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THE INFINITIVE
WITHOUT THE ARTICLE

364. The Imperative Infinitive. The Infinitive without the article is occasionally used to express a command or exhortation. This is the only use of the Infinitive as a principal verb. It is of ancient origin, being especially frequent in Homer. HA. 957; G. 1536.

The New Testament furnishes but one certain instance of this usage.

Phil. 3:16; plh.n eivj o] evfqa,samen( tw/| auvtw/| stoicei/n, only whereunto we have attained, by the same rule walk.
365. Rom. 12:15 affords another probable instance of the imperative use of the Infinitive. Buttmann supposes an ellipsis of le,gw, and Winer a change of construction by which the writer returns from the independent Imperatives used in v. 14 to the construction of an Infinitive dependent on le,gw employed in v. 3. This explanation of change of construction probably applies in Mark 6:9 (cf. the even more abrupt change in Mark 5:23) but in Rom. ch. 12 the remoteness of the verb le,gw (in v. 3) from the Infinitive (in v. 15) makes the dependence of time latter upon the former improbable. B. pp. 271 f.; WM. pp. 397 f.; WT. 316.

366. The Infinitive of Purpose. The Infinitive is used to express the purpose of the action or state denoted by the principal verb. HA. 951; G. 1532.

Matt. 5:17; mh. nomi,shte o[ti h=lqon katalu/sai to.n no,mon h' tou.j profh,taj\ ouvk h=lqon katalu/sai avlla. plhrw/sai, think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil.

Luke 18:10; a;nqrwpoi du,o avne,bhsan eivj to. i`ero.n proseu,xasqai, two men went up into the temple to pray.

Acts 10:33; nu/n ou=n pa,ntej h`mei/j evnw,pion tou/ qeou/ pa,resmen avkou/sai pa,nta ta. prostetagme,na soi u`po. tou/ kuri,ou, now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God, to hear all things that have been commanded thee of the Lord.

367. The Infinitive expressing purpose is sometimes introduced by w[ste or w`j. See 370 (d), 371 (d), 372.

368. THE INFINITIVE AS AN INDIRECT OBJECT. Closely akin to the Infinitive of Purpose is the Infinitive of the indirect object. The former is a supplementary addition to a statement in itself complete, and expresses the purpose had in view in the doing of the action or the maintenance of the state. The Infinitive of the indirect object on the other hand is a complementary limitation of a verb, expressing the direct tendency of the action denoted by the principal verb, or other similar dative relation. Some of the instances of this usage are scarcely to be distinguished from the Infinitive of Purpose, while in others the distinction is clearly marked.

Luke 10:40; Ku,rie( ouv me,lei soi o[ti h` avdelfh, mou mo,nhn me kate,lipen diakonei/n, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?

Acts 17:21; VAqhnai/oi de. pa,ntej kai. oi` evpidhmou/ntej xe,noi eivj ouvde.n e[teron huvkai,roun h' le,gein ti h' avkou,ein ti kaino,teron, now all the Athenians and the strangers sojourning there spent their time in nothing else than either to tell or to hear some new thing. See also Mark 4:23; 6:31; 10:40; Luke 7:40; 12:4; Acts 4:14; 7:42; 23:17, 18, 19; 25:26; Tit.2:8.

369. The Infinitive of Result. The Infinitive may be used to denote the result of the action expressed by the principal verb. When so used it is usually introduced by  w[ste. HA. 953; G. 1449.
Mark 4:37; kai. ta. ku,mata evpe,ballen eivj to. ploi/on( w[ste h;dh gemi,zesqai to. ploi/on, and the waves beat into the boat, insomuch that the boat was now filling.

1 Thess. 1:8; evn panti. to,pw| h` pi,stij u`mw/n h` pro.j to.n qeo.n evxelh,luqen( w[ste mh. crei,an e;cein h`ma/j lalei/n ti, in every place your faith to God-ward is gone forth, so that we need not to speak anything.

370. Under the general head of expressions of result it is necessary to distinguish three different conceptions:
(a) Actual result, conceived of and affirmed as actual; in this case classical Greek uses w[ste with the Indicative. See 236.

(b) Tendency or conceived result which it is implied is an actual result. In this case the result is thought of as that which the action of the principal verb is adapted or sufficient to produce, and it is the context or the nature of the case only which shows that this result is actually produced. In this case classical Greek uses w[ste with the Infinitive.

(c) Tendency or conceived result thought of and affirmed simply as such. In this case the result is one which the action of the principal verb is adapted or sufficient to produce, though the actual production is either left in doubt, or is indicated by the context not to have taken place. Classical Greek employs w[ste with the Infinitive (in Homer the Infinitive without w[ste).

