OF THE



                      MOODS and TENSES


                                 IN NEW TESTAMENT GREEK








                                    ERNEST DE WITT BURTON

                              President of the University of Chicago















                        THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS

                                    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS


















                                                COPYRIGHT 1900

                                          By ERNEST D. BURTON

                                                All Rights Reserved

                                      Published in pamphlet form 1888

                                       Second Edition September 1898

                                             Third Edition June 1898

                                    Second Impression September 1900

                                          Third Impression April 1903

                                       Fourth Impression October 1906

                                       Fifth Impression November 1909

                                         Sixth Impression October 1912

                                       Seventh Impression October 1916

                                      Eighth Impression November 1923


      Digitally prepared by Ted Hildebrandt 2004

Gordon College,  255 Grapevine Rd., Wenham, MA 01984

For any errors please contact:






                                            Composed and Printed By

                                    The University of Chicago Press

                                                Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.




                        PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.


            THE first edition of this work appeared as a pamphlet in

1888. In issuing this revised and enlarged edition, it seems

desirable to state somewhat more fully than was done in the

former preface the purpose which it is hoped the book will

serve. Classified according to its intent, it belongs among the

aids to the interpretation of the New Testament. It is de-

signed to assist English-speaking students in the task of

translating the Greek New Testament into English forms of

hought and expression. The work has not been undertaken

under the impression that grammar is an end in itself, or that

a knowledge of it is the sole qualification for successful in-

terpretation, but in the conviction that grammar is one of

the indispensable auxiliaries of interpretation. The book is

written, therefore, in the interest not of historical but of

exegetical grammar, not of philology as such, but of philology

as an auxiliary of interpretation. If it has any value for

historical grammar, this is incidental. Its main purpose is

to contribute to the interpretation of the New Testament by

the exposition of the functions of the verb in New Testament

Greek, so far as those functions are expressed by the dis-

tinctions of mood and tense.

            The student of the New Testament who would interpret it

with accuracy and clearness must possess--along with other

qualifications for his work--a knowledge of the distinctions

of thought which are marked by the different moods and

tenses of the Greek verb. If he would acquire facility in the

work of interpretation, he must have an easy familiarity with

the leading uses of each mood and tense. It is not enough

vi                                             PREFACE.


that he have at hand for reference an encyclopedic treatise on

the subject. He must acquire, as a personal mental posses-

sion, a knowledge of the leading functions of the several

forms of the Greek verb, and of the forms which express

those functions in English. For this purpose he needs a book

which, availing itself of the assured results of comparative

and historical grammar, and applying to the interpretation of

the Greek verb the principles of grammar and logic, the laws

both of Greek and of English speech, shall enumerate the

various functions of each mood and tense, exhibit in some

degree their relative importance, and define each clearly.

The definitions should be scientifically accurate, but they

should at the same time be constructed with reference to the

point of view of the interpreter. For the English-speaking

student English usage must be constantly considered and

must frequently be defined and compared with Greek usage.

If such a book does not solve all the problems of New

Testament grammar, it should, by its treatment of those which

it discusses, illustrate to the student the right method of

investigation and so suggest the course which he must pursue

in solving for himself those problems which the book leaves

unsolved. My aim has been to provide a book fulfilling these


            The aim of the book has determined the method of its con-

struction. The usages which are of most frequent occurrence,

or otherwise of especial importance, have been emphasized by

being set in the largest type, with a title in bold-faced type.

The table of contents also has been so constructed as to make

prominent a conspectus of the leading uses. It may be well to

require of students who use the book as a text-book that they

be able to name and define these leading usages of each mood

and tense; if they also commit to memory one of the Greek

examples under each of these prominent usages, they will do

still better.

            The matter printed in smaller type consists partly of fuller

exposition of the usages defined in the more prominently

                                                PREFACE.                                         vii


printed sections, partly of enumeration and definition of the

less frequent usages. The portions in smallest type are

chiefly discussions of the rarer or more difficult usages. They

are an addition to the text-book proper, and are intended to

give the work, to a limited extent, the character of a book of

reference. The occasional discussions of English usage would

of course have no place in a work on Greek grammar pure

and simple, but to the end which this book is intended to

serve they are as really germane as any discussions of the

force of a Greek tense. One often fails to apprehend accu-

rately a thought expressed in Greek quite as much through

inexact knowledge of one's own language as through ignorance

of Greek usage.

            As concerns the extent to which I have used the work of

others, little need be added to the testimony which the pages

of the book themselves bear. While gathering information

or suggestion from all accessible sources, I have aimed to

make no statement concerning New Testament usage which I

have not myself proved by personal examination of the pas-

sages. Respecting classical usage and pre-classical origins, I

have relied upon those authorities which are recognized as

most trustworthy.

            On a subsequent page is added a list of books and authors

referred to by abbreviations in the body of the book. To all

of the works there enumerated, as well as to those mentioned

by full title in the body of the book, I am under obligation for

assistance or suggestion. It is a pleasure also to acknowledge

the valuable assistance privately given by various friends.

Prominent among these, though not completing the list, are

Professor W. G. Hale of the University of Chicago, Profes-

sors M. L. D'Ooge and W. W. Beman of the University of

Michigan, my brother, Professor Henry F. Burton of the

University of Rochester, and Professor George W. Gilmore

of Brooklyn, N.Y. But I am chiefiy indebted to Professor

William Arnold Stevens of the Rochester Theological Semi-

nary, under whose instructions I first became interested in the

viii                                           PREFACE.


subject of this book, and to whom my obligations in many

directions are larger than can be acknowledged here.

            In quoting examples from the New Testament I have fol-

lowed the Greek text of Westcott and Hort as that which

perhaps most nearly represents the original text, but have

intended to note any important variations of Tischendorf's

eighth edition or of Tregelles in a matter affecting the point

under discussion. The word text designates the preferred

reading of the editor referred to, as distinguished from the

marginal reading. In the English translation of the examples

I have preferred to follow the Revised Version of 1881 rather

than to construct entirely independent translations. Yet in

not a few passages it has seemed necessary to depart from

this standard either because the revisers followed a Greek text

different from that of Westcott and Hort, or because their

translation obscured the value of the passage as an illustration

of the grammatical principle under discussion, or occasionally

because I was unwilling even to seem to approve what I

regarded as unquestionably an error of translation.

            While I have given all diligence to make the book correct

in statement and in type, I dare not hope that it has altogether

escaped either typographical errors or those of a more serious

character. I shall welcome most cordially criticisms, sugges-

tions, or corrections from any teacher or student into whose

hands the book may fall.


                                                                                    ERNEST D. BURTON


NOTE TO THE THIRD EDITION.--It having become necessary to send the

plates of this book to the press again, I have availed myself of the opportunity

to correct such errors, typographical and other, as "have come to my attention,

and to make a few alterations of statement which use of the book has convinced

me are desirable. The chief changes are in §§ 67 Rem. 1, 98, 120, 137, 142-145, 153, 189, 195, 198, 200 Rem., 202, 225, 235, 236, 318, 325-328, 344 Rem. 2, 352

Rem., 406, 407, 485.

            CHICAGO, June, 1898.                                                                    E. D. B.





SECTION                                                                                                                   PAGE

        1. Form and Function. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                       1

        2. The Interpreter's Relation to Grammar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                    2-5

    3, 4. The four Moods and the seven Tenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                    5


                                                THE TENSES.


        5. Two-fold Function of the Tenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                     6


                        TENSES OF THE INDICATIVE MOOD.


   6, 7. General Definition of the Tenses of the Indicative . . . . . . . . .                  6, 7


                                    The Present Indicative.


 8-10. PROGRESSIVE PRESENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      7, 8

     11.              Conative Present. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    8

     12. GENERAL OR GNOMIC PRESENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      8

     13. AORISTIC PRESENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        9

     14. HISTORICAL PRESENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         .           9

     15. PRESENT FOR THE FUTURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      9, 10

     16.              Present of h!kw, pa<reimi, etc.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .              10

     17. PRESENT OF PAST ACTION STILL IN PROGRESS. . . . . . .      10

     18.              Similar use of the Aorist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11

     19.              Present in Indirect Discourse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .              11

     20.              Periphrastic Form of the Present. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             11


                                    The Imperfect Indicative.


21, 22. PROGRESSIVE IMPERFECT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   12

      23.             Conative Imperfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

      24. IMPERFECT OF REPEATED ACTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   12

25-27.             Minor uses of Secondary Tenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           13

28, 29.            Imperfect translated by English Perfect and Pluperfect  . . .         13, 14

30-32.             Imperfect of Verbs denoting obligation, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . .         14, 15

      33.             Imperfect of Verbs of wishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           15, 16

      34.                         Periphrastic Form of the Imperfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        16



x                                              CONTENTS.


                                         The Aorist Indicative.

SECTION                                                                                                                   PAGE

            35.       Fundamental. Idea of the Aorist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 16, 17

            36.       Additional uses of the Aorist Indicative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 18

            37.       Functions of the Aorist distinguished . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18, 19

      38-40. HISTORICAL AORIST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          . .         19, 20

            41. INCEPTIVE AORIST  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     20, 21

            42. RESULTATIVE AORIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      21

            43. GNOMIC AORIST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     21

            44. EPISTOLARY AORIST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     21

            45. DRAMATIC AORIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     22

            46.       Aorist for the (English) Perfect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           22

            47.       Use of the Aorists a]pe<qanon, e]ce<sth, e@gnwn  . . . . . . . .           22

            48.       Aorist for the (English) Pluperfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           22, 23

            49.                   Aorist Indicative in Indirect Discourse . . . . . . . . . .           23

            50.                   Aorist used proleptically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            23

            51.                   Minor uses of the Aorist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           23

      52-55.                   English Equivalents of the Greek Aorist Indica-

                                       tive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     23-30

      56, 57.                  Distinction between the Aorist and the Imperfect. . . .   30, 31


                                    The Future Indicative.


     58-66. PREDICTIVE FUTURE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   31-35

           59.        Aoristic Future. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

            60.       Progressive Future. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             32

      61, 62.                  Relation of Aoristic and Progressive Future. . . . . . .         32, 38

      63, 64.                  Types of Aoristic Future. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           33, 34

            65.                   Predictive Future as assertive or promissory. . . . . .          34, 35

            66.                   Predictive Future with ou] mh<. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            35

      67, 68. IMPERATIVE FUTURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

            69. GNOMIC FUTURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .              35

            70. DELIBERATIVE FUTURE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

            71. Periphrastic Form of the Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          36

     72, 73.  Me<llw with the Infinitive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            36, 37


                                    The Perfect Indicative.


            74. PERFECT OF COMPLETED ACTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           37

     75, 76. PERFECT OF EXISTING STATE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    37,38

            77.       Intensive Perfect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          38

            78.       Historical Perfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         38, 39

            79.       Gnomic Perfect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          39

                                                CONTENTS.                                      xi


SECTION                                                                                                                   PAGE

            80.       Aoristic Perfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                    39

            81.                   Perfect Indicative in Indirect Discourse. . . . . .                  39

            82.                   Perfect Indicative translated by English Past. . ..               39, 40

            83.       Perfect used proleptically  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                   40

            84.                   Periphrastic Form of the Perfect. . . . . . . . . . . . .               40

            85.                   Definition of the term "complete”  . . . . . . . . . . .   40, 41

     86-88.                    Aorist and Perfect compared. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    41-44


                                    The Pluperfect.


            89. PLUPERFECT OF COMPLETED ACTION. . . . . . . . . . .       44

            90. PLUPERFECT OF EXISTING STATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       44, 45

            91.                   Periphrastic Form of the Pluperfect. ...45

            92.                   Pluperfect and Aorist siInilarly translated. . . . . .  45


                                    The Future Perfect.


            93. Simple Future Perfect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     45

            94. Periphrastic Future Perfect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    45


                        TENSES OF THE DEPENDENT MOODS.


            95. General Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                  46

     96, 97. PRESENT OF THE DEPENDENT MOODS. . . . . . . . . . .       46

            98. AORIST OF THE DEPENDENT MOODS. . . . . . . . . . . . .      46, 47

    99,100. FUTURE OF THE DEPENDENT MOODS . . . . . . . . . . . .      47,48

 101-103. PERFECT OF THE DEPENDENT MOODS. . . . . . . . . . . .     48,49

 104-109.       Tenses of the Infinitive after Prepositions. . . . . . . . . . . .  49-51

 110-114.       Tenses of the Dependent Moods in Indirect

                            Discourse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      51-53


                        TENSES OF THE PARTICIPLE.

 115-118. General Principles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     53, 54


                                    The Present Participle.



120-122. PRESENT PARTICIPLE OF IDENTICAL ACTION. . . . .        . .         55,56

123-126. GENERAL PRESENT PARTICIPLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   56-58

       127. PRESENT PARTICIPLE FOR THE IMPERFECT . . . . . . . . .   58

128-131.        Minor uses of the Present Participle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            58, 59

xii                                                        CONTENTS.


                                                     The Aorist Participle.

SECTION                                                                                                                   PAGE

132, 133.                    General Force of the Aorist Participle. . . . . . . . . . .          59-63


139-141. AORIST P.ARTICIPLE OF IDENTICAL ACTION. . . . . . . .    64,65



                        PERCEPTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    67

        147.        Aorist Participle with lanqa<nw. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            67

148, 149.        Exceptional uses of the Aorist Participle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          67, 68

150, 151.                    Equivalence of the Aorist Participle . . . . . . . . . . . . .         68-70


                                    The Future Participle.


       152. GENERAL FORCE OF THE FUTURE PARTICIPLE. . . . .      70, 71

       153.                     Me<llwn with the Infinitive, denoting inten-

                                    tion, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     71


                                    The Perfect Participle.



        156.        Perfect Participle used as a Pluperfect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          72



                                                THE MOODS.

                                    MOODS IN PRINCIPAL CLAUSES.


                                                The Indicative Mood.


         157. GENERAL FORCE OF THE INDICATIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . .    73

158, 169. INDICATIVE IN QUALIFIED ASSERTIONS. . . . . . . . . . . .    73, 74


                                                The Subjunctive Mood.


160, 161. HORTATORY SUBJUNCTIVE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   74, 75

 162-167. PROHIBITORY SUBJUNCTIVE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .              75, 76

 168-171. DELIBERATIVE SUBJUNCTIVE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76-78

172, 173. SUBJUNCTIVE IN NEGATIVE ASSERTIONS. . . . . . . . . . . .             78


                                                The Optative Mood.


        174.                    Infrequency of the Optative in later Greek.. . . . . . . .         79

175-177. OPTATIVE OF WISHING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  79

178, 179. POTENTIAL OPTATIVE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   79, 80

                                                            CONTENTS.                                      xiii


                                                The Imperative Mood

SECTION                                                                                                                   PAGE


       181. IMPERATIVE IN ENTREATIES AND PETITIONS. . . . .                      80


        184.                    Tenses of the Imperative in Commands and Pro-

                                    hibitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   81




185-187. Subordinate Clauses Classified. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             81-83


                        Moods in Clauses Introduced by Final Particles.


188,189.         Classification and General Usage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           83, 84

190-196.        New Testament Use of Final Particles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           84, 85

197-199. PURE FINAL CLAUSES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   85, 86

200-204. OBJECT CLAUSES AFTER VERBS OF EXHORTING, etc. .            87, 88

205-210. OBJECT CLAUSES AFTER VERBS OF STRIVING, etc.        88-90


                        DUCED BY  i!na. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            90, 91


                        DUCED BY i!na. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           91, 92




                                    Moods in Clauses of Cause.


        228. Definition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   97

229, 230. Moods and Tenses in Causal Clauses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           97

231, 232. Independent Causal Sentences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           98

        233. Other Methods of Expressing Cause . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

        234. Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    99

         235. Distinction between Indicative and Infinitive in Con-

                        secutive Clauses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             99

         236. Indicative with w!ste. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      99, 100

         237. Independent Consecutive Sentences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             100


                        Moods in Conditional Sentences.


238-241. Definition and Classification. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    100, 101


xiv                                                       CONTENTS.


SECTION                                                                                                            PAGE

248, 249. SUPPOSITION CONTRARY TO FACT. . . . . . . . . . . . . .                 103, 104


251-256.        Variant Forms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    104, 105

        257.                    Particular and General Suppositions referring

                                       to the Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   106

        258.                    Present and Future Suppositions in Indirect

                                       Discourse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        106

        259. FUTURE SUPPOSITION WITH LESS PROBABILITY . . .     106, 107


262, 263.                    Third and Fifth Classes compared. . . . . . . . . . . . . .    108

        264.                    First and Fifth Classes compared. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    109

        265. [PAST GENERAL SUP:POSITION]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    109

266-277.                    Peculiarities of Conditional Sentences. . . . . . . . . . .    109-112


Moods in Concessive Sentences.


        278.                    Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     112, 113

279-282. Ei] kai< and kai> ei] in Concessive Clauses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       113, 114

            283. General Usage of Moods and Tenses in Con-

                        cessive Clauses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       114

           284. CONCESSIVE CLAUSES OF THE FIRST CLASS. . . . . . .    114


           286. Concessive Clauses of the Fourth Class. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  115

           287. Concessive Clauses of the Fifth Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  115

          288. Concessive Particles in English. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115, 116


                                    Moods in Relative Clauses.


   289-291. Definition and Classification.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    116, 117


                        I. DEFINITE RELATIVE CLAUSES.


        292. Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          117, 118

        293. Moods in Definite Relative Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         118

        294. Definite Relative Clauses implying cause, result,

                        or concession. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      118

        295. Restrictive and Explanatory Relative Clauses. . . . . . . . . . . . .      119




296-300.                    Definition and Classification. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   119-121


       302. [SUPPOSITION CONTRARY TO FACT] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   121

                                                CONTENTS.                                                  xv


SECTION                                                                                                             PAGE


306-309.        Variant Forms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      122, 123

        310.                    Particular and General Suppositions referring

                                       to the future. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     123


312-314. PRESENT GENERAL SUPPOSITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       123, 124

        315. PAST GENERAL SUPPOSITION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   124, 125

        316. Clauses conditional in form, but definite in sense . . . . . . . . . .    125



       317. RELATIVE CLAUSES OF PURE PURPOSE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      125

318-320. Complementary Relative Clauses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     125, 126



                        UNTIL, WHILE, AND BEFORE.


        321.                    Definition of  e!wj . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    126, 127


                        FUTURE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       127


            WHAT WAS IN PAST TIME A FUTURE CONTINGENCY . .    127, 128


                        RING TO A PAST FACT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    128


            RING TO A CONTEMPORANEOUS EVENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   128

        330.  !Ewj followed by ou# or o!tou . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128, 129

331, 332.        Clauses introduced by a@xri, a@xri ou$ etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

333.                Clauses introduced by pri<n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129


                                    Moods in Indirect Discourse.


334-340. Definition and Classification. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   130-132

341, 342. Classical Usage in Indirect Discourse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   132

343-346. New Testament Usage in Indirect Discourse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  132-134

        347.                    Single dependent Clauses in Indirect Discourse . . . .   134

       348.                     Imperfect for Present, and Pluperfect for Per-

                                    fect in Indirect Discourse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  134, 135

349, 350.                    Relative Pronouns in Indirect Discourse. . . . . . . . . .  135

351-356.                    Indirect Discourse in English and in Greek


                                    Construction after Kai> e]ge<neto

357-360. Three Forms of the Idiom. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   142, 143

xvi                                           CONTENTS.


                                                THE INFINITIVE.

