Greek Glossary

With grammatical notes


A noun, verb, participle .... standing alone in a sentence.

Genitive absolute.

Formed by a genitive noun or pronoun + a genitive participle.

Nominative absolute

Formed by an independent substantive.

Abstract Nouns:

In Greek they often carry an article which is not translated into English:

hJ doxa kai hJ sofia

"Glory and wisdom", not "the glory and the wisdom."

Accusative Case:

The undefined / default case for the New Testament

Object - the direct object of a transitive verb

Object complement double accusative construction

Adverbial uses of the accusative:


Measure - "for the extent of ..."; of time, "for the duration of ..."

Reference / respect - "with respect to ..."

Location, locative.

Appositional accusative:

Specifies or defines a clause or something in it

Active voice.

The active voice of a verb is used where the subject performs, produces or experiences the action. The subject may perform the action, or cause the action (causative), or simply be in the centre of the action ("In the beginning was the Word")


Primarily serves to limit a noun:

Attributive: limits by modifying the noun.

Predicate; Limits by asserting something about the noun.


The use of an article with a phrase or clause to make it an attributive modifier, limiting a noun, or a substantival infinitive or participle.


Something related to a noun.


Where a dative indirect object takes the place of an accusative direct object and adopts the accusative case.


Expressing opposition, or at least a contrast, "but", "rather than"

alla is the most common adversative; Note:

An accessory idea for "an additional point in an emphatic way", BDF

"furthermore / not only that, but .."

It may introduce the apodosis of a conditional clause for emphasis.

With ge for emphasis

After a negative "rather, on the contrary"

Used in a counterpoint construction,

ou / ouc ...... alla .. "not ...... but ...."

de. Transitional.

This conjunction may also function as an adversative / contrastive, but primarily it is transitional, a marker of narrative transition, indicating a step in the argument, narrative or dialogue, ie., a paragraph marker. Sometimes translated "Now ...." Other usages include:

Coordinative: "and"

Copulative: "having the force of concluding something", Betz.

Epexegetic: introducing an explanation or parenthesis; "that is ....."

Inferential: "then ...";

Usually not translated when introducing a new literary unit.

Emphatic: de kai

mallon de. "but rather" - Introducing an alternative that is preferred.

nun de. Adversative statement of fact, "but now in fact ....."

palin, "again";

Sometimes as an adversative / contrastive:

"nevertheless", "on the other hand."


The person or thing performing the action


A broken or irregular syntactical construction where the author looses track of the syntax.


Particularly of an article or demonstrative pronoun referring back. cf. 2Cor.5:4

in THIS tent

en tw/ skhnei


Without an article


A word (the previous referent) referred to later in the sentence


A verb with punctiliar action, having perfective verbal aspect:

Constative = the point of action;

Ingressive = the point at which the action begins

Culminative = the point at which the action ends

Gnomic = expressing a universal truth

Epistolary = the action is expressed in the time-frame of the reader.

Dramatic = used to express dramatic effect

Futuristic / a prophetic perfect =

an action in the future that is certain to occur


The "then" clause that corresponds to the "if" clause, the protasis, in a conditional sentence.


A conditional clause / sentence which omits the apodosis.


Two nouns, side by side, where the second further defines the first.

Usually in the same case, sometimes the second is genitive


With an article

An article will sometimes function as a personal pronoun.

This is particularly evident in the gospels:

oJ = autoV, "he"

oiJ = autoi, "they"




Verbal aspect defines the action of the verb:

Perfective - aorist tense:

where the action is viewed by the author as a whole, complete

Imperfective - present, imperfect tenses:

where the action is viewed by the author as in progress, unfolding

Stative - perfect, pluperfect tenses:

where the action is viewed by the author as a complex state of affairs:

eg., past action extending into the present - perfect, pluperfect tense

Campbell, Verbal Aspect, classifies it as a prominent imperfective


The grammatically incorrect omission of a conjunction, both coordinating or adversative


A relative pronoun that has improperly taken on the case of ("attracted" to) its antecedent or predicate

a man whom we appointed

en andri wJ/ (oJn) wJrisen

Where the relative pronoun and its antecedent is governed by the same preposition (eg., en), the preposition is omitted in the relative clause, cf., Matt.24:50. This looks like attraction, but isn't.

Attributive and Predicative adjectives.

An attributive adjective directly modifies a substantive, as opposed to a predicative adjective which modifies a substantive indirectly, cf., Wallace:

Attributive positions - "The good man"

1st. oJ agaqoV anqrwpoV,

2nd. oJ anqrwpoV oJ agaqoV,

3rd. anqrwpoV oJ agaqoV

Predicate positions - "The man is good"

1st. agaqoV oJ anqrwpoV,

2nd. oJ anqrwpoV agaqoV


The prefix e


An overly concise expression

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


There are five cases in Greek: Nominative, Vocative, Accusative, Genitive and Dative. Following A.T. Robertson's grammar, 1934, some today still argue for an eight-case system, distinguishing the locative and instrumental forms from the dative case, and the ablative form from the genitive case.

Casus Pendens.

Referring to a noun phrase standing outside a clause and replaced in the clause by a resumptive pronoun. eg. "The God of the Hebrews, HE has created the world."


A word or phrase that is alien to the context

put to death therefore,

[your] LIMBS on the earth =

whatever in you is earthly, NRSV

nekrwsate oun ta melh ta epi thV ghV


Particularly of a demonstrative pronoun pointing forward

"In THIS is love, namely that ...."

Causal Clause.

Expressing the reason for the action of the main verb.; "because, so ...."

Formed by an infinitive (see Infinitives), Genitive absolute, or a participle

Prepositions sometimes expressing cause:

apo, dia + acc., eiV (rare), ek, en, epi, anq (anti) w|n

Particles can be causal + ind.

oJti, epei, ef, wJ/ dioti, epeidh

gar is primarily causal, answering the question "Why?"

Sometimes it is:

Explanatory, answering the question "How?", giving a reason, "for"

Emphatic: emphasising a point:

just gar by itself, or kai gar, "and indeed"

Transitional; a stitching device, connective, resumptive.

Inferential: establishing a logical connection.

Conclusive: Used in questions, "what THEN I pray ..."

Ground / Basis: "on the ground that ...."

oJti is also primarily causal.

Often used to introduce an adverbial clause of cause / reason.

Its other functions are as follows:

Introducing an object clause / dependent statement,

used in place of an accusative infinitive

Epexegetic: serving to introduce a explanatory clause,

used in place of iJna + subj.

Interrogative: ti oJti, "what is that?" After 2nd. person verbs.

Why did you go up to Jerusalem?

dia ti, "because why? / why?" - A causal interrogative.


A verb expressing cause


A Chiastic construction is one where the word order is inverted. Possibly Semitic in origin. eg Matt.9:17.


Two words with the same root meaning, "I love love."

Cognate accusative.

In "I love love", the accusative object of the verb "to love" is one.

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.

Comparative / Contrastive.

Serving to compare or contrast

Comparative clauses, with a protasis and apodosis.

The characteristics of one element are compared with another:

Adversative comparative / contrastive construction:

men ......... de ..... "on the one hand ........ but on the other hand ......."

This construction contrasts one thought with another in a series.

