John 2:4 Woman, what have I to do with thee?

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

Attending a wedding, his mother tells him they have run out of wine.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Why by me and you, woman?  Not yet is it here, that hour of mine.

My Takeaway: 

Jesus knew his mission wasn't to fix every problem, but his mother trusted him to fix this one.

KJV : 

John 2:4 Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

NIV : 

John 2:4 Woman, why do you involve me? My hour has not yet come.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This Biblical English translation adds a lot of words that Jesus didn't say. Jesus's actual words indicate that that his mother said more than just "they are out of wine," but something more like "we need to take care of this." Jesus's answer is simply, "why by you and me?"

Wordplay: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τί (pron sg neut acc) "What" is tis which can mean "someone", "something," "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

ἐμοὶ  (noun sg masc dat) "Me" is emoi, which is 1st person,singular dative pronoun meaning "me' as the indirect object of a verb.

καὶ (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."

σοὶ (pron 2nd sg dat) "You" is soi which is the singular, second=person pronoun, "you".

γύναι;  (noun sg fem voc ) "Woman" is gyne, which means "woman (as opposed to man)", "wife", "spouse", "mortal woman (as opposed to a goddess)," and "female mate (among animals)."

οὔπω [9 verses](adv) "Not..yet" is from oupo, which means "not yet" and a strong form of "not" and "not at all."

ἥκει [11 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Come" is heko, which means "to arrive", "to have come", "to be present", "to have reached a point, "to pass though a point (geometry)", "to have come back", "returned", "to have come to table", "concern", "relate to", "to depend upon," and, as a metaphor, "to be a follower."

(article sg fem nom )  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ὥρα [37 verses](noun sg fem nom ) "Hour" is hora, which means "any period", "season," (especially springtime), "year' (generally), "climate" (as determined by seasons), "duration", "the twelve equal parts into which the period of daylight was divided", "the fitting time" (for a task).

μου(pron 1st sg masc gen) "My" is mou, which mean "my," or "mine." As a genitive object means movement away from something or a position away from something else.

KJV Analysis: 

Woman, -- The word translated as "woman" is  the Greek word that means "woman (as opposed to man)", "wife", "spouse", "mortal woman (as opposed to a goddess)," and "female mate (among animals)." It is closer to our "female." 

what -- The word translated as "what" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". 

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

I -- (WF) The "I" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me", though the form has other uses in Greek. See the "with" below."

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

with -- This word "with" comes from the dative case of the following word 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 case can indicate a "with" for instruments, an "in" for locations, an "as" for purposes, an "about" (or "for" or "against") indicating interest, an "of" for possession, a "by" for agents, an "as" for comparisons, "at" or "on" a time, and an "in" for area of affect.

thee? -- The word for "you" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun. 

mine -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."  

missing "the"  -- (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. 

hour -- The word translated as "hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment."

is -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb, which is expressed here as an adjective.

not yet -- "Not yet" is an adverb that means "not yet" and a strong form of "not" and "not at all."

come. -- (CW) The word translated as "come" is a complicated one because it indicates a "coming" that has been completed, that is, "to arrive" or, even, "to be present." As a metaphor, it means "to be a follower." Jesus seems to use it more often to mean "return." It is not the common word usually translated as "come."

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "have" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "I" is not a subject but an indirect object, "by me."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "to do" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "hour" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "come" is not the common word usually translated as "come."

NIV Analysis: 

Woman, -- The word translated as "woman" is  the Greek word that means "woman (as opposed to man)", "wife", "spouse", "mortal woman (as opposed to a goddess)," and "female mate (among animals)." It is closer to our "female." 

why -- The word translated as "why" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". 

do -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

missing "with"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "with" 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 case can indicate a "with" for instruments, an "in" for locations, an "as" for purposes, an "about" (or "for" or "against") indicating interest, an "of" for possession, a "by" for agents, an "as" for comparisons, "at" or "on" a time, and an "in" for area of affect.

you? -- (WF) The word for "you" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun. It is not the subject.

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

me -- (WF) The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me", though the form has other uses in Greek.

My -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."  

missing "the"  -- (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. 

hour -- The word translated as "hour" means a period of time, generally, as we might say "moment."

has --  (WT) This helping verb indicates the past tense of the verb, but the verb is present.

not yet -- "Not yet" is an adverb that means "not yet" and a strong form of "not" and "not at all."

come. -- (CW) The word translated as "come" is a complicated one because it indicates a "coming" that has been completed, that is, "to arrive" or, even, "to be present." As a metaphor, it means "to be a follower." Jesus seems to use it more often to mean "return." It is not the common word usually translated as "come."

NIV Translation Issues: 

7
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "with" before "you" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "you" is not a subject but an indirect object, "by me."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "involve" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "me" is not an object of verb but an indirect object, "by me."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "hour" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "has" indicates the past tense, but this verb is present.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "come" is not the common word usually translated as "come."

Front Page Date: 

Mar 16 2021