John 16:4 But these things have I told you,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

After the Last Supper, after Jesus says people make mistakes because they do not recognize Jesus or his father,

KJV : 

John 16:4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

Literal Verse: 

Instead, these things I have relayed to you so that, when the time of them comes, you might remember them because I myself told you.  However, I didn't tell you these things from inception because I was with you.

What is Lost in Translation: 

In three other verses (John 16:1, John 15:11, John 14:25) in this "after last supper" speech, Jesus has begun with, "These things I have told you." This is the humor of repetition, the use of an introductory catchphrase. All the English translations translated the initial verbs as "told," it is not one of the common verbs that means "tell" or "say." It is a humorous word that means "gossip," and "chatter," but its main meaning is "relaying" or "passing on" information from someone else to the listeners. It is confused here with the common Greek verb that is usually translated as "say" or "tell." The English translation translated the two occurrences of this common Greek verb as though it was different verbs (KJV: "told" and "said," NIV: "warned" and "tell"). 

The "may remember" and "will remember" is a hope, not a predictive. The "may/will" should be a "might." The verb is one of possibility, not a statement of fact.

The pronoun translated as "of them" and "about them" is not the object of "told/warned" but of the verb "remember."

My Takeaway: 

We might remember what we are told when the time arrives.

Greek : 

Original Word Order: 

Instead, these things, I have relayed so that when it comes, the time of them, you might remember them because I myself tell you. These things, however, to you from inception I didn't tell because with you I was.

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀλλὰ [154 verses](conj) "But" is alla, which means "instead," "otherwise," "but," "still," "at least," "except," "yet," nevertheless," "rather," "moreover," and "nay."

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 told" 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."

ὅταν [70 verses](adv/conj) "When" is from hotan, which means "whenever (as a condition)," and "since (as a cause)."

ἔλθῃ [198 verses](3rd sg aor subj act) "Shall come" is  erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out," "to come," "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

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

ὥρα [37 verses](noun sg fem nom ) "Hour" is hora, which means "any period," "season," (especially springtime), "year' (generally), "climate" (as determined by seasons), "duration," "the twelve equal parts into which the period of daylight was divided," "the fitting time" (for a task). 

αὐτῶν [720 verses](adj sg masc gen) Untranslated is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself," "yourself," "himself," "herself," "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him," "her," and "it." In the plural, "they," "them," and "their." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

μνημονεύητε [6 verses](verb 2nd pl pres subj act) "You may remember" is mnemoneuo, which means to "call to mind," "to remember," and "to think of."  It accepts both accusative or genitive objects.

αὐτῶν [720 verses](adj sg masc gen) "Of them"is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself," "yourself," "himself," "herself," "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him," "her," and "it." In the plural, "they," "them," and "their." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

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.

εἶπον  [162 verses] (1st sg aor ind act) "I have told" 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.

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

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."

δὲ [446 verses](conj) "And" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). With the Greek word for "if" the sense is "if...than."

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

ἐξ   [121 verses] (prep) "At" is ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of," "from," "by," "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond," "outside of," "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after," "from;" 4) [of rest] "on," "in," 5) [of time] "since," "from," "at," "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of," "made from;" 6) cause, instrument, or means "by."

ἀρχῆς [13 verses](noun sg fem gen) "Beginning" is arche, which means "beginning," "origin," "first principles," "first place of power," "empire," and "command." This is the word from which we get both "archbishop," primal bishops who can consecrate other bishops, and "archeology," the study of ancient.

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.

εἶπον, [162 verses] (1st sg aor ind act) "I have...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.

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj) "Because" 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."

μεθ᾽ [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." 

ὑμῶν [168 verses](pron 2nd pl gen) "Your/you" is humon, the plural possessive form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." It is either a possessive pronoun or the object of a preposition.

ἤμην. .[614 verses](1st sg imperf ind) "I was" is eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen,"  and "is possible." With the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

KJV Analysis: 

But -- (CW) The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "instead" or "rather." It is not the common word usually translated as "but." It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise." Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, "not this," with a positive one, "instead this."

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." As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

things  - There is no word, "things," in the Greek source, but this word comes 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.

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 the 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. -- The word translated as "there" is an adverb "in that place," "there," "where," or "when."

when -- The Greek word translated as "when" introduces a phrase that explains a certain condition so "whenever" or "since."

