Quick question


Well-Known Member
I don't mean to bump the current thread out of the way. But I have a question about the proper rendering of John 14:15

In its context please muse and tell me what is the proper word

NIV says John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

KJV, NASB, NKJV all say commandments instead of command..

thank you for your much appreciated help


Well-Known Member
Greek Strong's Number: 1785
Greek Word: ἐντολή
Transliteration: entolē
Phonetic Pronunciation:en-tol-ay'
Root: from <G1781>
Cross Reference: TDNT - 2:545,234
Part of Speech: n f
Vine's Words: Commandment, Precept

Usage Notes:

English Words used in KJV:
commandment 69
precept 2
[Total Count: 71]

from <G1781> (entellomai); injunction, i.e. an authoritative prescription :- commandment, precept.

—Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary
hope it helps..


Staff member
Sean is correct. But let's analyze the entire verse. This is a very short one and thus very easy to do.

But if you just want to get to the point of it all, please skip past the Greek grammar lesson and start reading after the "-----" below.

“If you love me, keep my commandments” —John 14:15

In Greek it reads: Ἐὰν ἀγαπᾶτέ με, τὰς ἐντολὰς τὰς ἐμὰς τηρήσετε·

Ἐὰν — "If" — [conjunction: Sets up a condition for a coming event. Here with the subjunctive in the protasis (ie: the "if" part of an "if...then" construction) and the future indicative in the apodosis (ie: the "then" part of an "if...then" construction) it must be construed as introducing a third-class "present general" condition. The correct translation will thus convey that it is not a "future general" condition, but rather will express an axiomatic truth.]

γαπτέ — "you love" — [verb: second person - plural - present - subjunctive - active: In this aspect the verb would normally expresses a possibility or a probability, and one in continuous action. However with the conjunction "ἐὰν" as noted above, the action of the verb conveys a continuous axiomatic truth. ]

με — "me" — [personal pronoun: first person - singular - accusative case: thus it is the object of the preceding verb]

τς — "the" — [definite article: plural - feminine - accusative case: thus agrees in number, gender and case with the following noun]

ντολς —"commandments, injunctions, precepts" — [noun: plural - feminine - accusative case: thus the object of the following verb. This word ἐντολή is used in Roman documents of the time to indicate an imperial "decree", "ordinance" or "command". In other words, an entole is not a suggestion, it is a requirement.]

τς — "the" — [definite article: plural - feminine - accusative case: thus agrees in number, gender and case with the following noun]

μς — "my" — [possessive pronoun: first person - plural - feminine: the gender means that it modifies the adjacent noun of the same number, case and gender. Article-noun-article-possessive pronoun was a common construction in John. It was a way of indicating to whom the noun belonged or was related to. In this case the four words simply mean "my commandments".]

τηρήσετε — "you will keep" — [verb: second person - plural - future - indicative - active: thus it would normally indicate a future action. However, as the apodosis (ie: second half of a condition) of this sentence, and since it indirectly refers back to an Old Testament requirement to obey God, it should thus (under the influence of parallel Hebrew construction) be translated as a command.]

So now we can put this all together to convey the following idea: "If it is true that you love me, then you must keep my commandments (injunctions, precepts, ordinances)." In other words, if you do not keep Christ's commandments, then you do not truly love Him. That is the meaning of this verse. It is very simple.

Now, only one thing remains for us to consider— to what does "commandments" refer?

This also is very simple, because in both John's gospel and in his first epistle it is made clear to us that there are only two fundamental commandments ... in them ALL of the Old Testament commandments are wrapped up: to love God with all of our hearts, minds, soul, and strength and to love our neighbor. This latter is the "new commandment" that is also the "old commandment that we have had from the beginning" (1 John 2:7-8) It is an old commandment in that we have always been instructed to love one another ... as we love ourselves. It is a new commandment in that the bar is now raised: Jesus said we must no longer love one another as we love ourselves, but as Christ loved us! In other words, we must love one another as Christ did by being willing to die for one another. Are we willing to lay down our lives for someone else? Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) Who are our friends, you ask? The only answer I can give is the one Jesus gave when He was asked "Who is my neighbor?" Read the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Now there are two ways we can lay down our lives. First we can do so in what may be the easier way: to actually physically die to protect another person or persons. How is that "easy" you say? How is physically dying easy? Because it is the result of a once-for-all decision. Once made, it is carried through once and then it is over forever.

