John 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

After the Last Supper, after Jesus says the ones he sent out will testify for him.

KJV : 

John 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that you should not be offended.

Literal Verse: 

These things I have relayed to you so that you might not trip up.

What is Lost in Translation: 

The key word here, translated as "offended" and "fall away," is found only in the Bible. It is, of course, the punchline at the end of the verse. Jesus seems to have originated the verb form and uses it as a humorous way of stumbling into failure, being "tripped up."  See the article on this word here.

The conjunction used here, translated as "that" and "so that" is often translated as "because." Jesus used two different Greek words that are translated as "so that" and "because," which is confusing. Here the negative is one of opinion which, when used with a verb not related to thinking has the sense of "not wanting" to do something. So the end phrase could be "because you don't want to trip up." However, since "trip up" here refers to making a bad choice, its sense can also be "so that you might not trip up." The verb is in a form of something that "might" or "should" happen so either phrasing words.

My Takeaway: 

We should study Jesus's words if we don't want to get tripped up.

Greek : 

Original Word Order: 

These things I have told you so that you might not want to trip up.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ταῦτα [96 verses](adj pl neut acc) "These things" is tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these," "this," "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

λελάληκα [49 verses](1st sg perf ind act) "I have spoken" i is laleo, which means "to talk," "to speak" "to prattle," "to chat," and [for oracles] "to proclaim." It also means "chatter" as the opposite of articulate speech. However, Jesus seems to use in in the sense of "relaying" information gained from another. 

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

ἵνα [134 verses](adv/conj) "That" is hina, which means "in that place," "there," "where," "when,"  but when beginning a phrase "that," "in order that," "when," and "because."

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.

σκανδαλισθῆτε. [20 verses](2nd pl aor subj pass contr) "You should...be offended" is skandalizo, which means "to cause to stumble," "to give offense," and "to scandalize." This is the verb form of skandolon, meaning "trap," "snare," or "stumbling block," that appears twenty-five times in the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament. and fifteen in the NT.

KJV Analysis: 

These -- The "these" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. It follows the noun so it repeats the idea of the noun as "this one." It is often used in the neuter plural to refer to "these things."

things -- This is from the neuter plural form of the previous adjective

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

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

spoken -- (CW) The Greek word translated as "spoken" is not the ordinary "to say," "to talk," "to tell," or "to speak" in Greek. This word means "idle chatter," "gossip," and "the proclamations of an oracle." Jesus uses it to capture the idea of "passing on." "conveying,"  or "relaying" information.  When there isn't an object, "transmit" captures the idea of being a conduit rather than a source of information.

unto -- 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

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.

that - -- The word translated as "that" is a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "in order that" or "because." It is used as an introduction to a command, where it isn't translated.

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

should -- This helping verb in English comes from the form of the Greek verb that indicates a possibility. We would usually say "might" or "should" in English.

not -- 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 with commands or requests. Used with an imperative to express a will or wish. Used in negative "when" and "if" clauses. 

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

offended. -- (CW) "Offended" is a verb that means "to cause to stumble" or "to trip up." From there it is assumed by its translators to mean "to give offense" and "to scandalize." Our word "scandalize" come directly from the Greek. However, this interpretation of the word only comes from the translators of the Gospels. This is a Koine word that is found originally only in the New Testament, but based on a noun found only in the Greek Old Testament meaning "snare," or "stumbling block." The noun is changed to a verb by adding an ending very much like we add "ize" to a noun in order to make it a verb.  So, literally, it would mean to "stumblize." In English, we would simply say, "trips up" capturing the same idea exactly. See the article on this word here.

KJV Translation Issues: 

2
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "speak" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "offended" does not capture the word's specific meaning.

NIV : 

John 16:1 All this I have told you so that you will not fall away.

NIV Analysis: 

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

this -- (WN) The "these" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. It follows the noun so it repeats the idea of the noun as "this one." It is often used in the neuter plural to refer to "these things."

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.

told -- (CW) The Greek word translated as "told" is not the ordinary "to say," "to talk," "to tell," or "to speak" in Greek. This word means "idle chatter," "gossip," and "the proclamations of an oracle." Jesus uses it to capture the idea of "passing on." "conveying,"  or "relaying" information.  When there isn't an object, "transmit" captures the idea of being a conduit rather than a source of information.

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.

so that - -- The word translated as "so that" is a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "in order that" or "because." It is used as an introduction to a command, where it isn't translated.

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

will -- (WW) This helping verb in English comes from the form of the Greek verb that indicates a possibility. We would usually say "might" or "should" in English. It is not the future tense.

not -- 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 with commands or requests. Used with an imperative to express a will or wish. Used in negative "when" and "if" clauses. 

fall away. . -- (CW) "Fall away" is a verb that means "to cause to stumble" or "to trip up." From there it is assumed by its translators to mean "to give offense" and "to scandalize." Our word "scandalize" come directly from the Greek. However, this interpretation of the word only comes from the translators of the Gospels. This is a Koine word that is found originally only in the New Testament, but based on a noun found only in the Greek Old Testament meaning "snare," or "stumbling block." The noun is changed to a verb by adding an ending very much like we add "ize" to a noun in order to make it a verb.  So, literally, it would mean to "stumblize." In English, we would simply say, "trips up" capturing the same idea exactly. See the article on this word here.

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "all" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "this" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "these."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "told" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "will" should be something more like "should."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "offended" does not capture the word's specific meaning.

Related Verses: 

Unimportant Opinions and Imaginings: 

First, Christ teaches that we are born, to one degree on another, blind to our own failings. By design, the Father is hidden. We do not see the truth, we must learn it.

Next, we are mislead by the world order. Society's values naturally mislead us. Those values are based on what Christ considers an illusion: that the values that many people, or powerful people or the right people currently subscribe to are "real" because they are popular. Christ sees individuals as real and God as real. The universe as real because it is the embodiment of God's laws and will. However, popular opinion,though it may shape people's actions, is a trap, a stumbling block that leads to mistakes and poor decision.

Christ teaching could be summarized as how to avoid making mistakes based on what is not real but only popular.

Front Page Date: 

Nov 15 2022