New Testament Greek Syntax

The Nominative Case

Functions as the subject of a finite verb indicating who or what produced the action.

1. Dependent Nominative

A nominative substantive functioning in relation to a finite verb

i] Subject Nominative

A substantive in the nominative case that is the subject of a finite verb.

THE REST were hardened

oiJ loipoi epwrwuhsan

ii] Predicate Nominative

A substantive in the nominative case that is the object of a linking verb to the subject

The linking verbs express a state of being rather than an action:

eimi, ginomai, uparw and the passive of kalew

God is LOVE

oJ qeoV agaph estin

iii] Nominative of Apposition

A substantive in apposition with another substantive in the nominative case, usually also takes the nominative case, except where the writer is sloppy, eg. Revelation.

Elizabeth his WIFE conceived

sunelaben Elisabet hJ gunh autou

iv] Nominative of Appellation

A proper noun in the nominative case irrespective of its position in the sentence

He has the name APOLLYON

onoma ecei Apolluwn

2. Independent Nominative

A nominative substantive functioning independently in the sentence

i] Nominative Absolute

A nominative substantive functioning in the sentence without any grammatical connections.

eg. Titles, addresses, salutations

ii] Nominative Pendens

An independent substantive (eg. participle) in the nominative case that is linked to the rest of the sentence by a pronoun which takes its case independently of the nominative subject.

Identify by beginning the sentence: "With reference to ....

THE ONE WHO OVERCOMES, I will make HIM a pillar

oJ nikwn poihsw auton stulon

iii] Parenthetic Nominative

The subject of an independent clause which serves as a parenthesis in a sentence

The sentence may or may not have a different subject.

There came a man sent from God; his NAME was John

egeneto anqrwpoV apestalmenoV para qeou, onoma autw/ IwannhV

iv] Exclamations

Virtually an independent nominative

behold my MOTHER and my BROTHERS

ide hJ mhthr mou kai oiJ adelfoi mou

v] Salutations

GRACE to you, and PEACE from God

cariV uJmin kai eirhnh apo qeou

vi] Titles of books


ApokaluyiV Iwannou

vii] Proverbial expressions

A substantive in the nominative, used in proverbial expressions that have no finite verb.

THE ONE WHO GRASPS the wise in their own craftiness

oJdrassomenoV touV sofouV en th/ panourgia/ autwn

viii] Used with expressions of time

A nominative used in an expression of time where the accusative might be exprected.

I have compassion upon the multitude because already they have remained with me FOR THREE DAYS

splagcnizomai epi ton oclon oJti hdh hJmerai treiV prosmenousin moi

3. Notes

Some general rules

i] Granville Sharp's Rule (modified)

Where there are two coordinate singular personal (not proper) nouns, the repetition of the article distinguishes them, while a single introductory article associates them.

ii] Colwell's Rule

Definite predicate nouns that follow the verb usually take the article

Definite predicate nouns that precede the verb usually lack the article

iii] Canon of Apollonius

With two nouns, where one is depending on the other, either both have an article or both lack it. This rule is not always evident in the NT especially when the first noun follows a preposition.

in the Spirit of God

en tw/ pneumati tou qeou

iv] Sexist language

Translations of the Gk. text on this site will tend to follow the convention today of replacing the singular "he/she" with the plural "they", etc.


*A less than common usage*

For Greek font requirements see Syntax Notes

A Commentary on the Greek New Testament Exegetical Notes

[Pumpkin Cottage]