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... τουτον γαρ ο πατηρ εσφραγισεν ο θεος. [John 6:27 TR, undisputed]

... this he for the father did seal the deity. [Literal]

... for him did the father seal even God. [YLT]

If one removes the italic from Robert Young's translation (the italic being an admission that the word is not in the original) then one has an equivalence :

... for him did the father seal God.

'Him' (the Son) is in the accusative as the one being sealed.

'the God' is nominative and therefore has equivalence to the subject 'the father'.

Instead of adding 'even' in italics, would it be appropriate to add 'as' in italics :

... this he, for, the father did seal as the deity. (Proposed)

Does the text indeed state a grammatical equivalence ?

What other reason is there for the word order to be as it is, that is to say the nominative following the verb when a nominative already precedes the verb ?

Is not the meaning that the Father has impressed his seal upon the Son to demonstrate that he is equal Deity ?


EDIT upon Comment :

In context, Jesus has conveyed himself away from those who would make him king based on the free distribution of food to the populace. But his ministry is far more than that. His ministry is above and beyond all that.

This is the context of Jesus revealing his sealing of the Father.

He is more - much more - than a mere king.

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  • 1
    Another use of the nominative case is that it can “stand alone without a verb for emphasis” reference. YLT seems to have interpreted ο θεος in such a way, and if so, it would be more open to interpretation than if it were acting only as a nominative in apposition.
    – Nhi
    May 4, 2022 at 13:00
  • 1
    @Nhi Thank you. Appreciated.
    – Nigel J
    May 5, 2022 at 8:13

4 Answers 4

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“Does the text indeed state a grammatical equivalence?” Based on the grammatical construction of Jn 6:27, “the Father” and “the God” are not nouns in apposition. While both “the God'' and “the Father” are in the nominative case, they are not next to one another. Like English, the Greek appositional construction involves two substantives that are adjacent to one another.

Wallace (The Basics of New Testament Syntax, p. 35)

An appositional construction involves (1) two adjacent substantives (2) in the same case, (3) which refer to the same person or thing, (4) and have the same syntactical relation to the rest of the clause.

As the OP has observed, “the Father” and “the God” are separated by the verb σφραγίζω (Strong’s 4972).

 ὁ     πατὴρ     ἐσφράγισεν    ὁ    θεός
the   Father     has sealed   the   God

“What other reason is there for the word order to be as it is, that is to say the nominative following the verb when a nominative already precedes the verb?” Of the two main categories of the nominative case, “the God” in Jn 6:27 falls under that of the independent nominative, so called because it is grammatically independent from the rest of the sentence. Though it is disconnected grammatically, the independent nominative can be used to bring focus or clarity to the thought that is being conveyed.

Nominative Case: The Independent Nominative

This function of the nominative is when a noun is used to express an idea apart from any direct connection to a specific verb. Some also see this use of the nominative as a parenthetical expression; i.e., when one is attempting to express an idea or concept, often parentheses are used to explain more clearly the thought under discussion.

Placed at the end of the clause “for him did the Father seal — [even] God,” the rhetorical purpose of the independent nominative in Jn 6:27 is, I believe, tied to the nuances of the verb σφραγίζω (Strongs’ 4972 usage: I seal, set a seal upon), a word which originates from the noun σφραγίς (Strong’s 4973 usage: a seal, signet ring, the impression of a seal, that which the seal attests, the proof). The seal authenticates by leaving an impression on that which is sealed. The Father sealed him, the Son. This imagery brings to mind Hebrews 1:3.

Hebrews 1:3 YLT

who being the brightness of the glory, and the impress of His subsistence, bearing up also the all things by the saying of his might

In context, Jesus makes a number of assertions about himself that his audience, including many of his disciples, find hard to understand (v 60). Jesus tells them that he is the true bread from heaven who gives life to the world. In particular, he distinguishes himself from bread that sustains only the body; both like and unlike the manna in the desert, Jesus is the true bread/sustenance from heaven that is given by the Father. He also distinguishes himself from Moses; Jesus is, borrowing the words of the Cambridge commentary, the “true giver” of life and not just an intermediary (cf Jn 5:21, 11:25).

John 6:32-33 NKJV

32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

To paraphrase the OP's last query, the question is whether the clause “for him did the Father seal — [even] God” establishes the divinity of the Son. Based on the above discussion and the context of the passage as a whole, I would say yes, the independent nominative “the God” distills the thought of Jn 6:27 into one word/phrase that encapsulates not only the Father but also the Son, both the one who sealed as well as the one who was sealed.

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    Up-voted and accepted. Very much appreciated. Thank you.
    – Nigel J
    May 9 at 19:11
  • 1
    @NigelJ - I did not address the idea of “equal deity” because I struggled with that aspect of your question, in part because I'm not sure what you meant. Here as elsewhere, Jesus consistently gives deference to the Father (cf Ph 2:6). The Son is the bread that comes down from heaven, but it is the Father who gifts/sends him. The Son gives life, but everything he does is according to the Father’s will. Even if they are equal in some way, there is still a sense in which the Father is first.
    – Nhi
    May 11 at 14:02
  • 1
    Yes, I understand. Point taken.
    – Nigel J
    May 11 at 14:32
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Op asks,

"Is not the meaning that the Father has impressed his seal upon the Son to demonstrate that he is equal Deity?"

sealed: 4972 sphragízō (from 4973 /sphragís, – properly to attest ownership, authorizing (validating) what is sealed.

4972 /sphragízō ("to seal") signifies ownership and the full security carried by the backing (full authority) of the owner. "Sealing" in the ancient world served as a "legal signature" which guaranteed the promise (contents) of what was sealed. [ signifying "belonging to."]

I would say it is something different because of the context the verse is in along with 58 verses in John 6 that is referring to the true bread of life.

