Re: John 15:15 DOULOUS "As servants"

From: Stephen C Carlson (
Date: Fri Aug 02 1996 - 17:06:53 EDT

Jonathan Robie wrote:
>I may be in this way over my head, since I haven't learned the grammar of
>infinitives yet...but I don't understand why Doulos would be accusative here.
>Compare this to John 10:34, which says "EGW EIPA QEOI ESTE". QEOI is

An explicit subject of an infinitive is in the accusative case, while the
subject of a finite verb is in the nominative (ESTE is finite). This
appears to be a feature inherited from Indo-European, and traces of it
are even found in English. Consider:

        (1) I want him to go away.
        (2) *I want he to go away.
        (3) I wish he would go away.

In (1), "him" is the subject of "to go" and is in the objective case. If
the nominative is used, then the sentence would be ungrammatical as (2)
makes clear. Example (3) uses a finite clause, so the subject is in the
nominative case. In these particular examples Greek and English behave
analogously -- that will not always be true.

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson, George Mason University School of Law, Patent Track, 4LE              : Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs     : chant the words.  -- Shujing 2.35

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