John 13:12 Know ye what I have done

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

Jesus washes everyone's feet and puts in his clothes.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Learn what I  have made for you.

My Takeaway: 

We still need to learn what Jesus has made for us.

KJV : 

John 13:12 Know ye what I have done to you?

NIV : 

John 13:12 Do you understand what I have done for you?

What is Lost in Translation: 

This line is a humorous tease. This verse could be a statement (KJV), a question (NIV), but it works best as a command because the verb begins the sentence, which is most normal for commands. Questions usually begin with a question word.  Jesus uses the Greek word translated as "know" and "understand" to mean "learn." The next verb is translated as "do" which generally means "make." The "what" here is what is being made, created, or produced. Its tense is the perfect tense, indicating an action that has been completed.

The final "you" is in the dative case. While the dative case is often translated with a "to" because it is an indirect object. Here, however, it is not an indirect object. In Greek, this is called the "beneficial dative," which is what this appears to be here, and it is translated with a "for."

Such a statement is a tease because it raises a question: what have you made? What have you done?

Greek Vocabulary: 

Γινώσκετε [62 verses] (verb 2nd pl pres imperat act or  2nd pl pres ind act ) "Know ye," is ginosko which means "to learn to know," "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

τί [252 verses](pron sg neut acc) "What" is tis, which can mean "someone," "something," "any one," "everyone," "they [indefinite]," "many a one," "whoever," "anyone," "anything," "some sort," "some sort of," "each," "any," "the individual," "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who," "why," or "what." It has specific meanings with certain prepositions, \διὰ τί; for what reason? ἐκ τίνος; from what cause? ἐς τί; to what point?  to what end?

πεποίηκα [168 verses](verb 1st sg perf ind act) "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."

ὑμῖν [289 verses](pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." 

KJV Analysis: 

Know -- "Know" is a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn. Since the verb meaning "have seen" is also used to mean "know," translating this one as "learn" makes more sense.

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

what  -- The Greek word translated as "what" in the singular means "anyone," "someone,"  "something," and "anything." Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who," "what," or even "why."

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

have -- This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past.

done -- 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."

to -- This word "to" 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.

you? -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc. As the object of a preposition, this form implies no movement, but in a fixed position or events occur at a specified time or while action was being performed.

KJV Translation Issues: 

0

NIV Analysis: 

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

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

understand --  (CW) "Understand" is a verb that means "to know," "to recognize," "make known," "to know carnally," and "to learn. Since the verb meaning "have seen" is also used to mean "know," translating this one as "learn" makes more sense. It is not one of the Greek words usually translated as "understand."

what  -- The Greek word translated as "what" in the singular means "anyone," "someone,"  "something," and "anything." Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who," "what," or even "why."

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

have -- This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past.

done -- 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."

for -- This word "to" 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.

you? -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc. As the object of a preposition, this form implies no movement, but in a fixed position or events occur at a specified time or while action was being performed.

  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "understand" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

Front Page Date: 

Sep 2 2022