John 7:18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

The Judeans marvel at Jesus's teaching because they think that he never learned to read, which is odd because Jesus reads Isaiah in Luke 4:16-21.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

The one chattering from himself seeks the recognition, that one of his own. The one, however, seeking the recognition of the one sending him, that one is true and criminality isn't in him.

My Takeaway: 

We can care about what Jesus said or we can care about a business built around him.

KJV : 

John 7:18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

NIV : 

John 7:18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

What is Lost in Translation: 

A remarkable number of issues in the English translations despite the verse being fairly straightforward.  As usually, Jesus use a fun word that gets translated as the boring "speaks" but means something funnier like "chattering." 

The word translated as "glory" is one that is used heavily in John, especially in the last chapters where it appears in its verb form, translated in KJV as "glorify." It is a hard word to capture in English but in most situations the noun "recognition" and the verb "recognize" in the sense of honoring someone comes the closest. It has the sense of having a "reputation."

Greek Vocabulary: 

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

ἀφ᾽ [190 verses]​(prep) "Of" is apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause. It also means the instrument "by" which a thing is done.  Usually takes the genitive object.

ἑαυτοῦ [75 verses](adj sg masc gen) "Himself" is heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself," "herself," "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is not the common pronoun meaning simply "he," "she," "them," etc.

λαλῶν [49 verses](part sg pres act masc nom) "That speaketh" is laleo, which means "to talk," "to speak" "to prattle," "to chat," and [for oracles] "to proclaim." It also means "chatter" as the opposite of articulate speech. However, Jesus seems to use in in the sense of "relaying" information gained from another. 

τὴν [821 verses](article sg fem acc)   Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

δόξαν [26 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Glory" is doxa, which means "expectation," "notion," "opinion," "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are applied to external appearances but are found primarily in translating the Bible. The words "recognition," "honor." and "reputation" come closest to capturing the way Jesus uses the word, especially if we consider how he uses the verb form.

τὴν [821 verses](article sg fem acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἰδίαν  [16 verses](adj sg fem acc) "His own" is idios, which means "one's own," "pertaining to oneself," "private," "personal," "personally attached" to one, "separate," "distinct," "strange," and "unusual."

ζητεῖ: [36 verses]( 3rd sg pres ind act) "Seeketh"is zeteo, which means "inquire for," "search for," "seek after," "desire," and "feel the want of."

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

δὲ [446 verses](conj) "But" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

ζητῶν [36 verses](part sg pres act masc nom) "He that seeketh" is zeteo, which means "inquire for," "search for," "seek after," "desire," and "feel the want of."

τὴν [821 verses](article sg fem acc) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

δόξαν [26 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Glory" is doxa, which means "expectation," "notion," "opinion," "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are applied to external appearances but are found primarily in translating the Bible. The words "recognition," "honor." and "reputation" come closest to capturing the way Jesus uses the word, especially if we consider how he uses the verb form.

τοῦ [821 verses](article sg masc gen)  "That" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

πέμψαντος [39 verses](part sg aor act masc gen) "Sent" is pempo, which means "send," "send forth," "send away," "conduct," and "escort."

αὐτὸν [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."

οὗτός [83 verses](adj sg masc nom) "The same" " is houtos, which as an adjective means "this," "that," "the nearer." 

ἀληθής [7 verses](adj sg masc/fem nom) "True" is from alethes, which means "unconcealed", "so true", "not forgetting", "careful," [of persons] "truthful" "honest," [of oracles] "true" "unerring," and [as adverb] "actually" "in reality,"

ἐστίν.[614 verses](3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" 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.

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is 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."

ἀδικία [5 verses](noun sg fem nom) "Unrighteousness" is from adikia, which means "wrongdoing", "injustice", "a wrongful act," and "offense."

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." 

αὐτῷ [720 verses](adj sg masc dat) "His" (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." "of his."

οὐκ [269 verses](partic) "Not" is ou , the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences.  The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

ἐστίν.[614 verses](3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" 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.

KJV Analysis: 

He -- (CW) The word translated as "he" 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. 

that -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "that" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than as a participle.

speaketh -- (CW, WF) The Greek word translated as "speaks" is not the ordinary "to say" or "to speak" in Greek. This word means both "idle chatter," "gossip," and "the proclamations of an oracle." Jesus uses it to capture the idea of "pass on" or "relay" information because that captures both someone gossiping and an oracle does. The word is somewhat self-effacing. The form is not an active verb but a participle.

of -- (CW) The word translated as "of" means "from" in both locations and when referring to a source or a cause. It also means the instrument "by" which a thing is done, which is the sense here, and "away from." This does not mean "about," which is the sense of "of" here.

himself -- "Himself" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself," "herself," and so on. " When used in the possessive, it has the sense of "his own."

seeketh -- The Greek verb translated as "sought" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring." It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim. 

his  -- (CW) The word is the Greek definite article,"his," 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. 

own -- The word translated as "his own" is a very unusual word that means "one's own," "pertaining to oneself," and "private."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," 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. 

glory: -- (CW) The Greek noun translated as "glory" means "expectation," "notion," "opinion," "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are found primarily in translating the Bible. The English word "acclaim" comes closest to capturing the way Jesus uses the word.

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  It can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

he -- (CW) The word translated as "he" 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.

that -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "that" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than as a participle.

seeketh -- (WF) The Greek verb translated as "seeks" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring." It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim. The form is a participle, not an active verb.

