John 6:51 I am the living bread

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

I am the bread, the living [one], the [one] stepping down from the universal. If anyone might have partaken from this bread, he shall live until the epoch. But the bread, on the other hand, that I will give is my physical existence on behalf of the life of the world order.

KJV : 

Jhn 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Christ is contrasting to two opposing ideas of "bread" here: the version of "bread" is and has been offered and the future version of "bread" that will be given. In a sense, this verse brings together these two ideas by contrasting them.

This is hidden in translation because the conjunction indicating opposition goes untranslated in the KJV and most other popular versions, even though it appears in all Greek sources. That word is "de," a word that is usually translated as "but." It seems confusing here because it is used with the conjunction "kai" which is usually translated as "and" but which can also be translated as "but" and should be when used with "kai."

The first part of this verse offers the idea of "bread" as a message from God, the word that is sent down from heaven. It that is, from the greater universe outside of our world. This idea was one of defined in Christ earliest word in Matthew (Matthew 4:4) and this idea is echoed over and over again when Christ refers to himself here in John as the bread that came down from heaven. The power of this bread is to create a new type of life in those which understand its message: that God is the one true God and he sent Christ to us from heaven (Jhn 17:3 And this is life eternal).

Christ is this bread in his present. He was given special abilities to communicate this message during his life. It is also personal, we receive this bread and eat of it as individuals, saving our own individual lives.

This idea is contrasted with a different kind of bread, one that Christ will give in the future: the "bread" of his physical existence. Here, we might think of the idea of bread in the sense of money or currency, something of value. This bread is given for the sake of the future of the world order, that is, for changing the world, or, more traditionally, ransoming the world.

In other words, those believing in God and Christ's words can win perpetual life for themselves and, for them, Christ need not die. But Christ's life has a bigger frame, that of changing the world. For this change to happen, Christ's death and willingness to die was necessary because that alone would convince the world that this life was not all there is to life, that there is a life beyond the world.

Interestingly, the phrase translated as "for the life of the world" and that I render as "on behalf of the life of the world order" also means "beyond the life of the world", which can be also translated as "on behalf of the world order of life" or "beyond the world order of life."

Wordplay: 

 A play on the two meanings of "huper/hyper" and the linguistic relationship between "the life" and "the world".  The word huper normally means "beyond" or "above" but when used with the genitive, as it is here also has the secondary meaning of "on behalf of" or "for."

The use of the genitive also is intentionally confused or doubled with the words for "life" and "world," both of which are genitive case. The genitive case indicates one noun modifying another, hence "the world of life" or "the life of the world" but the meaning is unclear here. Normally, the modifying noun would follow the noun affected: the life [of] the world. However, here the two parts of the phrase "the life" are broken up, the article appearing before it and the word for life appearing after it. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἐγώ "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and for myself.

εἰμι (1st sg pres ind act) "Am" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

ἄρτος "The bread" is from artos (artos), which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread."

ζῶν (part sg pres act masc nom) "Living" is from zaô (zao), which means "to live", "the living," and "to be alive." It is a metaphor for "to be full of life", "to be strong," and "to be fresh."

"That" 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.

ἐκ "From" is from ek, which means "out of", "from", "by," and "away from."

τοῦ οὐρανοῦ "Heaven" is from ouranos (ouranos), which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

καταβάς: (part sg aor act masc nom) "Came down" is from katabaino, which means "go down", "come down from," and "dismount from." Metaphorically, it means "attain", "conform to", "condescend", "fall in value," and "arrive at the end [of a speech]."

ἐάν "If" is from 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.

τις "Any man" is from tis (tis) which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "many a one", "whoever," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

φάγῃ (verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "Eat" is from esthiô (esthio), which means "to eat", "devour", "fret", "vex," and to "take in one's mouth." It is also a metaphor for decay and erosion.

ἐκ "Of" is from ek, which means "out of", "from", "by," and "away from."

τούτου "This" is from toutou,, a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

τοῦ ἄρτου "Bread" is from artos (artos), which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread."

ζήσει (3rd sg fut ind act) "He shall live" is from zaô (zao), which means "to live", "the living," and "to be alive." It is a metaphor for "to be full of life", "to be strong," and "to be fresh."

εἰς "For" 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)."

τὸν αἰῶν "Ever" is from aion (aion), which means "life", "lifetime", "age," or "generation."

καὶ "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." 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."

ἄρτος "Bread" is from artos (artos), which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread."

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

ὃν "That" 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.

ἐγὼ "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and for myself.

δώσω (1st sg fut ind act) "Will give" is from didômi (didomi), which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

σάρξ "The flesh" is from sarx (sarx), which means "flesh", "the body", "fleshy", "the pulp of fruit", "meat," and "the physical and natural order of things" (opposite of the spiritual or supernatural).

μου "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

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.

ὑπὲρ "For" is from huper (hyper), which means "over" (of place), "above' (in a state of rest), "off' (ships at sea), "over" and "across (in a state of motion), "over", "beyond", "on behalf of one (metaphor), "for", "instead of", "in the name of", "as a representative of" (in an entreaty), "for" and "because of" (of the cause of motive), "concerning", "exceeding" "above" and "beyond" (of measure), "above" and "upwards" (of numbers), "before" and "earlier than" (of time), "over much" and "beyond measure" (as an adverb), "for" and "in deference of" (doing a thing), and "above measure."

τῆς Feminine genitive article belonging to "life", the feminine genitive noun here.

τοῦ κόσμου . "The world" is from kosmos, which mean "order", "good order", "ruler", "world order", "universe," and "the world of men."

ζωῆς "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.