It does so without emphasising contrast, cf. BAGD 504.1c.

Disjunctive comparative / contrastive construction:

eite ..... eite ...., "either ...... or ....."

Negated disjunctive comparative / contrastive construction:

oute ...... oute .... "neither ..... nor ....."

Other comparative / contrastive constructions:

kaqwV ....... ouJtwV, "just as ........ so ......."

wJsper ...... ouJtwV kai, "just as ....... so also ......"

ouJtwV ...... wJV, "thus ....... as ...."

kaqaper ..... ouJtwV ...., "just as ....... so ......"

wJV will often introduce a comparative clause:

"like, as, even as, as if, as it were".

Other functions include:


Modal, introducing an adverbial clause of manner;

"in the manner of, is that of"

Temporal; "while"

Causal: Used instead of oJti or epei; "because"

Consecutive: "so that"

Final: "in order that"

Like eJwV, used to introduce a dependent statement instead of oJti.

Used with numerals to express approximation, "about"

Exclamation. "How!"

Used with a participle to express consideration, cf., BDF 425[3];

"with the assertion that, on the pretext that, with the thought that."

Introducing a concrete example: wJV Sarra, "Sarah, for example."

Indicating a characteristic quality or standard:

"exactly as / in accordance with":

Why am I still considered wJV, "AS", a sinner (not LIKE a sinner)

Why am I still considered a sinner?

ie., used instead of the Hebrew predicate accusative.

kaqwV will often introduce a comparative clause,

"as, just as, even as", but has other functions

Used to establish basis, cause, reason, cf., BDF 236

As a loose connective. Sometimes used this way in Paul's letters.

Used to introduce a conditional clause

Indicating a characteristic quality, or standard,

"exactly as / in accordance with"

Temporal (rare)

ouJtwV can make a comparison with what precedes, "in the same way";

Its other syntactical functions are mostly adverbial:

As an absolute; "simply, without further ado."

Manner; "for in this way."

Referring to what follows, "thus" (not in the sense of "therefore")

Interrogative; "How?"

Degree / intensity / elative; "an earthquake SO great"

mallon can serve as a comparative, "rather than".

It has other functions as well:

Intensive / elative, "by all means, certainly"

Adversative, "instead, preferably"


A word or phrase that adds to the sense of another word in the sentence. A verb may take a complement, either a word of phrase, to complete predication. Nouns, adverbs, and adjectives may take a genitive complement, eg., axia plhgwn, "worthy of punishment." In this case the genitive noun virtually functions as if an objective genitive. The direct object of a verb may take a complement, see Object Complement.

Compound verb

A verb with a prepositional prefix.

ballw, "I throw"

ekballw, "I throw out"


Action that is attempted

Concessive Clause.

A clause expressing a concession which implies that the action of the main verb is true despite the concession. Usually translated, "though", "although".

A participle will often form a concessive clause.

May be introduced by ei kai, ean kai, kai ei, kai ean

Sometimes formed by kaiper + part.


An action occurring at the same time


Where words in a sentence agree in number etc.


Expressing a supposition

ei (also an, ean) usually indicates a conditional clause.

Its other functions:


Introducing a direct or indirect question:

epei ..... ti, "given ......... why ...."

Rhetorical question expecting a negative answer:

ei + ind., + ou/ouk, BDF 428i.

Hypothetical result,

"but if indeed not - otherwise": ei de mhge, ei de mh, ei mh

Exceptive clause expressing a contrast by designating an exception:

ei mh "except".

After a negative joined to a noun it may just be adversative, "but"

Adverbial clauses: eiper, ei


Concessive "although ..... yet ...", ei kai, "otherwise", epei

Causal "since .... then ..."


The condensed elliptical protasis for a conditional clause:

epei "for otherwise".

Dependent statement of doubtful expectation:

ei ara . Used instead of oJti

Conditional clause.

Made up of an "if" clause, the protasis, and a "then" clause, the apodosis:

1st. class = the proposed condition is assumed to be true:

ei + ind. in the protasis; "if, as is the case, ..... then ...."

2nd. class / contrary to fact =

The proposed condition is assumed to be not true / contrary to fact:

ei + past tense ind. in the protasis and

a[n + past tense ind. in the apodosis;

"if, as is not the case, ..... then ....."

3rd. class =

The proposed condition is assumed to be a future possibility:

ean or a[n + subj. in the protasis; "if, as may be the case, ..... then ......"

4th. class =

the proposed condition is assumed to be a remote future possibility:

ei + opt. in the protasis, and a[n + opt. in the apodosis;

"if, as should possibly happen to be the case, .. then .."

In the NT only incomplete examples exist.

Other conditional constructions:

ei kai or ean kai, "if even",

Often with concessive force: "although .......... yet ......"

ean mh + subj. - Introducing a subordinate clause of negated condition.

oJtan + imperf. is used in a temporal conditional clause.

Sometimes only an or ean + subj..

ei + ind. without the apodosis / "then" clause = an unfulfilled condition.

"That which is anticipated by the "if" clause is expressed as

a hope, desire, even purpose", Burton. cf., Rom.11:14.


Used to join together two words, phrases, clauses, sentences,

eg. de, kai, gar

te is often used to join two clauses in a close relationship

te ..... te. "as .... so", "not only .... but also"

te kai. "and" - a close connection of concepts;

"both Jews and Greeks."

Consecutive clause.

Expressing the results of the action of the main verb.

wJste, tou, eiV to, proV, wJV, en tw/ + inf.

iJna + subj.,

wJste + ind.

A participle

Constructio ad sensum

"a construction according to sense".

Where a clause etc. follows good sense rather than good grammar.

Content Clause.

See Object Clause.


Establishing a contrast or comparison. eg.

de sometimes introduces a contrastive clause.

At other times adversative, or simply connective.


Two clauses of similar weight, joined by a coordinating conjunction

kai is the most common coordinative conjunction.

Other functions for kai:

Adjunctive: "also"

Ascensive: "even"

Adversative, contrastive: "but"

Concessive, "and yet"

Emphatic; "indeed, in fact"

Epexegetic: explaining, specifying, "that is, namely"

Transitional: indicating a step in the argument, or narrative

(used instead of de)

Final: wJste kai = "so then"

Consecutive, often after an imperative:

"so that, with the result that, and as a consequence"

Additive. Introducing a clause which provides more information.

Inferential: establishing a logical connection, "and so."

Sequential: introducing an important point

Also for a concluding an argument;

"and so"

kai nun. "And now"

te ..... kai .... Forming a coordinate series.


An intensive verb that connects the subject and the predicate.

      The main linking verbs

      eimi, ginomai, uJparcw, kalew

Correlative constructions.

Words, phrases and clauses that correspond to each other. They express either comparison, or contrast, or an alternative, or association, or disjunction. The intended sense is usually determined by context

kai ... kai , "both ..... and ....." - association.

eite .... eite "whether ..... or whether ..." - disjunction.

h[ ...... h[ . "either ..... or ..." - disjunction

men ..... de "on the one hand ..... but on the other ..."

alternative = adversative comparative / contrastive

kaqwV .... ouJtwV "just as ..... so ..." - comparison, association

wJV ..... ouJtwV "as ...... so ..." - comparison, association

wJsper .... ouJtwV kai "just as ..... so also" - comparison, association

mhte .... mhte "neither .... nor .." - contrast

oi|oV .... toioutoV "of what sort ...... such .." - comparison

te .... kai "both .... and .." - association.

pote .... nun "once .... now ..." - contrast

te .... te "as .... so ..." - comparison, association.


