John 16:19 Do ye enquire among yourselves

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

After the Last Supper, after the apostles cannot understand the "a little" part of his last statement.

KJV : 

John 16:19 Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

Literal Verse: 

About this, do you inquire with one another because I said, "A little and you will view me no longer and again a little and you will behold me for yourselves?"

What is Lost in Translation: 

The starting Greek phrase is a common one meaning "about this." This refers to the Apostles confusion about the "a little" in Jesus's last statement. This "a little" is very generic and can mean a small child, which is how Jesus usually uses it, or a small place or a small anything. Because the Bible translators add "while" to this "a little," they identify it as a time, but Jesus did not do this in the earlier verse or this one.

Also ignored in the English translations is the "because" that precedes the "I said." He is explaining a "why" not a "what."

The final section is an exact repeat of John 16:16, which the translators confuse here, adding the "while" and mixing up different verbs for "see." See the earlier verse for a complete analysis.

My Takeaway: 

What is the little difference between seeing and not seeing?

Greek : 

Original Word Order: 

About this, do you inquire with one another because I said, "A little and no longer you will view me and again a little and you will behold me for yourselves?"

Greek Vocabulary: 

Περὶ [73 verses](prep)  "Of" is peri, which means "round about (Place)," "around," "about," "concerning," "on account of," "in regard to," "before," "above," "beyond," and "all around." With the genitive,"round about" of place, "for" or "about" something," with verbs of knowing, "about" and "concerning," "before or "beyond," of superiority With the dative, "round about" of clothes, "around" in holding, "for" or "about" a struggle, "on account of" and "by reason of" a cause. With the accusative, "around" in movement, caring and generally of relationships "about,"  "about" of time. As an adverb "around," "about," also, "near, by," and "exceedingly" in relationships.

τούτου  [51 verses](adj sg masc gen) "That" is toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this," "here," "the nearer," and "the familiar."

ζητεῖτε [36 verses](verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Do you enquire" is zeteo, which means "inquire for," "search for," "seek after," "desire," and "feel the want of."

μετ᾽ [103 verses](prep) "Among" 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." 

ἀλλήλων [14 verses] (adj pl masc acc) "Yourselves" is allelon, which means "one another," "to one another," "mutually," and "reciprocally." " -

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."

εἶπον [162 verses] (1st sg aor ind act ) "I said" is eipon, which means "to speak," "to say," "to recite," "to address," "to mention," "to name," "to proclaim," "to plead," "to promise," and "to offer."  This is the second most common word Jesus uses for this idea. Perhaps translating it consistently as "tell" would work.

Μικρὸν [18 verses](adj adj sg neut nom/acc) "A little while" is mikros which means "small," "little," and "young." In the NT, the singular neuter nom/acc, is used to mean "small things," "small times," small places," "small age," and "small influence." It is one of several words Christ uses to refer to children (see this article). 

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "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."

οὐκέτι [17 verses](adv) "Not" is ouketi, which means "no more," "no longer," "no further" and generally, "not now."

θεωρεῖτέ [15 verses](2nd pl pres ind act ) "You shall...see" is theoreo, which means "to view," "to see", "to look at", "to gaze," "to behold," (of the mind) "to contemplate", "to consider", "to observe (as a spectator)", "to gaze", "to gape", "to inspect (troops)" "to judge of," and, in abstract, "to theorize" and "to speculate." It originally means literally, "to be a spectator" or "to be sent to see an oracle." 

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

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "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."

πάλιν [23 verses](adv) "Again" is palin, which means "back," "backward," "contradiction," "again," "once more," and "in turn."

μικρὸν [18 verses](adj adj sg neut nom/acc) "A little while" is mikros which means "small," "little," and "young." In the NT, the singular neuter nom/acc, is used to mean "small things," "small times," small places," "small age," and "small influence." It is one of several words Christ uses to refer to children (see this article). 

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "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."

ὄψεσθέ [13 verses](verb 2nd pl fut ind mid) "You shall see is optanomai, which means "to see," "to look," "to aim at," "to look towards," "to have sight," "to take heed," (in transitive) "to behold," "to perceive," "to observe," "to look out for," and "to be seen (passive)." It is a metaphor for mental sight, "to perceive," "to discern," "to see visions," "to appear in visions (passion), and "to interview."

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

KJV Analysis: 

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

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

enquire -- The Greek verb translated as "enquire" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring." It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim. It also means to "search," "inquire into," "investigate," and "examine."

among  -- "Among" 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.

yourselves   -  (CW) "Yourselves" is a special adjective that means literally "one another." It is from a special adjective that means "one another."

of - (CW) The Greek word translated as "of" means "around" when referring to a place, but in referring to a subject, it means "about," "concerning," "on account of," and "in regard to." This is the way Jesus usually uses it. It is not the word form usually translated as "of."

that  -- (CW) "That" 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."

missing "because"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "because" introduces a statement of fact or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

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

said, - The word translated as "said" means "to say" and "to speak." It is one of the two most common words translated "speak," "say" and "tell," but it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

A -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a noun doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

little, - "A litte while" is a word that means "small" and "little" applied to anything, size, power, age, quantity, rank, or influence. Christ usually uses it to refer to children. It is in a comparative form, meaning "lesser," not the superlative form. It is one of several words Christ uses to refer to children (see this article). 

while -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "while" in the Greek source. It was added because the previous verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

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 can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

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

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.

not   -- (CW) "Not" is an adverb that means "no more," "no longer," "no further" and generally, "not now."

see  --  (CW) The Greek word translated as "see" is not one of the common words Jesus uses to mean "see." It is a fancier word that has more of a sense of viewing something as a spectator. This word is the root of the English word "theater." It works like our word  "view" and our word "review" in the sense of "inspect" and "judge a thing." Jesus uses it most commonly to refer to people inspecting him now but not judging him in the future. This word is the root of the English word "theater," where plays are both viewed and reviewed by critics. 

