I'm trying to understand the greek of John 12:31 to get at the first half about judgment. Judgment can be a confusing thing through the gospel of John. Here, the NRSV (and KJV and NIV) translates it as:

"Now is the judgment of this world"

But the greek is:

νῦν κρίσις ἐστὶν τοῦ κόσμου τούτου

The noun for judgment is "κρίσις" which is in the nominative case. This seems to make it like "the subject" of the verb. The only verb is estin (it is). But the translators seem to make the adverb "νῦν" as the subject.

Compare this to John 3:19 which has "this now is the judgment of the world" where judgment is also nominative, but so is this (Αὕτη).

Shouldn't the translation of 12:31 be more like:

"now judgment is of this world"

What am I missing to get from this greek to the NRSV/KJV translation?


Dr. Wallace explains this in his grammar. τοῦ κόσμου τούτου is genitive of subordination. Thus, νῦν κρίσις ἐστὶν τοῦ κόσμου τούτου has the meaning, "now a judgement is over/upon this world."

Genitive of Subordination [over]

 a.      Definition

The genitive substantive specifies that which is subordinated to or under the dominion of the head noun.

 b.      Key to Identification

Instead of of supply the gloss over or something like it that suggests dominion or priority.

 c.      Amplification/Semantics

This kind of genitive is a lexico-semantic category. That is, it is related only to certain kinds of head substantives-nouns (or participles) that lexically imply some kind of rule or authority. Words such as βασιλεύς and ἄρχων routinely belong here. For the most part, this genitive is a subset of the objective genitive, but not always.84

 d.      Illustrations
    1)      Clear Examples
    Matt 9:34      τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων
    the ruler over the demons
    Mark 15:32      ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἰσραήλ
    he king over Israel
    2 Cor 4:4      ὁ θεὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου
    the god of this world

Cf. also John 12:31; Acts 4:26; Rev 1:5; 15:3.

Wallace, D. B. (1996). Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (p. 103). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

  • Excellent answer (as usual) +1. – Dottard Jun 21 at 22:33

Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. John 20:31

Looking at the verses that follow the scripture shows the judgment upon Jesus by the World.

The world's judgment was to crucify him.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. Now this he said, signifying what death he should die. The multitude answered him: We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever; and how sayest thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? John 20:32-

This is the worlds judgment on the Son of God. It also goes hand-in-hand with a parable from Luke

And the owner of the vineyard said, What will I do? I will send my son, the beloved, perhaps having seen this one, they will respect [him]; and having seen him, the farmers reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir; come, we may kill him, that the inheritance may become ours; and having cast him outside of the vineyard, they killed [him]; Luke 20:13

As a side note:

John 14:30 Talks about the prince of the world known as the prince of the air.

I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming, and he has no claim on Me. But I do exactly what the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.

Here it shows the role of the adversary coming against Jesus so that the world may know Jesus loves his Father by doing what his father asked him to do.

  • Thx for your answer. I understand your logic, but pls make the connection to "the ruler of the world being cast out'. How is this connected with your premise? – user48152 Jun 22 at 3:01
  • We know Christ is ultimately the rightful ruler of this world. It was the judgment of the world to crucify him, cast him out of this world, put him to death… He is the true prince. Christ will come back in glory and take possession of what is rightfully His. The kingdom of the world has become that of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign to the ages of the ages." For now this evil Eon that we're living in is ruled by the spirit of the air. We also know that in 1 John 5:19 it says the world lies in the power of the evil one. He has not been cast out yet. – Sherrie Jun 22 at 4:47
  • TY, but I'm still not seeing the connection with how you describe the 'judging' with the ruler being cast out. The text seems to link these quite closely, but you haven't. – user48152 Jun 22 at 4:51

Now is a judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast forth;

◄ 1544. ekballo ► Strong's Exhaustive Concordance bring forth, cast forth, drive out, expel. From ek and ballo; to eject (literally or figuratively) -- bring forth, cast (forth, out), drive (out), expel, leave, pluck (pull, take, thrust) out, put forth (out), send away (forth, out)

Jesus was Prophesying the judgment of the rulers upon him…

Acts 4:26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His Anointed

And this he said signifying by what death he was about to die;

Use the word cast out because he knew he was coming back.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.