The joining of two words with the loss of a vowel from the first

      kai + moi = kamoi

Dative Case:

The case of personal interest indicating advantage or disadvantage.

The Pure Dative:

Dative of indirect object;

Dative of interest: Advantage or disadvantage;

Dative of reference / respect / representation;

Dative of possession;

Dative of feeling / ethical dative

Dative of recipient.

Local Dative (Locative):

Dative of space, sphere, or state;

Dative of time (temporal;

Dative of rule - "in conformity with";

Dative of destination - "traveling to."

Instrumental Dative - expressing means:

Dative of means - "by means of."

Dative of cause - "on the basis of."

Dative of manner - "He speaks in = WITH boldness = boldly."

Dative of measure;

Dative of agency, "by ....";

Dative of content.

The dative of that which is followed = "which you have followed"

Dative of direct object:

Normally the direct object stands in the accusative case, but some verbs, particularly verbs with a prepositional prefix, eg., sun, will take a dative.

Dative complement:

Some nouns, adjectives or pronouns, take a dative complement, eg., oJmoiV, "like, similar", although sometimes classified as a dative of the thing compared.

tini eisin oJmoioi;

"they are like WHAT?" = "what are they like?"

gar in Matthew it often takes a dative personal pronoun.


Asks a question

Dependent statement / Object clause.

An object clause of direct or indirect speech, perception, or action expressing the content of what was said, seen, thought, or done, of a verb of saying, thinking, or doing. Such a clause is formed by an infinitive, oJti + ind., iJna + subj., oJpwV + subj., eJwV, and rarely an optative verb. A participle may also be used to form a dependent statement of perception. Note oida + inf. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing manner rather than content, so Robinson; so not "know THAT", but "know HOW."

After qelw a subjunctive verb can follow without iJna

What do you want me to do for you

What do you wish THAT I MAY DO for you

ti soi qeleiV poihsw

Dependent statements introduced by an infinitive,

Direct speech (recitative): Infinitive, iJna + subj, oJti

Indirect speech:

Stating, entreating, questioning, requesting, promising, swearing.

Infinitive, iJna + subj, oJti, oJpwV + subj., opt.

Expression - "he wrote THAT", iJna = subj., or inf.

Perception - sensation and cognition:

Thinking, feeling, wondering, knowing, perceiving, hoping, wishing

Infinitive, iJna + subj., oJti, and sometimes a participle.

Cause: Striving, effecting, achieving, ....

Infinitive, iJna + subj., oJpwV + subj., eJwV, or fut.

About what is said (rather than what is said), is expressed by pwV.

aphggeilen de hJmin pwV eiden aggelon

and he reported HOW he saw an angel

Fear: mh + subj.

In answer to a question: oJti

Deponent verb.

Defined by older Grammars as verbs that have only middle / passive ending, but are active in meaning. This definition is no longer widely held; see Middle Voice


Indicating a choice between two mutually exclusive possibilities.

h[, "or" - sometimes expresses comparison.

Distributive expression:

The preposition kata is used adverbially as a distributive.

"According to name" = "name by name" = "individually"

kata de eJorthn

but/and according to festival

"Now, at each celebration of this festival."

Double Accusative Construction:

A clause where the verb takes an accusative direct object + an accusative complement. The complement states a fact about the object. There are two forms:
i] Person and thing: both objects limit the verb and are unrelated to each other: "I will teach you (accusative direct object of didaxai) all things (accusative complement)
ii] Primary and secondary: Both objects are related, with the secondary / predicate object standing in apposition to the primary object, ie., the secondary object predicates something about the primary object. The secondary object may be a noun, an adjective, an infinitive, or a participle

Sometimes wJV is supplied, but translated "as, to be, that is, namely"

If you have me (a direct object) a partner (accusative complement)

It you consider me as a partner.


In a dialogue between two parties, the dialogue shift is often indicated by the use of de


Expressing result.

Elative superlative.

The absolute use of the superlative where there is no comparison

      very/extremely small



The dropping of the final vowel of a word. Identified by an apostrophe.


      di'... dia


The omission of words from a sentence that are significant, but can still be determined from the context.

      the [LETTER] from laodicea

      thn ek LaodikeiaV


Emphasising a point. Usually achieved by the placement of the word at the beginning of a sentence or by the use of an unnecessary personal pronoun


Explanatory, explaining the meaning of - reason rather than cause


A correction of a previous statement or impression

Epistolary / Royal plural.

A singular writer refers to himself using a plural number

Exceptive clause

A clause which establishes a contrast by designating an exception

ei mh + subj. "except ....."

In a conditional clause

ei mh + ind. = "if not = unless ...."

ean mh + subj. = "if not = unless ...."

Sometimes ei mh is used to express a hypothetical result

After a negative joined to a noun ei mh may just be an adversative; "but"

Final clause / Telic.

Expressing purpose - an intended result

tou, eiV to, proV to, wJste, wJV + inf. = purpose

iJna + subj. commonly introduces a purpose clause expressing end-view.

Sometimes iJna expresses result, or hypothetical result.

iJna + subj. proceeded by ouJpwV forms an epexegetic clause

mhpote +subj. expresses negated purpose

Also hesitation, a hoped for outcome;

"lest, perhaps."

wJste can be used to introduce a final clause expressing purpose

It can also be:

Consecutive, expressing result.

Inferential, when used at the beginning of a new sentence.

oJpwV / pwV + subj./fut. can express purpose

A future tense can sometimes express purpose, so Moule.

A purpose clause may also be be formed by

a present or future participle,

a relative clause with fut. verb.

Future tense.

Action in the future relative to the writer:

Predictive. The action will take place, either:

progressively (linear),

repeatedly (iterative), or

in a single action (punctiliar).

Imperatival. Used for a command

Deliberative. Asking a question or implying doubt.

Gnomic. Action that will always happen within certain parameters.

Genitive Case:

In the NT, primarily adjectival in function. It serves to limit a substantive by describing, defining, specifying, or qualifying it.

Descriptive Genitive:

Attributive. Limits by supplying a specific attribute or innate quality;

Attributed. The lead noun serves as the attributive adjective.

Idiomatic / General (aporetic):

A genitive that serves as a general limiting descriptive.

A genitive that displays semantic density / Semitic short-talk.

Idiomatic classifications tend to be arbitrary rather than fixed.

Movement: "The way of the Lord" = "The way the Lord travels";

Subordination. "The ruler of demons" = "The ruler of over demons";

Material: "a heard of swine" = "a heard consisting of swine."

Content: "a net of fish" = "a net full of fish";

Local: "Cana of Galilee" = "Cana which is located in Galilee";


"Zerepath of Sidon" = "Zerepath which is in the region of Sidon";

Destination: "Paths of life" = "paths which lead to life";

Producer / Product: "the end which is the product of faith";

Price: "Bought of silver" = "bought for a certain amount of silver";

Time / temporal;

"The time of visitation" = "the time when God visited you."

