John 8:49 I have not a devil

Spoken to: 

challengers

Jesus tells his challengers they don't trust him because he tells the truth had they trust the lies of their father, the father of lies.

KJV: 

John 8:49 I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.

NIV : 

John 8:49 I am not possessed by a demon, but I honor my Father and you dishonor me.

LISTENERS HEARD: 

I myself a demon don't have. Instead, I honor this father of mine and you yourselves dishonor me.

MY TAKE: 

We should be sane enough that our parents are proud of us.

GREEK (Each Word Explained Bottom of Page): 

LOST IN TRANSLATION: 

The word "devil" in the KJV translation is confusing because this is not the word translated as "devil" earlier in John 8:44. The Greek word was used means "invisible powers" and was used by the Jews of Jesus's era to describe both idols and the cause of disease. In Jesus's story, it seems to be used specifically to describe mental disorders. Jesus' critics were basically calling him "crazy." In Jesus's era, there were some fevers that led to mental disorders. The famous Caligula became Caesar because he was the most sane member of his family. However, he almost died from a fever and then started doing all the crazy stuff he is known for today.   See this article on "demon" and related terms such as "devil".

The Greek words translated as "honor" and "dishonor" are like the English words in that one is the negatives from of the other. Crazy people embarrassed their relatives by their craziness so by Jesus saying that he honors his father, Jesus is saying that he is respectable.

Jesus also adds a couple of subjective pronouns to emphasize the difference between him and his challengers, saying "I myself" and "your yourselves."

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

5
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "devil" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "but" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "yourselves" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.

# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

6
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • WV - Wrong Voice - The verb here is translated as passive but it is active.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "by" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "but" does not capture the specific meaning of the word.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "yourselves" is not shown in the English translation, but it is needed to capture the pronoun as well as the form of the verb.

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."

have   -- The word translated as "have" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "keep close," "hold in," "have means to do,"  "to have due to one," or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as the helper verb does in English. Nor does it has the sense of "must" when used with infinitives.

not -- 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.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

devil; --  (CW) "Devil" is a word which means "belonging to a demon." It is based on the noun for "demon." The word 'demon" doesn't necessarily mean "evil." In Greek is used to refer to a controlling spiritual power, inferior to the gods. In the Stoic philosophy, it was the voice of reason inside of us. Plato described his inner voice of conscience as a daimon. The word was also used to mean "knowing" and "skilled" in the sense that we might say, "He is a demon poker player." See this article on "demon" and related terms such as "devil". However, in the Greek Septuagint, daimon was used both for the different Hebrew words for "idols" and for "disease." Generally, "having a demon" was how people of Christ's time said that someone had mental problems. This is not the same word translated as "devil" in John 8:44 and meant something very different.

but -- (CW) The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "instead," "but instead,"or "rather." It is not the common word usually translated as "but." It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise." Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, not doing something, with a positive one, "instead do this."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

honour - "Honour" is the Greek verb which means "to revere," "to honor," and "to value." Though the Greek word doesn't have the same sense of "weight" as the Hebrew word that this quote is taken from, weight is often connected in Greek with value. In a commodity-based society, value and weight were the same. We say that we give "weight" to arguments in the same sense that the ancients would give "weight" to the rules of a leader or a God.

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."  As a genitive object of a preposition, as here, it means movement away from something or a position away from something else.

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. 

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.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

ye -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

missing "yourselves"  ---- (MW) The pronoun is used here explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since this information is already in the verb, the sense is repetitive as we say "you yourselves."

do -- This English helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in translation from Greek

dishonour -- "Dishounor" is an uncommon verb that means "to hold in no honor," "to esteem lightly," "to treat as unworthy," and "to bring dishonor upon."  This is the root word, "honor" used above with the negative prefix meaning "not."

me. -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition. As the object of a preposition, an accusative object indicates movement towards something or a position reached as a result of that movement.

