John 6:53-54

"So Jesus said to them, 'Truly,truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." [ My emphasis].

What significances might be attached to differences between these words:

A. phagete/2nd aorist-trogon/participle.

B. Eating and feeding are similar but are they identical activities?

C. Another possibility from the Greek?

2 Answers 2


I think I would go with "C", but in a way that does not exclude "B".

As you note, "phagete" is the aorist and "trogon" is the present participle.

In older, classical Greek the present form of "to eat" was ἐσθίω but the present stem used another stem when it was an aorist, namely ἔφαγον (the aorist stem we have here).

In later Greek, ἐσθίω was replaced by τρωγω (our present particple here). This is documented in LSJ (the standard dictionary for ancient Greek)

So one can see this as a different between the aorist (έφάγετε) and the present (ὁ τρώγων) and not so much a difference between verb stems.


1 Peter 2:2

"Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation".

I quote this verse because it has the theme of my answer- the idea of growing up, which starts with a newborn progressing in some way.

John 6:51

"...If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever".

To grow up into salvation might be to progress from milk to bread/phage/i.e.eating bread is normal eating.

Next in this progression, I suggest, we might put "trogo/feeds":

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance-Trogo-"Probably strengthened from a collateral form of the base of trauma and tribos". [Tribos- a rut worn by regular use; showing mature development].

Thayer-Trogo; to gnaw, crunch, chew raw vegetables or fruits [ as nuts or almonds].

My comment: Trogo appears to have some association with being able to cope with hard problems with, I suggest, the wisdom of maturity.

Vine's warns against making too much of a progression from phage/eat to trogon/feeds, and quotes John 13:18

John 13:18

"...He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me". [ate/trogon].

My comment: Someone who lifts their heel to kick at Jesus is not going to find chewing His truth at all palatable.

I'm sure Vine's warning has a point to it, but the idea of seeing no progression from "phage/eat" to "trogon/feeds", seems to be missing out on various echoes of meaning.

  • I still think you are wrong. The one (phage) is the aorist, the other "trogon" is the present. Not all verbs build their aorists on the same stem as the present. This is one of those. Jan 17, 2022 at 19:19
  • @Daniel Ridings I accept your comment.
    – C. Stroud
    Jan 17, 2022 at 20:02
  • This is one of the fluxuating verbs. I am spending my time reading through Paul's letters and just recently read a "pericope" that is illustrative: 1 Cor 11:17-34 dealing with the common meal, eucharist, in the Corinthian church. Jan 18, 2022 at 4:40

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