Greek I; Lesson 4

John 1:7

οὗτος ἦλθεν εἰς μαρτυρίαν ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός ἵνα πάντες πιστεύσωσιν δι’ αὐτοῦ

οὗτος ἦλθεν

Present Aorist
stem is ερχ- stem is ηλθ-Notice that the aorist stem is spelled differently than the present stem. That means this is a second aorist.
Takes primary endings (no augment) Takes secondary endings (yes augment)
Translate into the English present tense Translate into the English past tense
ἔρχομαι – I come ηλθον – I came
ἔρχῃ – you come ηλθες – you came
ἔρχεται – he/she/it comes ηλθε(ν) – he/she/it came
ἐρχόμεθα – we come ηλθομεν – we came
ἔρχεσθε – you come ηλθετε – you came
ἔρχονται – they come ηλθον – they came


εἰς μαρτυρίαν

This is a prepositional phrase.

  • What is the preposition?
  • What is the OP?
  • Is it adverbial or adjectival?


Translation so far…

οὗτος ἦλθεν εἰς μαρτυρίαν
This [One] came for a witness


ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ

ινα is a DMW. Since it is a DMW, we know it marks the beginning of a dependent clause.
In English, there are two kinds of DMWs, subordinating conjunctions and relative pronouns. In Greek, things are roughly similar. ινα is a subordinating conjunction.

Since the DMW is a subordinating conjunction, we know the clause is adverbial. Once we know it is adverbial, it is then simply necessary to find the verb that this clause is modifying.

Every clause has a subject and verb. Here μαρτυρηση is the verb and the subject of this clause is the implied subject of μαρτυρηση (cf. principle 3). Hence, the dependent clause is ινα μαρτυρηση.
Furthermore, we know that dependent clauses function just like other words; they can be adverbial, adjectival, or substantives. To find out the function of this clause, use the questions you learned. This clause is modifying ηλθεν and is answering the why? question. Hence, in your English translation, you will translate ινα as “in order that”.


Keeping principle 27 in mind, we know to expect a subjunctive verb. Because it is subjunctive, we will use the helping verb “might” in our translation. Subjunctives are generally easy to find because of principle 27. The distinguishing factor of a verb in the subjunctive mood is the lengthened connecting vowel.

Note the evolution of μαρτυρήσῃ:

μαρτυρε-                     stem
μαρτυρεσε                    add the tense formative
μαρτυρησε                     principle 12
μαρτυρησεη                    add the connecting vowel; .
μαρτυρηση                      contraction (cf. MBG 2.1)
μαρτυρησηι                      add the verb ending
μαρτυρήσ                        the iota subscripts


περὶ τοῦ φωτός,

This is a prepositional phrase.

  • What is the preposition?
  • What is the OP?

φωτος is a noun in the genitive case. The lexical form is φως. Check the index in the very back of MBG for the code. You will see the code given this word is n3c(6c). Turning to that paradigm (p. 198), you can see the different forms.

ἵνα πάντες πιστεύσωσιν δι’ αὐτοῦ.

  • How does a clause differ from a phrase? Which is this?
  • Assuming this is a clause, what is the DMW?
  • Why is παντες nominative (principle 1)?
  • Check the adverbial questions. Which one does this clause answer?
  • Which verb does it modify?
  • How does principle 27 apply?
  • Why is it significant that the OP of δια is genitive? See here.


πιστευ-                   stem
πιστευσα                 add the tense formative
πιστευσαω                 add the lengthened connecting vowel (because it is subjunctive moodBBG 31.9)
πιστευσω                      contraction
πιστευσωσι                      add the verb ending
πιστευσωσιν                      movable nu

Translation so far...
ἵνα                   μαρτυρήσῃ             περὶ            τοῦ φωτός
in order that  he might witness  concerning the light
ἵνα                   πάντες      πιστεύσωσιν  δι᾽            αὐτοῦ.
in order that  all [men]  might believe  through  Him.

John 1:8

οὐκ ἦν ἐκεῖνος τὸ φῶς

ουκ is the same adverb we had before (ου) but the kappa is added here because the next word begins with a vowel.


There are two demonstrative pronouns in Greek, εκεινος and ουτος.

  • εκεινος generally refers to a more remote object and is translated “that” or “those”.
  • ουτος refers to a nearer object and is translated “this” or “these”.

Notice that the gender of εκεινος (masculine) does not agree with that of φῶς (neuter). Hence, this cannot be “He was that light.” Remember principle 7. Therefore, we conclude that εκεινος is the subject of ην and φως is the PN.

Translation so far...
οὐκ   ἦν    ἐκεῖνος       τὸ  φῶς,
not   was That [one]  the light

ἀλλ’ ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός.

αλλ is the conjunction αλλα, but the final alpha is cut off by elision, because the next word begins with a vowel. Recall the same thing happening to δια above (δι αυτου).
αλλα is a FANBOYS. It is a strong contrastive. Much more so than δε (GGBB p. 671).



Here is ινα again. In terms of μαρτυρήσῃ, why is ινα significant (cf. principle 27)?


ινα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός

This is a dependent clause (ινα is the DMW). This clause modifies ηλθεν from the beginning of verse 7. Can you pick out the adverbial question being answered? Notice that inside this dependent clause there is a prepositional phrase περι του φωτος. This phrase answers the how? question, and it modifies μαρτυρηση.

  • What is the difference between a phrase and a clause?
  • Principle 7 teaches us that an article must always agree with its noun. Does του agree with φωτος? Why do they look so different? Study this.
Translation so far...
ἀλλ᾽                ἵνα                  μαρτυρήσῃ          περὶ             τοῦ   φωτός.
but    [came] in order that He might testify  concerning the   light.

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