Source / Origin / Agent: "The Word (which is) from God."

Separation: "(which is) away from."

Epexegetic (Appositional) - a genitive of definition.

A genitive of definition limits a head noun by specifying it - defining, explaining, clarifying. Translation: = "namely, that is, which is, consisting of, ..." An unnecessary distinction is sometimes drawn between an epexegetic genitive and an appositional genitive, when in function they are one in the same. The only technical difference is that an appositional genitive restates a previous genitive, eg., the second example below.


The sign namely / that is / which is / consisting of CIRCUMCISION

shmeion peritomhV

he is the head of the body OF THE CHURCH

he is the head of the body namely / that is / which is THE CHURCH

autoV estin hJ kefalh tou swmatoV, thV ekklhsiaV

Qualifying Genitive:


Identifying the possession of:

A dependent status

A derivative characteristic; "pertaining to."

Relational: "Simon son of John."

Partitive / Wholative.

Identifying the whole of which the substantive is a part / all of.

Verbal Genitive.

A verbal genitive, either subjective, or objective, limits a substantive of action by complementing it (verbal nouns such as: orgh, agaph, dehsiV....). Sometimes both ideas are present = Plenary or Full Genitive. Moulton argues that the interpretation of these genitives is more a matter of exegesis than grammar, the final arbiter being the context. For example, "the love of Christ constrains us" - is that our love for Christ, or Christ's love for us? ie., is it objective or subjective. This classification now has its critics, particularly the objective genitive, and this because important issues hang on the classification, eg.,

dia pistewV Ihsou Cristou, Gal.2:16

Verbal genitive, objective =

justified through faith IN JESUS CHRIST

Possessive genitive =

justified by the faithfulness OF JESUS CHRIST

Subjective genitive (Active genitive)

It produces the action implied by the verbal noun

Often classified as adjectival, possessive.

apekdidtamenoi ton plaion anqrwpon sun taiV praxesin autou

you have put off the old self with ITS practices / the practices OF IT

Possessive: practices THAT CHARACTERIZED IT

Subjective: practices THAT EXPRESSED IT

Objective genitive

It receives the action implied by the verbal noun

Usually expressed by:

about / for / concerning / toward placed before the genitive

the report OF HIM


hJ akoh autou

Ablative Genitive:

The ablative genitive indicates separation, either static or movement from, or comparison with. In Koine Greek the ablative was in the process of being replaced by the use of a preposition + gen. See note below.

Separation: "he has ceased of sin = from doing sin."

Comparison: "more value of many sparrows = than many sparrows."

Source / origin: "a letter of Christ = from Christ."

Adverbial Genitive: Where a genitive substantive serves to modify a verb.







Reference / respect, "about, for" - may also modify a noun or adjective;

Association, "with" - may also modify a noun or adjective.

Genitive of direct object;

A genitive, following certain verbs, rather than an accusative.

Genitive Complement:

Certain adjectives, nouns and adverbs take a genitive complement.

Genitive Absolute:

A genitive noun or pronoun + an anarthrous genitive participle

standing by themselves at the beginning of a sentence

will usually be temporal in meaning.

Generalising plural.

A plural used for a singular example of the same.


      oiJ zhtounteV

Generic singular.

A singular noun that refers to multiple examples of the same


Expressing a general truth.

Granville Sharp's Rule (Modified).

With respect to two coordinated nouns (singular, personal, and not proper nouns), the repetition of the article distinguishes them, while a single article associates them.

Hapax Legomenon.

A once only use in the New Testament


A single idea expressed through two separate words joined by "and", kai:

      rejoicing and seeing = rejoice to see

      cairwn kai blepwn

Historic / Narrative Present Tense:

A present tense verb which is logically translated in English into the past tense. They are mainly found in the Gospels (not many in Luke) and the Revelation. Most introduce speech, and some 25% introduce verbs of motion. They seem primarily to function as paragraph markers; indicating a step in the narrative. The default tense in narrative is aorist, with the present tense indicating a change in speaker, a new scene, etc., ie., they indicate narrative transition. The particle de (or oun in John's gospel) can perform a similar function.


An exhortation

      eg. a subjunctive, or afeV + subj. = "Let us ....."


An inversion of the normal word order. Often where the subject or object of a subordinate clause is displaced such that it becomes the subject or object of another clause, usually, the main clause.

Hysteron-proteron. "Last first".

The reversal of a natural order to give emphasis to the first item.

threi kai metanohson

"hold fast (keep) and repent."

The natural order would be "repent" and then "hold fast."


Indicates the particular style of an author, eg., John's use of the demonstrative pronoun for a personal pronoun.

Imperfect tense.

Expressing linear action, usually in the past, a past/remote process, in indicative mood only:


Progressive action that took place at some point of time in the past.


Action over a long period of time, but is now complete.

Inceptive / ingressive. Where the beginning of the action is emphasised.

Customary. Habitual recurring activity in the past.

Iterative. Repeated action in the past, "they used to do ...."

Tendential. Unrealised attempted action.

Voluntative. A desire to attempt a certain action

I could wish that I myself were present with you right now

hqelon pareinai proV uJmaV arti


A command or instruction. Normally expressed by an imperative verb:

Perfective aspect (aor. imperative) urges activity as a whole action

Imperfective aspect (pres., imperf. imperative)

Urges activity as an ongoing progress

Some linguists still argue that:

A perfective imperative prohibits the commencement of activity

An imperfective imperative prohibits action in progress

Future imperative:

A future indicative is often used as an emphatic command

ou mh + fut. = "he must never .....", cf., Burton.

It is very easy to mistakenly ascribe a future imperative

ouk ep artw monw zhsetai oJ anqrwpoV

not by bread alone will man live

Man shall not live by bread alone, AV. (as an imperative)

Man does not live by bread alone, NET.

(as a statement - more in line with Deut.8:3.)


The verbal aspect of action in progress, usually represented by a present or imperfect tense.

Improper prepositions

A preposition never used as a prefix for a verb

Usually an adverb serving as a preposition, eg.,

ojpisw, adv. "afterward"

ojpisw + gen. "after", as a preposition


Denoting the beginning of an action; "began to".


Not referring to a specific person or thing

ti will often introduce an indefinite expression,

"a certain one, anyone" / "any, anything."

an, or ean, is often used to shape an indefinite expression, often + subj.

A relative pronoun + an, or ean:

"an independent relative clause which

makes a general assertion or assumption", BDF 380.1

oJstiV, "whoever"

o}V an + ind., "whoever" - the an is an unnecessary addition.

o}V an, ean + subj. = "whoever / whosoever".

Neut. "wherever / whenever"

oJsoi an + subj. = "whoever" -

Used to form an indefinite relative clause

(+ imperf. = durative action)

aiJtineV an indefinite pronoun with some particular functions:

Simple: "who, what"

Generic: "whoever, whichever"

Qualitative: "the very one who, the very thing that"

kan = kai ean, "if only, even just"

oJpou an + subj., "wherever".

Used to form an indefinite local adverbial clause.


oun is primarily inferential:

Drawing a logical conclusion: "so, therefore"

Establishing a logical connection: "so, consequently, accordingly."

men oun, "so then ..."

tote oun, "finally ..."

