John 14:12 ...He that believes in me,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

At the Last Supper, Jesus describes trust to the Apostles.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Honestly, honestly I tell you, the one trusting as much as me, the deeds that I myself perform, that one there will perform. And greater than these he will perform because I myself go before the Father.

My Takeaway: 

We must aspire to trust as complete as that of Jesus.

KJV : 

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say to you, He that believes in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I proceed before my Father.

NIV : 

John 14:12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

What is Lost in Translation: 

The most interesting word here is translated as "in" in the phrase "in me." This "in" is not the same preposition that Jesus uses in the previous two verses (John 14:10, John 14:11) to say "the Father is in me." That "in" means being "in" or "within" without a sense of motion. This word means "into" a place with a sense of motion, but here it is used as a measure (the "greater"), so it means "as much as." So the sense is "trusts as much as me," a very high standard. One that is seldom, if even, met, but one we can aspire to.

Jesus uses the pronoun "I" here not once, but twice, emphasizing his role in both "doing" the words and "going" before the Father. Since the information is in the verb, the sense is "I myself." The word translated as "greater" also means "bigger," "longer," "higher," and "stronger." Notice that these accomplishments are performed only by individuals, not groups.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus is the door. Trust is the key that unlocks the door. Trust is bigger than just trust in him. This trust is the way to a "high-trust" society, the realm of the skies, which can create greater things that his miracles.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἀμὴν [88 verses](exclaim) "Verily" is amen, which is the Hebrew, meaning "truly," "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek of this meaning before the NT. However, this is also the infinitive form of the Greek verb amao, which means "to reap" or "to cut."

ἀμὴν [88 verses](exclaim) "Verily" is amen, which is the Hebrew, meaning "truly," "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek of this meaning before the NT. However, this is also the infinitive form of the Greek verb amao, which means "to reap" or "to cut."

λέγω [264 verses](1st sg pres ind act) "I say" is lego, which means "to recount," "to tell over," "to say," "to speak," "to teach," "to mean," "boast of," "tell of," "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself," "pick up," "gather," "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

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

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

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

τὰ [821 verses](article pl neut nom/acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

ἔργα [31 verses] (noun pl neut nom/acc) "Works" is ergon, which means "works," "tasks," "deeds," "actions," "thing," and "matter."

 [294 verses](pron pl neut nom/acc) "That" is hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἐγὼ [162 verses](pron 1st sg masc nom) "I" is ego, which is the first-person singular pronoun meaning "I." It also means "I at least," "for my part," "indeed," and for myself.

ποιῶ [168 verses](verb 1st sg pres 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." The accusative object is what is made. Double accusative is to do something to someone. When it has a genitive object, it means "made from." When it doesn't have an object, the verb is translated as  "perform" or simply "do." When used with an accusative infinitive, it means to "cause" or "bring about." A dative object means "made with."

κἀκεῖνος [12 verses](adj sg masc nom) "He" is kakeinos, which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", and, in the form of an adverb, "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

ποιήσει, [168 verses](verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Shall 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." The accusative object is what is made. Double accusative is to do something to someone. When it has a genitive object, it means "made from." When it doesn't have an object, the verb is translated as  "perform" or simply "do." When used with an accusative infinitive, it means to "cause" or "bring about." A dative object means "made with." 

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "Also/and" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "also." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even," "also," and "just."

μείζονα [22 verses](adj pl neut nom/acc comp) "Greater" is meizon which means "bigger," "higher," "longer," and "greater" and is the comparative form of megas, which means "big" and "great."

τούτων [51 verses](adj pl neut gen indeclform) "This" is toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this," "here," "the nearer," and "the familiar."

ποιήσει[168 verses](verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Shall 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." The accusative object is what is made. Double accusative is to do something to someone. When it has a genitive object, it means "made from." When it doesn't have an object, the verb is translated as  "perform" or simply "do." When used with an accusative infinitive, it means to "cause" or "bring about." A dative object means "made with." 

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."

ἐγὼ [162 verses](pron 1st sg masc nom) "I" is ego, which is the first-person singular pronoun meaning "I." It also means "I at least," "for my part," "indeed," and for myself.

πρὸς [92 verses](prep)  "Before" is from pros, which means "from (place)," "on the side of," "toward," "before," "in the presence of," "in the eyes of," "before (supplication, a judge, a witness)," "near" a time, "for" the moment, "proceeding from (for effects)," "dependent on," "derivable from," "agreeable," "in comparison with," "becoming," "like," "at the point of," "in addition to," "against," and "before."  It also means "dependent upon."

τὸν [821 verses](article sg masc acc) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). When not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

πατέρα [191 verses](noun sg masc acc) "The Father" is pater, which means "father," "grandfather," "author," "parent," and "forefathers."

πορεύομαι: [54 verses](verb 1st sg pres ind mp) "I proceed" is poreuomai (poreuo) which means "make to go," "carry," "convey," "bring," "go," "march," and "proceed." It is almost always translated as "go" in the NT.

KJV Analysis: 

Verily, -- The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap."  See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

verily -- The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

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

say -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc.