To these three may be added as a closely related conception which the Greek also expressed by w[ste with the Infinitive:
(d) Purpose, i.e. intended result.
The constructions by which these several shades of meaning are expressed are substantially the same in the New Testament as in classical Greek, except that the construction appropriate to the second meaning has apparently encroached upon the realm of the first meaning, and the line of distinction between them has become correspondingly indistinct. {Wste with the Indicative occurs very rarely except with the meaning therefore, introducing a principal clause; and this fact, together with the large number of instances in which w[ste with the Infinitive is used of a result evidently actual, makes it probable that the use of w[ste with the Infinitive is no longer restricted, as in classical Greek, to instances in which the result is thought of as theoretical, but is used also of result in fact and in thought actual. Cf. G.MT. 582-584. There remain, however, instances entirely similar to those found in classical Greek, in which a result shown by the context to be actual is apparently presented simply as one which the event previously expressed tends to produce. Between these two classes it is evidently impossible to draw a sharp line of distinction. Cases of the third class are expressed in the New Testament by the Infinitive with or without w[ste. Cf. also 218 and 398.

371. The following examples illustrate New Testament usage:

(a) Actual result conceived and affirmed as such.

Indicative after w[ste.

John 3:16; ou[twj ga.r hvga,phsen o` qeo.j to.n ko,smon( w[ste to.n ui`o.n to.n monogenh/ e;dwkenfor God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.

Infinitive after w[ste.

Mark 9:26; kai. kra,xaj kai. polla. spara,xaj evxh/lqen\ kai. evge,neto w`sei. nekro,j( w[ste tou.j pollou.j le,gein o[ti avpe,qanen, he became as one dead; insomuch that the more part said that he was dead.

(b) Tendency, by implication realized in actual result. Infinitive, usually after w[ste.

Luke 12:1; evn oi-j evpisunacqeisw/n tw/n muria,dwn tou/ o;clou( w[ste katapatei/n avllh,louj, in the meantime, when the many thousands of the multitude were gathered together, so as to tread one upon another.

Rev. 5:5; ivdou. evni,khsen o` le,wn o` evk th/j fulh/j VIou,da( h` r`i,za Daui,d( avnoi/xai to. bibli,on, behold the lion that is of the tribe of .Judah, the Root of David, hath overcome, to open the book. See also Acts 1:25; 2 Cor. 1:8; 2 Thess. 2:4.

(c) Tendency or conceived result thought of as such. Infinitive, usually after w[ste.

1 Cor. 13:2; ka;n e;cw pa/san th.n pi,stin w[ste o;rh meqista,neinEF1, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains.

Matt. 10:1; e;dwken auvtoi/j evxousi,an pneuma,twn avkaqa,rtwn w[ste evkba,llein auvta., he gave them authority over unclean spirits to cast them out. Here probably belongs also Rom. 1:10. See also 2 Cor. 2:7; Rev. 16:9.

REM. The Infinitive in Heb. 6:10, ouv ga.r a;dikoj o` qeo.j evpilaqe,sqai, must also be accounted an Infinitive of conceived result. The origin of this idiom may be an impersonal construction (cf. G.MT. 762), but it has departed in meaning as well as in form from its original. The meaning of this sentence is not, It would not be unjust for God to forget, but, God is not unjust so as to forget.
(d) Purpose, i.e. intended result.

Luke 4:29; kai. h;gagon auvto.n e[wj ovfru,oj tou/ o;rouj evfV ou- h` po,lij wv|kodo,mhto auvtw/n w[ste katakrhmni,sai auvto,n, and they led him unto the brow of the hill that they might throw him down headlong. See also Luke 20:20.

REM. In Matt. 27:1, w[ste with the Infinitive stands in definitive apposition with sumbou,lion, defining the content of the plan, rather than expressing the purpose of making it.

372. The Infinitive is used with w`j in Luke 9:52 according to the reading adopted by WH. (most editors read w[ste) and in Acts 20:24 according to the generally adopted reading (WIT, read a Subjunctive).  In both cases the phrase denotes purpose. No instance of w`j with the Infinitive denoting result occurs in the New Testament. See Th. w`j, III., and references cited there, and cf. G. 1456. In 2 Cor. 10:9 w`j a;n is used with the Infinitive. This usage also occurs rarely in classical and later Greek. See Alf. ad loc, and Gr. p. 230.  The phrase is elliptical, the Infinitive most probably expressing purpose and w`j a;n modifying it in the sense of quasi. WM. p. 390; WT. p. 310.

373. In the New Testament the Infinitive is not used either with w[ste or evfV w-| or evfV w-|te in the sense on condition that. HA. 953, b; G. 1453, 1460.

