Syntactical Analysis of John 11:1-46


Syntactical Analysis (part of a larger exegetical study of John 11:1-46)

Verse 1

Λάζαρος, nominative singular masculine used as a proper name and nominative of apposition to τις ἀσθενῶν[1] therefore modifying the translation of τις to be “a certain one” rather than “someone”[2]

Μαρίας καὶ Μάρθας, both nouns are connected by a coordinating conjunction (καὶ), and both are genitive singular feminine proper names,[3] in a genitive of description relationship with τῆς κώμης.[4]

τῆς ἀδελφῆς, genitive, singular, feminine, a genitive of apposition to Μάρθας. αὐτῆς, pronoun, personal, third person, genitive, singular, feminine, a genitive of relationship,[5] explaining that Martha is Mary’s sister.

Verse 2

ἡ ἀλείψασα, aorist, active, participle, singular, nominative, feminine in apposition to Μαριὰμ.[6]

μύρῳ, noun, dative, singular, neuter, an instrumental dative, describing that which Mary anointed the master with, mainly perfume.[7]

ἐκμάξασα, aorist, active, participle, singular, nominative, feminine in apposition to Μαριὰμ.[8]

ταῖς θριξὶν, dative, plural, feminine noun, an instrumental dative,[9] describing with what Mary wiped dry the feet of the master, with her hair. [10]

Verse 3

ἀσθενεῖ, verb, present, active, indicative, third person, singular, a progressive present, describing action in progress, “at this present time is sick,” especially used in narrative.[11]

Verse 4

δοξασθῇ, verb, aorist, passive, subjunctive, third person, singular with ἵνα purpose clause.[12] This conjunction indicates the “goal or aim of an action.”[13] The sickness will therefore result not only in glory to God, but in the end, that the Son might be given glory through it.

Verse 7

ἔπειτα, adverb, “a marker for a sequence of time or events.”[14] Moving the narrative alone, giving specific emphasis to time, and the order in which these events occurred.

Ἄγωμεν, verb, present, active, subjunctive, first person, plural, an hortatory subjunctive,[15] used here (in the first person plural) to exhort oneself and ones associates.[16]

Verse 8

Λιθάσαι, verb, aorist, active, infinitive serving as a complementary infinitive[17] of ἐζήτουν,[18] completing the thought of the “seeking” of the Jews, mainly they were seeking to stone Jesus.

Verse 9

περιπατῇ, verb, present, active, subjunctive, third person, singular, with ἐάν an adverbial, conditional conjunction making this a third class conditional sentence[19] being that it is ἐάν with a subjective mood verb.[20] The third class condition denotes the condition as “uncertain of fulfillment, but still likely – it portrays what is “likely to occur in the future, what could possibly occur.”[21] In this context, it is clear that Jesus is giving a hypothetical situation to illustrate his point, “If someone walks around in the day.”

προσκόπτει, gnomic present,[22] active, indicative, third person, singular verb with a negative particle οὐ.[23] Therefore, the one who walks in the day, will, as a general truth not stumble. The gnomic present is used to make a statement about a general, timeless truth, as it is here.[24]

Verse 13

εἰρήκει, consummative pluperfect, active, indicative, third person, singular verb.[25] The consummative pluperfect (also known as extensive pluperfect) emphasizes the completion of an action in past time, without really focusing on the current results.[26] In this case, it makes it clear that the narrator is speaking, being that he has withdrawn from the scene in the narrative in order to explain in more detail something that those in the story were possibly unaware of.

Verse 15

πιστεύσητε, aorist, active, subjunctive, second person, plural verb with ἵνα purpose clause.[27] This conjunction (ἵνα) indicates the “goal or aim of an action.”[28] The reason for Jesus’ rejoicing was not because Lazarus had died, but rather that because Lazarus had died “they might believe”

ὅτι, adverbial, causal conjunction, giving the basis or the grounds for the belief.[29] For if Christ had gone earlier (and assumedly healed Lazarus) there would not have been opportunity for belief. Therefore Jesus’ absence provided opportunity for belief.

Verse 16

συμμαθηταῖς, dative, plural, masculine noun, meaning “fellow disciples,”[30] the indirect object of εἶπεν, denoting to whom Thomas was speaking.

