John 14:14 If you shall ask any thing in my name

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

At the Last Supper, Jesus describes the need to ask to the Apostles.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

When you ask for anything in this name of mine, I might produce it.

My Takeaway: 

We only get what we ask for when acting in the name of Jesus.

KJV : 

John 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

NIV : 

John 14:14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

What is Lost in Translation: 

The "ask" here specifically means asking for something, not asking a question. This verse echoes the first part of the previous verse, and it, like the earlier verse, is not quite the promise that it sounds like in translation. The verb could mean "I will do," as translated, but it might be a subjunctive form, not the future tense, "I might do." This makes it a possibility, not a promise or prediction of the future.

The "in the name of" phrase is the most common form of this statement, discussed in detail in this article. This version of the phrase appears much more commonly in John.

Wordplay: 

 A play on two forms of word, ean, one the adverb "if" and the other the participle, letting go. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

τι [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?

αἰτήσητέ [28 verses](verb 2nd pl aor subj act) "shall ask" is from aiteo, which means "to ask for," "to demand," "to beg of," "to postulate or assume [in logic]," "to claim," and "to ask for one's own use." In passive, "to be asked" and "to have a thing begged from one."

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

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "In" is en, which means, with a dative object, "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," "during,"  and "with." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." Referring to time, it means. "in the course of" or "during." 

τῷ [821 verses](article sg neut dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

ὀνόματί [47 verses](noun sg neut dat) "Name" is onoma, which means "name." It means both the reputation of "fame," and "a name and nothing else," as opposed to a real person. Acting in someone's name means to act on their behalf, as their representative.

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

τοῦτο (93 verses](adj sg neut acc) "That" is touto, which means "from here," "from there," "this [thing] there," or "that [person] here." -- The word translated as "this" means "from here" "from there" or "this/that thing/person here/there." It usually comes after the noun, emphasizing it, with the sense of "this one."

ποιήσω. [168 verses](verb 1st sg fut ind act or verb 1st sg aor subj 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." 

KJV Analysis: 

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."

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

shall -- (CT) This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause like the one here. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

ask -- The Greek word translated as "ask" means "ask" but has shades of meaning from "demand" to "claim." It means to beg or even to demand something from someone else.

missing "me "  -- (OS) The untranslated "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. It did not appear in the KJV source.

any thing -- The Greek word translated as "any thing" in the singular means "anyone," "someone,"  "something," and "anything." The same forms are used both for the masculine or feminine so "anyone" works best for a person. In the plural, it means "everyone," "some," "they," and "those."

in -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "by" (near), "by" (means of), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

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. 

name, -- The Greek word translated as "name" is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply mean a "name" as it does in English, but it doesn't mean the things themselves, but what people call it. For example, it can mean a "false name," or "a pretense" as we say "this is a marriage in name only." It can also mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss." See this article for more.

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

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense.  However, the verb could also be a subjunctive, which requires a "might" or "should."  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.

it. -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "if" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "me" did not exist in the KJV Greek source but does in the source we use today.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "name" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CT - Confusing Tense -- The "will" is not necessarily the future tense and could be a possibility.

NIV Analysis: 

missing "when"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "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, plural form of the verb.

may -- This helping verb "may" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility, the subjunctive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

ask -- The Greek word translated as "ask" means "ask" but has shades of meaning from "demand" to "claim." It means to beg or even to demand something from someone else.

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.

for - This completes the idea of the verb. It is not a separate preposition in Greek.

anything -- The Greek word translated as "any thing" in the singular means "anyone," "someone,"  "something," and "anything." The same forms are used both for the masculine or feminine so "anyone" works best for a person. In the plural, it means "everyone," "some," "they," and "those."

in -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "by" (near), "by" (means of), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

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. 

name, -- The Greek word translated as "name" is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply mean a "name" as it does in English, but it doesn't mean the things themselves, but what people call it. For example, it can mean a "false name," or "a pretense" as we say "this is a marriage in name only." It can also mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss." See this article for more.

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source. It was added because the "when" was deleted.

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

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense.  However, the verb could also be a subjunctive, which requires a "might" or "should."  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.

it. -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

NIV Translation Issues: 

3
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "when" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "name" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 2 2022