374. The classical usage of an Infinitive (of conceived result) with h;, or h; w[ste, or h; w`j, after a comparative, does not occur in the New Testament. The Infinitive after h; in the New Testament is used as the correlative of some preceding word or phrase, and usually as a nominative. See Luke 18:25; Acts 20:35. On Acts 17:21 cf. 368.

375. Somewhat akin in force to the Infinitive of (conceived) result, but probably of Hebraistic origin, is the Infinitive used to define more closely the content of the action denoted by a previous verb or noun. Cf. Hr. 29, 3, e.

Acts 15:10; nu/n ou=n ti, peira,zete to.n qeo.n evpiqei/nai zugo.n evpi. to.n tra,chlon tw/n maqhtw/n, now therefore why tempt ye God, that ye should put (i.e. by putting, or in that ye put) a yoke upon the neck of the disciples? Cf. Ps. 78:18 (Hebrew).

Heb. 5:5; ou[twj kai. o` Cristo.j ouvc e`auto.n evdo,xasen genhqh/nai avrciere,a, so Christ also glorified not himself to be made a high priest. See also Luke 1:54, 72; cf. I Sam. 12:23, avnie,nai; 22:13; Ps. Sol. 2:28, 39, 40. See Ryle and James, Ps. Sol. p. lxxxiii.

376. The Infinitive limiting Adjectives and Adverbs. The Infinitive is used with adjectives and adverbs of ability, fitness, readiness, etc., to denote that which one is or is not able, fit, or ready to do. HA. 952; G. 1526.
Mark 1:7; ou- ouvk eivmi. i`kano.j ku,yaj lu/sai to.n i`ma,nta tw/n u`podhma,twn auvtou/, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

2 Tim. 2:2; oi[tinej i`kanoi. e;sontai kai. e`te,rouj dida,xai, who shall be able to teach others also.

Rev. 4:11; a;xioj ei=( o` ku,rioj kai. o` qeo.j h`mw/n( labei/n th.n do,xan kai. th.n timh.n kai. th.n du,namin, worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power. See also Luke 14:31; 2 Cor. 12:14.

377. The Infinitive may be used after any adjective to limit its application to a particular action. HA. 952; G. 1528.
Heb. 5:11; peri. ou- polu.j h`mi/n o` lo,goj kai. dusermh,neutoj le,gein, of whom we have many things to say, and hard of interpretation — a felicitous free translation. More literally it would read, concerning whom our discourse is much, and hard of interpretation to state, i.e. hard to state intelligibly.
378. The Infinitive limiting Nouns. The Infinitive is used with abstract nouns of ability, authority, need, hope, etc., to denote that which one has, or has not, ability, authority, need, etc., to do. Here may also be included the Infinitive after w[ra, which implies a necessity. HA. 952; G. 1521.
Matt. 3:14; evgw. crei,an e;cw u`po. sou/ baptisqh/nai, I have need to be baptized of thee.

John 1:12; e;dwken auvtoi/j evxousi,an te,kna qeou/ gene,sqai, to them gave he the right to become children of God.

Rom. 13:11; Kai. tou/to eivdo,tej to.n kairo,n( o[ti w[ra h;dh u`ma/j evx u[pnou evgerqh/nai, and this, knowing the season, that now it is high time for you to awake out of sleep. See also 2 Cor. 10:15; Rev. 9:10.

379. The Infinitive is also occasionally used after concrete nouns cognate with verbs which take an object Infinitive.
Gal. 5:3; ovfeile,thj evsti.n o[lon to.n no,mon poih/sai, he is a debtor to do the whole law.
380. The Infinitive is used after pri,n or pri,n h;HA. 955; G. 1469-1474.
Mark 14:30; pri.n h' di.j avle,ktora fwnh/sai tri,j me avparnh,sh|, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.

John 4:49; ku,rie( kata,bhqi pri.n avpoqanei/n to. paidi,on mou, Sir, come down ere my child die.

381. The use of h; after pri,n, which occurs twice in the Iliad, frequently in Herodotus, and rarely in Attic writers, is well attested in three of the thirteen instances in the New Testament in which pri,n is used with the Infinitive, and occurs as a variant in other passages. G. 1474.

382. As respects the mood which follows pri,n or pri,n h;, New Testament usage is the same as that of Post-Homeric Greek in general, in that the Infinitive is generally (in the New Testament invariably) used when the leading clause is affirmative; the Subjunctive and Optative occur only after a negative leading clause. The Indicative after pri,n which sometimes occurs in classical Greek, chiefly after a negative leading clause, is not found in the New Testament. HA. 924, a; G. 1470.

383. The Infinitive used absolutely in a parenthetic clause occurs but once in the New Testament. HA. 956; G. 1534.

Heb. 7:9; w`j e;poj eivpei/n, so to speak.
384. The Infinitive as Subject. The Infinitive may be used as the subject of a finite verb. HA. 949, 959; U. 1517.
Matt. 3:15; ou[tw ga.r pre,pon evsti.n h`mi/n plhrw/sai pa/san dikaiosu,nhn, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.