It is the one God, the Father who is putting His seal on The SON Of MAN which the Son of Man shall give to you. This seal is upon the flesh of Jesus, and God's approval for bread and life for the ages. Of course when God raised Him out of the dead that was God's final stamp or seal of approval.

"Be not working for the food which is perishing, but for food which is remaining for eonian life, which the Son of Mankind will be giving to you, For this One God, the Father, seals." John 6:27 Concordant Literal

Bestow your pains not on the food which perishes, but on the food that remains unto the Life of the Ages--that food which will be the Son of Man's gift to you; for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."

It was after the people saw the miracle Jesus feeding the multitude with fish and bread bread that they sought Him out.

In most solemn truth I tell you," replied Jesus, "that you are searching for me not because you have seen miracles, but because you ate the loaves and had a hearty meal. 27Bestow your pains not on the food which perishes, but on the food that remains unto the Life of the Ages—that food which will be the Son of Man's gift to you; for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." 28

It was God manifesting His provision of earthly food through Jesus to the multitude to get them thinking about God, and the true bread from heaven.

Jesus was teaching a spiritual lesson from a earthly lesson.

Our forefathers ate the manna in the Desert, as it is written, 'He gave them bread out of Heaven to eat'." 32"In most solemn truth I tell you," replied Jesus, "that Moses did not give you the bread out of Heaven, but my Father is giving you the bread—the true bread—out of Heaven. 33For God's bread is that which comes down out of Heaven and gives Life to the world." 34"Sir," they said, "always give us that bread."

I am the bread of Life," replied Jesus; "he who comes to me shall never hunger

Now the Jews began to find fault about Him because of His claiming to be the bread which came down out of Heaven.

No one has ever seen the Father—except Him who is from God. He has seen the Father. 47"In most solemn truth I tell you that he who believes has the Life of the Ages. 48I am the bread of Life.

Here is the bread that comes down out of Heaven that a man may eat it and not die. 51I am the living bread come down out of Heaven. If a man eats this bread, he shall live for ever. Moreover the bread which I will give is my flesh given for the life of the world."

This is the bread having come down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. The one eating this bread will live to the age."

In light of all that was just said is to show that the seal of God was on this Son of Mankind, who later dies as a man, and through His death, burial and resurrection becomes the bread of God for the world.

Verily, verily, I am saying to you, He who is believing into me has eonian life. I am the Bread of life. ...This is the Bread which is the descending out of heaven that anyone may The eating of it and may not be dying. I am the living Bread Which descends out of Heaven. If anyone should be eating of this Bread, He shall be living for the eon. Now the Bread also, Which I shall be giving for the sake of the life of the world, is my flesh. John 6: 47-51

In conclusion God the Father was putting His seal, His ownership on Jesus , the Son of Man and that His flesh would indeed be sealed as the true bread of heaven that God the Father Himself gives to the world and the Son of Man gives
His life for the true bread from heaven.

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  • Up-voted +1. Thank you. Food for thought.
    – Nigel J
    May 3, 2022 at 23:22
  • @Nigel J Thanks, I am grateful for your consideration.
    – Sherrie
    May 4, 2022 at 0:57
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While I have no problem with the theology of your interpretation, there is a problem with the grammar. The problem is that ὁ θεός is nominative and thus in apposition to the subject rather than being one of the objects of ἐσφράγισεν. The distance of ο θεος from ο πατηρ might be used tp argue for ο θεος going with the next verse, but the context and grammar doesn't support that. The argumentative response from Jesus' audience doesn't match Jesus claiming to ge God at this time.

σφραγίζω 1 aor. ἐσφράγισα, mid. ἐσφραγισάμην. Pass.: pf. ptc. ἐσφραγισμένος; 1 aor. ἐσφραγίσθην (Aeschyl.+; inscr., pap., LXX, Philo, Joseph.) (provide with a) seal. 1. lit., w. the acc. of the obj. -- Arndt, W., Gingrich, F. W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (1979). In A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature : a translation and adaption of the fourth revised and augmented edition of Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-deutsches Worterbuch zu den Schrift en des Neuen Testaments und der ubrigen urchristlichen Literatur (p. 796). University of Chicago Press.

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  • Then why is it after the verb and not close to that with which it is in apposition ? Up-voted +1. And what does the seal mean, if not a recognition that he is equivalent deity to the father ?
    – Nigel J
    May 3, 2022 at 9:21
  • In Greek the grammar of nouns depends on case, not position. God the Father sealed the validity of the Son's ministry.
    – Perry Webb
    May 3, 2022 at 9:32
  • I appreciate your comment but I have edited to bring out more of the context in realtion to your comment.
    – Nigel J
    May 3, 2022 at 9:43
  • I agree with this answer. +1. My answer supports yours.
    – Dottard
    May 3, 2022 at 10:31
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The OP's proposed translation is not possible because the word, God" or "deity" is NOT in either the accusative case nor the dative case to make such possible.

Indeed, the only nominative words in the final sentence of John 6:27 are: "Father", "The God" which puts them in apposition. Thus we are compelled to translate this final sentence as something like:

For God the Father has sealed Him [ie, the Son].

or, preserving some of the original word order more:

For Him [the Son], God the Father has sealed

A similar sentiment is found in John 3:33 -

The one having received His testimony has set his seal that God is true.

APPENDIX - More examples of God and Father in apposition:

In John 6:27 we have God and father in the nominative case. Here are more examples:

  • 1 Cor 8:6 - 1 Cor 8:6 - nominative case
  • Rom 1:7, 1 Cor 1:3, 2 Cor 1:3 - genitive case
  • Rom 15:6 - accusative case
  • 1 Cor 15:24 - dative case
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  • +1, I agree with you.
    – Perry Webb
    May 3, 2022 at 11:55

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