SECTION                                                                                                             PAGE

361-363. Origin, and Classification of Uses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .              143-145


                                    The Infinitive without the Article.


364, 365. IMPERATIVE INFINITIVE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          146

366, 367. INFINITIVE OF PURPOSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          146

        368. INFINITIVE AS AN INDIRECT OBJECT. . . . . . . . . . . .          147

369-371. INFINITIVE OF RESULT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           147-150

372-374.        Exceptional usages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          150


            OR NOUN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                 150, 151


378, 379. INFINITIVE LIMITING NOUNS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        151, 152

380-382. INFINITIVE AFTER pri<n or pri>n h@ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        152

        383. INFINITIVE USED ABSOLUTELY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      153

384, 385. INFINITIVE AS SUBJECT. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        153

        386. INFINITIVE AS APPOSITIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    153

387-389. INFINITIVE AS OBJECT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       153, 154

       390.         Infinitive in Indirect Discourse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      154, 155

       391.         Infinitive after verbs of hoping, promising, swear-

                            ing, commanding, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     155


                                    The Infinitive with the Article.

392.    General Use of Infinitive with the Article. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   155, 156

393. INFINITIVE WITH to< AS SUBJECT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       156

394. INFINITIVE WITH to< AS OBJECT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       156

395. INFINITIVE WITH THE ARTICLE, IN APPOSITION. . . . . . .       156, 157

396. INFINITIVE WITH t&? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       157

397. INFINITIVE OF PURPOSE WITH tou?  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       157

398. INFINITIVE OF RESULT WITH tou? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      157, 158

399. INFINITIVE WITH tou? AFTER ADJECTIVES. . . . . . . . . . . . .       158

400. INFINITIVE WITH tou? AFTER NOUNS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       158


            GENITIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       158, 159

402, 403.        Various constructions after Verbs of hindering  . . . . . . . .     159

404, 405. INFINITIVE WITH tou? AS SUBJECT OR OBJECT. . . . .       159, 160


            SITIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       160-163

                                    CONTENTS.                                      xvii


                                                THE PARTICIPLE.

SECTION                                                                                                       PAGE

      418. General Nature of the Participle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          163

      419. Classification respecting logical force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          163, 164


                                                The Adjective Participle.


420, 421.                    Definition and Classification. . . . . . . . . . . .            164

       422. RESTRICTIVE ATTRIBUTIVE PARTICIPLE. . . . . . .   164, 165

       423.         Restrictive Attributive Participle with Subject

                            omitted. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            165

       424.         Noun without the article limited by a Participle

                            with the article. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        165

       425.         Neuter Participle with the article equivalent to an

                            abstract Noun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          166

      426. EXPLANATORY ATTRIBUTIVE PARTICIPLE . . . . . . .           166

      427.          Order of words with Attributive Participle

                             limiting a Noun with the article. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         166, 167

      428.          Attributive Participle conveying a subsidiary idea

                            of cause, purpose, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        167

429, 430. PREDICATIVE ADJECTIVE PARTICIPLE. . . . . . . . .             167

        431.        Predicative Participle used to form periphrastic

                            tenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        168

432, 433.        Participles in Predicate in various construc-

                           tions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          168, 169


                                    The Adverbial Participle.


      434. Definition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . .            169

      435. ADVERBIAL PARTICIPLE OF TIME. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            169

      436. ADVERBIAL PARTICIPLE OF CONDITION.  . . . . . . . .           169

437, 438. ADVERBIAL PARTICIPLE OF CONCESSION. .  . . . .           170

       439. ADVERBIAL PARTICIPLE OF CAUSE. . . . . . . . . . . . .            170

440, 441.        Participle of Cause with w[j . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         170, 171

       442. ADVERBIAL PARTICIPLE OF PURPOSE . . . . . . . . . .            171

       443. ADVERBIAL PARTICIPLE OF MEANS. . . . . . . . . . . .             171

       444. ADVERBIAL PARTICIPLE OF MANNER. . . . . . . . . . .           171

445, 446.          [Wj with the Participle denoting Manner . . . . . . . . .         172

        447.        Participle of Manner or Means denoting same

                            action as that of the principal Verb. . . . . . . . . . . . .         172, 173

        448. I      ntensive Participle-Hebraistic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         173

xviii                                         CONTENTS.


SECTION                                                                                                       PAGE



                        STANCE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                173,174

        451.        More than one adverbial relation implied by

                            the same Participle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            174

452-454.        Genitive Absolute. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          174, 175

       455.         Position of Adverbial Participle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         175


                                    The Substantive Participle.


       456.                     Definition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           175

       457. SUBSTANTIVE PARTICIPLE AS SUBJECT. . . . . . . . 175

458, 459. SUBSTANTIVE PARTICIPLE AS OBJECT. . . . . . . . . 176

       460.                     Substantive Participle in Indirect Discourse. .       176


      462.                      Position of Substantive Participle. . . . . . . . . . . .    177

       463.                     Substantive Participle distinguished from Ad.

    jective Participle used substantively. . . . . . . . . . . . .      177


                        THE USE OF NEGATIVES WITH VERBS.


       464. General Usage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         178


                        NEGATIVES WITH THE INDICATIVE.


      465. Negatives in Independent declaratory Sentences. . . . . . . . . .     178

      466. Negatives with a Prohibitory Future. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  179

     467. Negatives in Questions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    179

     468. Mh>  ou] in Rhetorical Questions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   179

469, 470. Negatives in Conditional and Conditional Relative

                        Clauses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     179, 180

      471. Ei] mh< in the sense of except. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      180

      472. Ou] after mh< as a conjunction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                   181

      473. Negatives in Indirect Discourse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                   181

      474. Negatives in Causal Clauses and in simple Relative

                        Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     181



                                    AND IMPERATIVE.

       475. Negatives with the Subjunctive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      181, 182

476, 477. Negatives with the Optative. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                     182

       479. Negatives with the Imperative. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    182, 183

                                                CONTENTS.                                      xix




SECTION                                                                                                       PAGE

      480. General Usage of Negatives with the Infinitive. . . . . . . . . .        183

      481. Negatives with a limitation of an Infinitive or of its

                        subject. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           183,184

      482. Compound of ou] with an Infinitive dependent on a

                        principal verb limited by ou] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         184

      483. Redundant mh< with Infinitive after verbs of hinder-

                        ing, denying, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           184

      484. Negative with Infinitive dependent on a verb itself

                        egatived by ou] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            184

     485. General Usage of Negatives with the Participle. . . . . . . . . .        184, 185


                        SUCCESSIVE AND DOUBLE NEGATIVES.


      486. Two simple Negatives, or a compound Negative fol-

                        lowed by a simple Negative. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         185

487, 488. Double Negative ou] mh<. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  185, 186

      489. Negative followed by similar compound Negative or

                        double Negative. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          186

                                    LIST OF WORKS AND AUTHORS


                                    REFERRED TO BY ABBREVIATION.


A.J.P. . . . . .    American Journal of Philology.

Alf.  . . . . . .     Henry Alford, The Greek New Testament. 4 vols. Lon-


A. V.  . . . . .     Authorized Version of the New Testament.

B. . . . . . . . .     Alexander Buttmann, A Grammar of the New Testament

                                    Greek. Translated by J. H. Thayer. Andover, 1873.

Bib. Sac. . . .   Bibliotheca Sacra.

Br. . . . . . . . .   Karl Brugmann, Griechische Grammatik, in Iwan Mul-

                                    ler's Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft,

                                    vol. II. Second Edition. Munchen, 1890.

Cl. Rev. . . . .   Classical Review.

Del. . . . . . . .   B. Delbruck, Syntaktische Forschungen. Halle, 1871-


Ev. Pet.. . . .    Apocryphal Gospel of Peter. (Verses according to the

                                    edition of Harnack, Leipzig, 1893.)

G. . . . . . . . .    W. W. Goodwin, A Greek Grammar. Revised Edition.

                                    Boston, 1892.

Gild. . . . . . .   Basil L. Gildersleeve, various papers in A.J.P. and


G.MT. . . . . .   W. W. Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the

                                    Greek Verb. Revised and enlarged. Boston, 1889.

Gr. . . . . . . . .  Thomas Sheldon Green, A Treatise on the Grammar of

                                    the New Testament. New Edition. London, 1862.

HA. . . . . . . .    James Hadley, A Greek Grammar for Schools and Col-

                                    leges. Revised by F. D. Allen. New York, 1884.

Hr. . . . . . . . .  W. R. Harper, Elements of Hebrew Syntax. New York,


J. . . . . . . . .     J. W. E. Jelf, A Grammar of the Greek Language. Third

                                    Edition. 2 vols. Oxford and London, 1861.

J.B.L. . . . . . .  Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis.

K. . . . . . . . . .  Raphael Kuhner, Grammatik der Griechischen Sprache.

                                    Hanover, 1869-1872.

Ka. . . . . . . . .  E. Kautzsch, Grammatik des Biblisch-Aramaischen.

                                    Leipzig, 1884.


xxii                  LIST OF WORKS AND AUTHORS.


L. and S. . . .    Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon, etc. Seventh

                                    Edition. New York, 1882.

Ltft. . . . . . . .   J. B. Lightfoot, Commentaries on Galatians, on Philip-

                                    pians, and on Colossians and Philemon.

Mart. Polyc. . Martyrium Polycarpi. (See any edition of the Apostolic

                                    Fathers. )

Meist. . . . . .   K. Meisterhans, Grammatik der Attischen Inschriften.

                                    Berlin, 1885.

Mey. . . . . . .    H. A. W. Meyer, Kommentar iiber das Neue Testament.

                                    Gottingen, 1867-1876. English Translation, Edinburgh,


Ps. Sol. . . . .   The Psalms of Solomon. (Recent edition by Ryle and

                                    James, Cambridge, 1891.)

R. V. . . . . . .    The New Testament in the Revised Version of 1881.

S. . . . . . . . . .   W. H. Simcox, The Language of the New Testament.

                                    London and New York, 1889.

Th. . . . . . . . .   J. H. Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New

                                    Testament: Being Grimm's Wilke's Clavis Novi Testa-

                                    menti, translated, revised, and enlarged. New York,


Tisch. . . . . .    Constantinus Tischendorf, Novum Testamentum Graece.

                                    Eighth Edition. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1869-72.

Treg. . . . . . .   S. P. Tregelles, The Greek New Testament. London,


T.A.P.A. . .  .   Transactions of the American Philological Association.

W. . . . . . . . .    G. B. Winer. See WE and WT.

WH. . . . . . . .   Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in the Original

                                    Greek, the text revised by B. F. Westcott and F. J. A.

                                    Hort. 2 vols. Cambridge and New York, 1881.

WT . . . . . . .    G. B. Winer, A Treatise on the Grammar of New Testa-

                                    ment Greek. Translated by W. F. Moulton. Third

                                    Edition. Edinburgh, 1882.

WM. . . . . . . .  G. B. Winer, A Grammar of the Idiom of the New Tes-

                                    tament. Seventh Edition, enlarged and improved by

                                    Gottlieb Lunemann. Revised and authorized Trans-

                                    lation by J. H. Thayer. Andover, 1869.

WS. . . . . . . .   G. B. Winer's Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Sprach-

                                    idioms, Achte Auflage, neu bearbeitet von D. Paul Wilh.

                                    Schmiedel, Gottingen, 1894- (in process of publication).


For classical and Scripture writers the ordinary abbreviations are used.

References to the Old Testament are to the Septuagint Version, unless

otherwise indicated.







                                                 OF THE








            1. FORM AND FUNCTION. The following pages deal with

the various functions of the various verb-forms of the Greek

of the New Testament, so far as respects their mood and

tense. It is important that the nature of the relation between

form and function be clearly held in mind. It is by no means

the case that each form has but one function, and that each

function can be discharged by but one form. Forms of various

origin may be associated together under one name and perform

the same function, or group of functions. Compare, e.g., the

Aorist Active Infinitives, lu?sai and ei]pei?n: these forms are of

quite diverse origin; in function they have become entirely

assimilated. The same is true of the Aorist Active Indicatives,

e@deica and e@sthn. Forms also which still have different names,

and usually perform different functions, may have certain

functions in common. Compare the Aorist Subjunctive and

the Future Indicative in clauses of purpose (197, 198). On

the other hand, and to an even greater extent, we find that a

given form, or a given group of forms bearing a common name,

performs various distinct functions. Observe, e.g., the various

functions of the Aorist Indicative (38-48).



2                                  INTRODUCTORY.


            The name of a given form, or group of forms, is usually

derived from some prominent function of the form or group.

Thus the term Aorist reflects the fact that the forms thus

designated most frequently represent an action indefinitely

without reference to its progress. The name Present suggests

that the forms thus designated denote present time, which is

true, however, of the smaller part only of those that bear the

name, and of none of them invariably. The name Optative

again reminds us that one function of the forms so named is

to express a wish. While, therefore, the names of the forms

were originally intended to designate their respective func-

tions, they cannot now be regarded as descriptive of the actual

functions, but must be taken as conventional, and to a con-

siderable extent arbitrary, names of the forms. The functions

must be learned, not from the names, but from observation of

the actual usage.



grammarian as such and the interpreter deal with grammar, but

from very different points of view. The distinction between

these points of view should be clearly recognized by the in-

terpreter. It may be conveniently represented by the terms

historical grammar and exegetical grammar. Historical gram-

mar deals with the development of both form and function

through the various periods of the history of the language,

and does this in purely objective fashion. Exegetical grammar,

on the other hand, takes the forms as it finds them, and defines

the functions which at a given period each form discharged,

and does this from the point of view of the interpreter, for

the purpose of enabling him to reproduce the thought con-

veyed by the form. To investigate the process by which the

several forms were built up, to determine the earliest function

of each such form, to show how out of this earliest function


                                    INTRODUCTORY.                           3


others were developed, and how forms of different origin, and

presumably at first of different function, became associated,

discharging the same function and eventually coming to bear

the same name--all this belongs to historical grammar. To

reproduce in the mind of the interpreter, and to express as

nearly as may be in his own tongue, the exact thought

which a given form was in the period in question capable of

expressing--this is the task of exegetical grammar. Histori-

cal grammar views its problem wholly from the point of view

of the language under investigation, without reference to the

language of the grammarian. Exegetical grammar is neces-

sarily concerned both with the language under investigation

and with that in which the interpreter thinks and speaks,

since its problem is to aid in reproducing in the latter tongue

thought expressed in the former.

            The results of historical grammar are of the greatest interest

and value to exegetical grammar. Our interpretation of the

phenomena of language in its later periods can hardly fail to

be affected by a knowledge of the earlier history. Strictly

speaking, however, it is with the results only of the processes

of historical grammar that the interpreter is concerned. If

the paradigm has been rightly constructed, so that forms of

diverse origin perhaps, but completely assimilated in function,

bear a common name, exegetical grammar is concerned only to

know what are the functions which each group of forms bear-

ing a common name is capable of discharging. Thus, the

diversity of origin of the two Aorists, e@lusa and e@lipon, does

not immediately concern the interpreter, if it is an assured

result of historical grammar that these two forms are com-

pletely assimilated in function. Nor does it concern him that

the ai at the end of the Infinitives, dei?cai and i]e<nai, is the mark

of the Dative case, and that the earliest use of such infinitives

was as a verbal noun in the Dative case, except as this fact

4                                  INTRODUCTORY.


of historical grammar aids him in the interpretation of the

phenomena of that period of the language with which he is

dealing. The one question of exegetical grammar to which

all other questions are subsidiary is, What function did this

form, or group of forms, discharge at the period with which

we are dealing? What, e.g., in the New Testament, are the

functions of the Present Indicative? What are the uses of

the Aorist Subjunctive?

            For practical convenience forms are grouped together, and

the significance of each of the distinctions made by inflection

discussed by itself. The present work confines itself to the

discussion of mood and tense, and discusses these as far as

possible separately. Its question therefore is, What in the

New Testament are the functions of each tense and of each

mood? These various functions must be defined first of all

from the point of view of the Greek language itself. Since,

however, the interpreter whom in the present instance it is

sought to serve thinks in English, and seeks to express in

English the thought of the Greek, reference must be had

also to the functions of the English forms as related to

those of the Greek forms. Since, moreover, distinctions of

function in the two languages do not always correspond,

that is, since what in Greek is one function of a given form

may be in English subdivided into several functions per-

formed by several forms, it becomes necessary not only to

enumerate and define the functions of a given form purely

from the point of view of Greek, but to subdivide the one

Greek function into those several functions which in English

are recognized and marked by the employment of different

forms. An enumeration of the uses of a given Greek tense

made for the use of an English interpreter may therefore

properly include certain titles which would not occur in a

list made for one to whom Greek was the language of

                                    INTRODUCTORY.                                       5


ordinary speech and thought. The Aorist for the English

Perfect, and the Aorist for the English Pluperfect (46, 48)

furnish a pertinent illustration. The interests of the English

interpreter require that they be clearly recognized. Fidelity

to Greek usage requires that they be recognized as, strictly

speaking, true Historical Aorists.

            3. The Greek verb has four moods,--the Indicative, the

Subjunctive, the Optative, and the Imperative. With these

are associated in the study of Syntax the Infinitive, which is,

strictly speaking, a verbal noun, and the Participle, which is

a verbal adjective.

            The Subjunctive, Optative, Imperative, and Infinitive are

often called dependent moods.


            REM. The term dependent is not strictly applicable to these moods,

    and least of all to the Imperative, which almost always stands as a prin-

    cipal verb. It has, however, become an established term, and is retained

    as a matter of convenience.


4. There are seven tenses in the Greek,--the Present,

Imperfect, Aorist, Future, Perfect, Pluperfect, and Future


            Those tenses which denote present or future time are called

Primary tenses. Those tenses which denote past time are

called Secondary tenses. Since the time denoted by a tense

varies with the particular use of the tense, no fixed line of

division can be drawn between the two classes of tenses. In

the Indicative the Present and Perfect are usually, and the

Future and Future Perfect are always, Primary tenses; the

Imperfect, Aorist, and Pluperfect are usually Secondary









                        THE TENSES.


5. The action denoted by a verb may be defined by the tense

of the verb

            (a) As respects its progress. Thus it may be represented

as in progress, or as completed, or indefinitely, i.e. as a simple

event without reference to progress or completion.

            (b) As respects its time, as past, present, or future.

The tenses of the Indicative mood in general define the

action of the verb in both these respects.

            The tenses of the other moods in general define the action

of the verb only as respects its progress. HA. 821; G. 1249.


            REM. The chief function of a Greek tense is thus not to denote time,

but progress. This latter function belongs to the tense-forms of all the

moods, the former to those of the Indicative only.


                        TENSES OF THE INDICATIVE MOOD.


            6. The significance of the tenses of the Indicative mood

may be stated in general as follows: --

            As respects progress: The Present and Imperfect denote

action in progress; the Perfect, Pluperfect, and Future Perfect

denote completed action; the Aorist represents the action

indefinitely as an event or single fact; the Future is used

either of action in progress like the Present, or indefinitely

like the Aorist.

            As respects time: The Present and Perfect denote present

time; the Imperfect, Aorist, and Pluperfect denote past time;

the Future and Future Perfect denote future time.