Sometimes oun is:

Resumptive, transitional, sequential; "now, then, subsequently, ....".

Common in John's gospel.

Responsive: Especially after a verb of exhortation.

Adversative, drifting toward concessive; "yet, however"

wJste is primarily inferential, "thus", but can also express:

Purpose - final, "in order that"

Result - consecutive

"with the result that", hypothetical result, "so that".

Comparison / likeness (wJV + te = "and so"), "likewise"

dia touto. Inferential, "therefore", rather than causal, "because of this".

See Discourse Grammar, Runge.


An indeclinable verbal substantive with either verbal force or substantival force. There is disagreement among grammarians as to the classification of an infinitive with an impersonal verb such as dei, existin, dokei, etc. Traditionally the infinitive was classified as a substantive, subject of the verb, but they are often classified today as complementary.

  Substantival / Nominal Infinitives:

As a substantive. Always singular, neuter, with or without an article.


For me, TO LIVE is Christ and TO DIE is gain

emoi gar to zhn CristoV kai to apaqanein kerdoV

Subject of an impersonal verb:

dei luqhnai auton mikron cronon

It is necessary TO RELEASE him for a short time.

TO RELEASE him for a time is necessary

Direct Object:

An infinitive may form a nominal phrase or clause,

accusative direct object of a finite verb.


Classed as a substantive object

A very common helper (completive) verb.

Completes the sense of verbs such as

dunamai, arcomai, boulomai, epitrepw, zhtew, qelw, mellw

Epexegetic / Appositional

An epexegetic infinitive limits a noun, pronoun or adjective

It limits by specifying or defining it

Dependent statements / object clause

An infinitive used to form an object clause to express content,

dependent on a verb of saying, thinking, or doing.

A dependent statement may also be formed by a clause introduced by

oJti + ind., iJna + subj., oJpwV + subj., eJwV, or a participle,

on rare occasions an optative.

See Dependent Statements / Object clause.

  Adverbial Infinitives:

An infinitive may modify the main verb, or function as a verb

Purpose: Introducing a final clause

Expressing the the aim or purpose of the action.

Usually in conjunction with:

tou + inf. Genitive articular infinitive = purpose in Matt. Lk. Act.

tou mh + inf. = separation following a verb of hindering or stopping.

eiV to, proV to, wJste, wJV + inf. = purpose

Result; Introducing a consecutive clause

Expressing the results of the action of the main verb.

Usually in conjunction with:

wJste most common; wJV, en tw/. Rare

tou, (eiV to) proV to + inf.

Time: Introducing a temporal clause

Expressing the relative time at which the action took place.

Also in conjunction with:

Antecedent time. "before". pro tou + inf., prin + acc. + inf.

Contemporaneous time. "while, during" en tw/ + inf.

Note Heb.8:13, causal

Subsequent time. "after" (See Wallace p594) meta to + inf.

Future time. "until" eJwV tou + inf.

Cause: An infinitive may form causal clause

Expressing the reason for the action of the main verb.

Also formed by dia to + inf., or a dative article + inf.

[tw/, eJneken tou, + inf. Rare]

Imperative - Infinitive of Command.

An infinitive functioning as an imperative. Rare

Often formed by a iJna + subj. construction

to what we have already attained, LET US LIVE up to it

eiV oJ efqasamen, tw/ autw stoicein

Means (Instrumental).

Describes the way in which the action of the main verb is accomplished.

Is with or without an article, but usually en tw/ + inf.

Very similar to the verbal infinitives of purpose or result.

Translate "by means of / by"

to bless you BY TURNING

eulogounta uJmaV en tw/ apostreqein

Manner (Modal)


An infinitive that stands alone in a sentence

It has no relationship with the sentence, cf. Phil.3:16, Rom.12:15

James to the twelve tribes in the dispersion. GREETING

JakwboV ... taiV dwdeka fulaiV taiV en th/ diaspora/ cairein


Expressing the beginning of an action

Instrumental / Means

Describes the way in which the action of the main verb is accomplished.

en tw/ + inf. forms a instrumental clause.

A participle may form an instrumental clause expressing means.

May be introduced by an instrumental preposition, eg.,

en, dia, ek, uJpo


Indicating that the word has a heightened force, emphatic


An exclamation


A word or phrase used to ask a direct or indirect question.

Formed by an interrogative pronoun, eg. tiv, posoV, poiV

Formed by an interrogative adverb, eg. pote, e{wV o{pwV pwV o{pou poqen

pwV. Introducing a direct, indirect, or rhetorical question

+ subj. where deliberation is implied,

ie., an unstated interrogative clause

Other uses include:

Modal expressing manner, "somehow, in some way, perhaps",

also eipwV, and mhpwV, "lest somehow"


Introducing a dependent statement

Expressing something ABOUT what is said.

mh or ara are used with a question expecting a negative answer

ou is used with a question expecting a positive answer

dia tiv. Introducing a question asking the reason for an action; "why"

iJna tiv. Introducing a question asking the purpose for an action.


A verb whose action ends with the subject and does not "go over" to a direct object. It makes complete sense in itself. eg. "I run".


Repeated or habitual action


Action that is continuous or durative

Litotes. (Meiosis)

A negated understatement used to state the opposite

      a debate [of] no little [proportion] = a whopping big argument

      zhthsewV ouk olighV


Expressing location, place

Local Clause.

A clause expresses the locality where the action of the main verb takes place. "Where", "there".

A definite place takes the indicative mood;

An indefinite place,

some place, an + ind. past tense;

a place where the action will occur, an, ean + subj.

Local clauses may be introduced by: ou|, oJpou, oJqen, .....


The substitution of one term for another for which it is associated

Mediopassive Voice.

Of the three voices, active, middle and passive, the passive voice is often mediopassive, expressing a middle sense rather than a passive sense. So for example, the passive efobhqhsan, "they were afraid", expresses an internalised middle action.

Middle Voice.

Used when the subject is intimately affected by it's own action. Deponent verbs, such as decomai, were once viewed as middle in form, but active in meaning, but this is not how the Greeks viewed the action of such verbs. There are three ways to define the action of a middle verb: i] The subject is acting in relation to itself, or for itself, or by itself - ergazomai, "I work [for myself]", cf., 1Thess.2:9. ii] The subject is affected by the verbal action (see Rutger Allan) - ercomai "I go", the subject acts for itself. iii] The subject is internal to the verbal activity, eg., arguing, cf, Mark 9:33. So, middle form indicates middle function. In the middle voice there is an overlap of the active and the passive voice. It is like "the active voice in that the subject performs the action, but it is also like the passive in that the subject is affected by, or is the focus of the action", Sue Kmetko.

Modal clause.

Expressing the manner in which the action of the verb is carried out.

Participles commonly form modal clauses, rarely an infinitive


A word or phrase that qualifies or restricts another word


With the indicative: ou - before a rough breathing ouc and before a smooth breathing ouk.

With other moods: mh. "If ou denies the fact, mh denies the idea", BAGD.

Neuter gender.

The gender things. Note that a neuter plural subject will often take a singular verb.


Nominal describes the usage of parts of speech in a sentence forming a noun, noun phrase, or clause functioning as a noun. Such words, or groups of words, can also be called substantives.


