Many years ago, I read, heard, or saw the latter half of John 4:32 as follows:

"I have meat you/ye know not of,"

but now, I can't find it written that way anywhere.

On BibleGateway, the end of the verse (the part in question, in other words), in most versions, looks basically like this (the KJV):

I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

Some versions/translations say "food," and some of them end differently, but what I'm looking for is one that doesn't say, "to eat that" after "meat/food." That's what I haven't been able to find.

I remember being so touched by the brevity of the shorter, more direct version. So, I'm sure I'm not mistaken that I heard it the way I think I did because I wouldn't have carried the impression I have all this time if I hadn't.

So, there are three possibilities regarding the shorter version:

  1. I simply heard a preacher say it that way one day in the past (and there's nothing more to be done),
  2. There really is a Bible translation out there somewhere with it written this way (and hopefully someone on here can help me find it), or
  3. I saw it on one of some hundred different Bible movies on television (and, again, hopefully someone on here can help me find that movie).

Thank you for your help.

  • This will be an interesting search. I'm still looking, but it's obvious that gospel teachers have been using the shortened phrase, "I have meat you/ye know not of" since at least the 60's. – JBH Aug 12 '17 at 23:40
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    Google will only find quotations for "I have meat ye know not of" (or "whereof") but never the source material. I strongly suspect that this is misquoted, as "to eat that" is easily superfluous, even if it is in the Greek. – Andrew Leach Aug 13 '17 at 0:04
  • Not Geneva, Tyndale, nor Wycliffe. I expected [to eat] to be italicized, meaning -- added for ease of reading, not in the Greek text -- in KJV 1611, but I looked at a facscimile and it wasn't italicized. In 1611, "meat" could mean any kind of food, so today "food" is an appropriate translation. It's may be that short in the Greek, and lots of preachers work directly from the Greek. I've heard it that way too. – Bit Chaser Aug 13 '17 at 1:47

Using the YouVersion Bible App (which contains approx. 300 versions, although I don't believe these are all English versions) it is possible to do a pretty quick and easy cursory search of a particular verse. I did so, and although I haven't completed every version, I found the New Living Translation states John 4:32 thusly:

But Jesus replied I have a kind of food you know nothing about.

Although this is not the quote that you are looking for, to me it puts you on the right track since the NLT is translated from the original text (at least that is what is stated on the web site).

I also found the Bible in Basic English: John 4:32:

But he said to them, I have food of which you have no knowledge.

I also tried "Google Translate" from the Greek which didn't help at all. A function of the reliability of Google...which in my opinion and has no place here.

There is another website that has an English/Greek parallel comparison. This shows that the portion of the translation, "to eat," is probably superfluous as Andrew Leach stated. I would agree.

It would seem to me that the translation you are looking for is probably out there somewhere. I would ask how long has it been since you last read this passage in the format that you are seeking? It might be that it is no longer in popular usage. (Which, of course, might be an assumption that would make one say "that's a cop-out".)

I'm sorry I was unable to find the exact translation for you.

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  • My best estimation, @Sam, is that it was around 2005. I really appreciate your efforts and the links you've provided. – WeaselADAPT Aug 16 '17 at 16:10

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