                        THE PRESENT INDICATIVE                                  7


            7. The tenses of the Indicative in general denote time rela-

tive to that of speaking. Most exceptions to this rule are

apparent or rhetorical rather than real and grammatical. In

indirect discourse the point of view, as respects time, of the

original speaking or thinking is retained. Cf. 351. Of two

verbs of past time, one may refer to an action antecedent to

the other, but this fact of antecedence is implied in the con-

text, not expressed in the tense. Cf. 29 and 48. By prolepsis

also a verb of past time may refer to or include events to take

place after the time of speaking, but before a point of future

time spoken of in the context. Cf. 50. In conditional sen-

tences of the second form, the tenses are properly timeless.

Cf. 248. See Br. 154 (p. 180).


                        THE PRESENT INDICATIVE.


            8. The Progressive Present. The Present Indicative

is used of action in progress in present time. HA. 824;

G. 1250, 1.


Matt. 25:8; ai[ lampa<dej h[mw?n sbe<nnuntai, our lamps are going out

Gal. 1:6;  qauma<zw o!ti ou!twj taxe<wj metati<qesqe a]po> tou? kale<san-

toj u[ma?j, I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called


            9. The most constant characteristic of the Present Indica-

tive is that it denotes action in progress. It probably had

originally no reference to present time (see Br. 156). But

since, in the" historical periods of the language, action in

progress in past time is expressed by the Imperfect, and the

Future is used both as a progressive and as an aoristic tense

for future time, it results that the Present Indicative is chiefly

used to express action in progress in present time. Hence

in deciding upon the significance of any given instance of the

Present Indicative in the New Testament as well as in classi-

8                                              THE TENSES.


cal Greek, the interpreter may consider that there is, at least

in the majority of words, a certain presumption in favor of

the Progressive Present rather than any of the other uses

mentioned below.

            10. The Progressive Present in Greek is not always best

translated by what is commonly called in English the "Pro-

gressive Form." Some English verbs themselves suggest

action in progress, and do not, except when there is strong

emphasis on the progressive idea, use the progressive form.

Thus the verb (qauma<zw), in Gal. 1:6, is a Progressive Present,

but is best translated I marvel, the verb itself sufficiently sug-

gesting the idea of action in progress.


            11. THE CONATIVE PRESENT. The Present Indicative is

occasionally used of action attempted, but not accomplished.

H.A. 825; G. 1255. This use is, however, not to be re-

garded as a distinct function of the tense. The Conative

Present is merely a species of the Progressive Present. A

verb which of itself suggests effort, when used in a tense

which implies action in progress, and hence incomplete, natu-

rally suggests the idea of attempt. All the verb-forms of the

Present system are equally, with the Present, capable of

expressing attempted action, since they all denote action in

progress. John 10:32, liqa<zete, and Gal. 5:4, dikaiou?sqe, illus-

trate this usage in the Present. Similar is the use of the

Present in Rom. 2:4, a@gei, leadeth, i.e. such is its tendency.

            For examples of the Imperfect see 23. Respecting the

resultative force of such verbs in the Aorist see 42.


            12. The General or Gnomic Present. The Present

Indicative is used to express customary actions and general

truths. HA. 824, a; G. 1253, 1291.


Matt. 7:17; pa?n de<ndron a]gaqo>n karpou>j kalou>j poiei?, every good tree

bringeth forth good fruit.

                                    THE PRESENT INDICATIVE.                                 9


2 Cor. 9:7; i[laro>n ga>r do<thn a]gap%? o[ qeo<j,  for God loveth a cheerful



            13. The Aoristic Present. The Present Indicative is

sometimes used of an action or event coincident in time

with the act of speaking, and conceived of as a simple

event. Most frequently the action denoted by the verb

is identical with the act of speaking itself, or takes place

in that act.


Acts 16:18; paragge<llw soi e]n o]no<mati  ]Ihsou? Xristou?, I command

            thee in the name of Jesus Christ. See also Mark 2:5, a]fi<entai; Acts

            9:34, i]a?tai; 26:1, e]pitre<petai; Gal. 1:11, gnwri<zw, and the numer-

            ous instances of le<gw in the gospels.


            REM. This usage is a distinct departure from the prevailing use of

the Present tense to denote action in progress (cf. 9). There being in the

Indicative no tense which represents an event as a simple fact without at

the same time assigning it either to the past or the future, the Present is

used for those instances (rare as compared with the cases of the Pro-

gressive Present), in which an action of present time is conceived of

without reference to its progress.


            14. The Historical Present. The Present Indicative

is used to describe vividly a past event in the presence of

which the speaker conceives himself to be. HA. 828;

G. 1252.


Mark 11:27; kai> e@rxontai pa<lin ei]j  ]Ieroso<luma,  and they come again

            to Jerusalem. See also Luke 8:49, e@rxetai; John 18:28, a@gousin.

            This use is very frequent in the gospels.


            15. The Present for the Future. In a similar way

the Present Indicative may be used to describe vividly a

future event.


Mark 9:31;  o[ ui[o>j tou? a]nqrw<pou paradi<dotai ei]j xei?raj a]nqrw<pwn, the

            Son of man is delivered into the hands of men. See also Matt. 26:18,

            poiw?; 27:63,  e]gei<romai; Luke 3:9, e]kko<ptetai.

10                                            THE TENSES.


REM. The term "Present for Future" is sometimes objected to, but

without good reason. The arguments of Buttmann, pp. 203 f., and Winer,

WT. pp. 265 ff.; WM. pp. 331 ff., are valid only against the theory of an

arbitrary interchange of tenses. It is indeed not to be supposed that

Greek writers confused the Present and the Future tenses, or used them

indiscriminately. But that the form which customarily denoted an act

in progress at the time of speaking was sometimes, for the sake of vivid-

ness, used with reference to a fact still in the future, is recognized by all

grammarians. See; e.g., J. 397; K. 382, 5; G.MT. 32. The whole force

of the idiom is derived from the unusualness of the tense employed.


16. The Present form h!kw means I have come ( John 2:4;

4:47; etc. ). Similarly pa<reimi (I am present) sometimes means

I have arrived (Acts 17:6; etc.). This, however, is not a

Present for the Perfect of the same verb, but a Present

equivalent to the Perfect of another verb. The use of a]kou<w

meaning I am informed (cf. similar use of English hear, see,

learn) is more nearly a proper Present for Perfect (1 Cor.

11:18; 2 Thess. 3:11). Such use of the Present belongs to

a very few verbs. HA. 827; G. 1256.


17. The Present of past Action still in Progress.

The Present Indicative, accompanied by an adverbial

expression denoting duration and referring to past time,

is sometimes used in Greek, as in German, to describe

an action which, beginning in past time, is still in prog-

ress at the time of speaking. English idiom requires

the use of the Perfect in such cases. HA. 826; G. 1258.


Acts 15:21  Mwush?j ga>r e]k genew?n a]rxei<wn kata> po<lin tou>j khru<s-

sontaj au]to>n e@xei, for Moses from generations of old has had in every

city them that preached him. See also Luke 13:7, e@rxomai 15:29,

douleu<w; John 5:6, e@xei; 2 Tim. 3:15, oi#daj. This Present is

almost always incorrectly rendered in R. V.


REM. Cf. Br. 156, "Das Prasens in Verbindung mit pa<roj, pa<lai,

pote< wurde seit Homer gebraucht, um eine Handlung auszudrucken, die

sich durch die Vergangenheit bis zur Zeit des Sprechens hinzieht." In

the New Testament examples definite expressions of past time occur in

place of the adverbs pa<roj, etc.

THE PRESENT INDICATIVE.                                 11


18. The Aorist Indicative, limited by an expression mean-

ing up to this time, may also be used of acts. beginning in past

time and continuing to the time of speaking. Matt. 27:8;

28:15. Cf. 46, and 52.


19. Verbs in indirect discourse retain the point of view, as

respects time, of the original statement; a Progressive Present

in indirect discourse accordingly denotes action going on at

the time, not of the quotation of the words, but of the original

utterance of them. English usage in indirect discourse is

different, and from this difference it results that a Greek

Present Indicative standing in indirect discourse after a verb

of past time must often be rendered by a verb of past time.

These cases, however, involve no special use of the Greek

tense, and should not be confused with those of the Historical

Present. Cf. 351-356.



clearly marked peculiarities of the Greek of the New Testa-

ment is the frequency with which periphrastic forms composed

of a Present or Perfect Participle (Luke 23:19 is quite excep-

tional in its use of the Aorist Participle; cf. Ev. Pet. 23),

and the Present, Imperfect, or Future Indicative, or the

Present Subjunctive, Imperative, Infinitive, and even parti-

ciple, of the verb ei]mi< (rarely also u[pa<rxw), are used instead

of the usual simple forms. Cf. 431, and see the full dis-

cussion with examples in B. pp. 308-313, and the list (not

quite complete) in S. pp. 131ff.

Instances of the periphrastic Present Indicative are, how-

ever, few. The clear instances belong under the head of the

General Present.


Matt. 27:33; ei]j to<pon lego<menon Golgoqa<, o! e]stin Krani<ou To<poj

lego<menoj, unto a place called Golgotha, which is called Place of a

Skull. See also Matt. l:23; Mark 5:41; 2 Cor. 2:17; 9:12.


12                                            THE TENSES.




21. The Progressive Imperfect. The Imperfect is

used of action in progress in past time. HA. 829;

G. 1250, 2.

Mark 12:41; kai> polloi> plou<sioi e@ballon polla<, and many that were

rich were casting in much.

Luke 1:66; kai> ge>r xei>r kuri<ou h#n met ] au]tou?, for the hand of the Lord

was with him.

John 11:36;  i@de pw?j e]fi<lei au]to<n, behold how he loved him.


22. The statement respecting the translation of the Pro-

gressive Present (cf. 10), applies to the Imperfect also.

Notice the third example above, and see also Luke 2:51,

his mother kept [dieth<rei] all these things in her heart; in Luke

24:32, A. V., did not our heart burn within us, is better than

R. V., was not our heart burning within us. Though the verb

is a periphrastic Imperfect, kaiome<nh h#n, the English form

did burn sufficiently suggests action in progress to render it



23. THE CONATIVE IMPERFECT. The Progressive Imperfect

is sometimes used of action attempted, but not accomplished.

Cf. 11. HA. 832; G.1255.


Matt. 3:14; o[ de> diekw<luen au]to<n, but he would have hindered him.

See also Luke 1:59, e]ka<loun; 15:16, e]di<dou; Acts 7:26, sunh<l-

lassen; 26:11, h]na<gkazon.


24. The Imperfect of Repeated Action. The Imper-

fect is used of customary or repeated action in past time.

HA. 830; G. 1253, 2


Acts 3:2;  o!n e]ti<qoun kaq ]  h[me<ran pro>j th>n qu<ran tou? i[erou? , whom they

used to lay daily at the gate of the temple.


                        THE IMPERFECT INDICATIVE                             13


25. For the use of the Imperfect, Aorist, or Pluperfect in

a condition contrary to fact, or its apodosis, see 248, 249.


26. The Imperfect and Aorist with a@n are used in classical

Greek to denote a customary past action taking place under

certain circumstances. In the New Testament this usage

never occurs in principal clauses. The use of the Imperfect

and Aorist with a@n in conditional relative clauses is possibly

a remnant of the usage. Cf. 315.


27. The Imperfect and Aorist are used in a clause express-

ing an unattained wish having reference to the present or past.

The Imperfect denotes action in progress. The Aorist repre-

sents the action indefinitely as a simple event. Either tense

may refer to either present or past time. All the New Testa-

ment instances seem to refer to present time.


Rev. 3:15; o@felon yuxro>j h#j h} zesto<j, I would that thou wert cold

or hot. See also 1 Cor. 4:8 (Aor.); 2 Cor. 11:1 (Imperf.).


REM. 1. In classical Greek unattainable wishes are expressed by ei@qe

or ei] ga<r with the Indicative (HA. 871; G. 1511) or w@felon with the

Infinitive. In Callimachus, 260 B.C., w@felon is found with the Indicative

(L. & S., o]fei<lw II. 3. fin.). In the New Testament ei] ga<r (in this

sense) and ei@qe do not occur, but o@felon, shortened form of w@felon, is

used (as an uninflected particle) with the Imperfect and Aorist Indica-

tive. WM. p. 377; WT. p. 301, N. 2.


REM. 2. In Gal. 5:12 o@felon is followed by the Future, but the wish

is probably not conceived of as unattainable.


28. When an Imperfect refers to an action not separated

from the time of speaking by a recognized interval, it is

best translated into English by the Perfect, using preferably

the progressive form, unless the verb itself suggests action

in progress.

14                                            THE TENSES.


I John 2:7; h{n ei@xete a]p ] a]rxh?j, which ye have had from the beginning.

See also Luke 2:49; Rom. 15:22; Rev. 3:2 (cited by Weymouth

in Theological Monthly, IV. 42, who also quotes examples from clas-

sical authors). Cf. 52.

29. When an action denoted by an Imperfect evidently pre-

ceded an event already mentioned, such Imperfect is sometimes

best translated into English by the Pluperfect. From the

point of view of Greek, however, this, like the preceding

usage, is an ordinary Progressive Imperfect or Imperfect of

Repeated Action. Cf. 52.


Matt. 14:14;  e@legen ga>r o[  ]Iwa<nhj au]t&?,  Ou]k e@cesti<n soi e@xein au]th<n,

for John had been saying to him, It is not lawful for you to have her.

See also Luke 8:27; Acts 9:39.


30. The Imperfect of verbs denoting obligation or possi-

bility, when used to affirm that a certain thing should or

could have been done, i.e. was required or possible under the

circumstances related, is a true affirmative Imperfect. It is

incorrect in this case to speak of an omitted a@n, since though

it is frequently the case that the necessary or possible deed

did not take place, the past necessity or possibility was actual,

not hypothetical or "contrary to fact." Here belong Matt.

18:33; 23:23; 25:27; Acts 24:19; 26:32; 27:21; 2 Cor.

2:3, etc.

The Imperfect is also used of a past necessity or obligation

when the necessary deed did take place. Here also, of course,

the Imperfect has its usual force. Luke 13:16; 24:26;

John 4:4; Acts 1:16; 17:3.


31. Buttmann, pp. 216 f., 225 f., describes correctly the class of cases

in which the past obligation or possibility was actual, but in which the

required or possible deed did not take place, but wrongly includes in

his list several passages in which not only the fact but the obligation

or ability is hypothetical. Such are John 9:33; 1 Cor. 5:10; Heb. 9:26,

which are to be explained in accordance with 249. The distinction


THE IMPERFECT INDICATIVE.                            15


between these two classes of cases is not always easily marked in English

translation, since the English forms could, should, etc., are used both

for actual and for hypothetical obligation or ability. Cf. He could have

gone, if he had been well, and He could have gone, but did not wish

to go.

32. Through a dimming of the distinction between the

ideas of present and past obligation (which has occurred also

in English in the case of the word ought), the Imperfect with-

out a@n is sometimes used to express a present obligation. The

Infinitive after such an Imperfect is always in the Present

tense. In accordance with this usage we are probably to ex-

plain Acts 22:22; Eph. 5:4; Col. 3:18; cf. Ltft. on Col.

loc. cit. and G.MT. 416.

On these several uses of the Imperfect of verbs of obliga-

tion, etc., see G.MT. 413-423.


33. The Imperfect of verbs of wishing, without a@n, is best

explained as a true Progressive Imperfect, describing a desire

which the speaker for a time felt, without affirming that he

actually cherishes it at the time of his present utterance.

This is especially clear in Philem. 13, 14, where the apostle

states in one clause what his desire--his personal prefer-

ence--was (e]boulo<mhn), and in the next his actual decision

(h]qe<lhsa), as over against his preference. The reason for

describing the desire as past is not always, however, that

it has been put aside. Failure to realize the desire, or the

perception that it cannot be realized, or reluctance to express

a positive and deliberate choice may lead the speaker to use

the Imperfect rather than the Present. Similarly we some-

times say in colloquial English, I was wishing that such a

thing might happen, or even more commonly, I have sometimes

wished. Nearly the same meaning may be conveyed in Eng-

lish by the more usual potential form, I should like, I would

16                                            THE TENSES.


that, or I could wish. In Acts 25:22 the use of the Imperfect

e]boulo<mhn rather than a Present softens the request for polite-

ness' sake, and may well be rendered I should like. In Gal.

4:20 it is probably the impossibility of realizing the wish

that leads to the use of the Imperfect, and h@qelon parei?nai

may be rendered, I would that I were present. In Rom. 9:3

hu]xo<mhn may have been chosen because the apostle shrank

from expressing a deliberate choice in regard to so solemn

a matter, or because he thought of it as beyond the control

or influence of his wish. I could pray expresses the meaning

with approximate accuracy. In all these cases, however, what

is strictly stated in the Greek is merely the past existence of a

state of desire; the context alone implies what the present

state of mind is. Cf. G.MT. 425.



tic Imperfects, formed by adding a Present Participle to the

Imperfect of the verb ei]mi<, are frequent in the New Testament,

especially in the historical books. The large majority of

these forms denote continued action.


Mark 10:32; kai> h#n proa<gwn au]tou>j o[   ]Ihsou?j, and Jesus was going

before them. So also Luke 1:10, 22; John 13:23; and probably

Mark 2:18. In a few instances repeated action is referred to, as

Luke 5:16; 19:47; Gal. 1:23. Cf. 431.




35. The constant characteristic of the Aorist tense in all

of its moods, including the participle, is that it represents the

action denoted by it indefinitely; i.e. simply as an event,

neither on the one hand picturing it in progress, nor on the

other affirming the existence of its result. The name indefi-

nite as thus understood is therefore applicable to the tense in

all of its uses.

                        THE AORIST INDICATIVE                         17


As respects the point of view from which the action is

looked at, however, we may distinguish three functions of the

tense common to all of its moods.

First, it may be used to describe an action or event in its

entirety. This use of the tense, since it is by far the most

frequent, may be called by pre-eminence the Indefinite Aorist.

In the Indicative it may be called the Historical Aorist. The

Aorist of any verb may be used in this sense; thus ei]pei?n,

to say; diakonh?sai, to serve.

Secondly, it may be used to denote the inception of a

state. The Aorist thus used may be called the Inceptive

Aorist. It belongs to verbs which in the Present and Imper-

fect denote the continuance of a state; thus sig%?n, to be silent;

sigh?sai, to become silent.

Thirdly, it may be used to denote the success of an effort.

The Aorist thus used may be called the Resultative Aorist.

It belongs to verbs which in the Present and Imperfect denote

effort or attempt; thus kwlu<ein, to hinder, obstruct; kwlu?sai, to


The genetic relation of these three functions of the Aorist

tense has not been satisfactorily defined. In the Greek, both of

the classical and the New Testament periods, however, they ap-

pear side by side as co-ordinate uses. Br.159; Del. IV., pp. 100f.


REM. Respecting the force of the Indefinite Aorist, compare Brug-

mann's statement concerning the Aorist forms: "Am haufigsten wurden

diese Formen so gebraucht, dass man sich die Handlung in einen unge-

teilten Denkakt ganz und vollstandig, in sich abgeschlossen, absolut vor-

stellen sollte. Das Factum wurde einfach constatiert ohne Rucksicht

auf Zeitdauer." Br. 159.


36. In addition to these uses which belong to the Aorist in

all its moods, the Aorist Indicative has three uses, instances

of which are comparatively infrequent. These are the Gnomic

Aorist, the Epistolary Aorist, and the Dramatic Aorist.

18                                            THE TENSES.


The Aorist for the Perfect and the Aorist for the Pluper-

fect are, as explained below (52), not distinct functions of the

Aorist, but merely special cases of the Historical, Inceptive,

or Resultative Aorist.