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.

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 can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

again, -- The Greek word translated as "again" means "back," "again," and "contradiction."

-- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a noun doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

little - "A little" is a word that means "small" and "little" applied to anything, size, power, age, quantity, rank, or influence. Jesus usually uses it to refer to children. It is in a comparative form, meaning "lesser," not the superlative form. It is one of several words Christ uses to refer to children (see this article). 

while, -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "while" in the Greek source. It was added because the previous verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

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 can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

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

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.

see -- (CW) "Shall see" is a verb that means "to see," "to look," "to aim at," "to look towards," and similar meanings. It is not one of the common words for simply saying"see." Jesus uses this verb in a specific way,  in the future tense and the middle voice. The middle voice means that the subject is acting for or by themselves so "will see for yourself." However, it also has the same root as the Greek word "eye," so "will behold with your own eyes" comes the closest. It is a light-hearted way to make a promise about the future.

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.,

KJV Translation Issues: 

9
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "yourselves" is not the common word usually translated as "yourselves."
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "of" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- "That" is from the word better translated as "this."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "because" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "while" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is not one of the common words usually translated as "not."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" is not one of the common words usually translated as "see."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "while" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" is not one of the common words usually translated as "see."

NIV : 

John 16:19 Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?

NIV Analysis: 

Are -- This helping verb is added to make this a question, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

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

asking -- (CW) The Greek verb translated as "enquire" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring." It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim. It also means to "search," "inquire into," "investigate," and "examine." This is not the Greek word usually translated as "ask."

missing "with"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "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.

one another  -  "On another" is a special adjective that means literally "one another." It is from a special adjective that means "one another."

missing "about"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "about" means "around" when referring to a place, but in referring to a subject, it means "about," "concerning," "on account of," and "in regard to." This is the way Jesus usually uses it. It is not the word form usually translated as "of."

what -- (CW) "That" 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."

I meant -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "I meant" in the Greek sourceIW - Inserted Word -- The word "it" doesn't exist in the source.

when   --  (WW) The Greek word translated as "when" introduces a statement of fact, "in order that,"  or cause, "for what," "because," "since," and "wherefore."

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

said, - The word translated as "said" means "to say" and "to speak." It is one of the two most common words translated "speak," "say" and "tell," but it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

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

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a noun doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

little, - "A litte while" is a word that means "small" and "little" applied to anything, size, power, age, quantity, rank, or influence. Christ usually uses it to refer to children. It is in a comparative form, meaning "lesser," not the superlative form. It is one of several words Christ uses to refer to children (see this article). 

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

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 can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

you -- This is from the second-person, 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.

see  --  (CW) The Greek word translated as "see" is not one of the common words Jesus uses to mean "see." It is a fancier word that has more of a sense of viewing something as a spectator. This word is the root of the English word "theater." It works like our word  "view" and our word "review" in the sense of "inspect" and "judge a thing." Jesus uses it most commonly to refer to people inspecting him now but not judging him in the future. This word is the root of the English word "theater," where plays are both viewed and reviewed by critics. 

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.

no more-- "No more" is an adverb that means "no more," "no longer," "no further" and generally, "not now."

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 can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

then , -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "then" means "back," "again," and "contradiction."

-- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a noun doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

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

little - "A little" is a word that means "small" and "little" applied to anything, size, power, age, quantity, rank, or influence. Jesus usually uses it to refer to children. It is in a comparative form, meaning "lesser," not the superlative form. It is one of several words Christ uses to refer to children (see this article). 

while, -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "while" in the Greek source. It was added because the previous verb was translated as active rather than a participle.

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 can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

you -- This is from the second-person, 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.

see -- (CW) "Shall see" is a verb that means "to see," "to look," "to aim at," "to look towards," and similar meanings. It is not one of the common words for simply saying"see." Jesus uses this verb in a specific way,  in the future tense and the middle voice. The middle voice means that the subject is acting for or by themselves so "will see for yourself." However, it also has the same root as the Greek word "eye," so "will behold with your own eyes" comes the closest. It is a light-hearted way to make a promise about the future.

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.

NIV Translation Issues: 

13
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "in" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "while" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" is not one of the common words usually translated as "see."
  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "then" should be something more like "again."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "after" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "while" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "see" is not one of the common words usually translated as "see."
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "asking" is not the common verb usually translated as "ask."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "with" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "about" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "what" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • IW --Inserted Word -- The word "I  meant" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "when" should be something more like "because."

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Dec 1 2022