Luke 18:25; euvkopw,teron ga,r evstin ka,mhlon dia. trh,matoj belo,nhj eivselqei/n, for it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle’s eye. See also Mark 3:4; Luke 16:17; 20:22; Gal.4:18.

385. The Infinitive with subject accusative sometimes stands as the subject of an impersonal verb (dokei/, etc.). Frequently, however, the personal construction is employed, that which is properly the subject of the Infinitive being put in the nominative as the subject of the principal verb. But the logical relation is the same in either case. HA. 944.

In the New Testament the personal construction is regularly employed with dokei/.

Acts 17:18; xe,nwn daimoni,wn dokei/ kataggeleu.j ei=nai, he seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods. See also Gal. 2:9; Jas. 1:26, etc.
REM. Concerning the Infinitive as subject of evge,neto, see 357, 360.

386. The Infinitive as Appositive. The Infinitive may stand in apposition with a noun or pronoun. HA. 950; G. 1517.

Jas. 1:27; qrhskei,a kaqara. kai. avmi,antoj . . . au[th evsti,n( evpiske,ptesqai ovrfanou.j kai. ch,raj evn th/| qli,yei auvtw/n, pure religion and undeflied . . . is this, to visit orphans and widows in their affliction. See also Acts 15:28; 1 Thess. 4:3.
387. The Infinitive as Object. The Infinitive may be used as the object of a verb. The verbs which are thus limited by an Infinitive are in part such as take a noun or pronoun in the accusative as object, in part such as take a noun or pronoun in the genitive as object, in part verbs which cannot take a noun or pronoun as object but require an Infinitive to complete their meaning. HA. 948; G. 1518, 1519.
Matt. 19:14; a;fete ta. paidi,a kai. mh. kwlu,ete auvta. evlqei/n pro,j me, suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me.

Mark 12:12; kai. evzh,toun auvto.n krath/sai, and they sought to lay hold on him.

Luke 16:3; ska,ptein ouvk ivscu,w( evpaitei/n aivscu,nomai, I have not strength to dig; to beg I am ashamed.

Heb. 7:25; o[qen kai. sw,|zein eivj to. pantele.j du,natai, wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost. See also Matt. 1:19; John 5:18; Rom. 14:2; Gal. 3:2, et freq.

388. The Infinitive cai,rein in salutations is to be regarded as the object of an unexpressed verb of bidding.
Acts 23:26;Klau,dioj Lusi,aj tw/| krati,stw| h`gemo,ni Fh,liki cai,rein, Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix, greeting.

Jas. 1:1 VIa,kwboj . . . tai/j dw,deka fulai/j tai/j evn th/| diaspora/| cai,rein, James . . . to the twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion, greeting.

389. The verbal idea governing the Infinitive is sometimes implied rather than expressed. The Infinitive tekei/n in Rev. 12:2 is doubtless an, object Infinitive governed by the idea of desire implied in the preceding participles. The Infinitive yeu,sasqai in Acts 5:3 may be regarded as an object Infinitive governed by the idea of persuading implied in evplh,rwsen th.n kardi,an, or as an Infinitive of conceived result. Cf. 370 (c).

390. The Infinitive in Indirect Discourse. The Infinitive is frequently used in the indirect quotation of assertions. It is usually the object of a verb of saying or of thinking, or the subject of such a verb in the passive voice. HA. 946; G. 1522.

Mark 12:18; oi[tinej le,gousin avna,stasin mh. ei=nai, which say that there is no resurrection.

John 21:25; oi[tinej le,gousin avna,stasin mh. ei=nai, I suppose that even the world itself will not contain the books that will be written.

Heb. 11:5; pro. ga.r th/j metaqe,sewj memartu,rhtai euvaresthke,nai tw/| qew/|, for before his translation he had witness borne to him that he had been well-pleasing unto God. See also Luke 2:26; 22:34; 24:46 (?); John 12:29; Acts 16:27; Rom.15:8; 2Tim. 2:18; 1  John 2:9.

REM. 1. Respecting the force of the tenses of the Infinitive in indirect discourse, see 110-114.

REM. 2. Respecting the use of negatives with the Infinitive in indirect discourse, see 480-482.

391. The Infinitive occurs frequently as object after verbs of hoping, promising, swearing, and commanding, with a force closely akin to that of the Infinitive in indirect discourse. Such instances are not, however, usually included under that head. Cf. 337, and G.MT. 684.



Editorial Footnotes

EF1This reading varies somewhat from NA27 which reads, "kai. eva.n e;cw pa/san th.n pi,stin w[ste o;rh meqista,nai"