37. The distinction between the Indefinite, the Inceptive,

and the Resultative functions of the Aorist is often ignored,

or its legitimacy denied. It is true that there are cases in

which it is not possible to decide certainly whether a given

verb refers to the inception of an action only, or to its entire

extent, and others in which there is a similar difficulty in

deciding whether the reference is to the action as a whole or

to its result only. It is true also that the genetic relation of

these three uses of the tense is not a matter of entire cer-

tainty, and that it is possible that, historically speaking, they

are but varying types of one usage. Especially must it be

regarded as doubtful whether the Resultative Aorist is any-

thing else than the Indefinite Aorist of verbs denoting effort.

The matter of importance to the interpreter, however, is

that, whatever the genesis of the fact, of the Aorists of the

New Testament some denote a past act in its undivided

entirety, others denote merely or chiefly the inception of an

action, and others still affirm as a past fact the accomplish-

ment of an act attempted.  These distinctions, which from the

exegetical point of view it is often Important to mark, are

conveniently indicated by the terms indefinite, inceptive, and

resultative. With reference to the validity of this distinction,

see Br. 159.

The Inceptive Aorist is illustrated in Acts 15:13, and after

they had become silent [meta> to> sigh?sai] James answered. It

is evident that the Infinitive must refer to the becoming

silent, not to the whole period of silence, since in the latter

case James must have been silent while the others were silent,

THE AORIST INDICATIVE.                                    19


and have begun to speak when their silence had ended. In

2 Cor. 8:9, we must read not being rich he was poor, but being

rich he became poor; e]ptw<xeusen is manifestly inceptive. So

also in Luke 2:44, supposing him to be in the company, they

went a day's journey, it was not the holding of the opinion that

he was in the company that preceded the day's journey, but

the forming of it, and the participle nomi<santej is inceptive.

Contrast Acts 16:27. See other examples under 41.

Illustrations of the resultative sense are less numerous and

less clear. In Acts 7:36, however, this man led them forth,

having wrought wonders and signs in Egypt and in the Red Sea,

and in the wilderness forty years, the verb e]ch<gagen seems to

refer only to the result, since the signs wrought in the Red

Sea and the wilderness would otherwise have been represented

as accompanying the bringing out, and instead of poih<saj we

should have had poiw?n. See also 42.1

38. The Historical Aorist. The Aorist Indicative is

most frequently used to express a past event viewed in its

entirety, simply as an event or a single fact. It has no

reference to the progress of the event, or to any existing

result of it. HA. 836; G. 1250, 5.


John 1:11; ei]j ta> i@dia h#lqen, kai> oi[ i@dioi au]to>n ou] pare<labon, he came

unto his own and they that were his own received him not.


39. Since any past event without reference to its duration

or complexity may be conceived of as a single fact, the His-

torical Aorist may be used to describe

(a) A momentary action.

Acts 5:5; e]ce<yucen, he gave up the ghost.

Matt. 8:3; kai> e]ktei<naj th>n xei?ra h!yato au]tou?, and having stretched

forth his hand he touched him.


1 Cf. Mart. Polyc. 8 : 2, 3, where both e@peiqon, were persuading, and

a]potuxo<ntej tou? pei?sai, failing to persuade, refer to the same event.

20                                            THE TENSES.


(b) An extended act or state, however prolonged in time, if

viewed as constituting a single fact without reference to its



Acts 28:30; e]ne<meinen de> dieti<an o!lhn e]n i]di<& misqw<mati, and he abode

two whole years in his own hired dwelling.

Eph. 2:4; dia> th>n pollh>n a]ga<phn au]tou?  h{n h]ga<phsen h[ma?j, because

of his great love wherewith he loved us.


(c) A series or aggregate of acts viewed as constituting a

single fact.


Matt. 22:28; pa<ntej ga>r e@sxon au]th<n, for they all had her.

2 Cor. 11:25; tri>j e]naua<ghsa, thrice I suffered shipwreck.


40. These three uses of the Historical Aorist may for con-

venience be designated as the Momentary Aorist, the Compre-

hensive Aorist, and the Collective Aorist. But it should be

clearly observed that these terms do not mark distinctions in

the functions of the tense. An Historical Aorist, whatever the

nature of the fact affirmed, affirms it simply as a past fact.

The writer may or may not have in mind that the act was

single and momentary, or extended, or a series of acts, but the

tense does not express or suggest the distinction. The pur-

pose of the subdivision into momentary, comprehensive, and

collective is not to define the force of the tense-form, but to

discriminate more precisely the nature of the facts to which

it is applied as shown by the context or the circumstances.

Cf. G.MT. 56.

REM. The term Historical Aorist is applied to the use of the Aorist

here described only by pre-eminence. In strictness the Inceptive and

Resultative Aorists are also Historical. Compare what is said concerning

the term Indefinite under 35.


41. The Inceptive Aorist. The Aorist of a verb whose

Present denotes a state or condition, commonly denotes

the beginning of that state. HA. 841; G. 1260.

THE AORIST INDICATIVE.                                    21


2 Cor. 8:9; di ]  u[ma?j e]ptw<xeusen plou<sioj w@n, though he was rich, for

your sakes he became poor. See also Luke 15:32; John 4:52;

Acts 7:60; Rom. 14:9.


REM. The Aorist of such verbs is not, however, necessarily inceptive.

The same form may be in one sentence inceptive and in another historical

Cf. Luke 9:36 with Acts 15:12, the verb e]si<ghsa being in the former

historical, in the latter probably inceptive.


42. The Resultative Aorist. The Aorist of a verb

whose Present implies effort or intention, commonly de-

notes the success of the effort. Cf. 11, 23. Br. 159.


Acts 27:43; o[ de> e[katonta<rxhj . . .  e]kw<lusen au]tou>j tou? boulh<matoj,

but the centurion. . . prevented them from their purpose. See also

Matt. 27:20; Acts 7:36.


43. The Gnomic Aorist. The Aorist is used in prov-

erbs and comparisons where the English commonly uses a

General Present. HA. 840; G. 1292; G. MT. 154-161;

B. pp. 201 ff.; WM. pp. 346 f.; WT. p. 277; Br. 160.


1 Pet. 1:24; e]chra<nqh o[ xo<rtoj, kai> to> a@nqoj e]ce<pesen, the grass wither-

eth and the flower falleth. See also Luke 7:35; John 15:6; Jas.

1:11, 24.


REM. Winer's contention (WT. p. 277; WM. p. 346) that the

Gnomic Aorist does not occur in the New Testament does not seem

defensible. The passages cited above are entirely similar to the classical

examples of this ancient and well-established idiom.


44. The Epistolary Aorist. The writer of a letter

sometimes puts himself in the place of his reader and de-

scribes as past that which is to himself present, but which

will be past to his reader. HA. 838.


Eph. 6:22; o{n e]pemya pro>j u[ma?j ei]j au]to> tou?to, whom I send to you for

this very purpose. See also Acts 23:30; 1 Cor. 5:11; Phil. 2:28;

Col. 4:8; Philem. 11.

22                                            THE TENSES.


45. The Dramatic Aorist. The Aorist Indicative is

sometimes used of a state of mind just reached, or of an

act expressive of it. The effect is to give to the statement

greater vividness than is given by the more usual Present.

HA. 842; G.MT. 60; K. 386, 9; Br. 160.


Luke 16:4; e@gnwn ti< poih<sw, I know [lit. I knew, or I perceived] what

I shall do.


REM. This usage is in classical Greek mainly poetical and is found

chiefly in dialogue. It is sometimes called "Aoristus tragicus." Brug-

mann thus describes it: "Nicht selten wurde der Aorist von dem

gebraucht, was soeben eingetreten ist, besonders von einer Stimmung,

die soeben uber einen gekommen ist, oder von einem Urteil, das man

sich soeben gebildet hat." See numerous examples in K. 386, 9.


46. THE AORIST FOR THE (English) PERFECT. The Aorist

is frequently used in Greek where the English idiom requires

a Perfect. G.MT. 58; H.A. 837; B. pp. 197, 198.


Lk19:9; sh<meron swthri<a t&, oi@k& tou<t& e]ge<neto, to-day is salvation

come to this house.

Matt. 5:21;  h]kou<sate o!ti e]rre<qh toi?j a]rxai<oij, ye have heard that it was

said to them of old time.

Ph. 4:11;  e]gw> ga>r e@maqon e]n oi$j ei]mi> au]ta<rkhj ei#nai,  for I have learned

in whatsoever state I am therein to be content. See also under 52.


47. The Aorist Indicative of a few verbs is used in the New

Testament to denote a present state, the result of a past act,

hence with the proper force of a Greek Perfect. Cf. 75, 86.

So the Aorists a]pe<qanon (cf. Mark 5:35 with Luke 8:49, and

see John 8:52 et al.), e]ce<sthn (Mark 3:21; 2 Cor. 5:13), and

possibly e@gnwn (John 7:26; cf. 1 Macc. 6:13). All these

Aorists may also be used as simple historical Aorists.



Aorist Indicative is frequently used in narrative passages of

a past event which precedes another past event mentioned

THE AORIST INDICATIVE.                        23


or implied in the context. In English it is common in such

a case to indicate the real. order of the events by the use

of a Pluperfect for the earlier event. Cf. 52, 53. H.A. 4. 837;

G.MT. 58; B. pp. 199 f.


John 19:30; o!te ou#n e@laben to> o@coj o[  ]Ihsou?j ei#pen, Tete<lestai, when

therefore Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished.

Matt. 14:3; o[ ga>r  [Hr&<dhj krath<saj to>n  ]Iwa<nhn e@dhsen, for Herod

having laid hold on John had bound him. See also Matt. 27:31;

Mark 8:14; Luke 8:27; John 12:17; 13:12.


REM. It has been much disputed whether a]pe<steilen in John 18:24

is to be assigned to this head. The valid objection to this is not in any

inappropriateness of the Aorist tense to express an event antecedent to

one already mentioned)--the Aorist is the only form that can be used if

the event is thought of simply as an event (cf. Mey. ad loc., contra)--

but in the presence of ou#n, which is, in John especially, so constantly

continuative, and in the absence of any intimation in the context that

the events are related out of their chronological order.


49. From the general principles of indirect discourse in

English and in Greek it results that an Aorist Indicative in

indirect discourse after a verb of past time must usually be

rendered into English by a Pluperfect. Cf. 353. These cases

form a class entirely distinct from those that are included

above under the term Aorist for the English Pluperfect.


50. Both the Aorist and the Perfect are sometimes used

proleptically, but this is rather a rhetorical figure than a gram-

matical idiom. WM. pp. 341, 345, 347; WT. pp. 273, 277, 278.


1 Cor. 7:28; e]a>n de> kai> gamh<s^j, ou]x h!martej, but even if thou shalt

marry, thou hast not sinned. See also John 15:8; Jas. 2:10.


51. For the Aorist in a condition contrary to fact, see 248.

For the Aorist expressing an unattained wish, see 27.



ATIVE. It should be observed that the Aorist for the Perfect

and the Aorist for the Pluperfect are not variations from the


24                                            THE TENSES.


normal use of the Greek Aorist. Viewed strictly from the

point of view of Greek Grammar, these Aorists are simply

Historical, Inceptive, or Resultative Aorists. The necessity for

mentioning them arises merely from the difference between

the English and the Greek idiom.

The Greek Aorist corresponds to the English simple Past

(or Imperfect or Preterite, loved, heard, etc.) more nearly than

to any other English tense. But it is not the precise equiva-

lent of the English Past; nor is the Greek Perfect the precise

equivalent of the English Perfect; nor the Greek Pluperfect

of the English Pluperfect. This will appear distinctly if we

place side by side the definitions of the tenses which in gen-

eral correspond in the two languages.


The English Perfect is used      The Greek Perfect is used

of any past action between                           to represent an action as

which and the time of speak-                        standing complete, i.e. as hav-

ing the speaker does not in-                         ing an existing result, at the

tend distinctly to interpose an                      time of speaking.


The English Pluperfect is                      The Greek Pluperfect is

used to mark the fact that the                       used to represent an action as

event expressed by it preceded                    standing complete, i.e. as hav-

another past event indicated by                    ing an existing result, at a

the context, and this whether                        point of past time indicated

the earlier event is thought of                      by the context.

as completed at the time of

the later event, or only indefi-

nitely as a simple occurrence

preceding the later event!


1 The English Perfect and Pluperfect by their auxiliaries have and had

distinctly suggest completed action in the proper sense, viz. the posses-

sion of a thing in the condition indicated by the participle, and substan-

THE AORIST INDICATIVE.                                    25


The English Past is used of                   The Greek Aorist is used of

any past action between which                     any past event which is con-

and the moment of speaking                         ceived of simply as an event

an interval is thought of as                            (or as entered upon, or as ac-

existing. It affirms nothing                           complished), regardless alike

respecting existing result.                            of the existence or non-exist-

ence of an interval between

itself and the moment of

speaking, and of the question

whether it precedes or not

some other past action. It

affirms nothing respecting ex-

isting result.


            It is evident from this comparison that the English Perfect

has a larger range of use than the Greek Perfect.


tially this is the meaning often conveyed by these tenses. Thus, I have

learned my lesson, differs but little in meaning from I have my lesson

learned. But this is by no means the only use which may be made of

these tenses in modern English. They have, in fact, ceased to be Perfect

tenses in any proper sense of that word. Compare, e.g., the Pasts and

Perfects in the following examples: The army arrived. The army has

arrived. Many men fought for their country. Many men have fought

for their country. He often visited Rome. He has often visited Rome.

Only in the first example is existing result suggested by the Perfect tense.

In each pair the distinguishing mark between the two sentences is that

while the Perfect tense places the event in the past time without defining

whether or not an interval has elapsed since the event, the Past tense

places it in the past time and suggests an interval.

Similarly, the English Pluperfect affirms only the antecedence of its

event to the other past event, leaving it to the context or the nature of

the fact to show whether at the past time referred to there were existing

results or not. Thus in the sentence, I showed him the work which I had

done, it is implied that the results of the doing remained at the time of

the showing. But in the sentence, He did not recognize the persons whom

he had previously seen, it is not implied that any result of the seeing

remained at the time of the non-recognition.

26                                            THE TENSES.


Thus a past event between which and the time of speaking

no interval is distinctly thought of may be expressed by the

English Perfect, whether the result of the event is thought of

as existing or not; but it can be expressed by the Greek Per-

fect only in case such result is thought of. So also the Eng-

lish Pluperfect has a wider range than the Greek Pluperfect.

For while the Greek can use its Pluperfect for an event

which preceded another past event only in case the result

of the earlier event is thought of as existing at the time

of the later event, the English freely uses its Pluperfect

for all such doubly past events, without reference to the

existence of the result of the earlier event at the time of

the later one.

On the other hand, the Greek Aorist has a wider range

than the English Past, since it performs precisely those func-

tions which the Greek Perfect and Pluperfect refuse, but

which in modern English are performed not by the Past but

by the Perfect and Pluperfect. The Greek Aorist, therefore,

in its ordinary use not only covers the ground of the English

Past, but overlaps in part upon that of the English Perfect

and Pluperfect. Hence arise the so-called Aorist for Perfect

and Aorist for Pluperfect.

If the attempt be made to define more exactly the extent

of this overlapping, it will appear that a simple past event

which is conceived of without reference to an existing result,

and between which and the time of speaking the speaker does

not wish distinctly to suggest an interval,--the interval may

be ever so long, in fact,--will be expressed in Greek by

the Aorist, because the result is not thought of, and in Eng-

lish by the Perfect, because the interval is not thought of.

Cases of this kind arise, e.g., when the event is said to con-

tinue up to the time of speaking, so that there is actually no

interval [Matt. 27:8; dio> e]klh<qh o[ a]gro>j e]kei?noj  ]Agro>j  Ai!matoj

THE AORIST INDICATIVE.                                    27


e!wj th?j sh<meron, therefore that field has been called Field of Blood

until this day. See also Matt. 28:15; John 16:24]; or when the

event is so recent as to make the thought of an interval seem

unnatural [Luke 5:26; ei@damen para<doca sh<meron, we have seen

strange things to-day. See also Mark 14:41; Acts 7:52, nu?n

. . . e]ge<nesqe]; or when the time of the event is entirely

indefinite [Matt. 19:4; ou]k a]ne<gnwte, have ye not read?  See

also Rev. 11:12; exx. are frequent in the New Testament];

or when the verb refers to a series of events which extends

approximately or quite to the time of speaking [Matt. 5:21;

h]kou<sate o!ti e]rre<qh toi?j a]rxai<oij, ye have heard that it was said

to the ancients; the reference is doubtless to the frequent

occasions on which they had heard such teachings in the

synagogue. See also 1 Esdr. 4 : 26, 27].

Instances of the Greek Aorist for the English Pluperfect

arise when a past event which is conceived of simply as an

event without reference to existing result is mentioned out

of its chronological order, or is expressed in a subordinate

clause. The Greek employs the Aorist, leaving the context

to suggest the order; the English usually suggests the order

by the use of a Pluperfect. See exx. under 48. Of. Beet, The

Greek Aorist as used in the New Testament, in Expositor, XI.

191-201, 296-308, 312-385; Weymouth, The Rendering into

English of the Greek Aorist and Perfect, in Theological

Monthly, IV. 33-41,162-180.


53. In many cases in which the Greek Aorist is used of

an event antecedent to another past event already referred to,

English idiom permits a simple Past. A Pluperfect is strictly

required only when the precedence in time is somewhat promi-

nent. The Revisers of 1881 have used the Pluperfect spar-

ingly in such cases. It might better have been used also in

Matt. 9:25; Mark 8:14; John 12:18 (had heard).

28                                THE TESES.


54. An Aorist which is equivalent to an English Perfect

or Pluperfect may be either an historical, or an inceptive, or

a Resultative Aorist. If historical, it may be either momentary,

comprehensive, or collective.


In Luke 15:32, e@chsen, and in 1 Cor. 4:8, e]plouth<sate, are inceptive

Aorists which may be properly rendered by the English Perfect; probably

also e]basi<leusaj, in Rev. 11:17, should be rendered, thou hast become


In Rom. 3:23, h!marton is evidently intended to sum up the aggregate

of the evil deeds of men, of which the apostle has been speaking in the

preceding paragraphs (1:18 -3:20). It is therefore a collective historical

Aorist. But since that series of evil deeds extends even to the moment

of speaking, as is indeed directly affirmed in the pa<ntej, it is impos-

sible to think of an interval between the fact stated and this statement

of it. It must therefore be expressed in English by the Perfect tense, and

be classed with Matt. 5:21 as a collective Aorist for (English) Perfect.

Of similar force is the same form in Rom. 2:12. From the point of view

from which the apostle is speaking, the sin of each offender is simply a

past fact, and the sin of all a series or aggregate of facts together consti-

tuting a past fact. But inasmuch as this series is not separated from the

time of speaking, we must, as in 3:23, employ an English Perfect in

translation. This is upon the supposition that the verb h!marton takes its

point of view from the time of speaking, and the apostle accordingly

speaks here only of sin then past, leaving it to be inferred that the same

principle would apply to subsequent sin. It is possible, however, that

by a sort of prolepsis h!marton is uttered from the point of view of the

future judgment [kriqh<sontai], and refers to all sin that will then be past.

In this case the Future Perfect, shall have sinned, may be used in trans-

lation, or again the Perfect, common in subordinate clauses in English as

an abbreviation of the Future Perfect. Whether the same form in Rom.

