In John 15 Jesus uses an example from agriculture to illustrate the relationship between Himself and His disciples:
ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος ὑμεῖς τὰ κλήματα ὁ μένων ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ οὗτος φέρει καρπὸν πολύν ὅτι χωρὶς ἐμοῦ οὐ δύνασθε ποιεῖν οὐδέν
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NASB)
This is normally understood as Jesus saying the disciples are branches of the vine (Himself); when they abide/remain connected to the vine (Jesus), they will bear (bring forth) much fruit.
In the natural world, the example is a little awkward as vines generally produce fruit not branches and branches are normally associated with trees not vines.
According to Strong's 5342, the word translated “bears” (φέρει) means to bear, carry, or bring forth.
In the context of what Jesus is saying, seeing the word as “bring forth” means the branches must be connected to the vine to “bring forth” fruit.
The other meaning also fits the context. “Bear” or “carry” would mean the disciples are branches which support (bear or carry) fruit (which was produced from the vine). That means the disciples are branches connected to a tree and a (separate) vine is growing onto the branches. This is more in line with the natural world where vines are usually supported and kept off the ground to produce fruit. This also fits the teaching of the passage. A disciple can “carry” vine fruit (from Jesus) or “bring forth” their own “branch fruit.” Branches will be pruned (of branch fruit) and thus will be able to carry a greater amount of vine fruit. A branch which is continually pruned will not use any growth to produce fruit; instead all its resources will go to becoming a stronger branch and will be able to carry more vine fruit. The vine wraps around the branch as the disciple abides in Jesus.
Does the Greek favor “bring forth” over “carry”?