John 13:8 If I wash thee not,

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

Jesus begins washing the Apostle's feet at the Last Supper. Peter says Jesus shouldn't wash his feet.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

When I don't wash you, you don't have a destiny with me.

My Takeaway: 

Jesus must wants to clean us up when we join him.

KJV : 

John 13:8 If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

NIV : 

John 13:8 Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

What is Lost in Translation: 

The verb translated as "wash" refers specifically to the cleaning of hands or feet and face, rather than a complete bath. In English, we might refer to this as "washing up" as opposed to washing the body that is taking a bath. The noun translated as "part" also means the "roles" people play and their "destiny."  "Destiny" seems closer here because the "with me" phrase uses a noun form that implies moving forward.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἐὰν [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."

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.

νίψω [5 verses] (verb 1st sg aor subj act) "Wash" is from nipto, which means specifically "to wash hands or feet," and generally "to clean", "to purge," and "to wash off."

σε: [48 verses](pron 2nd sg acc) "You" is from se  the objective form of the second-person, singular pronoun. -- 

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.

ἔχεις [181 verses] (2nd sg pres ind act) "Thou hast" is echo, which means "to have," "to hold," "to possess," "to keep," "to have charge of," "to have due to one," "to maintain," "to hold fast," "to hold in," "to bear," "to carry," "to keep close," "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." In aorist, it can mean "acquire," or "get." The main sense when it has an object is "to have" or "to hold." It can also mean "to without" or "keep back" a thing. 

μέρος [5 verses](noun sg neut acc) "Part" is meros, which means "share", "portion", "lot", "destiny", "heritage", "one's turn," the part one takes," "proportion," and "part" (as an opposite of whole).

μετ᾽ [103 verses](prep) "With" is meta, which means "with," "in the midst of," "among," "between," "in common," "along with," "by the aid of," "in one's dealings with," "into the middle of," "coming into," "in pursuit of," "after," "behind," "according to,"  "after," "behind,"  and "next afterward." With genitive,  it means generally, "with," "together with," "in the midst of," "among," "between." "in common," "along with," "by the aid of," and "in conjunction with." With dative, "between," "among," "in company with," with a number "complete," and "over and above." With accusative, generally, "among" and "between" as with dative, of motion, "into the middle of," "coming into or among," "in pursuit or quest of," of place, "after," "behind," of time, "after," "next to,"  of worth/rank, "next after," of ideas, "after," "according to." 

ἐμοῦ. [239 verses](adj sg masc gen) "Me" is from mou (emou), which means "me," and "mine." As a genitive object means a movement away from something or a position away from something else.-

KJV Analysis: 

If -- (CW) The Greek word meaning "if might" 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."

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

wash   - The word translated as "wash" means "wash," and "wash off." It is usually applied to hands, feet, and face. Another Greek word means to bathe the whole body.

thee -- The "thee/you" here is the singular, accusative (objective,) second-person pronoun. It is the object of either the action of the verb or a preposition. As an object of a preposition, it indicates movement or the result of movement.

not, -- (CW) 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 in negative "when" and "if" clauses.

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

hast -- The word translated as "hast" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "keep close," "hold in," "have means to do,"  "to have due to one," or "keep" and many specific uses. es.

no -- (WP) The Greek word translated as "no" 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. Here, it precedes the verb, so "not."

part -- (CW)  "Part" is a noun that  means "share", "portion", "lot", "destiny", "heritage", "one's turn," the part one takes," "proportion," and "part" (as an opposite of whole). Since the "me" is in a form implying moving forward, the sense is either "destiny" or "role."

with -- "With" is the Greek word that usually means "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of." It also refers to "after" or "behind" when referring to a place, time, or pursuit.

me. - "Me" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun.  As a genitive object of a preposition, as here, it means a movement away from something or a position away from something else.

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "if" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "no" doesn't negate "part" but "have."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "part" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

NIV Analysis: 

Unless  - - - "Unless" is from a phrase that literally means "when not". In English, we say "unless" and "except." 

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

wash   -  The word translated as "wash" means "wash," and "wash off." It is usually applied to hands, feet, and face. Another Greek word means to bathe the whole body.This is in the future tense.

you -- The "thee/you" here is the singular, accusative (objective,) second-person pronoun. It is the object of either the action of the verb or a preposition. As an object of a preposition, it indicates movement or the result of movement.

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

have -- The word translated as "hast" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "keep close," "hold in," "have means to do,"  "to have due to one," or "keep" and many specific uses. es.

no -- (WP) The Greek word translated as "no" 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. Here, it precedes the verb, so "not."

part -- (CW)  "Part" is a noun that  means "share", "portion", "lot", "destiny", "heritage", "one's turn," the part one takes," "proportion," and "part" (as an opposite of whole). Since the "me" is in a form implying moving forward, the sense is either "destiny" or "role."

with -- "With" is the Greek word that usually means "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of." It also refers to "after" or "behind" when referring to a place, time, or pursuit.

me. - "Me" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun.  As a genitive object of a preposition, as here, it means a movement away from something or a position away from something else.

NIV Translation Issues: 

2
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "no" doesn't negate "part" but "have."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "part" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.

Front Page Date: 

Aug 31 2022