5:12 shall be rendered in the same way or by the English Past depends

upon whether it is, like the other cases, a collective Aorist, representing

a series of acts between which and the time of speaking no interval is

interposed, or refers to a deed or deeds in the remote past in which the

"all" in some way participated. So far as the tense-form is concerned

there is no presumption in favor of one or the other of these inter-

pretations, both uses of the tense being equally legitimate. The nature

of the argument or the author's thought, as learned from sources

outside the sentence itself, must furnish the main evidence by which

to decide.

THE AORIST INDICATIVE.                                    29


55. The Aorist eu]do<khsa in Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke

3:22; 2 Pet. 1:11, may be explained --(a) as a Historical Aorist having

reference to a specific event as its basis. I was well pleased with thee,

e.g. for receiving baptism. If all the instances were in connection with the

baptism, this would be the most natural explanation. But for those that

occur in connection with the account of the transfiguration this explana-

tion fails, and is probably therefore not the true explanation of any of the

instances. (b) as a comprehensive Historical Aorist covering the period

of Christ's preincarnate existence. Cf. John 17:5, 24; see W. N. Clarke,

Com. on Mark 1:11. If the passages were in the fourth gospel, and

especially if they contained some such phrase as pro> katabolh?j ko<smou,

this explanation would have much in its favor. The absence of such

limiting phrase, and the fact that the passages are in the synoptic gospels

are opposed to this explanation. (c) as a comprehensive Historical Aorist,

having the force of an English Perfect, and referring to the period of

Christ's earthly existence up to the time of speaking. But against this

is the absence of any adverbial phrase meaning up to this time, which

usually accompanies an Aorist verb used in this sense. Cf. 18 and 52.

(d) as an Aorist which has by usage come to have the meaning which is

strictly appropriate to the Perfect, I became well pleased with thee, and

I am [accordingly] well pleased with thee. Cf. 47. There are a few pas-

sages of the Septuagint that seem at first sight to favor this explanation.

See Ps. 101:15; Jer. 2:19; Mal. 2:17. Cf. also Matt. 12:18; Luke 12:32.

The force of this evidence is, however, greatly diminished by the fact

that all these instances are capable of being explained without resort to so

unusual a use of the Aorist, that both in the Septuagint and in the New

Testament there is in use a regular Present form of this verb, and that

the Aorist in the majority of cases clearly denotes past time. (e) as an

Inceptive Aorist referring to some indefinite, imagined point of past time

at which God is represented as becoming well pleased with Jesus. But

since this point is not thought of as definitely fixed, English idiom requires

a Perfect tense. Cf. 52 (p. 27), 54. It may be described, therefore, as an

Inceptive Aorist equivalent to an English Perfect, and may be rendered,

I have become well pleased. This, however, can only be a vivid way of

saying, I am well pleased. If then this view is correct, the rendering

of the English versions is a free but substantially correct paraphrase.

A true Perfect would affirm the present state of pleasure and imply the

past becoming pleased. The Aorist affirms the becoming pleased and

leaves the present pleasure to be suggested. This explanation, therefore,

differs from the preceding (d) in that it does not suppose the Aorist

of this verb to have acquired the power of expressing an existing result,

but judges the existing result to be only suggested by the affirmation

30                                            THE TENSES.


of the past fact. This is rhetorical figure, on the way to become gram-

matical idiom, but not yet become such. Manifestly similar is the use

of prosede<cato in Isa. 42:1, and of eu]do<khsen in Matt. 12:18. Indeed, if

Matt. 12:18 represents a current translation of Isa. 42:1, our present

passages were probably affected in form by this current rendering of the

Isaiah passage. Similar also are e]ka<qisan in Matt. 23:2, and e@maqon in

Phil. 4:11. In neither case is there any clearly established usage of the

Aorist for Greek perfect; in neither is there apparent any reference

to a definite point of past time; in both the real fact intended to be

suggested is the present state.



IMPERFECT. The difference between an Historical Aorist

and an Imperfect of action in progress or repeated being one

not of the nature of the fact but of the speaker's conception

of the fact, it is evident that the same fact may be expressed

by either tense or by both. This is illustrated in Mark 12:41

and 44, where, with strict appropriateness in both cases, Mark

writes in v. 41, polloi> plou<sioi e@ballon polla<, and in v. 44

records Jesus as stating the same fact in the words pa<ntej . . .

e@balon. The former describes the scene in progress, the latter

merely states the fact.


57. From the nature of the distinction between the Imper-

fect and Aorist, it also results that the difference in thought

represented by the choice of one form rather than the other

is sometimes almost imperceptible. Cf., e.g., Mark 3:7 and

5:24; Luke 2:18 and 4:22. Some verbs use one of the two

tenses almost or quite to the exclusion of the other. The

form e@legon is used in classical Greek without emphasis on

the thought of the saying as in progress or repeated, and in the

New Testament the Aorist of this verb does not occur. A dis-

tinction between the Imperfect e@legon and the Aorist ei#pon is

scarcely to be drawn in the New Testament. Cf. G.MT. 56,

57, especially the following: "In all these cases the funda-

mental distinction of the tenses, which was inherent in the

THE FUTURE INDICATIVE.                                   31


form, remained; only it happened that either of the two dis-

tinct forms expressed the meaning which was here needed

equally well. It must not be thought, from these occasional

examples, that the Greeks of any period were not fully alive

to the distinction of the two tenses and could not use it with

skill and nicety."

This approximation of the Aorist and Imperfect, it should

be noted, occurs only in the case of the Historical Aorist (38).

The Inceptive and Resultative Aorists are clearly distinguished

in force from the Imperfect.




58. The Predictive Future. The Future Indicative is

most frequently used to affirm that an action is to take

place in future time. Since it does not mark the distinc-

tion between action in progress and action conceived of

indefinitely without reference to its progress, it may be

either aoristic or progressive. HA. 843; G. 1250, 6;

G.MT. 63, 65; Br. 163.


59. THE AORISTIC FUTURE conceives of an action simply

as an event, and affirms that it will take place in future time.

It may be indefinite, inceptive, or resultative. As indefinite

it may be momentary, comprehensive, or collective. Of. 35, 39.


1 Cor. 15:51, 52;  pa<ntej ou] koimhqhso<meqa, pa<ntej de> a]llaghso<meqa,

e]n a]to<m&, e]n r[ip^? o]fqalmou?, we shall not all sleep [indefinite com-

prehensive]; or; we shall not all fall asleep [inceptive], but we shall

all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye [indefinite


John 14:26; e]kei?noj u[ma?j dida<cei pa<nta kai> u[pomnh<sei u[ma?j pa<nta a{

            ei#pon u[mi?n e]gw<, he will teach you all things and bring to your remem-

brance all things that I said unto you [indefinite collective].

Luke 1:33; kai> basileu<sei e]pi> to>n oi#kon  ]Iakw>b ei]j tou>j ai]w?naj, and he

shall reign over the house of Jacob forever [indefinite comprehensive].

Luke 16:31; ou]d ]  e]a<n tij e]k nekrw?n a]nast^? peisqh<sontai, neither will

they be persuaded if one rise from the dead [resultative].

32                                            THE TENSES.


60. THE PROGRESSIVE FUTURE affirms that an action will

be in progress in future time. HA. 843; G. 1250, 6.


Phil. 1:18; kai> e]n tou<t& xai<rw: a]lla> kai> xarh<somai, and therein I

rejoice, yea, and will [continue to] rejoice. See also Rom. 6:2;

Phil. 1:6; Rev. 9:6.


61. It may be doubted whether any of the distinctions indi-

cated by the subdivisions of the Predictive Future are justi-

fied from the point of view of pure grammar. It is probable,

rather, that the tense in all these cases makes precisely the

same affirmation respecting the event, viz. that it will take

place; and that it is the context only that conveys the dis-

tinctions referred to. These distinctions, however, are real

distinctions either of fact or of thought, and such, moreover,

that the writer must in most cases have had them in mind

when speaking of the facts. From the exegetical point of

view, therefore, the distinctions are both justified and neces-

sary, since they represent differences of thought in the mind

of the writer to be interpreted. The terms employed above

are convenient terms to represent these distinctions of thought,

and it is to the interpreter a matter of secondary importance

whether the distinction in question is by his writer immedi-

ately connected with the tense of the verb.


62. Since the Aoristic Future is less definite respecting

progress than the Progressive Future, the latter predicting

the act as continuing, the former making no assertion, it is

evident that any instance of the Predictive Future not clearly

progressive must be accounted as aoristic. If the writer did

not conceive the act or event as continuing, he left it in his

own mind and for the reader undefined as respects progress,

hence aoristic. Whether he left it thus undefined in his mind

must of course be determined, if at all, from the context, there

being no difference of form between a Progressive and an

THE FUTURE INDICATIVE.                                   33


Aoristic Future. It should be noticed that it is not enough

to show that an act will be in fact continued, in order to count

the verb which predicts it a Progressive Future; it must ap-

pear that the writer thought of it as continuing. Every

Future form is therefore by presumption aoristic. It can

be accounted progressive only on evidence that the writer

thought of the act as continued.


REM. There is one exception to this principle. In verbs of effort a

Progressive Future is naturally like other Progressive forms, a conative

tense. An Aoristic Future of such a verb is like the Aorist, a resultative

tense. Since the latter is the larger meaning, the context must give the

evidence of this larger meaning, and such evidence failing, it cannot be

considered established that the verb is resultative. The verb in John 12:

32 furnishes an interesting and important illustration. Since the verb

denotes effort, the Future will naturally be accounted conative if it is

judged to be progressive, and resultative if it is taken as aoristic. In the

latter case the meaning will be, I will by my attraction bring all men to

me. In the former case the words will mean, I will exert on all men an

attractive influence.


63. To decide whether a given Aoristic Future merely pre-

dicts the fact, or refers to the inception of the action, or has

reference to it as a thing accomplished, must again be deter-

mined by the context or the meaning of the word. The dis-

tinction between the indefinite and the resultative senses will

often be very difficult to make, and indeed the difference

of thought will be but slight. Here also it results from the

nature of the distinction between the indefinite use and the

other two, inceptive and resultative, that any instance of

the Aoristic Future not clearly inceptive or resultative must

be accounted indefinite. In other words, if the writer did not

define the action to his own mind as inceptive or resultative,

he left it indefinite, a mere fact.


64. The distinction between momentary, comprehensive,

and collective is in respect to the Future tense, as in respect

34                                            THE TENSES.


to the Aorist, a distinction which primarily has reference to

the facts referred to and only secondarily to the writer's con-

ception of the facts. There may easily occur instances which

will defy classification at this point. A writer may predict

an event not only without at the moment thinking whether

it is to be a single deed or a series of deeds, a momentary or

an extended action, but even without knowing. Thus the

sentence, He will destroy his enemies, may be uttered by one

who has confidence that the person referred to will in some

way destroy his enemies, without at all knowing whether he

will destroy them one by one, or all at once, and whether by

some long-continued process, or by one exterminating blow.

In such cases the verb can only be accounted as an Aoristic

Future, incapable of further classification.


65. From a different point of view from that of the above

classification, the instances of the Predictive Future might be

classified as (a) assertive, and (b) promissory. The distinc-

tion between the assertion that an event will take place and

the promise that it shall take place is difficult to make,

requiring delicate discrimination, but is often important for

purposes of interpretation. It is in general not indicated in

Greek, and its representation in English is complicated by the

varied uses of the auxiliary verbs shall and will. In general

it may be said that in principal clauses shall is in the first

person simply assertive, will is promissory; in the second and

third person will is assertive, shall is promissory, imperative,

or solemnly predictive.

R. V. employs shall almost constantly in the second and

third person, in most cases probably intending it as solemnly



Matt. 10:42; a]mh>n le<gw u[mi?n, ou] mh> a]pole<s^ to>n misqo>n au]tou?, verily

I say unto you, he shall by no means lose his reward.

THE FUTURE INDICATIVE.                                   35


Mark 11:31; e]a>n ei@pwmen  ]Ec ou]ranou?, e]rei?, if we say, From heaven, he

will say.

Luke 22:61; Pri>n a]le<ktora fwnh?sai sh<meron a]parnh<s^ me tri<j, before

the cock crow this day, thou shalt deny me thrice. See also Matt. 11:

28, 29; 12:31; John 16:7, 13.


66. A Predictive Future is sometimes made emphatically

negative by the use of the negative ou] mh>, Matt. 16:22; 26:

35; Mark 14:31 (Tisch. Subjunctive); cf. 172.


67. The Imperative Future. The second person of the

Future Indicative is often used as an Imperative. HA. 844;

G. 1265.


Jas. 2:8; a]gaph<seij to>n plhsi<on sou w[j seauto<n, thou shalt love thy

neighbor as thyself.


REM. 1: This idiom as it occurs in the New Testament shows clearly

the influence of the Septuagint. It occurs most frequently in prohibi-

tions, its negative being, as also commonly in classical Greek, not mh< but

ou]. G.MT. 69, 70; B. p. 267; WM. pp.. 396 f.; WT. pp. 315 f.


REM. 2. In Matt. 15:6 the verb timh<sei has the negative ou] mh<. Some

interpreters take this as a Predictive Future, but the thought requires the

Imperative sense, and in view of the frequent use of ou] mh< with the Future

in an imperative sense in the Septuagint, and its occasional use in classi-

cal Greek, the possibility of it can hardly be denied. WM. p. 636 f., n. 4;



68. One or two probable instances of the Imperative Future

in the third person occur, though perhaps no entirely certain

case.  Matt. 4:4, ou]k e]p ] a@rt& mo<n& zh<setai o[ a@nqrwpoj

ably to be so regarded, though the Hebrew of the passage

quoted (Deut. 8:3) is apparently Gnomic rather than Imper-

ative. On Matt. 15:6, see 67, Rem. 2. See also Matt. 20:

26, 27.

36                                            THE TENSES.


69. The Gnomic Future. The Future Indicative may

be used to state what will customarily happen when occa-

sion offers.


Rom. 5:7; mo<lij ga>r u[pe>r dikai<ou tij a]poqanei?tai, for scarcely for a

righteous man will one die. See also Gen. 44:15; Rom. 7:3, xrhma-

ti<sei. Observe the Gnomic Presents both before and after.


70. The Deliberative Future. The Future Indicative

is sometimes used in questions of deliberation, asking not

what will happen, but what can or ought to be done.

Such questions may be real questions asking information,

or rhetorical questions taking the place of a direct asser-

tion. Cf. 169.

Luke 22:49; ei] pata<comen e]n maxai<r^, shall we smite with the sword

John 6:68; ku<rie, pro>j ti<na a]peleuso<meqa, Lord, to whom shall we go?



composed of a Present Participle and the Future of the verb

ei]mi< is found occasionally in the New Testament. The force

is that of a Progressive Future, with the thought of continu-

ance or customariness somewhat emphasized.


Luke 5:10; a@nqrw<pouj e@s^ zwgrw?n, thou shalt catch men, i.e. shalt be a

catcher of men.

Luke 21:24;  ]Ierousalh>m e@stai patoume<nh, Jerusalem shall [continue

to] be trodden under foot.


72. Me<llw with the Infinitive is also used with a force

akin to that of the Future Indicative. It is usually employed

of an action which one intends to do, or of that which is

certain, destined to take place.


Matt. 2:13;  me<llei ga>r  [Hr&<dhj zhtei?n to> paidi<on tou? a]pole<sai au]to<,

            for Herod will seek the young child to destroy it.

Luke 9:44;  o[ ga>r ui[o>j tou? a]nqrw<pou me<llei paradi<dosqai ei]j xei<raj

for the Son of man is to be delivered up into the hands of

men. See also Matt. 16:27; 20:22; Acts 5:35; 20:38; Rom. 8:13.

THE PERFECT INDICATIVE.                                 37



73. By the use of the Imperfect of  me<llw with the Infinitive

it is affirmed that at a past point of time an action was about

to take place or was intended or destined to occur.


John 7:39; tou?to de> ei#pen peri> tou? pneu<matoj ou# e@mellon lamba<nein oi[

pisteu<santej ei]j au]to<n, but this spake he of the Spirit which they

that believed on him were to receive. See also Luke 7:2; John 6:71.




74. The Perfect of Completed Action. In its most

frequent use the Perfect Indicative represents an action as

standing at the time of speaking complete. The reference

of the tense is thus double; it implies a past action and

affirms an existing result. HA. 847; G. 1250, 3.


Acts 5:28;  peplhrw<kate th>n  ]Ierousalh>m th?j didaxh?j u[mw?n, ye have

filled Jerusalem with your teaching.

Romans 5:5;  o!ti h[ a]ga<ph tou? qeou? e]kke<xutai e]n tai?j kardi<aij h[mw?n,

because the love of God has been poured forth in our hearts.

2 Tim. 4:7; to>n kalo>n a]gw?na h]gw<nismai, to>n dro<mon tete<leka, th>n

pi<stin teth<rhka, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the

course, I have kept the faith.

REM. On the use of the term complete as a grammatical term, see

85. On the distinction between the Perfect and the Aorist, see 86.


75. The Perfect of Existing State. The Perfect is

sometimes used when the attention is directed wholly to

the present resulting state, the past action of which it is

the result being left out of thought. This usage occurs

most frequently in a few verbs which use the Perfect in

this sense only. HA. 849; G.1263.


Matt. 27:43; pe<poiqen e]pi> to>n qeo<n, he trusteth on God.

1 Cor. 11:2; e]painw? de> u[ma?j, o!ti pa<nta mou? me<mnhsqe, now praise you

that ye remember me in all things.

Luke 24:46; ou!twj ge<graptai, thus it is written, i.e. stands written.

See also Rev. 19:13.

38                                THE TENSES.


76. There is no sharp line of distinction between the Perfect

of Completed Action and the Perfect of Existing State. To

the latter head are to be assigned those instances in which the

past act is practically dropped from thought, and the attention

turned wholly to the existing result; while under the former

head are to be placed those instances in which it is evident

that the writer had in mind both the past act and the present


77. THE INTENSIVE PERFECT. The Perfect is sometimes

used in classical Greek as an emphatic or intensive Present.

It is possible that under this head should be placed certain

Perfects of the New Testament more commonly assigned to

one of the preceding uses. Thus pe<poiqa a practically expresses

the thought of pei<qomai intensified.  Pepi<steuka is also clearly

a stronger way of saying pisteu<w. John 6:69; pepisteu<kamen

kai> e]gnw<kamen o!ti su> ei# o[ a!gioj tou? qeou?, we have believed and know

that thou art the Holy One of God. See also 2 Cor. 1:10.

Whether this usage is in the New Testament a survival of the

ancient intensive use of the Perfect, regarded by some gram-

marians as an original function of the tense (Del. IV. 94 ff.,

Br. 162), or a later development from the Perfect of com-

pleted action, affirming the present existence of the result of

a past act, need not, for the purpose of the interpreter, be


78. Of the Historical Perfect in the sense of a Perfect

which expresses a past completed action, the result of which

the speaker conceives himself to be witnessing (as in the case

of the Historical Present he conceives himself to be witness-

ing the action itself), there is no certain New Testament

instance. Possible instances are Matt. 13: 46; Luke 9:36;

2 Cor. 12:17; Jas. l:24. Cf. Br. 162. This idiom is perhaps

rather rhetorical than strictly grammatical.

THE PERFECT INDICATIVE                                  39


Ke<kragen in John 1:15 is a Perfect expressing a past fact

vividly conceived of as if present to the speaker. But since

the Perfect of the verb had already in classical Greek come to

be recognized as functionally a Present, it is from the point

of view of the current usage a Historical Present rather than

a Historical Perfect. Cf. L. and S. s.v.


