Greek Study Luke 3:7-18
v7 ελεγεν (λεγω) imperf. "John said" τοις οχλοις (ος) dat. "to the crowds" – a dative of indirect object. In Matthew and Mark, John addresses the religious leaders, in Luke these rather harsh words are addressed to the crowd.
γεννηματα (α ατος) "offspring” εχιδνων (α) gen. "of snakes” a likely allusion to the Devil. These Israelites, who should be sons of God, are instead sons of the Devil, i.e. lost and facing judgment.
υπεδειξεν (υποδεικνυμι) aor. "warned" With an infinitive, "warned", but the more general "informed" fits better. It seems likely John is reacting to a superficial response to his preaching
φυγειν (φευγω) aor. inf. "to flee" - infinitive forms a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what they were warned to do.
της μελλουσης οργης "the coming wrath" the day of judgment, an important element in John's preaching.
v8 ποιησατε (ποιεω) aor. imp. "produce" do – a strange expression, possibly a Semeticism "let your lives prove your change of heart".
μη αρξησθε (αρχω) aor. subj. "do not begin" – a negated subjunctive expressing prohibition, "do not even begin to say…",
υμιν dat. "[I tell] you" οτι "that" – a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what the Baptist tells them.
εκ + gen. "from [these stones]" - source/origin- the allusion is unclear; possibly Isaiah 51:1-2 where Abraham is referred to as a rock from which God cuts the stones who seek him.
τω Αβρααμ dat. "for Abraham" - Dative of interest.
v9 ηδη adv. "already" - emphasizing the urgent nature of John's message.
των δενδρων (ον) gen. "of the trees" - partitive.
μη ποιουν (ποιεω) pres. part. "does not produce" - present tense, as with "cut down", is gnomic, expressing a timeless fact.
εκκοπτεται (εκκοπτω) pres. "will be cut down" – a futuristic present tense.
v10 ποιησωμεν (ποιεω) aor. subj. "should we do" – a deliberative subjunctive "What is the action that reflects repentance?"
v11 ο εξων (εχω) pres. part. "the man with [two tunics]" μεταδοτω (μεταδιδωμι) aor. imp. "should share with" - note how John defines the fruit of repentance in the terms of radical generosity. He neither calls for the abandonment of nor reformation of society; only that mercy (generosity, kindness) is the primary fruit of repentance.
v12 ελωναι (ης ου) "tax collectors" - in the service of the Roman Government often used their franchise, under the authority of Rome to collect duties on the sale and transport of goods, over and above their normal commission.
βαπτισθηναι (βαπτιζω) aor. pas. inf. "to be baptized" - infinitive used to express purpose.
ποιησωμεν (ποιεω) aor. subj. "[what] should we do?"
v13 μηδεν .... πρασσετε (πρασσω) pres. imp. "don't collect" -.
παρα + acc. "[any more] than" – a comparative genitive.
το διατεταγμενον (διατασσω) perf. pas. part. "required" i.e. the "fixed rate".
v14 στρατευομενοι (στρατευω) pres. part. "some soldiers" - participle serves as a substantive, either Jewish mercenaries in Roman service or members of Antipas' guard.
ενηρωτων (επερωταω) imperf. "asked" – (repeated asking although the imperfect is
often used of speech.
μηδενα διασεισητε (διασειω) aor. subj. "don't shake down” by violence.
μηδε συκοφαντησητε (συκοφαντεω) aor. subj. "don't accuse people falsely" a subjunctive of prohibition so probably, "don't seek bribes."
τοις οψωνιοις (ον) dat. "with [your] wages”
v15 προσδοκωντος (προσδοκαω) gen. pres. part. "[the people] were waiting expectantly" The participle with the noun του λαου, "the people", form a temporal clause; "while the people were in suspense".
διαλογιζομενων (διαλογιζομαι) gen. pres. part. "were [all] wondering" - a genitive absolute formed with "everyone" - possibly temporal .so, "when they were all debating in their minds".
εν "in [their hearts]" - expressing sphere.
μηποτε "might" - perhaps, lest, maybe. expecting a negative conclusion, i.e. the people knew John was not the messiah. Yet, it seems more likely that here the conjunction expresses doubt, particularly with the optative of the verb to-be. "Whether perhaps he might be…” ο χριστος (ος) "the Christ".
v16 λεγων (λεγω) pres. part. πασιν "answered them all" - i.e. all Israel ", John is addressing all in the crowd about to be baptized.
εγω "I" - Emphatic βαπτιζω pres. "I baptize" - ongoing action; "I am baptizing with…"
υδατι (ωρ ατος) dat. "water" - dative is instrumental, but locative "in" is possible. The position is emphatic, so, "only with water" is the most likely translation.
ο ισχυροτερος comp. adj. "one stronger μου gen. pro. "than I" - ablative of comparison.
ικανος adj. "[I am not] worthy" competent λυσαι (λυω) aor. inf. "to loose” - infinitive is epexegetic, explaining what John is not worthy to do.
των υποδηματων (α ατος) gen. "[the straps] of [whose] sandals" - genitive is adjectival.
πνευματι αγιω και πυρι "the Holy Spirit and fire" - The meaning of these words has prompted endless debate. A singular sense is possible, .eg. "a purging (cleansing) Spirit", but it is likely the messiah "immerses/overwhelms" with both Spirit (cleansing through regeneration) and fire (cleansing through tribulation).
v17 το πτυον (ον) "[his] winnowing fork" - agricultural implement used to separate chaff from grain by casting both into the air on a windy day.
διακαθαραι (διακαθαιρω) aor. inf. "so to clear" - infinitive expressing purpose.
συναγαγειν (συναγω) aor. inf. "to gather" - call together- infinitive expressing purpose.
κατακαυσει (κατακαιω) fut. "he will burn up" - consume.
πυρι ασβεστω dat. "with unquenchable fire" – an instrumental dative, meaning a fire that "cannot be put out"- likely alluding to the rubbish dump outside Jerusalem which was constantly burning
v18 πολλα .... ετερα "many other words" - many other. "Word's" assumed, although possibly "ways". The point is that the previous verses is but a summary of John's preaching.
παρακαλων (παρακαλεω) pres. part. "John preached" ‘admonished” (?) reflecting John's stern message.
ευηγγελιζετο (ευαγγελιζω) imperf. "the good news" - Usually a technical term referring to gospel preaching, so "evangelizing", but here likely his message to the people about God’s intent.