The case of definition or description

The Genitive of Description

This use is closest to the root idea of the case. The genitive limits a noun much like an adjective. It falls under this classification when it does not fit any other. This use is also referred to as “the Attributive Genitive” or “the Qualitative Genitive.” It emphasizes kind.

The Genitive of Possession

The Genitive frequently defines, describes, and limits by denoting ownership.

The Genitive of Relationship

The Genitive may describe a person having some genital or marital relationship with another person. This relationship may extend to a household. In this usage the noun is omitted because it is clear from the context or it is well known to the recipients. The definite article usually occurs in the proper gender along with the Genitive of the person related.

The Adverbial Genitive

The Adverbial Genitive is used to describe, define, and limit as to kind of – time, place, general reference, and measure. The emphasis is this kind and not that kind.

Genitive of Time

Kind of time is defined. It may answer the question “what kind of time?” it is this kind of time in which something takes place, it is this time and not that time.

Genitive of Place

The kind of place is defined. The idea of contact is prominent. It may answer the question “what kind of place?” The emphasis is on kind, i.e. the kind of place within which an event takes place. It is “here and not there.” It limits to a kind of place. This use does not occur frequently in the N.T., since place is usually described by the Locative.

Genitive of Reference

The Genitive may be used with adjectives to refer their qualifying force to certain limits. It may be translated “with reference to” or as an adverb.

Genitive of Measure

This use indicates how much or how far. This would include what some call the Genitive of Price (translated “for”), or of value, or of quantity, or of penalty. 

The Genitive with Nouns of Action

The Subjective and Objective Genitives are two of the most important uses of the Genitive. The case performs its basic function of designating, defining, and limiting with respect to kind. The context must be carefully considered to determine whether the Genitive is Subjective or Objective.

The Subjective Genitive

The noun in the Genitive produces the action. It functions as the subject of the verbal idea or the noun modified. Hence, action goes from the noun.

The Objective Genitive

The noun in the Genitive functions as the object of the noun modified by receiving the action. This is a common function in the N.T. It may be translated “concerning”.

The Genitive of Apposition

The Genitive stands in exact apposition to the noun it modifies. It describes that noun identifying it in a particular way. The noun in the Genitive and the noun it modifies denote the same person or thing. The words “in which,” “namely” or “consisting of” may be used in translation, or a comma may be placed between the two words.

The Partitive Genitive

In this use, a part is taken from the whole. The whole of which a noun is a part is indicated by the Genitive Case. This idea tends towards the Ablative meaning. The difference is an emphasis on kind rather than separation.

The Genitive Absolute

The Genitive of absolute is made up of a participle in the Genitive Case and a noun or pronoun in the Genitive case connected with it. These are disconnected from the main part of the sentence. Occasionally the participle will occur alone. The construction could be left out and you would still have a complete sentence. It may be translated by a temporal clause.

The Genitive with Adjectives

The Genitive case is very common with verbs in the N.T. The basic idea of the Genitive carries over to these nouns which are used as the direct object of the verb. They further describe the verb and limit it as to kind. The Genitive varies the idea of the Accusative which is the normal case with verbs. The Genitive means this and no other, which the Accusative means this and no more. Some verbs tend to lend themselves to the idea of the Genitive Case.

With Verbs of Sensation

This category includes verbs of hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. Verbs of seeing take the accusative case.

With Verbs of Emotion

This use indicates the object toward which the feeling is directed. It includes verbs expressing desire, care for, neglect, compassion, remembrance, forgetfulness, enjoyment, etc. There are many verbs expressing concern which have the Genitive.

With Verbs of Ruling

Verbs of ruling sometimes take their direct object in the Genitive Case. This use is similar to the Ablative with verbs of excelling. This use is close to the root idea of the Genitive.

With Verbs of Sharing, Partaking and Filling

Verbs of sharing and partaking may be looked at as taking the Partitive Genitive.

With Verbs of Buying, Selling, Being Worthy of

The idea of buying and selling easily extend themselves to that of worth. This is sometimes referred to as the “Genitive of price” (cf. the Adverbial Genitive of Measure).

With Verbs of Accusing and Condemning

Used to denote the grounds for the accusation or condemnation.

The Genitive Due to Prepositions in Compound

The preposition changes the meaning of the verb. This mainly occurs with κατά. Sometimes the preposition will be repeated with the noun.

The Attraction of the Relative Pronoun

Sometimes the relative pronoun occurs in the Genitive, not due to the meaning of the verb but to the antecedent. This is common in Luke but rare in the rest of the N.T.

The Genitive with the Infinitive

The Genitive of the articular infinitive expresses purpose. It emphasizes the noun aspect of the infinitive.

The Predicate Genitive

This use is just the possessive Genitive in the predicate rather than being an attribute.