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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek

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10. Insights Derived from the Greek Aorist Subjunctive and the negative "un" - "Don't Start!"

By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida


Aorist subjunctive verbs with "un" = DONíT START!

1. In Jn 3:7 Jesus told Nicodemus "Donít start marveling". The Greek word for "marvel" here is "thumadzo", meaning to "admire".

While the other Pharisees plot to kill Jesus and are called "vipers" and "whitewashed tombstones" by Jesus, Nicodemus, who is a Pharisee, comes TO Jesus, and says "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him".

Jesus' answer to Nicodemus in verse 3 is "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (be in the condition of having been born again), he cannot see (be aware of) the kingdom of God.

Jesus is telling Nicodemus that the Kingdom of God is all around men, but they cannot be aware of it until they are "born again". Nicodemus is aware of the Kingdom of God and believes that Jesus is "come from God", so he has already been born again and that is why he came TO Jesus and called Him Rabbi and says he believes that "God is with" Jesus.

"Thumadzo" here is also Second Person Aorist Subjunctive, which means for Nicodemus himself to not start "admiring" himself.

This passage, where Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night, is commonly missunderstood as Jesus telling Nicodemus that he needs to be "born again", but in the Greek, Jesus is clearly telling Nicodemus that he has already been born again and for him not to even start being "puffed up" about it.

2. Jn 4:13&14, constant drinking of water from Jacobís well will never completely satisfy, but just one drink of water from the fresh flowing spring that Jesus gives (Holy Spirit) and you will "never even start to thirst."

3. John 3:16 The one who is presently believing in Jesus "will not even begin to perish," but will keep on having eternal life!

Bob Jones