Greek 1; Lesson 6

John 1:12

ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτὸν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοὺ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αυτοῦ,

οσoι: as-many-as.

ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτὸν is a dependent clause.  Every clause has its own subject and verb.  What is the subject and verb of this clause?

δε is an adversative conjunction usually translated “but”.



ἔλαβον is a second aorist verb.  Instead of the aorist tense formative, the stem changes.  In the present, the stem is λαμβαν-.  In the aorist, the stem is λαβ-.

λαμβαν-      present stem
λαβ-             aorist stem
ελαβ             add the augment
ελαβο           add the connecting vowel
ελαβον          add the verb ending


ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν

αυτοις is the IO (hence, dative case).  εξουσιαν is the DO (hence, accusative case).

εδωκεν is from the verb διδωμι which is one of the –μι verbs; there is no need to learn them at this point. You should already recognize the augment.

Recall that verbs ending in -εν are third singular;  verbs ending in -αν are third plural.  This makes εδωκεν easy to parse.


τέκνα θεοὺ γενέσθαι

This is an infinitive phrase. It is functioning like an adjective modifying the noun εξουσιαν.

Which of the adjectival questions is this phrase answering?

τεκνα; whenever you see a noun ending in alpha, think neuter plural; either nominative or accusative (cf. noun rule 1&2). τεκνα is the object of the infinitive γενεσθαι.

γενεσθαι is from γινομαι. It is an infinitive.  Infinitives are the easiest to parse.  -εσθαι marks second aorist infinitive.


τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αυτοῦ,

This is a participle (do you see the participle morpheme?). Whenever you see a participle, you should first check to see if it is articular.  The flow chart on this page can help.

If it is articular, then you know it must be either attributive or substantival. An attributive participle is translated just like an attributive adjective; e.g. the running dog, the sweating carpenter.

If it is anarthrous, then it is probably adverbial (although not necessarily so). You should consult the categories in GGBB p. 758 (under adverbial II.A.1) and see which best fits the context.

Remember that even adverbial participles still modify a noun of some sort. In this case, πιστευουσιν is articular, and there is no noun around for it to modify. Hence, it must be substantival. This means it is performing one of the noun functions. You can translate this participle as “believers…” or “to those who believe…” This participle is dative and is in apposition to αυτοις.

Note: The only way to distinguish this participle from a third person plural verb (which would also end in -ουσιν) is the article. A verb will never have an article.

Now watch πιστεύουσιν evolve:

πιστεύ-              the stem
πιστεύο             add the connecting vowel
πιστεύοντ          add the participle morpheme
πιστεύουντσι       add the case ending
πιστεύουσι           the ντ elides
πιστεύουσιν          movable nu


John 1:13

οἳ οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς ἀλλ’ ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν.

οι; relative pronoun or article?  If it is a relative pronoun, then it is also a DMW.  If a DMW, then a dependent clause is also present. If it is a dependent clause, then it must have its own subject and verb.

εγεννηθησαν is the verb;  οι is the subject.  Recall that when the DMW is a relative pronoun, it can also serve as the subject of the clause.

εξ is the preposition εκ but why the changed spelling?

The repetition of ουδε here is translated into English by using a correlative conjunction. neither… nor…

αἱμάτων, θελήματος, σαρκὸς, and ἀνδρὸς are all third declension nouns. To check your parsing, use the codes given in the back of MBG.

εγεννηθησαν is a regular form. Know its evolution:

γεννα-          stem
εγεννα-         augment
εγενναθη        add the tense formative
εγεννηθη         principle 12
εγεννηθησαν        add the verb ending

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