Expressions of purpose

Consider the following sentences:

They worked for days to finish the job.

Jane wore a raincoat so that she wouldn’t get wet.

I left early in order to make the train on time.

Each example begins with a main clause/verb, followed by an (underlined) purpose clause answering the question ‘why?’  Why did they work for days?  Why did Jane wear a raincoat?  Why did I leave early?

English uses a variety of words and phrases to indicate purpose: the simple infinitive, ‘in order to’, ‘so that’, and so on.  Koine Greek also employs several methods, including

1  ἵνα with the subjunctive

Example: 

τοῦτο ποιήσω,       ἵνα         δοξασθῇ                        ὁ πατὴρ        ἐν τῷ υἱῷ 

this     I will do,     so that     he may be glorified      the Father     by the Son       

this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son                          John 14:13

 

2  ὅπως with the subjunctive

Example:

ἐξήγειρά    σε,      ὅπως       ἐνδείξωμαι      ἐν σοὶ      τὴν δύναμίν μου

I raised       you,    so that     I might show     in you     the power      of me

I raised you up, that I might show my power in you                            Romans 9:17

 

3  the simple infinitive

Example:

μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον

do not think that I came to abolish the law                                       Matthew 5:17

 

4  πρός and εἰς with the articular infinitive

Examples:

προσέχετε δὲ τὴν δικαιοσύνην ὑμῶν μὴ ποιεῖν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων πρὸς τὸ θεαθῆναι αὐτοῖς

be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men to be seen by them    Matthew 6:1

πᾶς γὰρ ἀρχιερεὺς εἰς τὸ προσφέρειν δῶρά τε καὶ θυσίας καθίσταται

for every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices                             Hebrews 8:3

 

This is a simplification; the purpose here is for the reader to become familiar with several  major ways in which New Testament writers express purpose.  More next time on a particular usage with ἵνα and ὅπως with the subjunctive.  

Back in the days of landlines and typewriters, it was difficult – in the English-speaking world – to find ways to type in Greek.  Now we can choose from a variety of fonts.

In this post I will be discussing Greek fonts as used in a MS Word document, on a PC.  If you have MS Word on a Mac the following may not apply.

1  Enable Greek typing on your computer.  See my previous post, here.

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