The use of an article with a phrase or clause to make it a noun phrase or clause to serve as the subject or object of a verb. An article is similarly used to make an adjective or a participle a noun.

Nominative Case:

The nominative is the case of specific designation, most often as subject, predicate, or in apposition.

Independent / hanging nominatives

Nominative Absolute

Functioning in the sentence without any grammatical connections.

eg. Titles, addresses, salutations

Pendent nominative

Linked to the rest of the sentence by a pronoun.

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

THE ONE WHO OVERCOMES, I will make HIM a pillar

oJ nikwn poihsw auton stulon

Parenthetic Nominative

The subject of an independent parenthetic clause

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


A substantive that receives or is affected by the action of a verb.

Object / content clause.

A noun clause standing as the object of a verb of saying, thinking, effecting, striving, caring, fearing; usually introduced by an infinitive, or iJna + subj., sometimes oJpwV + subj. or oJti.

Object Complement.

The complement to the object in a sentence completes the verbal idea and so forms a double accusative construction, eg. "I named my son John." "John" is the complement of the direct object "son".


Placed side by side


The placement of words together that sound alike

that in everything always all

so that by always [having] enough [of everything]

iJna en panti pantote pasan


A verbal adjective possessing some of the characteristics of a verb as well as an adjective

  Substantival / Nominal Participle:

A participle functioning as a substantive, or a nominal phrase or clause

Independent substantive:

A participle, not accompanied by a noun, that functions as a substantive.

BELIEVERS (ONES BELIEVING) were added to the Lord

prosetiqento pisteuontaV tw/ kuriw/

Nominative Absolute (Hanging nominative):

A substantival participle functioning as a nominative pendens


oJ nikwn

Dependent statement of perception

A participle introducing an object clause

After verbs of feeling, seeing, or knowing

An accusative infinitive construction,

A clause introduced by oJti + ind. verb, or by iJna + subj.

Object Complement / Complementary:

Used to complement the direct object of a verb.

It usually predicates / states something about the accusative object.

With the direct object

it forms an object complement double accusative construction.  

Adjectival Participle:

A participle that functions like an adjective (a verbal adjective)


A participle that describes, modifies, or limits a substantive.

The LIVING water

to uJdwr to zwn


An adjectival participle that predicates

ie., it asserts / states something about a substantive.

participle, substantive (anarthrous)... Participle emphatic

substantive, participle (anarthrous) ... Substantive emphatic

It may be differentiated from an object complement by the following:

Always anarthrous

Always in the nominative case.

Usually requiring a translation with an assumed verb to-be.

the word of God IS LIVING

zwn oJ logoV tou qeou

The distinction between the two classifications is often ignored.  

Verbal Participle - verbal aspect is prominent:

Adverbial (Circumstantial) - forms a clause modifying a verb:

Time (Temporal):

Identifying the time when the action of the main verb is accomplished

Manner (Modal):

Identifying the manner of the action of the main verb.

Means (Instrumental):

Identifying the means or agent = "by means of"

Reason (Causal):

Identifying the ground by which the action is accomplished.

Condition (Conditional):

Identifying a condition on which the fulfilment of the main verb depends

Concession (Concessive):

Identifying a concession.

Purpose (final, telic)

Identifying the end-view intended by the main verb.

Result (consecutive):

Identifying the result (outcome) of the action of the main verb

Attendant Circumstance (Parallel):

Identifying an action that accompanies the action of the main verb.

An attendant participle takes on the mood of the verb it relates to:

eg., With an imperative verb the attendant participle is imperative:

poreuqenteV eJtoimasate


"Go and prepare"

An attendant participle expresses a separate but related action to the main verb. Technically, in a statement like aithsaV ... legwn, "he asked SAYING", the participle "saying" is expressing the same action as the verb, and so should properly be classified as adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of the request. None-the-less, such constructions are commonly used to introduce direct speech and as such, are a product of Semitic idiom. A classification of redundant (pleonastic) attendant circumstance seems more appropriate.

"He asked SAYING"

"He asked and said"

"He asked."

Periphrastic: A round-about way of expressing a simple verbal idea

The verb to-be + an anarthrous (without the article) participle

The Periphrastic Present

present verb to-be + present participle

The Periphrastic Imperfect

imperfect verb to-be + present participle

The Periphrastic Future

future verb to-be + present participle

The Periphrastic Perfect

present verb to-be + perfect participle

The Periphrastic Pluperfect

imperfect verb to-be + perfect participle

Supplementary (Complementary / Predicative in Koine Gk.)

A classical classification not widely used today.

A participle that supplements the thought of the main verb.

An infinitive would usually perform this task.

They continued TO QUESTION him

They continued QUESTIONING him

epemonon erwtwnteV auton


Functions as if a finite verb in the imperative mood. Rare

It must be independent of the main verb to be an imperatival participle

Indicative Finite Verb

An independent proper / absolute participle . Very rare

HE HAD a name

ecwn onoma

Future Participle

A verb in the future tense with a participle ending. Very rare

Passive Voice.

With the passive voice, the subject is acted upon, or receives the action expressed by the verb. In the NT, the passive voice is often used of someone, or something, at the receiving end of God's action; this is known as a divine, or theological passive. It is also important to note that in NT Greek, a passive verb is often middle in sense; see Mediopassive Voice.

Pendent Nominative.

Similar to a Nominative Absolute, but, standing at the beginning of a sentence, it is taken up again in the sentence by a resumptive pronoun. eg. "The one who overcomes, I will make HIM a pillar". The pronoun takes on the syntax demanded of the sentence rather than that of the Pendent Nominative.

Perfect tense.

Usually stative, expressing an action in the past which continues, or is repeated into the present with an ongoing state or relevance. The aspect is determined by context:

55% are stative,

35% ongoing relevance,

10% indistinguishable from an aorist.


Intensive. Emphasising the present results or state of a past action.

Extensive (Consummative).

Emphasising a past completed action from which has some abiding results.

Iterative. An extensive perfect where the past event was repeated.

those whom I SENT to you (in succession)

tina wJn apestalka proV uJmaV

Dramatic. The action is vividly portrayed in the present.

I GOT no relief

ouk eschka anesin

Gnomic. Describes a custom or generally held truth

a wife IS BOUND as long as her husband is living

gunh dedetai ef oJson cronon zh oJ anhr authV

Futuristic. The results of an action are still in the future.

the one who loves his neighbour HAS FULFILLED the law

oJ agapwn ton eJteron nomon peplhrwken

Allegorical (Perfect of Allegory, Moule p14.)

Expressing an Old Testament event that has contemporary significance

eg. Jn.6:32, Act.7:35, Gal.3:18, 4:23, Heb.7:6,9, 8:5

by faith HE HAS KEPT the passover

pistei pepoihken to pasca

Aoristic. Where resulted action is not present.

Perfect present tense.

Such stative verbs occurring in the perfect tense are read as present

oida, eJsthka, pepoiqa, memnhmai

Periphrastic construction.

A roundabout way of expressing a simple verbal idea, possibly used to emphasise verbal aspect - the verb to-be + a participle. On many occasions a participle will serve as a finite verb. Technically it should be classified as part of a periphrastic construction which is missing the verb to-be.


