Updated: Oct 28, 2021
We’ve all heard someone say that something didn’t make an iota of difference, but what exactly is an iota and why is it so insignificant? The reason for an iota’s irrelevance is a relevant question.
I-o-t-a (not to be confused with “lotta”, which looks a lot alike but is completely different) is the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet. It is transliterated as “i,” which happens to also be the ninth letter of the Latin alphabet that we use for English (see how connected things are?)
An iota is something very small. It is the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet. It is similar to yodh, “ י,” the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. If you don't care one iota about something, it means you don't care about it even the smallest bit.
[Trivia alert] The word 'jot' (or iot) derives from iota.
That’s a very small detail that should be easy to cram into your brain.
Can someone give an iota?
It turns out that iota is also a number. According to professor google the value of iota is √-1 i.e., i = √−1 (square root - 1). So, in theory, one could also not give an iota for something. That would make whatever it is you wouldn’t give an iota for basically worthless.
Unless you were referring to the cryptocurrency called IOTA (MIOTA), which is currently worth around $1.50 – that’s not nothing.
All of this is simply to say that even the smallest details of the language can be pretty complicated. It’s a testament to God’s amazing creative power that human minds manage to wield such a complicated language without much trouble. One could say we speak without even thinking about it, which is often a bit too true.
Jesus didn’t have that problem. He is the only one of whom it can be said that He never uttered a meaningless or careless word.
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. ~ Jesus, Luke 21:33
Not one iota of them.