Translating Infinitives (John 2:24)

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tjebme
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Joined: May 30th, 2016, 8:52 pm

Translating Infinitives (John 2:24)

Post by tjebme » May 30th, 2016, 9:08 pm

I'm working through a beginner's grammar on my own and it's not clear in my mind what the principle is for translating γινώσκειν in John 2:24. At first glance I thought this would be translated as continuous. Does the main verb determine how the infinitive is translated in John 2:24? I checked several grammars and none of them gave a distinct answer on this, so it probably means it is so obvious that the question is never raised.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Translating Infinitives (John 2:24)

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 31st, 2016, 5:19 am

Nothing is obvious to a beginner, and there is usually no such thing as a bad question... :)

However, this is the difference between tense and aspect, about which you will hear a lot more as you continue into your studies. The present infinitive tends to look at the action as a process, not as a whole (the latter is the aorist infinitive). Here, it is part of a construction called "the articular infinitive," which nominalizes the infinitive (treats it as a noun). In this case, with the preposition διά, it answers the question of why Jesus did not entrust himself to them, "on account of the fact that he knew all men..." Here, the infinitive shows that this knowledge of Jesus was something he possessed "continuously," but in English we render that idea using the simple present, "because he knew all men."
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

tjebme
Posts: 2
Joined: May 30th, 2016, 8:52 pm

Re: Translating Infinitives (John 2:24)

Post by tjebme » May 31st, 2016, 6:18 pm

Thank you!
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