John 16:9 Of sin,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

After the Last Supper, after Jesus says the assistant will accuse the world of making mistakes.

KJV : 

John 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Literal Verse: 

Of mistakes, on one hand, because they do not trust as much as me

What is Lost in Translation: 

As discussed in John 16:8 these three words in English translation --"sin," "righteousness," and "judgment" -- seem to be equated. In Greek, "mistakes" (not "sin") is separated structurally from "justice" (not "righteousness) and "judgment" in that verse and these three following ones. Here, the key difference, a word meaning "on one hand" is untranslated. This conjunction this to the following two verses which contain "on the other hand" conjunctions that are untranslated completely screwing up the meaning of the entire series.

The word translated as "believe" means "trust." First, the phrase translated as "believe in me" more likely means "as much as me" (see this article).

My Takeaway: 

We make a mistake when we don't trust Jesus's words.

Greek : 

Original Word Order: 

Of mistakes, on one hand, because they do not trust as much as me

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.

ἁμαρτίας [28 verses]( noun sg fem gen or pl fem acc)"Sin" is hamartia, which means "missing the mark," "failure," "fault," and "error." Only in religious uses does it become "guilt" and "sin."

μὲν [31 verses](partic) Untranslated is men, which is generally used to express certainty and means "indeed," "certainly," "surely," and "truly." Used with the conjunction de, as it is here, it points out the specific word being contrasted after the conjunction. In English, we usually say, one one hand...on the others... See the article here for specific uses with other particles.

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."

οὐ [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.

πιστεύουσιν [69 verses](verb (part pl pres act masc dat or 3rd pl pres ind act) "They believe" 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) "on" 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."

KJV Analysis: 

Of - 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."

sin, -- (CW) The word translated as "sins" means "missing the mark," "failure," "fault," and "error." Only in religious uses does it become "guilt" and "sin," having no sense of doing malicious evil in Greek. The best English translation is "mistake," "fault," or "failure" rather than what we commonly think of as the evils of "sin." See this article for more information and context. The word could be singular or plural.

missing "on one hand"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "certainly" here is a particle, which. when used alone. expresses certainty, "truly" and "certainly." However, when used with the conjunction untranslated in the following phrases, it takes the meaning "one one hand..." with the "on the other hand" identified by the "but" or "however" phrases. The appear here in a series in the next two verses.

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

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

believe -- (CW) 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 apply to trusting words.

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. 

on -- (CW) The word translated as "on" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "as much as (of measure or limit)," "in regards to" a subject,"up to" limits in time and measure, and "for" a purpose or object. This does not likely mean "in me" here, but "as much as."

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: 

4
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "sin" does not capture the word's general meaning.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "on one hand" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "believe" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "on" is not the common word usually translated as "on."

NIV : 

John 16:9 about sin, because people do not believe in me;

NIV Analysis: 

about - The Greek word translated as "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."

sin, -- (CW) The word translated as "sins" means "missing the mark," "failure," "fault," and "error." Only in religious uses does it become "guilt" and "sin," having no sense of doing malicious evil in Greek. The best English translation is "mistake," "fault," or "failure" rather than what we commonly think of as the evils of "sin." See this article for more information and context. The word could be singular or plural.

missing "on one hand"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "certainly" here is a particle, which. when used alone. expresses certainty, "truly" and "certainly." However, when used with the conjunction untranslated in the following phrases, it takes the meaning "one one hand..." with the "on the other hand" identified by the "but" or "however" phrases. The appear here in a series in the next two verses.

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

people -- (IW) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "people" in the Greek source. This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

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

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.

believe -- (CW) 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 apply to trusting words.

in -- (CW) The word translated as "in" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "as much as (of measure or limit)," "in regards to" a subject,"up to" limits in time and measure, and "for" a purpose or object. This does not likely mean "in me" here, but "as much as."

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: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "sin" does not capture the word's general meaning.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "on one hand" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "people" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "believe" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "in" should be something more like "as much as."

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Nov 23 2022