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. 

time - The word translated as "hour" means a period of time equal to the one-twelfth part of the daylight, like an "hour." More generally, it means a period of time, like a "season."

missing "theirs"  -- (OS) The untranslated word  "their" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  It did not appear in the KJV source.

shall -- (CW) 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. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

come, -- The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

ye-- 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.

remember - "Remember" is from a verb that means to "call to mind," "to remember," and "to think of." This verb takes both objects in the regular form and objects in the possessive (genitive) form., but in English translation, the "remember of them" is still translated as "remember them.

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

I -- The pronoun "I" is used here.  When it has no verb, the verb "is" or the previous verb is assumed. When 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 subject pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

told - The word translated as "told" 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.

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.

of -- This word "of"  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.

them.  -- (WP) "Them" is  the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This does not follow "told" but "remember."

And -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "and" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  It can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

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." As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

things  - There is no word, "things," in the Greek source, but this word comes from the neuter, plural form of the previous adjective.

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

said - (CW) 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. This is the same word translated as "told" above.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" 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. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. 

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.

at -- (CW) The Greek preposition translated as "at" means "out of" or "from." The word has a number of different meanings based upon its context. However, in Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases that are translated into English "of" phrases.

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

beginning, -- "Beginning" is a noun that means "beginning," "origin," "first principles," "first place of power," "empire," and "command." This is the word from which we get both "archbishop," primal bishops who can consecrate other bishops, and "archeology," the study of ancient history.

because -- The word translated as "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.

was --   The verb "was" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.

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.

you. -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. Here, it is the object of the previous preposition. As an object of a preposition, the genitive indicates movement away or a position away from something.

KJV Translation Issues: 

10
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "but" is not the common word usually translated as "but."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "speak" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "theirs" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the source we use today.
  • CW - Confusing Word - This "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "of them" doesn't appear here but after the verb "remember."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be something more like "but."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "said" is the same word translated as "told" above.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "at" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "beginning" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV : 

John 16:4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you,

NIV Analysis: 

missing "instead"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "instead" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "instead" or "rather." It is not the common word usually translated as "but." It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise." Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, "not this," with a positive one, "instead this."

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 the action was being performed.

missing "but"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "instead" or "rather." It is not the common word usually translated as "but." It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise." Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, "not this," with a positive one, "instead this."

this-- (WN) The "this" 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," as it is here.

 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. -- The word translated as "there" is an adverb "in that place," "there," "where," or "when."

when -- The Greek word translated as "when" introduces a phrase that explains a certain condition so "whenever" or "since."

their  -- The word translated as "their" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of theirs."

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.

time - The word translated as "hour" means a period of time equal to the one-twelfth part of the daylight, like an "hour." More generally, it means a period of time, like a "season."

comes, -- The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

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

will -- (WW) This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility, the subjunctive, not the future tense. It should be a "might" or "should." Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

remember - "Remember" is from a verb that means to "call to mind," "to remember," and "to think of."

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

I -- The pronoun "I" is used here.  When it has no verb, the verb "is" or the previous verb is assumed. When 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 subject pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

warned - (CW) The word translated as "told" 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.

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.

about -- This word "of"  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.

them.  -- (WP) "Them" is  the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This does not follow "told" but "remember."

missing "but"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "and" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  It can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

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

did -- This helping verb is added to make this a negative sentence.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" 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. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. 

tell - The word translated as "tell" 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.

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.

this -- (WN) The "this" 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." That is it from here, not singular.

from -- The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." The word has a number of different meanings based upon its context. However, in Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases that are translated into English "of" phrases.

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

beginning, -- "Beginning" is a noun that means "beginning," "origin," "first principles," "first place of power," "empire," and "command." This is the word from which we get both "archbishop," primal bishops who can consecrate other bishops, and "archeology," the study of ancient history.

because -- The word translated as "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.

was -- The verb "was" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. 

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.

you. -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. Here, it is the object of the previous preposition. As an object of a preposition, the genitive indicates movement away or a position away from something.

NIV Translation Issues: 

12
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "instead" is not shown in the English translation
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "told" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "but" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "this" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "these things."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "time" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "will" should be something more like "might."
  • 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 "warned" does not capture the word's general meaning.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "about them" doesn't appear here but after the verb "remember."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "but" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "this" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "these things."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" before "beginning" doesn't exist in the source.

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Nov 18 2022