Re: Passive Infinitive in John 3:30

From: Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Date: Mon May 26 1997 - 14:23:51 EDT

On Mon, 26 May 1997, Carlton Winbery wrote:

> 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?


> A more difficult use of the middle/passive form is in Heb 2:9. TON
. . .
> PAR' AGGELOUS HLATTWMENON . . . IHSOUN. "Jesus . . . who was made lower
> than angels . . . This is deducted from Psalm 8 where the Psalmist uses
> the active form with God as the subject. "You made him lower than angels."
> Would not the perf. form be passive as a transformation of the Psalm
> passage where God is the subject of the active? In the vs 9 God would be
> the understood agent. The old Thayer lexicon as well as Zerwick/Grosvenor
> both give these (Jn 3:30 included) as passives. LSJ give definitions only
> for the active & Passive.

Then there is always the immediate context. The DEI ... DE combination
seems strongly to suggest that in both cases the increasing of Jesus and
the decreasing of John are implications of God's sovereign work. If so,
and if the infinitives are in contrasting parallel, then it seems the
senses of the two infinitives, though different in form, are the same.
That is, "it is necessary for that One to increase, but it is necessary
for me to decrease."

Paul Dixon

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