Verse 19

παραμυθήσωνται, aorist, middle, subjunctive, third person, plural verb with ἵνα purpose clause.[31] This conjunction (ἵνα) indicates the “goal or aim of an action.”[32] Therefore many of the Jews had come, with the purpose, or aim, of “consoling”[33] Martha and Mary in regards to the death of their brother.

Verse 22

αἰτήσῃ, aorist, middle, subjunctive, second person, singular verb with ὅσα ἂν, relative clause,[34] therefore that which asked for is unspecified,[35] and in this case translated as “whatever you ask.”[36]

Verse 23

Ἀναστήσεται predictive future, middle, indicative, third person, singular verb denoting that something, mainly Lazarus rising, will come to pass. The time from when such a verb is used and the fulfillment is unknown; only that it will happen.[37]

Verse 24

ἀναστήσεται, future, middle, indicative, third person, singular verb with prepositional phrase marked by ἐν. Martha affirms Jesus’ statement that Lazarus will rise again, but gets more specific as far as when, mainly: “in the resurrection at the last day.”

Verse 25

ζήσεται, predictive future, middle, indicative, third person, singular verb denoting that something, mainly those that believes in Jesus will live; it will come to pass even if they die – it is certain. The time from when such a verb is used and the fulfillment is unknown; only that it will happen.[38]

Verse 28

λάθρᾳ, adverb of manner.[39] Modifying εἰποῦσα, telling the manner in which Martha spoke to Mary, mainly “secretly,” or “privately.”[40]

Verse 29

ταχὺ, adverb of manner.[41] Modifying ἠγέρθη, informing the manner in which Mary stood up, “quickly.”[42]

Verse 31

παραμυθούμενοι, present, middle, participle, plural, nominative, masculine attributive participle of Ἰουδαῖοι.[43]

ταχέως, ταχὺ, adverb of manner.[44] Modifying ἀνέστη, informing the manner in which Mary stood up, “quickly,”[45] but this time it is in regards to the crowd seeing her get up and then following her.

δόξαντες, aorist, active, causal participle, plural, nominative, masculine showing the cause or reason or ground of the action of the finite verb.[46] Therefore, the Jews followed Mary because they thought she was going to the tomb to grieve.

κλαύσῃ, aorist, active, subjunctive, third person, singular verb with ἵνα purpose clause.[47] This conjunction (ἵνα) indicates the “goal or aim of an action.”[48] The crowd thought that Mary had gotten up for the purpose of going to grieve at the tomb.

Verse 33

κλαίουσαν, present, active, participle, singular, accusative, feminine serving as the object complement with αὐτὴν.

συνελθόντας, aorist, active, participle, plural, accusative, masculine serving as a substantive participle as the direct object along with αὐτὴν of εἶδεν. Jesus saw her (Mary) and the ones coming together with her.

ἐνεβριμήσατο, ingressive aorist, middle, indicative, third person, singular verb. The ingressive aorist stresses the beginning of an action or the entrance into a state.[49] The context (when he saw) shows that Jesus’ action started in the moment he saw; therefore a translation of “he became deeply moved” best communicates the scene.

ἐτάραξεν, aorist, active, indicative, third person, singular – also an ingressive aorist, linked with the previous ingressive by the coordinating conjunction καὶ. The ingressive aorist stresses the beginning of an action or the entrance into a state.[50] Therefore translation should reflect this beginning, but because of the coordinating conjunction and the previous ingressive aorist, simply stating, “and troubled” would suffice because the notion of the action beginning is giving in the first verb and carried over by the coordinating conjunction to this verb.

Verse 34

τεθείκατε, perfect, active, indicative, second person, plural verb with Ποῦ[51] serving as an interrogative indicative which is a question that expects an assertion to be made, it expects a declarative indicative in answer to the question.[52] Therefore, when Jesus asks where they have laid Lazarus, he expects an answer to be given.

