John 6:44 No man can come to me

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

A crowd comes to Jesus in Capernaum after eating of the loaves. The discussion is now about the will of the Father and the last day.

KJV : 

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Literal Verse: 

No one has the power to come to me unless the Father, the one sending me, pulls him, and I myself should raise him on the last day.

What is Lost in Translation: 

This verse states positive ideas in negative forms. "No one" has the power to come to Jesus "if not" the Father pulls him. Stating this positively, people who are pulled by the Father get "the power" to move toward Jesus. The word translated as "can" means having power or ability. The idea of the Father "pulling" them is contrasted with the idea of him "sending" or "pushing" the son.

Note that singular pronouns are used here and in the last several verses. What Jesus describes regarding "the last day" happens individually, not in a group. He says "draws or pulls him," not them. This is changed in more modern Bibles to "them" but this is misleading, as though this happens to a group. But "the last day" is not discussed as a group event. Not the end of the world, but the end of our individual lives.

My Takeaway: 

We need the Father's help to reach our "come to Jesus" moment.

Greek : 

Wordplay: 

 A play on the words for "sending" and "attracting." He who sends also attracts. 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὐδεὶς [69 verses](adj sg masc nom) "No man" is oudeis which means "no one," "not one," "nothing," "naught," "good for naught," and "no matter."

δύναται [61 verses](3rd sg pres ind mp) "Can" is the verb, dynamai, which means "to have power by virtue of your own capabilities," "to be able," and "to be strong enough."

ἐλθεῖν " [198 verses] (aor inf act) "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.

πρὸς [92 verses](prep)  "Unto" is from pros, which means "from (place)," "on the side of," "toward," "before," "in the presence of," "in the eyes of," "before (supplication, a judge, a witness)," "near" a time, "for" the moment, "proceeding from (for effects)," "dependent on," "derivable from," "agreeable," "in comparison with," "becoming," "like," "at the point of," "in addition to," "against," and "before."  It also means "dependent upon."

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

ἐὰν μὴ [8 verses](conj particle) "Except" is ean me, which means "when not." "When" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if) and an (might), which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. "Not" is (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." It has the sense of not wanting or thinking something. 

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

πατὴρ [191 verses](noun sg masc nom) "The Father" is pater, which means "father," "grandfather," "author," "parent," and "forefathers."

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

πέμψας [39 verses](part sg aor act masc nom) "Hath sent" is pempo, which means "send," "send forth," "send away," "conduct," and "escort."

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

ἐλκύσῃ [2 verses](3rd sg aor subj act) "Draw" is from helko, which means "to attract", "to draw to oneself", "to drag into court", "to pull towards oneself", "to draw [a sword or a bow]", "to pull [an oar]", "to hoist [a salil]", "to suck up [a drink]," and "to drag."

αὐτόν [720 verses] (adj sg masc acc) "Him" 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." 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."

κἀγὼ [31 verses](pron 1st sg masc nom ) "And...I" is kago, a contraction of kai-ego. "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." "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."

ἀναστήσω [29 verses](1st sg fut ind act or 1st sg aor subj act) "Will raise" is from anistemi, which means "to make stand up," "to raise up," "to raise from sleep," "to wake up," "to raise from the dead," "to rouse to action," "to put up for sale," "to make people rise," "to emigrate," "to transplant," and "to rise and leave the sanctuary."

αὐτόν [720 verses] (adj sg masc acc) "Him" 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." 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."

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "In" is en, which means, with a dative object, "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," "during,"  and "with." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." Referring to time, it means. "in the course of" or "during."  -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."

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

ἐσχάτῃ [21 verses](adj sg fem dat) "Last"  is eschatos. In space, this means "furthest." In degree, it means "uttermost" and "highest." In persons, it means "lowest" and "meanest." Of time, it means "last" and "ending."

ἡμέρᾳ [96 verses](noun fem sg dat) "Days" is hemera, which means "day" "a state or time of life," "a time (poetic)," "daybreak" and "day time." It is also and also has a second meaning, of "quiet," "tame (animals)," "cultivated (crops)," and "civilized (people)."

KJV Analysis: 

No man -- The Greek word translated as "no man" also means "no one," "nothing," and other negative nouns. However, to avoid the English double-negative, we translate it as its opposite "anyone" when used with another Greek negative.

can -  (WF) The word translated as "can" means having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something. Often, in English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. In Greek, it indicates ability or power. This is the active verb, "have power," not a helper verb for the following.

come -- (WF) 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. This is an infinitive, not the active verb.

to -- The word translated as "to" means "towards," "by reason of (for)," "before" both in time and place, "in the presence of," "against," and several other types of "before." With verbs of seeing it specifically means "towards."

me, -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

except - - "Except" is from a phrase that literally means "when not". The negative used in it is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" or "think" something, not that it isn't done or thought. 