79. The Perfect in 1 Cor. 7:39, de<detai, and in 1 John 2:5, tetelei<w-

tai, is probably Gnomic, referring to a state that is wont to exist. If

a]pelh<luqen in Jas. 1:24 is Gnomic, it is with nearly the force of a Gnomic

Present or Aorist. G.MT. 154, 155.


80. THE AORISTIC PERFECT. The Perfect Indicative is

sometimes used in the New Testament of a simple past fact

where it is scarcely possible to suppose that the thought of

existing result was in the writer's mind. See more fully

under 88.


2Cor. 2:13;  ou]k e@sxhka a@nesin t&? pneu<mati< mou t&? mh> eu[rei?n me Ti<ton,

I had no relief for my spirit because I found not Titus.

Rev 8:5;  kai> ei@lhfen o[ a@ggeloj to>n libanwto<n, kai> e]ge<misen au]to<n, and

the angel took the censer, and filled it. See also Matt. 25:6; 2 Cor.

1:9; 7:5; 11:25; Heb.11:28; Rev. 7:14; 19:3.


81. The Perfect Indicative in indirect discourse after a

verb of past time is regularly rendered into English by a

Pluperfect. This involves, however, no special use of the

tense, but results from the regular difference between English

and Greek in the matter of indirect discourse. Cf. 353.


82. When the Perfect Indicative is used of a past event

which is by reason of the context necessarily thought of as

separated from the moment of speaking by an interval, it is

impossible to render it into English adequately. English

idiom forbids the use of the Perfect because of the interval

(present in thought as well as existing in fact) between the

act and the time of speaking, while the English Past tense

40                                            THE TENSES.


fails to express the idea of existing result which the Greek

Perfect conveys. In most of these cases R.V. has attempted

to preserve the sense of the Greek at the expense of the Eng-

lish idiom.

Acts 7:35; tou?ton o[ qeo>j kai> a@rxonta kai> lutrwth>n a]pe<stalken su>n

xeiri> a]gge<lou tou? o]fqe<ntoj au]t&? e]n t^? ba<t&, him did God send

[R. V. hath God sent] to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the hand

of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. See also instances

cited by Weymouth in Theological Monthly, IV. 168 f.; Rom. 16:7,

who also were [ge<geonan, R. V. have been] in Christ before me; John

6:25, R. V. correctly, when camest [ge<gonaj] thou here? Heb. 7:

6, 9; 8:5.


These cases should not be confused with those treated under

80. Here the Greek tense has its normal force, though it can-

not be well rendered by its usual English equivalent. There

the use of the Greek tense is somewhat abnormal.


83. For the Perfect used proleptically, see 50.



Perfects, formed by adding a Perfect Participle to the

Present of the verb ei]mi< are frequent in the New Testament,

about forty instances occurring. In function these forms

more frequently denote existing state, though clear instances

of the Perfect denoting completed action occur. The former

use is illustrated in Luke 20:6; John 2:17; Acts 2:13;

25:10; 2 Cor. 4:3, etc.; the latter in Luke 23:15; Acts

26:26; Heb. 4:2, etc. Cf. 431.


85. It is important to observe that the term "complete"

or "completed" as a grammatical term does not mean ended,

but accomplished, i.e. brought to its appropriate result, which

result remains at the time denoted by the verb. "The Perfect,

although it implies the performance of the action in past time.

yet states only that it stands completed at the present time."

THE PERFECT INDICATIVE                                  41


G. MT. 44. "Das Perf. hatte zwei altuberkommene Funktio-

nen. Einerseits hatte es intensiven, beziehentlich iterativen

Sinn. . . . Anderseits bezeichnete es die Handlung im Zustand

des Vollendet- und Fertigseins." Br. 162.

An action which has ceased may be expressed in Greek by

the Aorist or the Imperfect quite as well as by the Perfect,

provided only the action is thought of apart from any existing

result of it. These tenses are indeed more frequently used

of actions which are complete in the sense of having come to

an end than is the Perfect. See, e.g., Gal. 4:8; to<te me>n . . .

e]douleu<sate toi?j fu<sei mh> ou#si qeoi?j, at that time. . . ye were in

bondage to them which by nature are no gods; and 2 Cor. 7, 8;

ou] metame<lomai: ei] kai> metemelo<mhn, I do not regret it, although

I did regret [was regretting] it. The Perfect, on the other

hand, affirms the existence of the normal result of the action,

and this even though the action itself is still in progress.

See, e.g., the Perfect teth<rhka, in 2 Tim. 4:7, quoted under 74.


86. Since the Aorist and the Perfect both involve reference

to a past event, the Perfect affirming the existence of the

result of the event, and the Aorist affirming the event itself,

without either affirming or denying the existence of the result,

it is evident that whenever the result of the past action does

still exist, either tense may be used, according as the writer

wishes either to affirm the result or merely the event. In

many cases the reason of the choice of one tense rather than

the other is very evident and the distinction clearly marked,

even when in accordance with the principle of 82 both tenses

must be translated by an English Past. See, e.g., 1 Cor. 15:4;

o!ti e]ta<fh, kai> o!ti e]gh<gertai t^? h[me<r% t^? tri<t^, that he was buried,

and that he was raised on the third day. The burial is simply

a past event. Of the resurrection there is an existing result,

prominently before the mind.


42                                THE TENSES.


But there are naturally other cases in which, though each

tense retains its own proper force, the two approximate very

closely, and are used side by side of what seem to be quite

coordinate facts. Instances of this approximation of the two

tenses are especially frequent in the writings of John. See

John 5:36, 38; 1 John 1:1; 4:9, 10; cf. also Acts 6:11

and 15:24.


87. It might be supposed that the Resultative Aorist would

be especially near in force to the Perfect. The distinction is,

however, clearly marked. The Resultative Aorist affirms that

an action attempted in past time was accomplished, saying

nothing about the present result. The Perfect, on the other

hand, belongs to all classes of verbs, not merely to those that

imply attempt, and affirms the existence of the result of the

past action, the occurrence of which it implies.


88. It should be observed that the aoristic use of the Per-

fect (80) is a distinct departure from the strict and proper

sense of the tense in Greek. The beginnings of this departure

are to be seen in classical Greek (G.MT. 46), and in Greek

writers of a time later than the New Testament the tendency

was still further developed, until the sense of difference between

the tenses was lost.

Meantime there grew up a new form of the Perfect, made

as is the English Perfect, of an auxiliary denoting possession

(in Greek e@xw, as in English have) and a participle. This

periphrastic Perfect, traces of which appear even in classical

times (G.MT. 47), at length entirely displaced the simple

Perfect for the expression of completed action, and the process

by which the Perfect had become an Aorist in meaning and

been succeeded in office as a Perfect tense by another form

was complete. See Jebb in Vincent and Dickson, Modern Greek,

pp. 326-330. In the New Testament we see the earlier stages

THE PERFECT INDICATIVE.                                 43


of this process. The Perfect is still, with very few exceptions,

a true Perfect, but it has begun to be an Aorist. In Latin this

process was already complete so far as the assimilation of the

Perfect and the Aorist was concerned; the new Perfect had

not yet appeared. In modern English we see the process at a

point midway between that represented by the Greek of the

New Testament and that which appears in the Latin of about

the same time. Modern German represents about the same

stage as modern English, but a little further advanced.

It should be borne in mind that in determining whether a

given Perfect form is a true Perfect in sense or not, the

proper English translation is no certain criterion, since the

functions of the Perfect tense in the two languages differ so

widely. Cf. 52. The Perfect pepoi<hka in 2 Cor. 11:25 seems

evidently aoristic; that it "goes quite naturally into Eng-

lish" (S. p. 104) does not at all show that it has the usual

force of a Greek Perfect. Many Aorists even go quite natu-

rally and correctly into English Perfects. Cf. 46. The Per-

fects in Luke 9:36; 2 Cor. 12:11; Heb. 1:13 (prose<sxhken);

9:18; 11:28; Rev. 3:3; 5:1 are probably also Aoristic

Perfects, though it is possible that in all these cases the

thought of an existing result is more or less clearly in mind

and gives occasion to the use of the Perfect tense. The

Perfect pe<praken in Matt. 13:46 must be either aoristic or

historical, probably the former (see Sophocles, Glossary, etc.,

82, 4). The evidence seems to show clearly that Matthew

regularly used ge<gona in the sense of an Aorist; some of the

instances cannot, without violence, be otherwise explained, and

all are naturally so explained. Mark's use of the word is pos-

sibly the same, but the evidence is not decisive. All other

writers of the New Testament use the form as a true Perfect.

Still other cases should perhaps be explained as Aoristic

Perfects, but for the reasons mentioned in 86 it is impossible

44                                THE TENSES.


to decide with certainty. While there is clear evidence that

the Perfect tense was in the New Testament sometimes an

Aorist in force, yet it is to be observed that the New Testa-

ment writers had perfect command of the distinction between

the Aorist and the Perfect. The instances of the Perfect in

the sense of the Aorist are confined almost entirely to a few

forms, e@sxhka, ei@lhfa, e[w<raka, ei@rhka, and ge<gona, and the use of

each of these forms in the sense of an Aorist mainly to one

or more writers whose use of it is apparently almost a per-

sonal idiosyncrasy. Thus the aoristic use of ge<gona belongs

to Matt; of ei@lhfa to John in Rev.; of  e@sxhka to Paul; but

see also Heb. 7:13. The idiom is therefore confined within

narrow limits in the New Testament. Cf. Ev. Pet. 23, 31.

2 Cor. 12:9 and 1 John 1:10 are probably true Perfects of

Completed Action, the latter case being explained by v. 8.

John 1:18; 5:37; 8:33; and Heb. 10:9 also probably con-

vey the thought of existing result, though the use of an adverb

of past time serves to give more prominence to the past action

than is usually given by a Perfect tense.


                                    THE PLUPERFECT.


89. The Pluperfect of Completed Action. The Plu-

perfect is used of an action which was complete at a point

of past time implied in the context. HA. 847; G. 1250, 4.


Acts 9:21; kai> w$de ei]j tou?to e]lhlu<qei, and he had come hither for this


John 9:22;  h@dh ga>r sunete<qeinto oi[  ]Ioudai?oi, for the Jews had agreed

already. See also Luke 8: 2; Acts 7: 44; 19: 32.


90. The Pluperfect of Existing State. Verbs which

in the Perfect denote a present state, in the Pluperfect

denote a past state. HA. 849, c; G. 1263.

THE PLUPERFECT.                         45


Luke 4:41; ^@deisan to>n Xristo>n au]to>n ei#nai, they knew that he was the

Christ. See also John 18:16, 18;  Acts 1:10.



phrastic Pluperfect formed by adding the Perfect Participle

to the Imperfect of the verb ei]mi< is somewhat frequent in the

New Testament. In classical Greek this was already the only

form in the third person plural of liquid and mute verbs, and

an occasional form elsewhere. In the New Testament these

periphrastic forms are frequently, but not at all uniformly,

Pluperfects of existing state; about one-third of the whole

number of instances belong to the class of Pluperfects denot-

ing completed action, referring to the past act as well as the

existing result. Cf. G.MT. 45.


Matt. 26:43;  h#san ga>r au]tw?n oi[ o]fqalmoi> bebarhme<noi, for their eyes

were heavy, lit. weighed down.

Luke 2:26; kai> h#n au]t&? kexrhmatisme<non u[po> tou? pneu<matoj tou? a[gi<ou,

and it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit.


92. The ambiguity of the English sometimes renders it

impossible to distinguish in translation between a Pluperfect

of Existing State and an Historical Aorist. Thus in Acts 4:21

and 31 we must, in both cases read were gathered, though the

verb in the former case is an Aorist and refers to an act, and

in the latter a Perfect and refers to a state. Cf. also the two

verbs in Luke 15:24.


93. The simple Future Perfect does not occur in the New

Testament. Respecting Luke 19:40, see B. p. 61; and the

lexicons s.v.


94. A periphrastic Future Perfect, expressing a future

state, occurs in Matt. 16:19; 18:18 ; Luke 12:52 ; Heb.


46                                THE TENSES.




95. The tenses of the dependent moods have in general no

reference to time, but characterize the action of the verb in

respect to its progress only, representing it as in progress,

or completed, or indefinitely, simply as an event. H.A. 851;

G. 1212, 1213; G.MT.85.


96. The Present of the Dependent Moods is used to

represent an action as in progress or as repeated. It may

be altogether timeless, the action being thought of without

reference to the time of its occurrence; or its time, as

past, present, or future, may be involved in the function

of the mood, or may be indicated by the context.


Phil. 3:1; ta> au]ta> gra<fein u[mi?n e]moi> me>n ou]k o]knhro<n, to be writing the

same things to you, to me indeed is not irksome.

Matt. 5:23; e]a>n ou#n prosfe<r^j to> dw?ro<n sou e]pi> to> qusiasth<rion, if

            therefore thou shalt be offering thy gift at the altar.

Mk. 12:33  kai> to> a]gap%?n au]to>n e]c o!lhj kardi<aj . . . perisso<tero<n

e]stin pa<ntwn tw?n o[lokautwma<twn kai> qusiw?n, and to love him with

all the heart. . . is much more than all whole burnt offerings and




tic Present Infinitive, formed by adding a Present Participle

to the Present Infinitive of ei]mi<, and a periphrastic Present

Imperative, formed by adding a Present Participle to the

Present Imperative of ei]mi<, occur rarely in the New Testament.

Luke 9:18; 11:1; Matt. 5:25; Luke 19:11. Cf. 20, and



98. The Aorist of the Dependent Moods represents

the action expressed by the verb as a simple event or fact,

OF THE DEPENDENT MOODS.                47


without reference either to its progress or to the existence

of its result. As in the Indicative the verb may be indefi-

nite, inceptive or resultative (cf. 35), and when indefinite

may refer to a momentary or extended action or to a

series of events (cf. 39).

The time of the action, if indicated at all, is shown, not

by the tense, but by some fact outside of it.


An Aorist Subjunctive after e]a<n, o!tan, e!wj etc. is sometimes properly

translated by a Perfect or Future Perfect, but only because the context

shows that the action is to precede that of the principal verb. In the

great majority of cases a Present Subjunctive or a Future is the best

translation. See examples under 250, 285, 303, 322.


Luke 9:54; ei@pwmen pu?r katabh?nai, shall we bid fire to come down?

John 15:9;  mei<nate e]n t^? a]ga<p^ t^? e]m^?, abide ye in my love.

Luke 17:4; kai> e]a>n e[pta<kij th?j h[me<raj a[marth<s^? ei]j se> . . . a]fh<seij

au]t&?,  and if he sin against thee seven times in the day. . . thou shalt

forgive him.

Acts 15:13; meta> de> to> sigh?sai au]tou>j, a]pekri<qh  ]Ia<kwboj, and after

they had become silent, James answered.

Acts 11:17; e]gw> ti<j h@mhn dunato>j kwlu?sai to>n qeo>n, who was I that I

could withstand God?


REM. Compare the Presents and Aorists in the following examples:


Matt. 6:11; to>n a@rton h[mw?n to>n e]piou<sion do>j h[mi?n sh<meron, give us

this day our daily bread.

Luke 11:3;  to>n a@rton h[mw?n to>n e]piou<sion di<dou h[mi?n to> kaq ]  h[me<ran,

give us day by day our daily bread.

Acts 18:9;  mh> fofou?, a]lla> la<lei kai> mh> siwph<s^j, be not in fear, but

[continue to] speak and hold not thy peace.

Matt. 5:17; ou]k h#lqon katalu?sai a]lla> plhrw?sai, I came not to destroy,

but to fulfil.

John 9:4;  h[ma?j dei? e]rga<zesqai ta> e@rga tou? me<myanto<j me e!wj h[me<ra

e]sti<n, we must work [be doing] the works of him that sent me while

it is day.


99. The Future Optative does not occur in the New Tes-


48                                            THE TENSES.


The Future Infinitive denotes time relatively to the time of

the principal verb. It is thus an exception to the general prin-

ciple of the timelessness of the dependent moods.


Acts 23:30; mhnuqei<shj de< moi e]piboulh?j ei]j to>n a@ndra e@sesqai, and

when it was shown to me that there would be a plot against the man.


100. The Infinitive me<llein with the Infinitive of another

verb dependent on it has the force of a Future Infinitive of the

latter verb. The dependent Infinitive is usually a Present,

sometimes a Future. It is regularly a Future in the New

Testament in the case of the verb ei]mi<.


Acts 28.6; oi[ de> prosedo<kwn au]to>n me<llein pi<mprasqai h} katapi<ptein

a@fnw nekro<n, but they expected that he would swell or fall down sud-

denly. See also Acts 19:27; 27:10, etc.


101. The Perfect of the Dependent Moods is used of

completed action. As in the Indicative, the thought may

be directed both to the action and its result, or only to the

result. The time of the action is indicated, as in the

Present and Aorist, not by the tense but by the context or

by the function of the mood.


Acts 25:25; e]gw> de> katelabo<mhn mhde>n a@cion au]to>n qana<tou pepraxe<nai,

but I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death.

Acts 26:32; a]polelu<sqai e]du<nato o[ a@nqrwpoj ou$toj, this man might have

            been set at liberty.

Mark 4:39; Siw<pa, pefi<mwso, peace, be still.


102. AN INTENSIVE PERFECT may occur in the dependent

moods as in the Indicative.


1 Tim. 6:17; toi?j plhousi<oij e]n t&? nu?n ai]w?ni para<ggelle mh>

            u[yhlogronei?n mhde> h]lpike<nai e]pi> plou<tou a]dhlo<thti,

charge them that are rich in this present world, that they be not high

minded, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches.

OF THE DEPENDENTT MOODS.                          49



Testament as in classical Greek, the Perfect Subjunctive Pas-

sive is formed by adding a Perfect Participle to the Present

Subjunctive of the verb ei]mi<. These forms are in the New

Testament most commonly Perfects of Existing State. John

16:24; 11:19; 2 Cor. 1:9; etc. See also Luke 12:35,

which furnishes an instance of a periphrastic Perfect Impera-

tive, enjoining the maintenance of the state denoted by the

Perfect Participle. Cf. 20 and 431.



The general principle that the tenses of the dependent moods

characterize the action of the verb only as respects progress

and are properly timeless holds also respecting the Infinitive

after prepositions. The Infinitive itself is properly timeless,

though the time-relation is usually suggested by the meaning

of the preposition or by this combined with that which the

tense implies respecting the progress of the action.


105. By meta< with the Infinitive antecedence of the action denoted by

the Infinitive to that denoted by the principal verb is expressed, but this

meaning manifestly lies in the preposition, not in the tense of the verb.

That the Aorist Infinitive is almost constantly used (the Perfect occurs

once, Heb. 10:15) is natural, since in dating one event by another the

latter is usually conceived of simply as an event without reference to its

progress, See Matt. 26:32; Luke 12:5; Acts 1:3; 1 Cor. 11:25, etc.


106. By pro< with the Infinitive antecedence of the action of the prin-

cipal verb to that of the Infinitive is expressed, and the action of the

Infinitive is accordingly relatively future. But here also the time relation

is expressed wholly by the preposition. The reason for the almost uniform

use of the Aorist (the Present ei#nai occurs John 17:5) is the same as in

the case of meta<. See Luke 2:21; 22:15; John 1:48.