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 --  (WV) This makes the verb passive. However, it isn't passive.

not -- 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.

possessed -- The word translated as "have" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "keep close," "hold in," "have means to do,"  "to have due to one," or "keep" and many specific uses. It can mean to "possess" something but it isn't passive.

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

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

demon; --  "Demon" is a word which means "belonging to a demon." It is based on the noun for "demon." The word 'demon" doesn't necessarily mean "evil." In Greek is used to refer to a controlling spiritual power, inferior to the gods. In the Stoic philosophy, it was the voice of reason inside of us. It was used to mean "knowing" and "skilled" in the sense that we might say, "He is a demon poker player." See this article on "demon" and related terms such as "devil". Generally, "having a demon" was how people of Christ's time said that someone had mental problems. See this article on demons and mental illness. 

but -- (CW) The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "instead," "but instead,"or "rather." It is not the common word usually translated as "but." It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise." Jesus often uses this conjunction to connect a negative clause, not doing something, with a positive one, "instead do this."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

honor - "Honor" is the Greek verb which means "to revere," "to honor," and "to value." Though the Greek word doesn't have the same sense of "weight" as the Hebrew word that this quote is taken from, weight is often connected in Greek with value. In a commodity-based society, value and weight were the same. We say that we give "weight" to arguments in the same sense that the ancients would give "weight" to the rules of a leader or a God.

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."  As a genitive object of a preposition, as here, it means movement away from something or a position away from something else.

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. 

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.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as."

you -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

missing "yourselves"  ---- (MW) The pronoun is used here explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since this information is already in the verb, the sense is repetitive as we say "you yourselves."

dishonor -- "Dishonor" is an uncommon verb that means "to hold in no honor," "to esteem lightly," "to treat as unworthy," and "to bring dishonor upon."  This is the root word, "honor" used above with the negative prefix meaning "not."

me. -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition. As the object of a preposition, an accusative object indicates movement towards something or a position reached as a result of that movement.

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.

δαιμόνιον [13 verses](noun sg neut acc) "Devils" is daimonion, which means "divinity," "divine power," "a lower divine being," and, primarily in the Bible, "evil spirit." Technically, it means "belonging to a demon. It is from daimôn, which actually is the noun "demon." The word 'demon" doesn't necessarily mean "evil" (though that ways primarily the way the Jews used it), but in Greek is used to refer to a controlling spiritual power, inferior to the gods. It was used to mean "knowing" and "skilled" in the sense that we might say, "He is a demon poker player." However, in the Greek Septuagint, the Greek word was used both for the different Hebrew words for "idols" and for "disease."

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.

ἔχω, [181 verses](verb 1st sg pres ind/subj act) "I have" is echo, which means "to have," "to hold," "to possess," "to keep," "to have charge of," "to have due to one," "to maintain," "to hold fast," "to hold in," "to bear," "to carry," "to keep close," "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." In aorist, it can mean "acquire," or "get." The main sense when it has an object is "to have" or "to hold." It can also mean "to without" or "keep back" a thing.

ἀλλὰ [154 verses](conj) "But" is alla, which means "otherwise," "but," "still," "at least," "except," "yet," nevertheless," "rather," "moreover," and "nay."

τιμῶ [12 verses] (verb 1st sg pres ind/subj act) "Honour" is timao , which means "to revere," "to honor," and "to value." In the original Hebrew, it is from kabad, which means "to be heavy," "to be rich," and "to be honored." 

τὸν [821 verses](article sg masc acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").  -

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

μου [239 verses](adj sg masc gen) "My" is from mou (emou), which means "me," and "mine." As a genitive object means movement away from something or a position away from something else.

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "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."

ὑμεῖς [92 verses](pron 2nd pl nom) "You" is hymeis (humeis), which is the plural nominative form of the second person, "you."

ἀτιμάζετέ [3 verses](verb 2nd pl pres/imper ind act) "Dishonor" is from atimazo, which means "to hold in no honor," "to esteem lightly," "to treat as unworthy," and "to bring dishonor upon."

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

Front Page Date: 

Jun 11 2022