The verbal aspect of a completed action, mainly represented by the aorist tense. The verb may be weak or strong.


A roundabout way of speaking


A word or phrase that gives permission.


A phrase consists of a number of words which make a unit acting as a noun, adjective, or adverb in a sentence. Unlike a clause, it does not contain a finite verb, but it may contain an indefinite part of a verb, such as a participle or an infinitive.


The use of a redundant word

Pluperfect tense.

Expressing a past state which issued from a previous action.

    Intensive. Emphasising the abiding results.

    Extensive. Emphasis is placed on the completed action.


The piling up of connectives for emphatic effect.


A Gk. word that never leads a clause or sentence, eg. gar, de, .....

Potential optative:

Expressing a modest assertion; to tiV, "who .."


The verb plus its complements or modifiers

Pregnant construction.

A clause that carries an implied expression, eg. Lk.6:8

      Stand into the centre = COME into the centre and stand here

      sthqi eiV to meson

Present Tense.

Expressing linear action, not necessarily in the present.

Descriptive / Progressive. Action taking place at the stated moment.

Durative. Action commenced in the past and continuing into the present.

Iterative. Repeated action.

Tendential / Conative. Action being contemplated.

Gnomic. Action that always exists.

Historical. Past action graphically described.

Futuristic. Future action confidently expected.

Aoristic. Undefined action.

Perfective. Action in the present which commenced in the past.


Expresses action that occurred in the past


A word with the prefix a serving to negate the word. Before a vowel = an


A word that has no accent of its own, eg:

      eiV, wJV, ou


An anticipatory correction of an expression or impression.

      I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness

      ofelon aneicesqe mou mikron ti afrosunhV


mh + present imperative = stop an action already in progress

mh + aorist subjunctive = stop the beginning of an action


Where a future event is spoken of as having already occurred because of the certainty of its occurrence.

      lit. unless someone remains in me he WAS CAST OUT

      whoever does not abide in me will be thrown away.

      ean mh tiV menh/ en moi eblhqh


A word which stands for, or in the place of, or instead of a noun. It refers to either the participants in the discourse or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse - personal, "he, she"; impersonal, "it"; indefinite, "who, whoever." The major classes of pronouns are as follows:

Personal - egw, "I";

Demonstrative - close, ou|toV, "this"; distant, ekeinoV, "that";

Relative - a pronoun referring back to an antecedent;

eimi o{ eimi

I am what I am.

Interrogative - tiv, "what?";

Indefinite - tiV, "a certain = anyone", tinoV, "someone";

Possessive (adjectival);

Intensive - autoV, "Jesus himself";


eJmautou, "of myself", seautou, "of yourself", eJautwn, "of themselves";

Reciprocal - allhlwn, "of one another";

Note the personal pronoun autoV and the sense of the genitive by position:

tou stomatoV autou = "the mouth OF HIM" = "his mouth"

tou autou stomatoV = "the SAME mouth"

outou tou stomatoV = "the mouth ITSELF

A headless relative clause. A relative pronoun may introduce a clause where there is no expressed antecedent.

Proper prepositions

Prepositions that may serve as the prefix of a verb.

eg., ek as in ekballw


Pointing toward the future


Instantaneous or momentary action


See Final.


A semicolon indicates a question, but they are not original to the text ;

Interrogatives will often introduce a question: tivV, ei, poioV, pote, pwV, ....

The negation ou in a question implies an affirmative answer, "Yes".

The negation mh in a question implies a negative answer, "No".

It may also imply a cautious and tentative suggestion, "Maybe".

A subjunctive is often used to express a deliberative question;

ton basilea umwn staurwsw

Shall I crucify your King?

qeleiV or qelete + subj. is used to express a doubtful question.

tina qelete apo twn duo apolusw uJmin

Which of the two do you want me to release to you?


This adverb of manner, "how", can sometimes be used to indicate an indirect question asking the manner in which the action may be played out, or + iJna to indicate the purpose of the request, but it also has other functions, eg., it can be used to introduce a dependent statement instead of an infinitive.

oJpwV + subj., an oJpwV + subj. serving to introduce a purpose clauses.

a]n + optative introduces an indirect potential question, cf., BDF #386[1]

dilaloun tiv a]n poihsaien tw/ Ihsou

Discussed what they might do to Jesus

ei is sometimes use to introduce an indirect question


Commonly introduced by plhn, "nevertheless, none-the-less" - implying validity


Direct or indirect speech. Often introduced by oJti, or an infinitive, sometimes iJna + subj., or oJpwV + subj.


Where the action of the subject comes back on itself

eJautouV "yourselves". But not it can be reciprocal, "one another"

Relative Pronoun.

Used to relate one substantive to another. It is often attracted to the case of its antecedent although treated as retaining its own case function.

The antecedent is often not expressed:

o}V ouk estin kaq uJmwn

He WHO is not against you

A neuter relative pronoun is sometimes used in place of a masc/fem when obviously not neuter:

o} gar apeqanen th/ aJmartia/

for HE died to sin

Semantic density

A condensed Greek text / Semitic "short-talk", often associated with a genitive requiring an expanded adjectival, or ablative translation.


A Greek linguistic feature that demonstrates a Hebrew or Aramaic influence

Solecism. A grammatical mistake


The verbal aspect of a previous action with repeated or ongoing action, usually represented by the perfect and pluperfect tenses. The verb may be weak or strong.

Spatial / Spacial.

A local classification referencing an area of space, eg., the preposition en, when local, may express space / place (spatial) or sphere.


The subjunctive is the mood of doubtful assertions

Subjunctive constructions:

Hortatory subjunctive: Used to urge, encourage, ... an action

Subjunctive of prohibition: Used to forbid an action

Deliberative subjunctive: Used to ask a question - interrogative

Subjunctive of emphatic negation:

Used to strongly negate an action; ou mh + subj.

The subjunctive is commonly used in a full range of adverbial clauses:

iJna + subj. = Purpose, or result:

"in order that, so that", "with the result that"

an, ean + subj. = Condition

ean + subj. Concessive, "although"

oJpou an + subj = Indefinite local, "wherever"

eJwV, acri, ewV oJtou, ...... + subj. Indefinite temporal clause, "whenever"

Relative clauses

pronoun + subj.; "you SHOULD do ....."

Noun clauses, as a subject or object clause / dependent statement

iJna + subj.

mh + subj. after a verb of warning or fear, eg., "watch out".

Note, this is not a subjunctive of prohibition:

"watch out THAT no one leads you astray.


Where one clause is subordinate to another. Often a hina clause


A noun or anything that functions as a noun

A relative neuter pronoun is often used for an obvious substantive in a clause


The third degree of comparison - positive, comparative and superlative.


Designating the whole by reference to a part of the whole

      in the heart of you = in your HEART = in your WHOLE BEING

      en taiV kardiaiV uJmwn


Repetition of words and ideas that adds nothing to the sense.


Expressing purpose.

Temporal Clause.

Expressing the relative time at which the action took place.

An infinitive, often + a preposition commonly forms a temporal clause.

See Infinitive, time.

oJte, wJV, eJwV (eJwV ouJ, eJwV oJtou), rarely oJti, iJna use:

Definite time: oJte or wJV + ind.