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.

glory: -- (CW) The Greek noun translated as "glory" means "expectation," "notion," "opinion," "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are found primarily in translating the Bible. The English word "acclaim" comes closest to capturing the way Jesus uses the word.

that  -- The word translated as "that" 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. 

sent -- (WF)  "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." The form is a participle, not an active verb.

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

the same -- (CW) "The same" is translated from a Greek adjective that means "this," "that," "the nearer." Without a noun, it has the sense of "this one" or "that one." It is in the form of a subject. It is not the word that means "the same."

is -- 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."

true, - The word translated as "true" primarily means "unconcealed", based on the noun form, which means "what is not hidden."   It therefore means "so true," an accentuated form of true, with nothing hidden.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

no -- (WP) The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. This negative does not negate the word below but the verb.

unrighteousness -- The Greek noun translated as "unrighteousness -" means "wrongdoing", "injustice", "a wrongful act," and "offense." It is also an uncommon verb for Jesus to use, appearing a couple of time in Luke. A different word meaning "lawless" is used in Matthew. 

is -- 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."

in -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.

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

KJV Translation Issues: 

15
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "he" is not the common word usually translated as "he."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "speak" is not the common word usually translated as "speak."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "speak" is not an active verb but a participle, "chattering."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "of" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "his" is not the common word usually translated as "his."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "glory" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "he" is not the common word usually translated as "he."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "seek" is not an active verb but a participle, "seeking."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "glory" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "glory" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sent" is not an active verb but a participle, "sending."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "the same" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "no" doesn't appear here but before the verb "is."

NIV Analysis: 

Whoever -- (CW) The word translated as "whoever " 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.

speaks -- (CW, WF) The Greek word translated as "speaks" is not the ordinary "to say" or "to speak" in Greek. This word means both "idle chatter," "gossip," and "the proclamations of an oracle." Jesus uses it to capture the idea of "pass on" or "relay" information because that captures both someone gossiping and an oracle does. The word is somewhat self-effacing. The form is not an active verb but a participle.

on -- (WW) The word translated as "on" means "from" in both locations and when referring to a source or a cause. It also means the instrument "by" which a thing is done, which is the sense here, and "away from." The word "on" is misleadng here.

their -- (CW, WN) The word translated as "their" 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. 

own-- "Own" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself," "herself," and so on. " When used in the possessive, it has the sense of "his own." The word "their" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.

speaks -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "speaks" in the Greek source.

does -- (WW) The Greek verb translated as "does" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring." It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim. 

so to gain -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "so to gain " in the Greek source.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," 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. 

personal -- The word translated as "personal" is a very unusual word that means "one's own," "pertaining to oneself," and "private."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article,"the," 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. 

glory: -- (CW) The Greek noun translated as "glory" means "expectation," "notion," "opinion," "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are found primarily in translating the Bible. The English word "acclaim" comes closest to capturing the way Jesus uses the word.

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  It can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

he -- (CW) The word translated as "he" 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.

who -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "who" in the Greek source. It was added because the next verb was translated as active rather than as a participle.

seeks -- (WF) The Greek verb translated as "seeks" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring." It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim. The form is a participle, not an active verb.

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.

glory: -- (CW) The Greek noun translated as "glory" means "expectation," "notion," "opinion," "repute," and "popular repute." Translations as "glory" or "splendor" are found primarily in translating the Bible. The English word "acclaim" comes closest to capturing the way Jesus uses the word.

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. 

sent -- (WF)  "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." The form is a participle, not an active verb.

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

is -- 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."

a - (IW) While an "a" can be inserted in front of any noun, the following word is not a noun.

man -- (CW) "man" is translated from a Greek adjective that means "this," "that," "the nearer." Without a noun, it has the sense of "this one" or "that one." It is in the form of a subject. It is not the word that means "man."

of - (IW) While an "a" can be inserted in front of any noun, the following word is not a noun.

truth;  - (WF)  The word translated as "truth is not the noun but the adjective "true" that literally means "unconcealed", based on the noun form, which means "what is not hidden."   It therefore means "so true," an accentuated form of true, with nothing hidden.

missing "and"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

there -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

nothing -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. This is not the noun form but the adverb.

false -- (WW)  The Greek noun translated as "unrighteousness -" means "wrongdoing", "injustice", "a wrongful act," and "offense." It is also an uncommon verb for Jesus to use, appearing a couple of time in Luke. A different word meaning "lawless" is used in Matthew. It is not the word meaning "false."

is -- 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."

about -- (WW) The word translated as "about" means "in," "within," "with" (an instrument), "during" (time),  or "among"  with a dative object as the one here. It does not mean "about" with any object.

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

NIV Translation Issues: 

24
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "whoever" is not the common word usually translated as "whoever."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "speak" is not the common word usually translated as "speak."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "speak" is not an active verb but a participle, "chattering."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "on" should be something more like "from."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "their" is not the common word usually translated as "their."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "their " is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "speaks" after "own" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "does" should be something more like "seeks."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "so to gain" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "glory" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "personal" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "glory" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "he" is not the common word usually translated as "he."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "seek" is not an active verb but a participle, "seeking."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "glory" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "who" is not the common word usually translated as "who."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sent" is not an active verb but a participle, "sending."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "a" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "man" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "nothing" is not a noun but an adverb "not."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "false" should be something more like "criminality."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "about" should be something more like "in."

Front Page Date: 

Apr 27 2022