John 6:48 I am that bread of life.

Spoken to: 

audience

A crowd comes to Jesus in Capernaum after eating of the loaves. The context is now about believing and eternal life.

KJV: 

John 6:48 I am that bread of life.

NIV : 

John 6:48 I am the bread of life.

LISTENERS HEARD: 

I myself am the bread of this life.

MY TAKE: 

We have to feed the spirit if we want a life that continues beyond death.

GREEK (Each Word Explained Bottom of Page): 

LOST IN TRANSLATION: 

Jesus says specifically that he is the bread of "that life," using the definite article, referring specifically to the "ongoing life" of the previous verse. Notice that in the previous verse, he did not use the definite article because he was defining the life there as "a life ongoing." This is left out of English translation, destroying the context.  He uses the same words in John 6:35, referring to life without hunger and thirst. Jesus repeats his statement to clearly connect one idea, "ongoing life" with the other "not hungering or thirsting."

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

2
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "myself" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "this" before "life" is not shown in the English translation.

# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

2
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "myself" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "this" before "life" is not shown in the English translation.

EACH WORD of KJV : 

I -- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it 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 subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

am -- The verb "am" 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 the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to."-- When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

that -- 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. 

bread -- The word translated as "bread" means "small loaf or cake of bread." It is more like a slice of bread today. It describes a thin 1/2 inch thick round or an oblong loaf of wheat bread, meant to be torn into pieces and not cut. It was closer to a flour tortilla or a piece of pan than a loaf of bread.

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.

missing "this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, 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," "those"). See this article for more. This points to the life he is describing, one without hunger and thirst.

life: -- The word translated as "life" means "living" but it also means "substance," "existence," and "property."Jesus uses it to mean the "existence" of physical life, spirit plus body. To learn more read this article on life eternal, For more on how Christ uses this word with other words about human existence (soul, heart, spirit, body, etc.), read this article.

EACH WORD of NIV : 

I -- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it 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 subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

am -- The verb "am" 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 the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to."-- When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

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. 

bread -- The word translated as "bread" means "small loaf or cake of bread." It is more like a slice of bread today. It describes a thin 1/2 inch thick round or an oblong loaf of wheat bread, meant to be torn into pieces and not cut. It was closer to a flour tortilla or a piece of pan than a loaf of bread.

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.

missing "this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, 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," "those"). See this article for more. This points to the life he is describing, one without hunger and thirst.

life: -- The word translated as "life" means "living" but it also means "substance," "existence," and "property."Jesus uses it to mean the "existence" of physical life, spirit plus body. To learn more read this article on life eternal, For more on how Christ uses this word with other words about human existence (soul, heart, spirit, body, etc.), read this article.

COMPARISON: GREEK to KJV : 

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. -- The pronoun "I" is used here. Since, as the subject of the sentence, it is part of the verb, its explicit use accentuates who is speaking "I." Saying "I myself" captures this feeling in English.

εἰμι.[614 verses] (1st sg pres ind act) "Am" 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. -- The verb "is" 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 the genitive object, the sense is "belongs to."-- When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

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

ἄρτος [32 verses](noun pl masc nom)"Bread" is artos, which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread."

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

ζωῆς [42 verses] (noun sg fem gen) "Life" is 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.

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Apr 5 2022