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.

believes -- (WF) 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. The form is a participle not an active verb.

in -- (CW) The word translated as "unto" 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 sense here is "as much as" because the topic is a measure or limit.

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.

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. 

works -- The Greek word translated as "works" means "deeds," "actions," and "things" in the sense of "every thing."

that -- The word translated as "that" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

I-- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

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

do  -- The Greek word translated as "do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do," which covers all actions, productive or not.

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

he -- (CW) The word translated as "he" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there." It isn't the same as the common pronoun "he."

do -- The Greek word translated as "to do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. When it means It describes a productive action.  In English, "do" is also frequently a helper verb. This Greek word is not used as broadly.

also; -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source. Either this word of the "and" below was added.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

greater -- "Greater" is an adjective which is the comparative form of the word meaning "big" or "great." It means "bigger," "higher," "longer," "greater" and simply, "superior." When it is introduced by an article, it means "the greater." It is not the superlative form.

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

than -- This word "than"  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. However, it can also mean "belonging to," "part of," "which is," "than" (in comparisons), or  "for," "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs.

these -- "These" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this," "here," "the nearer," and "the familiar." It often stands apart from its noun, acting like a pronoun, "this one here" or "this here." When it follows the noun it emphasizes it, "this one."

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

do -- The Greek word translated as "to do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. When it means It describes a productive action.  In English, "do" is also frequently a helper verb. This Greek word is not used as broadly.

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

-- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since the subject of the sentence is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

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

proceed -- The Greek verb translated as "go" is the most common verb translated as "go" in the NT. This word means "to lead over," "depart," and "to carry over." However, this word uniquely means "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life." In the active voice, it means "made to go" or "carried over" but in the passive or middle,its normal form, the subject is either being taken or taking himself and means "going," "crossing over," or "departing" more directly.

before -- The word translated as "to" means "towards," "by reason of (for)," "before" both in time and place, "in the presence of," "against," and several other types of "before." With verbs of seeing it specifically means "towards."

my-- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "my" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

missing "the/this"  -- (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," and "those"). See this article for more. 

Father. -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

KJV Translation Issues: 

11
  • 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 "believes" is not an active verb but a participle, "believing."

  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "in" does not capture the word's specific meaning.

  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "he" is not the common word usually translated as "he."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "also" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "works" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "my" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the source we use today.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

Very, -- (CW) The word translated as "very" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

Truly -- The word translated as "truly " is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

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

tell -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc.

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 or relying upon other people, especially their words. Jesus usually uses it in contexts, such as the one here, that applies to trusting words. The form is a participle not an active verb.

in -- (CW) The word translated as "unto" 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 sense here is "as much as" because the topic is a measure or limit.

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.

missing "that one there"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "that one there" is an adjective that highlights its noun as being in a specific place or time from a word that means "there." It isn't the same as the common pronoun "he."

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

do -- The Greek word translated as "to do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. When it means It describes a productive action.  In English, "do" is also frequently a helper verb. This Greek word is not used as broadly.

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. 

works -- The Greek word translated as "works" means "deeds," "actions," and "things" in the sense of "every thing."

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "that" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

I-- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

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

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

been-- This helping verb is used here to form the present, progressive tense, which doesn't exist in Greek but which can smooth the flow of English sentences.

doing,   -- The Greek word translated as "do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do," which covers all actions, productive or not.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

they -- (WN) This is from the third-person, singular, not plural, form of the verb.

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

do -- The Greek word translated as "to do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. When it means It describes a productive action.  In English, "do" is also frequently a helper verb. This Greek word is not used as broadly.

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

greater things -- "Greater things" is an adjective which is the comparative form of the word meaning "big" or "great." It means "bigger," "higher," "longer," "greater" and simply, "superior."  The "things" comes from the neuter, plural form.

than -- This word "than"  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. However, it can also mean "belonging to," "part of," "which is," "than" (in comparisons), or  "for," "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs.

these -- "These" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this," "here," "the nearer," and "the familiar." It often stands apart from its noun, acting like a pronoun, "this one here" or "this here." When it follows the noun it emphasizes it, "this one."

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

-- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since the subject of the sentence is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

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

am -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb. It is used here to form the present, progressive tense, which doesn't exist in Greek but which can smooth the flow of English sentences.

going -- The Greek verb translated as "go" is the most common verb translated as "go" in the NT. This word means "to lead over," "depart," and "to carry over." However, this word uniquely means "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life." In the active voice, it means "made to go" or "carried over" but in the passive or middle,its normal form, the subject is either being taken or taking himself and means "going," "crossing over," or "departing" more directly.

to -- The word translated as "to" means "towards," "by reason of (for)," "before" both in time and place, "in the presence of," "against," and several other types of "before." With verbs of seeing it specifically means "towards."

the --The word translated as "my" is the Greek definite article. When not preceding a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

Father. -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

NIV Translation Issues: 

11
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "very" is not the common word usually translated as "very."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "whoever " is not the common word usually translated as "whoever ."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "believes" is not an active verb but a participle, "believing."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "in" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that one there" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is the present.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "they" is translated as plural but the Greek pronoun is singular.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "even" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

Front Page Date: 

Sep 30 2022