Mastering New Testament Greek Textbook Ted Hildebrandt Baker Academic

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Mood refers to the kind of reality of the action, or how the action of the verb is regarded.
1. Indicative mood: The verb simply states or portrays that something happened.

Elliott prays.

2. Imperative mood: The verb gives a command, exhortation or entreaty.

Pray, Elliott!

3. Subjunctive mood: The verb expresses a wish, possibility, or potentiality

Elliott may pray.

4. Optative mood: The verb expresses a wish, remote possibility.

Oh that he would stand.


There are three persons in Greek.
1. First person indicates the person(s) speaking (I [singular] or we [plural]).

First person examples:

I studied Greek.

We studied Greek.
2. Second person indicates the person(s) spoken to (you [singular or plural]). Some would say “you-all”, “ye,” or “you’uns” (dialect) for the plural, thus distinguishing it from “you” or “thou” as singular.

Second person examples:

You studied Greek.

You both studied Greek.
3. Third person indicates the person(s) or thing(s) spoken about (he, she, it [singular]; they [plural]).

Third person examples:

She studied Greek.

They studied Greek.

It made them happy.

Number and Agreement

Both English and Greek distinguish between singular (I, you, he, she, it) and the plural (we, you, they).

Verbs must agree with their subjects in both person and number.

He rides the wave.

They ride the wave (not “They rides the wave”).

Introduction to the Greek Present Active Indicative (PAI)

The present active indicative (PAI) will be our first verb paradigm. It is a frequently used “tense” in the New Testament (over 4,400 times). Active means that the subject does the action of the verb as opposed to the middle or passive voices. The indicative mood portrays the action as reality (liars also use the indicative so what is being portrayed as reality may not be in fact) making a statement, as opposed to the imperative (command) or subjunctive (possibility) moods, which we will study later.
Each form will be composed of a:
Stem + Pronominal ending

lu< + w


The present tense may used of either undefined Aktionsart (event simply happens) or continuous Aktionsart (event was a process).
Thus for our grammatical practice sentences they will be translated as follows:

1. Undefined:

I loose. I run.

2. Continuous:

I am loosing. I am running.

The context will determine which should be used. One should be aware that in sentences in contexts the present tense form can be used to designate action in the past, present, future, omnitemporal or timeless happenings.

Historical Present

Greek will often use the present tense to reference an event that actually happened in the past. The historical present is used to add vividness or dramatic effect to the narrative or, most often, it is an idiom. It often occurs in narrative in the third person. In these cases the present tense is simply translated by our past tense (“he says” becomes “he said”).

This present active paradigm is very important. You should be able to chant through it in your sleep. Learn these “primary” pronominal endings also since they will be useful when we do the future tense.

Stem + pronominal suffix:

lu< + w

lu< + omen

lu< + eij

lu< + ete

lu< + ei

lu< + ousi

Present Active Indicative (PAI) Paradigm



1. lu

I loose/am loosing.


We loose/are loosing.

2. lu

You loose/are loosing.


You loose/are loosing.

3. lu

He/she/it looses/is loosing.


They loose/are loosing.

Primary Pronominal Suffixes








you (you-all)





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