0 votes
I am trying to figure out if the following is correct. My Greek is extremely limited.

In Joh_3:16, "believes" is present tense and "have eternal life" is present subjunctive so we "go on having eternal life" subject to the condition that we "go on believing". ???

Since "having eternal life" is dependant on something, as the subjunctive mood says it is, then the thing that it is dependant upon (believing) must be changeable. Believing must be changeable in order to change what is dependant upon it otherwise the subjunctive mood of "having eternal life" would be meaningless as nothing could change. ???

You are referring to the English text, not the Greek one.  If you can find the Greek text, I may be able to answer.
First source
Joh 3:16  ουτως γαρ ηγαπησεν ο θεος τον  κοσμον  ωστε  τον υιον αυτου τον μονογενη εδωκεν ινα πας ο πιστευων  εις αυτον μη αποληται αλλ εχη ζωην αιωνιον

Second source
Joh 3:16  ουτως γαρ ηγαπησεν ο θεος τον κοσμον ωστε τον υιον τον μονογενη εδωκεν ινα πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον μη αποληται αλλ εχη ζωην αιωνιον
Third source

Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν Υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ’ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

1 Answer

0 votes


I will answer in terms of Grammar only, since I have very limited knowledge in theology.

The present subjunctive phrase is "so that he has eternal life" ( ἵνα ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον) and not just "have eternal life".

"ἵνα ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον" is dependant upon "τὸν Υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν"  and not upon the word "πιστεύων" (= the person who believes)

[The word ἵνα (=so that) is always combined with subjunctive and it indicates the purpose why something happens. The condition upon which this purpose is dependant,  is indicated by the main clause. In this context the main clause is "τὸν Υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν". (= Gave His only Begotten Son)]

"πιστεύων"(= the person who believes) is the subject of the verb "ἵνα ἔχῃ" (and also subject of the verb "ἵνα μὴ ἀπόληται")

"πιστεύων" is a continuous form, so it means the person who believes constantly.

"ἵνα ἔχῃ" is present subjunctive, so it is a continuous form as well. It indicates that the person will constantly have an eternal life.

Therefore, the grammar and the syntax of the specific phrase indicates that the person who believes constantly, will (constantly) have an eternal life.

If someone stops believing, I don't know in theological terms what may happen. It is not mentioned in the phrase.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vasiliki Baskou, Instructor/Director, https://learn-greek-online.com.

by (45.0k points)
Thanks a million for you kindness.

God bless,