John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

However, the one producing what is real moves toward the light/knowledge so that his activities might be revealed. This is because their having been made is within God.

KJV : 

Jhn 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The contrast between this verse and the previous verse is between activities that have little value and those that are true or real. What is the same in both verses is the word translated as "deeds." Though the KJV of both verses talks about "doing," two different verbs are used. This verb here, used as the subject in the form of a present participle, means "making" or "producing." The verb in the last verse has more of a sense of achieving. The contrast in the two verses is specifically between "achieving little" and "making what is true".

The word translated as "they are wrought" is also a present participle acting as a noun which the subject of the sentence.

The sense of this verse that is overlooked in the KJV is that those want to do real work, create real value, must move toward the knowledge or light that comes from God. The knowledge to create real value is always divine. The creative impulse is the divine ability within each of us.


 The word translated as "light" is the base for the verb translated as "may be made manifest." The word translated as "deeds" is the base for the verb translated as "are wrought." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

δὲ But" is from de (de), which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way.

...ποιῶν (part sg pres act masc nom) "He that doeth" is from poieô ( poieo), which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

τὴν ἀλήθειαν "Truth" is from aletheia, which means literally "the state of not being hidden," means "truth" and "reality" as opposed to appearances.

ἔρχεται (3rd sg pres ind mp) "Comes" is from erchomai (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.

πρὸς "To" is from pros (pros), which means "from (place)", "on the side of", "toward", "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

τὸ φῶς "The light" is from phos, which means both "light" and is the metaphor for "knowledge."

ἵνα "That" is from hina (hina), which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because."

φανερωθῇ (3rd sg aor subj pass) "May be made manifest" is from phaneroô (phaneroo), which means "make manifest", "reveal", "make clear", "make known," and "make famous."

αὐτοῦ "His" is from autos (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." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

τὰ ἔργα "Deeds" is from ergon (ergon ), which means "works", "tasks", "deeds", "actions", "thing," and "matter."

ὅτι "That" is from hoti (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."

ἐν "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

θεῷ "God" is from theos (theos), which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

ἐστὶν (3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

εἰργασμένα (part pl perf mp neut nom) "Are wrought" is from ergazomai, which means "to work", "to labor", "to earn by working", "to work at", "to make", "to perform", "to work at", "to cause," and "to practice."