Indefinite time:

Present time: oJte + imperf.

"during the time when / "while", en w|/ / ef oJson; see Fink.

"Whenever", epan = epei an + subj.

Past time: an, or ean + aor.

Future time: oJte an + subj.

"From the time when / since", af ou|

Indefinite time up to / extension expressed by eJwV

Same time in relation to the main verb:

eJwV + ind., "while"

Past time in relation to the main verb:

eJwV + past tense, "until"

Future time in relation to the main verb:

eJwV an + subj., eJwV ou\, "until"

In the NT eJwV was beginning to replace oJti,

cf., 1Thess.1:9 to introduce a dependent statement.

eJwV proV, "as far as / to the neighbourhood of"

Other particles often replace eJwV, eg.:

acri, acri ouJ, acri hJV hJmeraV, mecri, mecriV ouJ

Adverbial participles often form a temporal clause

A genitive absolute participle usually forms a temporal clause.

Theological Passive.

A use of the passive voice when God is the implied agent.


Time can sometimes be deduced from the use of a perfective (punctiliar - aorist tense), or imperfective (durative - present tense) tense, but is more likely to be expressed by a dative, accusative or genitive:

Dative = punctiliar, a point in time.

Accusative = a period of time.

Genitive = durative, ongoing time.


The conjunction de is primarily used to indicate transition in an argument, narrative or dialogue / a step in the argument or narrative, ie., for the English reader it serves as a paragraph marker. Sometimes kai serves this function, especially in Revelation, as do temporal constructions such as meta tauta, "after these things." It seems likely that in the gospels the narrative / historic present tense often serves to indicate narrative transition.


A verb whose action does not end with the subject, but "goes over" to a direct object. It requires an object to make sense of it. eg, "I buy" = "I buy my vegetables".

Vocative case.

The case used for addressing someone.

Volitive Future.

A future tense used to express a command. "You shall ....."


Expressing a wish or a prayer


Two nouns or clauses joined by a single verb that only suits one of them

      milk I gave you TO DRINK not solid food (can't drink solid food!)

      gala uJmaV epotisa ou brwma


A note on the Genitive

In English, we tend to modify a substantive with an adjective, whereas in Koine Greek, influenced as it is by its Aramaic roots, an author will often use a genitive. These genitives are primarily adjectival; they limit a substantive by specifying it, describing it, qualifying it, defining it - they are particularising the substantive for us.


When it comes to classifying a genitive, we traditionally group them by function. A genitive may function to describe (Attributive, Attributed, General / Idiomatic), or to define (Epexegetic), or to qualify (Possessive, Relational, Partitive), it may express action (Verbal, either Subjective or Objective), or separation (Ablative), and even sometimes modify a verb (Adverbial). Other than a true ablative or an adverbial genitive, genitives function adjectivally, modifying / limiting a substantive.


Grammatical classifications are by nature arbitrary; they are always in a state of flux, with the tendency today to simplify. So, take for example the ablative of source / origin. Culy and company use the tag genitive of source for one of the possible classification of oJ logoV tou qeou, "the word of God" = "the word from / that comes from God" - a simple and uncomplicated classification. The ablative notion of separation may well be in mind here, which is why a classification of "ablative, source / origin", is often used, even though Wallace Gk. argues that ablatives of source, and also separation, are actually rare, and this because a true ablative carries an adverbial sense. Yet, for Koine Greek, even if the authors were to use a preposition like ek +, or apo + , "from", to express separation, an adjectival function is still often in mind, limiting a substantive like "God" by class or category; they want us to know what "word" is in mind. We may classify this genitive as possessive, "the word that belongs to God", "God's Word", or verbal, objective, "the word sent by / which is sent by God", but if we think the context implies source / origin, "the word from / that comes from God", these days I tend to classify it as descriptive, idiomatic / source, rather than ablative, source / origin.


Take for example the phrase thn tou qeou dikiosunhn, "the righteousness of God." This phrase does, in a sense, express separation, but the genitive is primarily functioning to limit the head noun "righteousness", specifying it, telling us something about the "righteousness" in mind, and so it is adjectival, either possessive, the righteousness that belongs to God" (possession of a derivative characteristic, "pertaining to God"), or verbal, subjective, "the righteousness bestowed by God", or descriptive, idiomatic / general (aporetic), "the righteousness from / that is from / which comes from God." Of course, this just reminds us that knowing the mind of an author, when they use a genitive, is fraught. Sure, "Jerusalem of Judea" is easy enough = "The city of Jerusalem situated in the province of Judea" (ie., descriptive, idiomatic / local), but "the righteousness of God", now that's a problem.


Often the question we face with a genitive of source / origin / agent is whether it is subjective, or ablative. This is usually determined by judging whether the substantive is verbal or otherwise. Yet, either way, it will limit the substantive, which is why a classification descriptive, idiomatic / source, rather than ablative, source / origin, and/or verbal, subjective, better reflect what the genitive is actually doing.


As for the classification "Idiomatic", it simply serves as my own personal cue to a descriptive genitive which Harris Gk. classifies as "General", ie., an adjectival genitive that builds out a general description of a substantive to specify / limit it. Some of these are more common than others and so have widely accepted classifications, eg., subordination, producer, content, local, ....., but for others, they are just idiomatic, ie., the author just drops in the genitive and says to us, "you know what I mean." Well! Everyone back then knew what they meant; it was just part of local idiom. For us, the idiomatic becomes somewhat of a guess.


Finally, the so-called verbal genitive, either subjective or objective. It too serves to limit a substantive, in this case an active noun, by specifying the action implied by the noun. With the subjective genitive, it is often hard to determine what is in the author's mind. Active or not, possession is the dominant idea, eg., orgh qeou, "the wrath of God"; does our author intend "the wrath exercised by God" (verbal, subjective), or "the wrath possessed by God as a derivative characteristic" (possessive)? I suspect possession is dominant. As for the objective genitive, it remains a classification with the potential to mislead. Sometimes, what may seem to be an objective genitive would be better handled as an attributed genitive.


A classic example of how an assumed objective genitive can mislead is dia thV pistewV autou "the faith / faithfulness of him (Jesus Christ)." The active noun "faith", when used with the genitive "him / Jesus Christ", is often understood as "a committal of oneself to Christ on the basis of the acceptance of the message concerning him", Burton, ie.,verbal, objective. This classification is doctrinally foundational: "Faith in Christ is the sole and sufficient means of justification", Fung, which statement, of course, is true.


The trouble is that pistiV in Gk. at the time, and in the Septuagint (the Gk. OT), didn't mean "faith / trust" directed toward someone, but rather "reliability / fidelity / firmness / faithfulness / trustworthiness." This sense seems also to dominate the NT, including Paul's letters. Although not widely accepted, it is more than likely that the "faith" here is actually generated by Christ (ie., a subjective genitive - see Wallace 115 who argues that the vast majority of personal or impersonal genitives with pistiV are subjective), or belongs to Christ (possessive), or generally describes Christ's character (descriptive). So, our right-standing before God rests on Christ's "faith / faithfulness" to the will of God expressed in his obedience to the way of the cross on our behalf, which faithfulness we put our faith / trust in.


New Testament Greek Syntax

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