Re: Passive Infinitive in John 3:30

From: Lee R. Martin (
Date: Mon May 26 1997 - 13:40:12 EDT

Jim Beale wrote:

> Mounce tags ELATTOUSQAI as passive. The only other non-active
> infinitive in John is in 3 John 2, which is similar in syntax to
> this case, SE EUODOUSQAI. I think this is passive. Does the
> presence of the accusative help to decide whether the middle or
> passive is in view?

Dear Jim,

I may be wrong, but it seems that the terminology itself is weak.

Very simply, I see the the voices this way:
Active when the subject acts
passive when the subject is acted upon
reflexive when the subject acts upon itself
middle when the subject neither acts nor is there an agent acting upon

John must decrease. He neither acts nor is acted upon. It is middle.

I know this is simplistic but it helps me. Part of the difficulty is
the overlap of form and function. Middle,passive, and reflexive are
sometimes found in the same form.

Lee R. Martin
Adjunct Faculty in Old Testament and Hebrew
Church of God School of Theology
Cleveland, TN 37311
Pastor, Prospect Church of God

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