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. 

Father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

which  -- (CW) The word translated as "which" 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.  This is not the usual word translated as "which."

hath -- (WT) This helping verb "hath" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

sent -- "Sent" is from a Greek verb that means "send," "send forth," "send away," "conduct," and "escort." This is the second most common word Jesus uses that is translated as "send out," but this one doesn't have the prefix that has the sense of "out."

me -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

draw  - - "Draw" means "to attract", "to draw to oneself", "to drag into court", "to pull towards oneself", "to draw [a sword or a bow]", "to pull [an oar]", "to hoist [a sail]", "to suck up [a drink]," and "to drag." The sense is "to pull." Jesus only uses this verb twice.  This verb is in the form of possibility, but since it is in an "unless" clause, it doesn't need a helping verb.

him: -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

and I -- This is from a contraction of the conjunction "and" and the subject pronoun "I". Since the verb is already in the first person, that addition of the pronoun is like saying "and I myself," emphasizing the first person speaker.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense or a form that indicates possibility at some time. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. Jesus has been speaking more in the mode of possibility in making similar statements in this section.

raise -- "Raise " is a Greek verb that means "to make to stand up," "to raise from the dead," "to rouse to action," and "to make people rise up."

him -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

up -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "up."

at -- This word "at" comes from the dative case of the following words that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

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. 

last -- "Last" is from an adjective that, in space, means "furthest." In degree, it means "uttermost" and "highest." In persons, it means "lowest" and "meanest." Of time, it means "last" and "ending." If the context is the previous verse, it can refer to distance or people so it means "furthest" or "meanest." However, clearly, its use is intended for a double meaning, meaning both. KJV English has a double meaning as well, but it is not quite the same.

day. -- The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime."

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "can" is not a helping verb but an active verb, "have power" or "have the ability."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "enter" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to enter."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "which" is not the common word usually translated as "which."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "hath" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

NIV : 

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

NIV Analysis: 

No one-- The Greek word translated as "no man" also means "no one," "nothing," and other negative nouns. However, to avoid the English double-negative, we translate it as its opposite "anyone" when used with another Greek negative.

can - The word translated as "can" means having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something. Often, in English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. In Greek, it indicates ability or power.

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.

to -- The word translated as "to" means "towards," "by reason of (for)," "before" both in time and place, "in the presence of," "against," and several other types of "before." With verbs of seeing it specifically means "towards."

me, -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

unless- - "Unless" is from a phrase that literally means "when not". The negative used in it is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" or "think" something, not that it isn't done or thought.

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. 

Father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

who -- (CW) The word translated as "who " 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.  This is not the usual word translated as "which."

sent -- "Sent" is from a Greek verb that means "send," "send forth," "send away," "conduct," and "escort." This is the second most common word Jesus uses that is translated as "send out," but this one doesn't have the prefix that has the sense of "out."

me -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

draws  - - "Draw" means "to attract", "to draw to oneself", "to drag into court", "to pull towards oneself", "to draw [a sword or a bow]", "to pull [an oar]", "to hoist [a sail]", "to suck up [a drink]," and "to drag." The sense is "to pull." Jesus only uses this verb twice. This verb is in the form of possibility, but since it is in an "unless" clause, it doesn't need a helping verb.

them: -- (WN) The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English, but it is singular, not plural.

and I -- This is from a contraction of the conjunction "and" and the subject pronoun "I". Since the verb is already in the first person, that addition of the pronoun is like saying "and I myself," emphasizing the first person speaker.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense or a form that indicates possibility at some time. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. Jesus has been speaking more in the mode of possibility in making similar statements in this section.

raise -- "Raise " is a Greek verb that means "to make to stand up," "to raise from the dead," "to rouse to action," and "to make people rise up."

them: -- (WN) The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English, but it is singular, not plural.

up -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "up."

at -- This word "at" comes from the dative case of the following words that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

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. 

last -- "Last" is from an adjective that, in space, means "furthest." In degree, it means "uttermost" and "highest." In persons, it means "lowest" and "meanest." Of time, it means "last" and "ending." If the context is the previous verse, it can refer to distance or people so it means "furthest" or "meanest." However, clearly, its use is intended for a double meaning, meaning both. KJV English has a double meaning as well, but it is not quite the same.

day. -- The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime."

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "can" is not a helping verb but an active verb, "have power" or "have the ability."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "enter" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to enter."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "who" is not the common word usually translated as "which."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "them" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "them" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Apr 1 2022