Verse 35

ἐδάκρυσεν, ingressive aorist, active, indicative, third person, singular verb. The ingressive aorist stresses the beginning of an action or the entrance into a state.[53] The context places emphasis on order of occurrence, only after they answered Jesus question as to where Lazarus was, telling him to come and see does he cry. Or rather, “he began to cry,” or “he burst into tears.”[54]

Verse 36

ἐφίλει, imperfect, active, indicative, third person, singular verb with πῶς[55] as an exclamation[56] of the declarative indicative nature of the verb (ἐφίλει). The indicative is used in this case to present an unqualified statement.[57]

Verse 37

ἀνοίξας, aorist, active, substantive participle, singular, nominative, masculine serving as the subject of Οὐκ ἐδύνατο. Translated as, “Could not this man who opened the eyes…”

ποιῆσαι, aorist, active, complementary infinitive of Οὐκ ἐδύνατο, serving as a “helper” verb completing the thought of what Jesus was able to do, that is, he was able (Οὐκ ἐδύνατο) to make or cause (ἀνοίξας).[58]

Verse 38

ἐμβριμώμενος, present, middle, participle, singular, nominative, masculine, a temporal participle of contemporaneous action with ἔρχεται.[59] This normally should be translated “while doing.” In this context, the temporal participle of contemporaneous action shows that when Jesus came to the tomb, he was “deeply moved” at the same time. The use of the commas in the NASB shows this contemporaneous action well in the English.

Verse 39

τετελευτηκότος, perfect, active, participle, singular, genitive, masculine, intensive perfect,[60] serving as a genitive of relationship to ἀδελφὴ.[61] The intensive perfect emphasizes the result, or current state produced by a past action (in this case, death).[62]

ὄζει, descriptive present, active, indicative, third person, singular verb. The descriptive (also known as Progressive Present) is used to describe a current scene, progress within a scene, especially in narrative.[63] It normally involves continuous action, therefore in this context, it is putting emphasis on the current, at this present time, right now “stink” in the tomb, and the consequences if the tomb was opened.

Verse 41

εὐχαριστῶ, present, active, indicative, first person, singular, a progressive present emphasizing the current scene in progress, the “right now,” and therefore a legitimate translation could be, “right now, I give you thanks.”

Verse 43

ἐκραύγασεν, constative aorist, active, indicative, third person, singular verb. The constative aorist places no emphasis on the nature of the verb, but stresses only the fact that it occurred.[64]

δεῦρο, imperative adverb, almost used as a verb[65] translated with ἔξω as “come out!”

Verse 44

τεθνηκὼς, perfect, active, participle, singular, nominative, masculine, subjunctive participle serving as the subject of ἐξῆλθεν, “the one who had died came out.”[66]

Verse 46

δὲ, contrastive particle contrasting those that believed and those that did not.[67]


[1] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 48-49.

[2] William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, “Based on Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-Deutsches Wr̲terbuch Zu Den Schriften Des Neuen Testaments Und Der Frhchristlichen [Sic] Literatur, Sixth Edition, Ed. Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, With Viktor Reichmann and on Previous English Editions by W.F. Arndt, F.W. Gingrich, and F.W. Danker.”, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 1008.

[3] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek: Practical Helps for Reading the New Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989), 386.

[4] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 79-81.

[5] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 83-84.

[6] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 386.

[7] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 162-63.

[8] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 386.

[9] Cleon L Rogers, The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), 208.

[10] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 162-63.

[11] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 518-19.

[12] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 475.

[13] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 676.

[14] James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament), electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), GGK2083.

[15] Cleon L Rogers, The New Linguistic, 208.

[16] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 464-65.

[17] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 598.

[18] Cleon L Rogers, The New Linguistic, 208.

[19] Cleon L Rogers, The New Linguistic, 208.

[20] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 689.

[21] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 696.

[22] Cleon L Rogers, The New Linguistic, 208.

[23] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 733.

[24] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 523.

[25] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 387.

[26] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 585.

[27] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 475.

[28] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 676.

[29] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 674.

[30] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 957.

[31] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 387.

[32] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 676.

[33] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 769.

[34] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 388.

[35] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 660.

[36] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 729.

[37] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 568.

[38] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 568.

[39] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 388.

[40] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 581.

[41] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 388.

[42] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 993.

[43] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 388.

[44] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 388.

[45] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 993.

[46] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 631.

[47] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 475.

[48] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 676.

[49] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 558.

[50] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 558.

[51] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 388.

[52] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 449-50.

[53] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 558.

[54] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 388.

[55] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 389.

[56] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 901.

[57] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 450-51.

[58] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 598.

[59] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 389.

[60] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 574.

[61] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 389.

[62] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 574.

[63] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 518.

[64] Daniel B Wallace, Greek Grammar, 557.

[65] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 220.

[66] Wesley J Perschbacher, Refresh Your Greek, 389.

[67] William Arndt, A Greek-English Lexicon, 213.

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