From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Wed Oct 29 1997 - 12:12:26 EST

Cindy Westfall wrote;
>> I recently came across a passage in Mt 2:13 (the last clause) MELLEI GAR
>> hHRWiDHS ZHTEIN TO PAIDION *TOU APOLESAI AUTOU*. I scratched my head over
>> that one for a while. I knew that infinitives could take the article and
>> function in a sentence much as a noun (be the subject or object of a
>> verb, etc.) but why the genitive case? Well I reluctantly (I don't like to
>> ask for directions or look at maps either) took out my reference grammar
>> (Goodwin) and started reading up on infinitives with the article. I came
>> across this description: ( 1548) "The infinitive with TOU may express a
>> purpose, generally a negative purpose, where with ordinary genitives
>> is regularly used."
>> Question? Is this the usage here? If so, it is a positive, not a negative,
>> purpose being expressed. Also, how common is this construction in the New
>> Testament? I don't recall coming across it before.
>As far as how common the construction is, In "Infinitive in Biblical Greek"
>Votaw found 33 genitive articular infinitives which he suggested were used
>for purpose. They occur mostly in Matthew, Luke and Acts.
There are several in Paul also. A good eg. of purpose over against a hINA
+ subj. purpose clause is in Rom 6:6. They both function alike. A simple
eg. in the aorist (TOU GNWNAI) is found in Phil. 3:10. The infinitive is
used also with EIS TO, PROS TO hWSTE, and hWS to show purpose.

Carlton Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Pineville, LA 71359

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