John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Don't earn the demolishing meat but rather the strengthening meat of perpetual life, which the son of humanity will give you as the Father God has authorized him.


Don't earn a self-destroying living but rather the strengthening living of perpetual life, which the son of humanity will give your as the Father has authorized him.

KJV : 

John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated as "labor" here can also mean "to earn" or even "to make." Those meaning make better sense here because the "meat" is the object of the verb. The meat is either being made or earned by the work.

The word translated as "perisheth" is translated everywhere else in the NT as "destroy." Since it is in the form of a present participle, it describes the meat itself as destructive.

Similarly, the word translated as "endureth" means "to have strength." specifically a type of holding power. Again, it describes the mean as "strengthening."

This raises the question of what Christ means by "earning meat." There is a strong sense here and in an earlier section of John, John 4:34, that the phrase was used in the same way we talk about "earning a living." The word "meat" then becomes the equivalent to how we use "a living" to mean "work." Earlier Christ described his meat as "doing the work for which his Father sent him." So by their work, people are earning or making meat. this is reflected in the crowd's response to this verse, asking "How do we do God's work."

The final section of the verse says that God has "sealed" Christ. However, the purpose of seals in Christ era was to authenticate or approve of something. A "seal" was the mark of a person in authority. So the Father has authenticated or approved the Son to give people the strengthening meat that leads to eternal life.


 A play on the meaning of "earning meat" as having the sense of "earning a living." 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐργάζεσθε (2nd pl pres imperat mp) "Labour" is from ergazomai, which means "to work," "to labor," "to earn by working," "to work at," "to make," "to perform," "to cause," and "to practice."

μὴ "Not" is from (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.

τὴν βρῶσιν "Meat" is from brōsis, which means "meat," "pasture," "eating," "taste," "flavor," and "corrosion."

τὴν ἀπολλυμένην (part sg pres mp fem acc) "Which perisheth" is from apollymi (apollymi), which means "to demolish," "to lay waste," "to lose," "to perish," "to die," "to cease to exist," and "to be undone."

ἀλλὰ "But" is from alla (alla), which means "otherwise," "but," "still," "at least," "except," "yet," nevertheless," "rather," "moreover," and "nay." It denotes an exception or a simple opposition.

τὴν βρῶσιν "Meat" is from brōsis, which means "meat," "pasture," "eating," "taste," "flavor," and "corrosion."

τὴν μένουσαν (part sg pres act fem acc) "Which endureth" is from meno, which, as a noun, means "might," "force," "strength," "fierceness," and "passion"; as a verb, it means "stand fast" (in battle), "stay at home," "stay," "tarry," "remain as one was," "abide," and (transitive) "await."

εἰς "Unto" is from eis (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)."

ζωὴν "Life" is from zôê (zoe), which means "living," "substance," "property," "existence," and, incidentally, "the scum on milk." It has the sense of how we say "make a living" to mean property. Homer used it more to mean the opposite of death.

αἰώνιον "Everlasting" is from aiônios (aionios), which means "lasting for an age," "perpetual," and "eternal." From "aion" which is used in the bible to mean an "age."

ἣν "Which" is from hos (hos), which is the demonstrative pronoun in its various forms (hê, ho, gen. hou, hês, hou, etc. ; dat. pl. hois, hais, hois, etc. gen. hoou). It means "this," "that," "he," "she," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

υἱὸς "The Son" is from huios (huios), which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

τοῦ ἀνθρώπου "Of man" is from anthrôpos (anthropos), which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

ὑμῖν δώσει, "Unto you" is from hymin, which is the 2nd person plural dative pronoun. Dative is the case which indicates to whom something is given.

δώσει (3rd sg fut ind act) "Shall give" is from didômi (didomi), which means "to give," "to grant," "to hand over," "appoint," "establish," and "to describe."

τοῦτον "Him" is from houtos (houtos), which means "this," "that," "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way," "therefore," "so much," "to such an extent," and "that is why."

γὰρ "For" is from gar (gar) which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for," "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what."

πατὴρ "The Father" is from pater (pater), which means "father," "grandfather," "author," "parent," and "forefathers."

ἐσφράγισεν (3rd sg aor ind act) "Sealed" is from sphragizo, which means "to close," "to close with a seal," "to authenticate [a document with a seal]," "to close up [as with a seal]," and "to set a seal of approval upon."

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