πιστεύει [69 verses] (3rd sg pres ind act) "Believeth" 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."

εἰς [325 verses](prep) "Into" is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)," "until (of time)," "as much as (of measure or limit)," "as far as (of measure or limit)," "towards (to express relation)," "in regard to (to express relation)," "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

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

ἀλλὰ [154 verses](conj) "But" is alla, which means "instead," "otherwise," "but," "still," "at least," "except," "yet," nevertheless," "rather," "moreover," and "nay."

εἰς [325 verses](prep) "Into" is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)," "until (of time)," "as much as (of measure or limit)," "as far as (of measure or limit)," "towards (to express relation)," "in regard to (to express relation)," "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

τὸν [821 verses](article sg masc acc)  "Him" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

πέμψαντά [39 verses](part sg aor act masc acc) "That sent" is pempo, which means "send," "send forth," "send away," "conduct," and "escort."

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

KJV Analysis: 

He --  (CW) The word translated as "he" 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. 

that -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "that" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than as a participle.

believeth -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much but trusting in other people, especially their words. Jesus usually uses it in contexts, such as the one here, that applies to trusting words. This is not an active verb but a participle.

on -- (WW) The word translated as "on" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject,"up to" limits in time and measure, and "for" a purpose or object.

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.

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

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.

on -- (WW) The word translated as "on" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject,"up to" limits in time and measure, and "for" a purpose or object.

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.

but -- (CW) The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "instead" or "rather." It is not the common word usually translated as "but." It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise." Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, "not this," with a positive one, "instead this."

on -- (WW) The word translated as "on" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject,"up to" limits in time and measure, and "for" a purpose or object.

him --  (CW) The word translated as "him" 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. 

that -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "that" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than as a participle.

sent--  (WF) "He sent" is from a Greek verb that means "send," "send forth," "send away," "conduct," and "escort." This is the second most common word Jesus uses that is translated as "send out," but this one doesn't have the prefix that has the sense of "out." This is not an active verb but a participle.

me. - "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

KJV Translation Issues: 

10
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "he" is not the common word usually translated as "he."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "believe" is not an active verb but a participle, "believing."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "on" should be something more like "in."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The second word translated as "on" should be something more like "in."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "but" is not the common word usually translated as "but."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The third word translated as "on" should be something more like "in."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "him" is not the common word usually translated as "him."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sent" is not an active verb but a participle, "sending."

NIV Analysis: 

Whoever --  (CW) The word translated as "whoever" 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.

believes -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much but trusting in other people, especially their words. Jesus usually uses it in contexts, such as the one here, that applies to trusting words. This is not an active verb but a participle.

in -- The word translated as "in" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject,"up to" limits in time and measure, and "for" a purpose or object.

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.

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

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.

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

in --  The word translated as "in" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject,"up to" limits in time and measure, and "for" a purpose or object.

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.

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

but -- (CW) The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "instead" or "rather." It is not the common word usually translated as "but." It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise." Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, "not this," with a positive one, "instead this."

in -- The word translated as "in" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject,"up to" limits in time and measure, and "for" a purpose or object.

the one --  The word translated as "the one" 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.

who -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "who" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than as a participle.

sent--  (WF) "He sent" is from a Greek verb that means "send," "send forth," "send away," "conduct," and "escort." This is the second most common word Jesus uses that is translated as "send out," but this one doesn't have the prefix that has the sense of "out." This is not an active verb but a participle.

me. - "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "whoever" is not the common word usually translated as "whoever."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "believe" is not an active verb but a participle, "believing."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "but" is not the common word usually translated as "but."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sent" is not an active verb but a participle, "sending."

Front Page Date: 

Aug 23 2022