So what is the harder way, you may ask? Simple. We can lay down our lives every moment of every day by living them for the benefit of others, rather than for the benefit of ourselves. It means putting everybody else first, before our self. It means not using the liberty we have in Christ to do all things that are permitted to us, but rather subjugating our rights and desires and wants to everybody else's good. And this, my dear brothers and sisters, I can attest, is much, much harder to do. Our very nature rebels at it.

"God doesn't say I can't drink a glass of wine with my meal! Or have a beer to cool off!" No, but if by your having one you can cause someone who has a problem with alcohol to think it is alright for him to drink, then you are, as the Holy Spirit said through Paul in Romans 14:15: "not acting in love". They may see you consuming it; or they may simply see you buying it. You are free to do it, but in so doing are you causing someone else to stumble and fall? THAT is not loving one another as Christ loved us.

"I can go watch this movie, I know that werewolves/vampires/ghosts/witches/aliens/whatever don't exist and the nudity and the sex scenes don't affect me." That's not the issue. When your fellow man sees you, a Christian, going in to watch such an entertainment, are you not giving it some stamp of acceptability? Your freedom to watch what you want can cause someone else to stumble. Then, by Romans 14:15 and 1 Corinthians 8:11 and Ephesians 5:2, you are not acting in love. You are in fact breaking the second Great Commandment of Jesus Christ.

"I like to dance. I love the nightclub. The music is great." Yes, but what example are you setting to the world, or your weak brother, all of whom are lured and overcome by the vices in the music, the booze, and the lustful thoughts that often can arise in such a place? Are you by your liberty causing someone else to fall?

"I like wearing this thong bikini! I'm trim and I look good." Yes, but what about the men around you who may be tempted to impure thoughts by the open display of your body? Are you acting in love of your fellow man?

My point is not to condemn specific acts, but to point out that because we know we are free from law we often act amiss because our thoughts are directed more to our wants than to the good of others. If you are like most people, as you read what I just wrote above, your flesh rose up in rebellion. You probably had objections and arguments popping into your mind as you read every example I gave above. And that should tell you something. The flesh is indeed a powerful thing and colors so much of our thinking and our behavior ... even toward God.

Now please let nobody construe that I am bringing people under law. I am in no way suggesting don't drink, don't smoke, don't cuss, don't whatever, and that if you do you are not saved. I have not said that; nor have I intended it. What I am suggesting—no, more than suggesting: I am stating scripture—is that while we are free of Old Testament law, we are not free of Christ's law: To love God above anything and everything and to love one another just as He loved us ... putting us before Himself.

If you desire to do that, to repent of (metanoia: have a change of mind about) the way you have been living, then know this: you cannot change it on your own. You need to daily desire to be changed and daily ask God for the spiritual sensitivity and the spiritual strength to live as He would have you live. Only by His Spirit can you put to death your flesh. And His Spirit only works as you are focused on Christ and what He did for you at Calvary.

These are tough words I have written. I know. Because they are piercing me as I am sure they are piercing you. We can run from them. Or we can sincerely seek to obey them ... to daily lay down our lives, daily take up our cross, and daily die to self by daily seeking to submit to His Word. If we want to, God will bring it to reality in our lives.

May God help you to do so. I ask that you pray that He help me to do so, as well.
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Staff member
Sis, it's a given that anything I ever write is for anybody who wants it. No need to ever ask for permission.


Freed By Christ to Serve Christ
Excellent Matt!! His love is so awesome!! Its funny you wrote this because about the very same time you wrote this I was writing something similar when it comes to devotion to Christ on my blog http://truthinspires.blogspot.com. The devotion to Christ message is being circulated by the Holy Spirit!! Praise God!

In Christ
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