A Greek infinitive may also function adverbially by telling when (before, after, while) a verbal action took place, cause (because), purpose (in order that) or result (so that, with the result that). Greek expresses the adverbial function by using a preposition + an article + infinitive. This type of infinitive is called an “articular infinitive” because it takes a neuter article. The case of the article will match the infinitive’s function in the sentence. The articular infinitive may also be used as a noun or adjective complement. Wallace observes that only 291 of the 2291 uses of the infinitive have the article (Wallace, 264). Hence most infinitives are anarthrous.
Thus, in ei#xon pro> tou? to>n ko soi<, the infinitive ei#nai with the preposition specifies the time of the verb more closely (before). It is translated, “[The glory] I had with you before the world was” (Jn. 17:5; Wenham, Elements, 86).
Infinitives are frequently used with prepositions and the neuter article. In such cases, the prepositions take on rather clearly defined roles:
Machen notes that the infinitive + an accusative is used to express indirect discourse (New Testament Greek, 139). o!ti is also used to introduce indirect discourse (e.g. I told you to go to the store).
e@legon oi[ a@nqrwpoi au]to>n ei]nai to>n profhThe men were saying that he was the prophet.
h]rwn mei?nai par ] au]toi?j.
asking him to remain with them (Jn. 4:40 vid. Wallace, Beyond, 604).
Chant: Infinitives (to loose)—get the rhythm down
ei?n esqai (Present)
ei?n esqai h?nai (2nd Aorist)
ai asqai h?nai (1st Aorist)
nai sqai (Perfect)
I ask (70)
I kill (74)
kefalh<, -h?j, h[
I drink (73)
ploi?on, -ou, to<
I keep, guard (70)
u!dwr, -atoj, to<
I rejoice (74)
You will be able to—
1. understand how subjunctives work in English and Greek to denote potential action that “may” take place;