107. After ei]j and pro<j the Infinitive usually refers to an action which

is future with respect to the principal verb. This also results from the

meaning of the prepositions, which, expressing purpose or tendency,

necessarily point to an action subsequent to that of the verb which the

50                                            THE TENSES.


prepositional phrase limits. When pro<j means with reference to, the time-

relation is indicated only by the necessary relation of the things spoken

of. See Luke 18:1. All three tenses of the Infinitive occur after ei]j

and both Present and Aorist after pro<j, the difference marked by the tense

being not of time but of progress. See Rom. 12:2; Phil. 1:23; Heb.

11:3; Matt. 6:1; Mark 13:22. Cf. 409-414.

108. After dia< the three Infinitives distinguish the action as respects

the writer's conception of its progress, as continued, completed, or indefi-

nite. Time relations are secondary and suggested. The Aorist Infinitive

occurs only in Matt. 24:12, where to> plhqunqh?nai th<n a]nomi<an apparently

refers to the multiplication of iniquity as a fact of that time without

exclusive reference to its preceding the action of the principal verb. The

Present Infinitive refers to action in progress usually shown by the con-

text to be contemporaneous with the action of the principal verb. See

Matt. 13:5, 6; Acts 12:20; Heb. 10:2; Jas. 4:2. The Perfect Infini-

tive has its usual force, denoting an action standing complete. The time

of the state of completeness appears from the context; it is usually that

of the principal verb. See Acts 8:11; 18:2; 27:9; but cf. Mark 5:4,

where dede<sqai denotes an action whose result was existing, not at the

time of speaking, but at an earlier time. Cf. 408.

109. After e]n we naturally expect to find only the Present Infinitive,

the preposition by its meaning suggesting an action thought of as in

progress; and this is indeed the more common usage. Luke, however,

who uses e]n with the Infinitive far more frequently than all the other New

Testament writers, has e]n with the Aorist Infinitive nine times, and the

same construction occurs in Hebrews twice, and in 1 Corinthians once.

Since the Aorist Infinitive conceives of an action simply as an event with-

out thought of its continuance, it is natural to take e]n with it in the same

sense which the preposition bears with nouns which denote an event rather

than a continued action or state (cf. 98), viz. as marking the time at which

the action expressed by the principal verb takes place. The preposition

in this sense does not seem necessarily to denote exact coincidence, but

in no case expresses antecedence. In 1 Cor. 11:21 and Heb. 3:12 the

action of the Infinitive cannot be antecedent to that of the principal verb;

see also Gen. 19:16. In Luke 9:34 such a relation is very difficult,

and in Luke 14:1 improbable in view of the Imperfect tense following.

In Luke 2:27; 11:37; 19:15 ; 24:30; Acts 11:15, the action denoted

by the Infinitive, strictly speaking, precedes the action of the principal

verb, yet may be thought of by the writer as marking more or less exactly

the time at which the action of the verb takes place. As respects the

OF THE DEPENDENT MOODS.                            51


relation of the action to that of the principal verb, the Aorist Infinitive

after e]n may be compared to the Aorist Indicative after o!te, which simply

marks in general the time of the event denoted by the principal verb,

leaving it to the context to indicate the precise nature of the chronological

relation. See Matt. 12:3; 21:34; 27:31; John 19:6, 30. Similarly

indefinite is the use of the English preposition on with verbal nouns, as,

e.g., On the completion of his twenty-first year he becomes of legal age;

On the arrival of the train the procession will be formed. Luke 3:21

cannot in view of the Aorist tense be rendered, while all the people were

being baptized, nor in view of the preposition e]n, after all the people had

been baptized, but must be understood as affirming that the baptism of

Jesus occurred at the time (in general) of the baptism of all the people.

Luke 9: 36 can only mean, when the voice came, a meaning entirely

appropriate to the context. Cf. 415.



RECT DISCOURSE. The Optative and Infinitive in indirect

discourse preserve the conception of the action as respects

progress which belonged to the direct discourse. The Present

Optative and Infinitive represent tense forms which in the

direct discourse denoted action in progress. Similarly the

Aorist of these moods represents forms which expressed action

indefinitely, and the Perfect stands for forms denoting com-

pleted action. The Future represents a Future Indicative of

the direct discourse. In the majority of cases each tense of

the Optative or Infinitive in indirect discourse stands for the

same tense of the Indicative or Subjunctive of the direct form.

Yet it is doubtful whether, strictly speaking, the dependent

moods in indirect discourse express time-relations. The cor-

respondence of tenses probably rather results from the neces-

sity of preserving the original conception of the action as

respects its progress, and the time-relation is conveyed by the

context rather than by the tense of the verb.


REM. Cf. Br. 161. "Der opt. und inf. aor. von vergangenen Hand-

lungen als Vertreter des ind. aor. in der or. obl. entbehrten ebenso wie opt.

und inf. praes. (§ 158) des Ausdrucks der Zeitbeziehung, die nur aus der

52                                            THE TENSES.


Natur der in der Rede in Verbindung gebrachten Verbalbegriffe oder aus

der ganzen in Rede stehenden Situation erkannt wurde." Cf. G.MT.

85, contra.


111. The Present Optative in indirect discourse in the New

Testament usually represents the Present Indicative of the

direct form. Luke 1:29; 3:15; Acts 11:11; etc. In Acts

25:16, it stands for a Present Subjunctive of the direct form.

The Optative with a@n is taken unchanged from the direct dis-

course. Luke 1:62; 6:11; etc. The Aorist Optative occurs

in indirect discourse only in Acts 25:16, where it represents

a Subjunctive of the direct form referring to the future.

Neither the Perfect Optative nor the Future Optative occurs in

the New Testament.


112. The Present Infinitive in indirect discourse in the

New Testament stands for the Present Indicative of the direct

form. Matt. 22:23; Luke 11:18; 20:41; Acts 4:32; 1 Cor.

1:36; 1 John 2:9. Similarly the Perfect Infinitive rep-

resents the Perfect Indicative of the direct discourse. Luke

22:34; John 12:29; Acts 14:19; 2 Tim. 2:18. The Pres-

ent Infinitive as the representative of the Imperfect, and the

Perfect Infinitive as the representative of the Pluperfect

(G. MT. 119, 123) apparently do not occur in the New Testa-

ment. The Future Infinitive is, as stated above (99), an

exception to the general rule of the timelessness of the de-

pendent moods. It represents a Future Indicative of the

direct form. John 21:25; Acts 23:30; Heb. 3:18.


113. The Aorist Infinitive occurs in the New Testament,

as in classical Greek, as a regular construction after verbs

signifying to hope, to promise, to swear, to command, etc. In

this case the action denoted by the Aorist Infinitive is, by the

nature of the case, future with reference to that of the princi-

OF THE PARTICIPLE                                  53


pal verb, but this time-relation is not expressed by the tense.

The Aorist Infinitive is here as elsewhere timeless. These

instances, though closely akin in force to those of indirect

discourse, are not usually included under that head. Cf.



114. The Aorist Infinitive referring to what is future with

t reference to the principal verb also occurs in a few instances

after verbs of assertion. These must be accounted cases in

which the Aorist Infinitive in indirect discourse is timeless.


Luke 24:46; o!ti ou!twj ge<graptai paqei?n to>n xristo>n kai> a]nasth?nai e]k

nekrw?n t^? tri<t^ h[me<r%, thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer,

and rise again from the dead the third day. See also Luke 2:26;

Acts 3:18. Cf. Hom. Od. 2. 171, fhmi> teleuthqh?nai a!panta, the

accomplishment being still future (Carter in Cl. Rev. Feb. 1891,

p. 5). Plat. Euthyd. 278, C. e]fa<thn e]pidei<casqai th>n protreptikh>n

sofi<an, they said that they would give a sample of the hortatory


Protag. 316 C. tou?to de> oi@etai< oi[ ma<lista gene<sqai, ei] soi>

cugge<noito, and he supposes that he would be most likely to attain this if he should associate with you; and other examples in Riddell, Digest of Platonic Idioms, § 81; also in G.MT. 127.


There is apparently no instance in the New Testament of

the Aorist Infinitive in indirect discourse representing the

Aorist Indicative of the direct form. Cf. 390.




115. The participle is a verbal adjective, sharing in part

the characteristics of both the verb and the adjective; it de-

scribes its subject as a doer of the action denoted by the verb.

For the proper understanding of a participle three things must

be observed:

(a) The grammatical agreement.

(b) The use of the tense.

(c) The modal significance, or logical force.

54                                THE TENSES.


116. In grammatical agreement, a participle follows the

rule for adjectives, agreeing with its noun or pronoun in gen-

der, number, and case.


117. The logical force of the participle, usually the most

important consideration from the point of view of interpreta-

tion, will be treated at a later point. See 419 ff. The matter

now under consideration is the significance of the tense of a



118. The tenses of the participle, like those of the other

dependent moods, do not, in general, in themselves denote time.

To this general rule the Future Participle is the leading ex-

ception, its functions being such as necessarily to express time-

relations. The fundamental distinguishing mark of each of

the other tenses is the same for the participle as for the

dependent moods in general. The Present denotes action in

progress; the Aorist, action conceived of indefinitely; the

Perfect, completed action. These distinctions, however, im-

pose certain limitations upon the classes of events which may

be expressed by the participle of each tense, and thus indirectly

and to a limited extent, the tense of the participle is an indica-

tion of the time-relation of the event denoted by it. Since for

purposes of interpretation it is often needful to define the

time-relation of an event expressed by the participle, it becomes

expedient to treat the tenses of the participle apart from

those of the dependent moods in general.




119. The Present Participle of Simultaneous Action.

The Present Participle most frequently denotes an action

in progress, simultaneous with the action of the principal

verb. HA. 856; G. 1288.

THE PRESENT PARTICIPLE.                                 55


Mark 16:20; e]kei?noi de> e]celqo<ntej e]kh<rucan pantaxou?, tou? kuri<ou

sunergou?ntoj, and they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord

working with them.

Acts 10:44;  e@ti lalou?ntoj tou? Pe<trou ta> r[h<mata tau?ta e]pe<pese to>

pneu?ma to> a!gion e]pi> pa<ntaj tou>j a]kou<ontaj to>n lo<gon, while Peter

was yet speaking these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which

heard the word.


REM. The action of the verb and that of the participle may be of the

same extent (Mark 16:20), but are not necessarily so. Oftener the

action of the verb falls within the period covered by the participle (Acts


Even a subsequent action is occasionally expressed by a Present

Participle, which in this case stands after the verb. Cf. 145.


Acts 19:9; a]fw<risen tou>j maqhta>j, kaq ] h[me<ran dialego<menoj e]n t^?

sxol^? Tura<nnou, he separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the

school of Tyrannus. See also Acts 17:13; 18:23.


120. The Present Participle of Identical Action.

The Present Participle not infrequently denotes the same

action which is expressed by the verb of the clause in

which it stands.


John 6:6; tou?to de> e@legen peira<zwn au]to<n, and this he said trying him.

See also Matt. 27:41; John 21:19; Acts 9:22; Gal. 3:23.


121. The verb and the participle of identical action, though

denoting the same action, usually describe it from a different

point of view. The relation between the different points of

view varies greatly. It may be the relation of fact to method,

as in Acts 9:22; 15:24, 29; of outward form to inner sig-

nificance or quality, as in Luke 22:65; or of act to purpose

or result, as in Matt. 16:1; John 6:6.


122. A Present Participle of Identical Action, since it de-

notes action in progress, most naturally accompanies a verb

denoting action in progress. Sometimes, however, a Pres-

ent Participle accompanies an Aorist verb denoting the same

56                                THE TENSES.


action; regularly so in the phrase a]pekri<nato (a]pekri<qh) le<gwn;

see Mark 15:9; Luke 3:16; John 1:26; etc.


Acts 15:24; e]ta<racan u[ma?j lo<goij a]naskeua<zontej ta>j yuxa>j u[mw?n,

they have troubled you with words, subverting your souls. See also

Acts 1:3; 22:4; Gen. 43:6.


Similarly a Present Participle representing the action as in

progress, may accompany an Aoristic Future, which conceives

of it simply as an event. Acts 15:29; 1 Macc. 12:22.


123. The General Present Participle. The Present

Participle is also used without reference to time or prog-

ress, simply defining its subject as belonging to a certain

class, i.e. the class of those who do the action denoted

by the verb. The participle in this case becomes a simple

adjective or noun and is, like any other adjective or noun,

timeless and indefinite. B. pp. 296 f.; WM. p. 444; WT.

p. 353.

Acts 10:22; Kornh<lioj e[katonta<rxhj, a]nh>r di<kaioj kai> fobou<menoj

to>n qeo<n, Cornelius a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man.

Mark 5:16; pw?j e]ge<neto t&? daimonizome<n&, what had happened to the


Ga1. 6:6;  koiwnei<tw de> o[ kathxou<menoj to>n lo<gon t&? kathxou?nti e]n

pa?sin a]gaqoi?j, but let him that is taught in the word communicate to

him that teacheth in all good things.


124. A class may consist of those who habitually or con-

stantly do a given act, or of those who once do the act the

single doing of which is the mark of the class. The former

case is illustrated in Matt. 5:6; the latter in Rev. 14:13.


Matt. 5:6; maka<rioi oi[ peinw?ntej kai> diyw?ntej th>n dikaiosu<nhn, blessed

            are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Rev. 14:13;  maka<rioi oi[ nekroi> oi[ e]n kuri<& a]poqnh<skontej, blessed are

the dead which die in the Lord. See also Matt. 7:13.

THE PRESENT PARTICIPLE.                                 57


In the first class of cases the Present Participle only can be

used; in the second class either an Aorist (as in Matt. 23:20;

26:52; John 16:2, et al.) or a Present may occur, and that,

either in the plural designating the class as such, or in the

singular designating an individual of the class.


Thus panti> a]nqrw<p& peritemnome<n& (Gal. 5:3; cf. 6:13) does not mean, to every man that is wont to be circumcised, but, to every man that is

circumcised, i.e. that receives circumcision (R. V., correctly though not

literally). So also in Heb. 5:1 lambano<menoj does not mean, one that is

wont to be taken, but, that is taken. Being once taken is the mark of the

class here referred to, as being once circumcised is the mark of the class

referred to in Gal. 5:3. The customariness applies not to the action of

the individual member of the class, but to that of the class as a whole; as

in Heb. 5:1, the Present Indicative kaqi<statai may be rendered, is wont

to be appointed, not in the sense, each one is wont to be [repeatedly]

appointed, but, it is wont to happen to each that he is appointed. Cf. 125.

In Luke 16:18 pa?j o[ a]polu<wn means not, everyone that is wont to

divorce, still less, every one that has divorced, but, every one that divorces.


125. Through the ambiguity of the English Passive form,

such Present Participles as those just referred to (124) are

easily taken by the English interpreter as equivalent to Per-

fect Participles, but always to the greater or less distortion of,

the meaning of the passage.1

Thus in Gal. 5:3 (see 124) peritemnome<n& not equivalent to a Perfect.

every circumcised man. The apostle is not speaking of circumcision as

an accomplished fact, but of becoming circumcised. Similarly Heb. 5:1

refers not to one that has been taken (German: ist genommen worden),

but that is taken (German: wird genommen). In Heb. 5:4 kalou<menoj

is one that is (not, has been) called. In Luke 13:23, ei] o]li<goi oi[


1 This ambiguity of the English may be illustrated by the form is

written. In the sentence, It is written in your law, etc., is written is a

Perfect of Existing State, and is expressed by the Greek Perfect ge<graptai.

The German would be ist geschrieben. In the sentence, The name of each

 scholar is written in the register as he enters the school, the same form

is a Present of customary action, and would be expressed in Greek by

gra<fetai, and in German by wird geschrieben.

58                                            THE TENSES.


swzo<menoi, the participle is undoubtedly a General Present, the inquiry

being neither on the one hand as to the number of those that are already

saved (Perfect of Existing State) or that have been saved (Perfect of Com-

pleted Action) nor, on the other, with reference to those that are being

saved (Progressive Present of Simultaneous Action), but with reference

to those that are [i.e. become] saved. Cf. Luther's version, meinst du,

dass wenige selig werden? and Weizsacker's, sind es wenige, die gerettet


The same participle in Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15, may

be understood in the same way, and be rendered, we that are (in the sense

we that become) saved, or may be taken as in R. V. as a Progressive

Present of Simultaneous Action. It cannot mean the saved in the sense

of those that have been saved. The statement of Dr. T. W. Chambers in

J.B.L. June 1886, p. 40, that "the passive participle of the present tense

in Greek is often, if not generally, used to express a completed action,"

is wholly incorrect, and derives all its verisimilitude from the ambiguity

of the English Passive forms.


126. A General Present Participle sometimes occurs in the singular

when the person to whom it refers constitutes the class designated. This

limitation of the phrase to an individual is accomplished, however, not by

the participle, but by its limitations. John 13:11, to>n paradido<nta au]to<n

probably means simply his betrayer. The participle paradidou<j alone

designates anyone belonging to the class of betrayers. It is the addition

of the article and an object that restrict the participle to one person.


127. The Present Participle for the Imperfect. The

Present Participle is also sometimes used as an Imperfect

to denote a continued action antecedent to that of the

principal verb. H.A. 856, a; G.1289; G.MT.140.


Matt. 2:20; teqnh<kasin ga>r oi[ zhtou?ntej th>n yuxh>n tou? paidi<ou, for

they are dead that were seeking the young child's life. See also

John 12:17; Acts 4:34 (cf. v. 37); 10:7; Gal. 1:23.


128. The following uses of the Present Participle are

closely analogous to the uses of the Present Indicative already

described under similar names. They are of somewhat infre-

quent occurrence in the New Testament.

THE AORIST P ARTIOIPLE.                                   59




Matt. 23:13 (WH. et al., 14); ou]de> tou>j ei]serxome<nouj a]fi<ete ei]selqei?n,

            neither suffer ye them that are entering in to enter. See also Acts



130. (b) THE PRESENT FOR THE FUTURE, the action de-

noted being thought of as future with reference to the time of

the principal verb.


Acts 21:3;  e]kei?se ga>r to> ploi?on h#n a]pofortizo<menon to>n go<mon, for

there the ship was to unlade her burden.



the action denoted beginning before the action of the principal

verb and continuing in progress at the time denoted by the



Act 9:33; eu$ren de> e]kei? a@nqrwpo<n tina o]no<mati  Ai]ne<an e]c e]tw?n o]ktw>

katakei<menon e]pi> kraba<ttou, and there he found a certain man named

AEneas, who had been lying on a bed eight years. See also Matt.

9:20; Mark 5:25; Luke 8:43; John 5:5; Acts 24:10.




132. The general statement made under 118, that the

tenses of the participle do not in general in themselves denote

time, applies also to the Aorist Participle. It is very impor-

tant for the right interpretation of the Aorist Participle that

it be borne in mind that the proper and leading function of the

tense is not to express time, but to mark the fact that the

action of the verb .is conceived of indefinitely, as a simple

event. The assumption that the Aorist Participle properly

denotes past time, from the point of view either of the speaker

or of the principal verb, leads to constant misinterpretation of

the form. The action denoted by the Aorist Participle may

be past, present, or future with reference to the speaker, and

60                                THE TENSES.


antecedent to, coincident with, or subsequent to, the action of

the principal verb. The Aorist Participle, like the participles

of the other tenses, may be most simply thought of as a noun

or adjective, the designation of one who performs the action

denoted by the verb, and like any other noun or adjective

timeless. The distinction of the Aorist Participle is not that

it expresses a different time-relation from that expressed by

the Present or Perfect, but that it conceives of the action de-

noted by it, not as in progress (Present), nor as an existing

result (Perfect), but as a simple fact. Such an adjective or

noun will not ordinarily be used if contemporaneousness

with the action of the principal verb is distinctly in mind,

since contemporaneousness suggests action in progress, and

action in progress is expressed, not by the Aorist, but by

the Present tense. Nor will it be used when the mind

distinctly contemplates the existence of the result of the

action, it being the function, not of the Aorist, but of

the Perfect, to express existing result. Nor, again, will

the Aorist noun be used if the writer desires distinctly

to indicate that the doer of the action will perform it in

time subsequent to that of the principal verb, the Aorist be-

ing incapable in itself of suggesting subsequence or futurity.

