Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel.
— Gospel of John

In the bolded line, does it means 'because whenever he does things, he does for his son to mimic easily'?

The Bible has so many conjunctive fors. I wonder if every conjunctive for should be understood in the sense of because or is there another meaning in conjunctive for?

  • That sounds plausible. Do you have a case in mind where because doesn't seem to fit?
    – Lawrence
    Feb 14, 2017 at 8:55
  • I couldn't find explicitly different usages but felt there were too much 'for's even when it seems not nessesary.
    – Young
    Feb 14, 2017 at 9:15
  • 1
    'The Bible' is as misleading as 'the dictionary'. And I'd strongly advise you to read a version in less archaic English. The 'authorized' in 'AV' has hoodwinked many readers. The AV/KJV was not the first translation into English, is certainly not the original Bible, and is rarely the most helpful. Try some more helpful versions at Bible Hub. Feb 14, 2017 at 9:23
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    The following is off-topic: Strong's Concise Dictionary of the ... Greek New Testament says that the word translated 'for' here by the AV and quite a few other versions may signal amplification rather than reason. Hence, 'for' may well be a mistranslation here, and 'yes indeed' may be the correct translation. This would make "Can conjunctive 'for' be used with other meanings?" inappropriate, the correct question (on some other website) being '"Is 'for' a sound translation here?" Feb 14, 2017 at 9:36
  • See bibleref.com/John/5/John-5-19.html Feb 14, 2017 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


Jesus' first claim to equality with God is in works. Jesus is acting under submission to God the Father, meaning any works He does cannot be considered violations of God's will. At the same time, Jesus claims that what He does, His works, are equivalent to the works of God the Father. Both of these ideas factor into later statements, such as John 10:30, where Jesus will proclaim "I and the Father are one."

  • Does this really address the role 'for' is meant / assumed to have here? It seems to introduce a restatement for emphasis rather than a reason. Feb 14, 2017 at 10:07

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