Translate Jesus's Words for Yourself

One reason I developed this site was to help you, even if you don't know ancient Greek, find more meaning in Jesus's original words. And, if you do know a little Greek, simplify your research. The translations in the Bible are useless for understanding what Jesus really said because they translate the same Greek word as three different English words and three different Greek words as the same English word. For example, Jesus described two different kinds of love, for example, but you will never get at why he saw a difference between the two by reading any English translation. The goal is, of course, to promote a certain set of beliefs.

This site gives you easy access to the range of meaning in each word that Jesus used in 1,910 verses he speaks in the New Testament. Each article shows every Greek word he used and their range of meanings. These articles are updated regularly to provide more detailed information on the grammar he used. All this information is open to your all without registration or login. My hope is that someday even Christian pastors and atheists will have an interest in learning what Jesus really said as opposed to what they have been taught. I do this work on the "field of dreams" trust of "build it and they will come."

If you look at the page called Jesus’s vocabulary, you will see that almost all of the words that he used have a wide range of meanings. A few like "hate" are an exception, but even they have some interesting implications. From this range of meanings, you can use this research into the Greek of each Jesus verse to construct your own legitimate versions of Jesus’s words for yourself. This listing also so how often he used each Greek word.

When I first started translating Jesus’s words, I explored these many different potential meanings by coming up with legitimate translations that were far different from Biblical versions. This was both interesting and fun and I invite everyone else to do this, though I not longer do it myself. In recent years, I have tended to move toward standard meanings that better capture his humor and wordplay. I am constantly looking for English words that better capture his range of meaning in a given Greek word because I am working toward more consistency.

When you read a verse of Jesus's words and a question about it pops into your mind about it, your first question should be, "Is that really what Jesus said or is it just the translators' philosophy distorting it? More often than not, you will find that it has been distorted.

Searching for Verses

To find my research on any given verse of Jesus’s words, the quickest way is to use the search box. It appears on the front page, but you can also use this link to take you there directly. This is a word-oriented search so used chapter:verse numbers don’t work well. However, if you enter any English or Greek phrase from the KJV version in quotes, it will find all the verses that have that phrase. For example, if you enter “He that believeth on me” (with the quotes around them), it will bring up every verse of the KJV that use that phrase. To see one of those verses, just click on the line with the verse number you want.

The search box can also search on other more specific information such as where certain Greek words appear. Simply type in the word either in Greek or Roman letters and the verses referencing it will appear.  Typing search terms with spaces in between them search for articles with all those terms, so typing "baptism John"  finds all articles with both the "baptism" and "John" in them. The search only works on full words, not parts of words. 

This will bring my research on the Greek of the verse. The articles provide the definitions of each Greek word used in the verb so you don’t have to refer to the above vocabulary page. The most recent articles will provide the same definitions in the above vocabulary. They will also provide all the parsing information, describing the verb, noun, and adjective forms. For even more detailed information on all possible words and forms, click on the Greek form of the word (for example, λόγοςfor “logos”) either in the Greek Verse section near the top of the research or in the Greek Vocabulary section after the What is Lost in Translation Section.

To understand how to use the information provided on Greek words, go to Greek Grammatical Information. While not a course in translating Greek, it should help you use the research information. I was going to just copy that information to this article, but it would make it too long. This article assumes a minimum of knowledge on your part about grammar in general since I try to define all the terms.

Other Research Information

My research articles are constantly being updated to provide more detailed information. Not all articles have all of the information described below.  The most general information appears first in each article, but that overview is followed by a wealth of detail on each Greek word and English translation.

  • Spoken to: generally, who Jesus addressed the verse to.

  • Context: The general context of the statement based on previous verses.

  • Greek: All the Greek words in the source. It starts with a link to the verse at the Tuft's Perseus site for Greek study. Clicking on the Greek words at Perseus gives you all possible words and all possible forms, but it highlights the most likely choice based upon statistical methods.

  • Literal Verse: A literal translation of each word in the correct form and, as much as possible, in the correct word order.

  • My Takeaway: What I find entertaining about Jesus’s idea.

  • KJV: The King James Version translation of the verse. The link to the verse book and number takes you the how this translation is parsed into the KJV English.

  • NIV: The New International Version of the verse. This is a newer field being added to older articles. The link takes you to how the ESV version is parsed.

  • Third Version: (if any) This started as an analysis of the NLT, the New Living Translation version of the verse. This to is a newer field being added to older articles. However, I stopped analyzing the NLT because its connection to the original Greek is so remote. The “Issues” section for the NLT, citing all the problems with calling it a “translation,” became the largest part of each article.

  • Lost In Translation: A brief description of the fun stuff that is lost in translation.

  • Wordplay: Any hidden wordplay in the verse from the Greek.

  • Related Verses (if any): The similar verses in other Gospel and source verses from the Old Testament when available.

  • Greek Vocabulary: A word-by-word parsing and definition of each word in the Greek source. This is the most detailed part of each analysis. Words in Greek letters link to a definition at Perseus. Words in Roman letters link to Biblical definitions from Strong’s at BlueLetterBible.com.

  • KJV Analysis: A word-by-word comparison of the translation to the original including what is changed and left out. Codes are used in parentheses to identify the types of problems with each word of the translation.

  • KJV Analysis Issues: Number and list of translation issues found in the verse. Among the issues cited as “confusing words,” “wrong words,” “wrong tense,” “wrong form,” “inserted words,” “inserted phrases,” and so on.

  • NIV Analysis:  A word-by-word comparison of the translation to the original including what is changed and left out.

  • NIV Analysis Issues: Number and list of translation issues found in the verse. Same issues

  • Third Verse Analysis Issues:   A word-by-word comparison of the translation to the original including what is changed and left out. Originally used for the NLT, but now used for any translation that a reader asked me to analyze.

  • Third Verse Analysis Issues: Number and list of translation issues found in the verse.

  • Possible Symbolic Meaning: Correlation with Jesus's use of symbols and cycles. This was more important in earlier articles, but isn’t used as much now.

  • Front Page Date: Date due for publication on frontpage of ChristsWords.com

More

You can also get more information about the information at ChristsWords.com at Using this Site.