Mastering New Testament Greek Textbook Ted Hildebrandt Baker Academic

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Nouns in Greek have gender, number, and case.

Gender: The Greek masculine, feminine, and neuter genders are often indicated by the endings attached to the noun. Abstract nouns and objects that are neither male nor female in English are often marked as either masculine or feminine in Greek (The boat, she left port).

Number: As an “s” often ends an English word that is plural, Greek likewise, has endings that mark whether a noun is singular or plural (e.g., book, books).

Case: In English we have three cases that are seen in how we use our pronouns. Case will be an important feature in Greek and often difficult to grasp initially.

1. Subjective or nominative case:

She = subject (She did it.)

2. Objective or accusative case:

Her = object (The car hit her.)

3. Possessive or genitive case:

Hers = possessive (The car was hers.)
Greek adds two more:
4. Dative case: The case marking the indirect object. (I told the story to the apostles.)

5. Vocative case: The case of direct address. (O Lord, save me.)

Endings will be added to the Greek nouns to indicate gender, number and case.



brother (343)


I hear, obey (428)


glory, fame (166)


I have, hold (708)


world (186)


lord, Lord, sir (717)


word (330)


Peter (156)


son (377)


Pharisee (98)


Present Active Verbs

You will be able to—

1. understand the English verbal system and its parallels to Greek (tense, voice, mood, person, and number),

2. recognize and write the present active indicative forms of Greek verbs, and

3. master ten high-frequency vocabulary words.


Verbs are words of action or state of being.

Zachary drove the car.

Elliott is a good kid.
We use verbs to make statements, give commands, or express wishes.

Come here (command).

May Zach play basketball this year (wish).

Tanya is working tonight (statement).

Tense=time in English

Tense in English refers to the time of the action of the verb:

Present: Annette swims.

Past: Annette swam.

Future: Annette will swim.

Perfect: Annette has swum.

In Greek, the tense form is not used so much as to coordinate with time (when the event happened, usually indicated by the context through adverbs, prepositional phrases and other temporal indicators), or to how (type,duration [Aktionsart]; usually implicit in the lexical meaning of the verb or broader context) the action takes place but, and most of all, its aspect which is the author’s portrayal of an action (foregrounding/immediacy/ descriptive/progress [present tense form]; background/wholistic/complete [aorist] and frontgrounding/state of being [perfect]). In short, while we will generally translate the present tense in this course with an English present one must realize that there is not really a connection of the present tense form with the present time and the present tense form can be used for past, present, future, timeless or omnitemporal types of verbal actions. Thus, aspect, or how the author portrays an activity, seems to be a more adequate way to describe the present tense form (foregrounding/immediacy/ descriptive/progress) but for now we will simply translate it in these exercises which are out of context as an English present tense. Be aware, however, that the actual time will more often than not be indicated by adverbs, prepositional phrases and conjunctive modifiers than from the tense form on the verb.


English has two voices, to which Greek adds a third:
1. Active voice: The subject does the action of the verb.

Active voice examples:

Terry hit the ball.

Joy kissed Andy.

2. Passive voice: The subject receives the action of the verb.

Passive voice examples:

The ball was hit by Terry.

Andy was kissed by Joy.

3. Middle voice: The subject’s participation in the action of the verb is emphasized, the action is done for the subject’s benefit, or rarely the subject acts on him/herself (reflexive) or members of a group interact among themselves (reciprocal).

Middle voice examples:

Terry himself kicked the ball (emphasizing participation; frequent).

Terry kicked the ball for himself (interest/benefit).

Terry kicked himself (reflexive; rare).

The players patted each other (reciprocal; rare).

Some describe many middle verbs in Greek as deponent (75 percent of the time). This means they are middle in form but translated as active with the active form missing (“deponent”). In this program, the middle will be translated as active unless otherwise indicated (Mounce, Basics, 149). Such “deponent” verbs are easily found in the lexicon as having an –omai ending (e.g. e@rxomai, gi

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