Greek I; Lesson 2

John 1:3

πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο

πάντα

παντα means “all” or “every” and is usually translated with a noun as “all things”. Pay careful attention to the ending since this is how you tell what case it is. Once you know what case it is, you will know what its function is in the sentence. This adjective can be:

  • accusative singular masculine
  • nominative plural neuter
  • accusative plural neuter

But you know that παντα is the subject of the verb εγενετο. With this information, which of the above must it be (principle 1)?

 

δι’ αὐτοῦ

A prepositional phrase. δια means “through” and αυτου means “him”. We know that a prepositional phrase can function either:

This phrase is adverbial which means it must be modifying some verb. This phrase is modifying the verb εγενετο.

  • The preposition is δια. The reason the “α” fell off is because the next word begins with a vowel. The apostrophe marks the elision.
  • αυτου is from αυτος. It means “him” since it is the OP of δια.
    • The αυ is pronounced as the ou in “house”.
    • The ου is pronounced like the ou in “group”. Both are dipthongs.
    • Notice the ου ending. Compare this to the article paradigm (which you should memorize immediately and perfectly). If you know the article paradigm, you will quickly see that this ending marks this pronoun as genitive singular.

 

ἐγένετο

Each Greek verb, is built by adding different morphemes to the verb’s stem. The present tense is built with the following building blocks (or morphemes):

verb stem + verb ending

Aorist verbs, however, are more complicated. Some aorists (called “first aorists“) have four parts:

augment + verb stem + tense formative + verb ending.

Other aorists (called “second aorists“) have three parts:

augment + verb stem (with a spelling change!) + verb ending.

This has the potential to be very confusing. Try to slow down and understand this. Ask for help if you need.

In this case, εγενετο follows the second aorist pattern. Notice the differences in this table:

present tense aorist tense
stem is γιν- stem is γεν- 
Takes primary endings (no augment) Takes secondary endings (yes augment)
Translate into the English present tense Translate into the English past tense
γινομαι – I become εγενομην – I became
γινει – you become εγενου – you became
γινεται – he/she/it becomes εγενετο – he/she/it became
γινόμεθα – we become εγενομεθα – we became
γινεσθε – you become εγενεσθε – you became
γινονται – they become εγενοντο – they became

Looking at εγενετο, we see four parts:

Augment Stem Connecting Vowel Verb Ending
ε γεν ε το
Translation so far...

πάντα            δι᾽              αὐτοῦ     ἐγένετο…
All [things]    through    Him         became…

 


καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν. ὃ γέγονεν

χωρὶς αὐτοῦ

 

ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν

  • ουδε means “not”.
  • Be sure to note the difference between ἕν and ἐν. The former is the numeral one and is pronounced “hen”.
  • Numbers are adjectives answering “how many?”. Just as you did before, you will often have to supply the noun it is modifying. Here you will translate “one thing”.

 

ὃ γέγονεν

Present Aorist Perfect

stem is γιν-

stem is γεν- 

stem is γον- 

Takes primary endings (no augment) Takes secondary endings (yes augment) Takes primary endings (no augment)
Translate into the English present tense Translate into the English simple past tense Translate into the English perfect tense
γινομαι – I become εγενομην- I became γεγονα- I have become
γινει – you become εγενου- you became γεγονας- you have become
γινεται – he/she/it becomes εγενετο – he/she/it became γεγονε(ν) – he/she/it has become
γινόμεθα – we become εγενομεθα we became γεγοναμεν we have become
γινεσθε – you become εγενεσθε you became γεγονατε you have become
γινονται – they become εγενοντο they became γεγονασι they have become
Translation so far...

…καὶ   χωρὶς     αὐτοῦ   ἐγένετο    οὐδὲ  ἕν                 ὃ          γέγονεν.
…and without Him,      became   not     one [thing] which  has become.

 


John 1:4

ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων:

ἐν αὐτῷ

A prepositional phrase translated as “in him”. Be able to find the preposition and its OP. From your knowledge of the article, you can easily parse this. Another huge clue is the iota subscript which almost always means dative, singular.

  • What is the mark under the omega?
  • What is the mark above the omega?
  • Is this phrase adverbial or adjectival?

 

ζωὴ ἦν

ζωη is the subject of the verb ην.

ην is from ειμι.

  • What tense is it?
Translation so far...

ἐν   αὐτῷ    ζωὴ   ἦν…
In   Him,     life    was…


καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς

και is a FANBOYS.

Look at the article before ζωη.

  • What case is it?
  • In light of this, what case must ζωη be?
  • In light of its case, what is the function of ζωη in this sentence?

Isn’t principle 7 great?!

Note that both φως and ζωὴ are nominative case and articular. There is no way to know which is the subject. See RWP on this verse.

 

τῶν ἀνθρώπων

  • What case is των? What case is ανθρωπων (principle 7).
  • Translate genitive nouns into English using the key word “of” (BBG 7.4).
  • What number is ανθρωπων? Should it be translated “man” or “men”?
Translation so far...

καὶ     ἡ     ζωὴ ἦν    τὸ  φῶς   τῶν ἀνθρώπων:
and   the  Life was the Light of    men.

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