But, when these cases have been excluded, there remains a

considerable variety of relations to which the Aorist is appli-

cable, the common mark of them all being that the action

denoted by the participle is thought of simply as an event.

Among these various relations the case of action antecedent

to that of the principal verb furnishes the largest number

of instances. It is thus, numerically considered, the leading

use of the Aorist Participle, and this fact has even to some

extent reacted on the meaning of the tense, so that there is

associated with the tense as a secondary, acquired, and wholly

subordinate characteristic a certain suggestion of antecedence.

THE AORIST PARTICIPLE.                                    61


Yet this use is no more than the other uses a primary function

of the tense, nor did it ever displace the others, or force them

into a position of subordination or abnormality. The instances

in which the action denoted by the participle is not antecedent

to the action of the principal verb are as normal as that in

which it is so, and were evidently so recognized alike in clas-

sical and in New Testament Greek. The Aorist Participle of

Antecedent Action does not denote antecedence; it is used of

antecedent action, where antecedence is implied, not by the

Aorist tense as a tense of past time, but in some other way.

The same principle holds respecting all the uses of this tense.

The following section (133) is accordingly a definition of the

constant function of the Aorist Participle, while 134, 139, and

142 enumerate the classes of events with reference to which it

may be used.


REM. Compare the following statements of modern grammarians:

“Since the participle, like the other non-augmented forms of the

aorist, has nothing whatever to do with the denotation of past time, and

since time previous to a point in past time is not the less a kind of past

time, we do not here understand at once how the participle became used

in this sense. But the enigma is solved when we examine the nature of

the aorist and participle. The latter, an adjective in origin, fixes one

action in relation to another. The action which is denoted by the finite

verb is the principal one. When the secondary action continues side by

side with the principal action, it must stand [paratatikw?j] in the participle

of the present; if, again, referred to the future, the proper sign of the

future is needed; and similarly, the perfect participle serves to express

an action regarded as complete in reference to the principal action. If,

however, it is intended to denote the secondary action without any

reference to continuousness and completion and futurity, but merely

as a point or moment, the aorist participle alone remains for this

purpose. We indeed, by a sort of necessity, regard a point which

is fixed in reference to another action as prior to it, but, strictly

speaking, this notion of priority in past time is not signified by the

aorist participle."--Curtius, Elucidations of the Student's Greek Gram-

mar, pp. 216 f.

62                                THE TENSES.


"An und fur sich bezeichnet das aoristische Particip ebenso wenig als

irgend eine andere aoristische Form ausser dem Indicativ, der in seinem

Augment ein deutliches Merkmal der Vergangenheit hat, etwas Vergan-

genes. Das Particip des kurzesten und von uns genauer betrachteten

Aorists, dessen Stamm eben nur die Verbalgrundiorm selbst ist, ist also

nur Particip an und fur sich, das heisst es bezeichnet eine Handlung, mit

der noch kein Satz als abgeschlossen gedacht werden soll; im Uebrigen

liegt sein Characteristisches fur uns nur darin, dass es als aoristisches

Particip nicht wie das prasentische Particip auch die Bedeutung der

Dauer in sich enthalt, sondern etwas bezeichnet, bei dell die Zeitdauer,

die es in Anspruch genommen, nicht weiter in Frage kommen, oder das

uberhaupt nur als ganz kurze Zeit dauernd bezeichnet werden soll."

--Leo Meyer, Griechische Aoriste, pp. 124,125.

"In satzen wie e]peidh> ei#pen, a]p^<ei; ei]pw>n tau?ta a]p^?ei; e]a<n ti fa<gwsin, a]nasth<sonati (Xen. An. IV. 5, 8) erschien die syntaktisch untergeordnete aoristische Handlung gegenuber dem anderen Vorgang darum als verganngen, weil die beiden Handlungen sachlich verschieden waren. Das Bedeu-

tungsmoment der ungeteilten Vollstandigkeit und Abgeschlossenheit der

Handlung liess die Vorstellung, dass die Haupthandlung in den Verlauf

der Nebenhandlung hineinfalle und neben ihr hergehe (Gleichzeitigkeit),

nicht zu. Die Vorstellung der Vergangenheit in Bezug auf das Haupt-

verbum war also nicht durch die Aoristform an sich, sondern durch die

besondere Natur der beiden Verbalbegriffe, die zu einander in Beziehung

gesetzt wurden, gegeben. Man erkennt diesen Sachverhalt am besten

durch Vergleichung mit Satzen wie E 98, kai> ba<l ] e]pei~ssonta tuxw>n kata>

decio>n w#mon, Herod. 5, 24, eu# e]poi<hsaj a]piko<menoj, Xen. An. I. 3, 17, bou-

loi<mhn d ] a}n a@kontoj a]piw>n Ku<rou laqei?n au]to>n a]pelqw<n, Thuk. 6, 4,

e@tesi de> e]ggu<tata o]ktw> kai> e[kato>n meta> th>n sfete<ran oi@kisin Gel&?oi  ]Akra<ganta &@kisan, th>n me>n po<lin a]po> tou?  ]Akra<gontoj potamou? o]noma<santej, oi]kista>j de> poih<santej  ]Aristo<noun kai> Pusti<lon, no<mima de> ta> Gel&<wn do<ntej, wo die Vorstellung einer Zeitverschiedenheit darum nicht entstehen konnte, weil es sich um ein und denselben Vorgang handelte und das Partizip oder die Partizipien nur eine, beziehungsweise mehrere besondere Seiten der Handlung des regierenden Verbums zum Ausdruck brachten." Br. 161.


133. The Aorist Participle is used of an action con-

ceived of as a simple event.

It may be used with reference to an action or event in

its entirety (indefinite), or with reference to the inception

THE AORIST PARTICIPLE.                                    63


of a state (inceptive), or with reference to the accomplish-

ment of an attempt (resultative). When indefinite it may

be used of momentary or extended actions or of a series of

events. Cf. 35, and 39, and see examples below.


134. The Aorist Participle of Antecedent Action.

The Aorist Participle is most frequently used of an action

antecedent in time to the action of the principal verb.


Matt. 4:2; kai> nhsteu<saj h[me<raj tessera<konta kai> nu<ktaj tessera<-

konta u!steron e]pei<nasen, and having fasted forty days and forty

nights, he afterward hungered.

Mark 1:31; h@geiren au]th>n krath<saj th?j xeiro<j, and taking her by the

            hand he raised her up.

John 5:13; o[ de> i]aqei>j ou]k ^@dei ti<j e]stin, but he that had been healed

            wist not who it was.

Acts 14:19; kai> pei<santej tou>j o@xlouj kai> liqa<santej to>n Pau?lon,

e@suron e@cw th?j po<lewj, and having persuaded the multitudes they

stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city.

Acts 27:13; do<cantej th?j proqe<sewj kekrathke<nai a@rantej a#sson

parele<gonto th>n Krh<thn, supposing that they had obtained their pur-

pose, they weighed anchor, and sailed along Crete.

Rom. 5:1; dikaiwqe<ntej ou#n e]k pi<stewj ei]rh<nhn e@xwmen pro>j to>n qeo<n,

having therefore been justified by faith, let us have peace with God.

1 Cor. 1:4; eu]xaristw? t&? qe&? . . . e]pi> t^? xa<riti tou? qeou? t^? doqei<s^

u[mi?n, I thank God. . . for the grace of God which was given you.

Col 1:3, 4;  eu]xaristou?men t&? qe&? . . . a]kou<santej th>n pi<stin u[mw?n,

we give thanks to God. . . having heard of your faith.

2 Tim. 4:11; Ma<rkon a]nalabw>n a@ge meta> seautou?, take Mark and

            bring him with thee.


135. The Aorist Participle of Antecedent Action is fre-

quently used attributively as the equivalent of a relative

clause; in this case it usually has the article, and its position

is determined by the same considerations which govern the

position of any other noun or adjective in similar construction.

See John 5:13; 1 Cor. 1:4, above.

64                                THE TENSES.


136. It is still more frequently used adverbially and is

equivalent to an adverbial clause or coordinate verb with and;

in this case the article does not occur, and the participle

usually precedes the verb, but sometimes follows it. See

Rom. 5:1; and Col. 1:3, 4 (134).


137. In some instances of the Aorist Participle of Ante-

cedent Action, it is the inception of the action only which pre-

cedes the action of the principal verb. And this occurs not

only in verbs of state (cf. 35, and see Mark 5:33; Acts 23:1),

but also in verbs of action; which in the Indicative are not

inceptive. Acts 27:13 (134); 13:27; 2 Tim. 4:10.


138. The Aorist Participle of Antecedent Action is by no

means always best translated into English by the so-called

Perfect Participle. The English Present Participle is very

frequently placed before a verb to express an antecedent ac-

tion, and that, too, without implying that the action is thought

of as in progress. It is accordingly in many cases the best

translation of an Aorist Participle. See Mark 1:31 (134);

also Mark 5:36; Acts 13:16, R.Y. Frequently also the

Aorist Participle of the Greek is best reproduced in English

by a finite verb with and. See Acts 14:19; 27:13; 2 Tim.

4:11 (134); also Luke 21:1; Acts 21:1; Acts 10:23, R.Y.


139. The Aorist Participle of Identical Action. The

Aorist Participle agreeing with the subject of a verb not

infrequently denotes the same action that is expressed

by the verb. HA. 856, b; G. 1290; G .MT. 150.


Matt. 27:4; h!marton paradou>j ai$ma di<kaion, I sinned in that I betrayed

innocent blood.

Acts 10:33; su< te kalw?j e]poi<hsaj parageno<menoj, and thou hast well

done that thou hast come. See also Matt. 19:27 (and the numerous

instances of the phrase a]pokriqei>j ei#pen); Acts 27:3; 1 Cor. 15:18;

Eph. 1:9; Heb. 7:27; Gen. 43:5.

THE AORIST PARTICIPLE.                                    65


140. The verb and the participle of identical action, though

denoting the same action, usually describe it from a different

point of view.  Respecting this difference in point of view,

see 121.


141. An Aorist Participle of Identical Action most fre-

quently accompanies an Aorist verb, both verb and participle

thus describing the action indefinitely as a simple event. It

occurs also with the Future, with which as an aoristic tense

it is entirely appropriate (Luke 9:25; 3 John 6), with the

Present and Imperfect (Mark 8:29; Acts 7:26), and with the

Perfect (Acts 13:33; 1 Sam. 12:19).


142. The Aorist Participle used attributively as the equiva-

lent of a relative clause sometimes refers to an action subse-

quent to that of the principal verb, though antecedent to the

time of the speaker. Instances occur both in classical Greek

(see G.MT. 152; Carter and Humphreys in Cl. Rev. Feb. 1891)

and in the New Testament.


Acts 1:16; h{n proei?pe to> pneu?ma to> a!gion dia> sto<matoj Dauei>d peri>

]Iou<da tou? genome<nou o[dhgou? toi?j sullabou?sin  ]Ihsou?n, which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas who be-

came guide to them that took Jesus. See also Matt. 10:4; 11:21;

John 11:2; Col. 1:8.


143. It should be clearly observed that the participle in

these cases does not by its tense denote either antecedence to

the time of speaking or subsequence to that of the principal

verb. The participle is properly timeless, and the time-rela-

tions are learned from the context or outside sources.


144. Whether the Aorist Participle used adverbially, as the

equivalent of an adverbial or coordinate clause, ever refers to

an action subsequent to that of the principal verb is more

difficult to determine. No certain instance has been observed

in classical Greek, though several possible ones occur. See

66                                THE TENSES.


Dem. XIX. (F.L.) 255 (423) cited by Carter, and Thuc. II.

49. 2, cited by Humphreys, in Cl. Rev. Feb. 1891. See also

Rom. n. E. 369; N. 35, and Pindar, Pyth. IV. 189.


145. The New Testament furnishes one almost indubitable

instance of an Aorist Participle so used if we accept the best

attested text.


Acts 25:13,  ]Agri<ppaj o[ basileu>j kai> Berni<kh kath<nthsan ei]j Kaisa-

ri<an a]spasa<menoi to>n Fh?ston, Agrippa the King and Bernice arrived

at Cresarea and saluted Festus.


The doubt concerning the text rests not on the insufficiency

of the documentary evidence, but on the rarity of this use of

the participle. Cf. Hort in WH II. App. p. 100. "The

authority for –a<menoi is absolutely overwhelming, and as a

matter of transmission –o<menoi can only be a correction. Yet

it is difficult to remain satisfied that there is no prior corrup-

tion of some kind." With this case should also be compared

Acts 16:23; 22:24; 23:35; 24:23, where the participle,

which is without the article and follows the verb, is most

naturally interpreted as referring to an action subsequent in

thought and fact to that of the verb which it follows, and

equivalent to kai< with a coordinate verb. These instances are

perhaps due to Aramaic influence. See Ka. § 76. d; and cf.

Dan. 2:26, 27; 3:13, 24, 26, 27, etc.


In Rom. 4:19, kai> mh> a]sqenh<saj t^? pi<stei kateno<hsen to> e[autou? sw?ma [h@dh] bebejrwme<non, the participle a]sqenh<saj, though preceding the verb, is naturally interpreted as referring to a (conceived) result of the action

denoted by kateno<hsen. It is in that case an inceptive Aorist Participle

denoting a subsequent action. Its position is doubtless due to the

emphasis laid upon it. In Heb. 9:12 the symmetry of the figure is best

preserved if eu[ra<menoj is thought of as referring to an action subsequent to

that of ei]sh?lqen. But it is possible that ei]sh?lqen is used to describe the

whole highpriestly act, including both the entrance into the holy place and

the subsequent offering of the blood, and that eu[ra<menoj is thus a participle

of identical action. In either case it should be translated not having

PARTICIPLE.                                    67


obtained as in R. V., but obtaining or and obtained. In Phil. 2:7 geno<menoj

is related to labw<n as a participle of identical action; the relation of labw<n

to e]ke<nwsen is less certain. It may denote the same action as e]ke<nwsen

viewed from the opposite point of view (identical action), or may be

thought of as an additional fact (subsequent action) to e]ke<nwsen. In Rom.

4:21 the participles dou<j and plhroforhqei<j may be understood as together

defining e]nedunamw<qh t^? pi<stei, though dou<j is strictly subsequent to e]nedunamw<qh.  Somewhat similar is 1 Pet. 3:18, where zwopoihqei<j is clearly

subsequent to a]pe<qanen [or e@paqen], but is probably to be taken together with

qanatwqei<j as defining the whole of the preceding clause Xristo>j a!pac peri>

a[martiw?n a]pe<qanen, di<kaioj u[pe>r a]di<kwn, i!na u[ma?j prosaga<g^ t&? qe&?.


            146. The Aorist Participle used as an integral part of the

object of a verb of perception represents the action which it

denotes as a simple event without defining its time. The ac-

tion may be one which is directly perceived and hence coinci-

dent in time with that of the principal verb, or it may be one

which is ascertained or learned, and hence antecedent to the

action of the principal verb. In the latter case it takes the

place of a clause of indirect discourse having its verb in

the Aorist Indicative.


Acts 9:12; kai> ei#den a@ndra . . . [Anani<an o]no<mati ei]selqo<nta kai> e]pi-

qe<nta au]t&? xei?raj, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in

and lay hands upon him. See also Luke 10:18; Acts 10:3; 11:3;

26:13; 2 Pet. 1:18.

Luke 4:23; o!sa h]kou<samen geno<mena, whatever things we have heard

            to have been done.


147. The Aorist Participle with lanqa<nw denotes the same

time as the principal verb. It occurs but once in the New

Testament (Heb. 13:2), the similar construction with fqa<nw

and tugxa<nw, not at all. HA. 856, b; G. 1290.


148. The categories named above, Aorist Participle of An-

tecedent Action, of Identical Action, etc., which, it must be

remembered, represent, not diverse functions of the tense, but

only classes of cases for which the Aorist Participle may be


68                                THE TENSES.


used, do not include absolutely all the instances. There are,

for example, cases in which the time-relation of the action of

the participle to that of the verb is left undefined. John

16:2, o[ a]poktei<naj [u[ma?j] do<c^ latrei<an prosfe<rein t&? qe&?, means,

every slayer of you will think, etc. Whether he will have such

thought before he shall slay, when he slays, or after he shall

have slain, is not at all defined. Cf. Gen. 4:15.


149. Very rarely also the Aorist Participle used adverbially

refers to an action evidently in a general way coincident in

time with the action of the verb, yet not identical with it.


Heb. 2:10; e@prepen ga>r au]t&?, di ] o{n ta> pa<nta kai> di ] ou$ ta> pa<nta,

pollou>j ui[o>j ei]j do<can a]gago<nta to>n a]rxhgo>n th?j swthri<aj

au]tw?n dia> paqhma<twn teleiw?sai, for it became him, for whom are all

things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory,

to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. The

participle a]gago<nta is neither antecedent nor subsequent to teleiw?-

sai, nor yet strictly identical with it. Nearly the same thought

might be expressed in English by when he brought or in bringing,

and in Greek by o!te h@gagen or e]n t&? a]gagei?n (cf. 109).


The choice of the Aorist Participle rather than the Present

in such cases is due to the fact that the action is thought of,

not as in progress, but as a simple event or fact. Concerning

a similar use of the Aorist Participle in Homer, see Leo Meyer,

Griechische Aoriste, p. 125; T. D. Seymour in T.A.P.A., 1881,

pp. 89, 94. The rarity of these instances is due not to any

abnormality in such a use of the tense, but to the fact that

an action, temporally coincident with another and subordinate

to it (and not simply the same action viewed from a different

point of view), is naturally thought of as in progress, and

hence is expressed by a Present Participle. Cf. exx. under 119.


150. As an aid to interpretation it may be observed that the Aorist

Participle with the article may sometimes be used instead of a relative

THE AORIST PARTICIPLE.                                    69


clause with the Aorist Indicative, sometimes instead of such a clause with

the verb in the Aorist Subjunctive.1 But it should not be supposed that

from the point of view of the Greek language these were two distinct

functions of the Aorist Participle. The phrase o{j e@labe referred in Greek

to past time, o{j a}n la<b^ to present or future time. It is not probable that

in the mind of a Greek o[ labw<n was the precise equivalent of both of

these, standing alternately for the one or the other, so that when he wrote

o[ labw<n he sometimes thought o{j e@labe, sometimes o}j a}n la<b^. The fact is

doubtless rather that the Aorist Participle was always, strictly speaking,

timeless, and that o[ labw<n meant simply the receiver, the act of receiving

being thought of as a simple fact without reference to progress. Thus for

o[ labw<n in Matt. 25:16 o{j e@labe might have stood, and it may be trans-

lated, he that received; while for o[ o]mo<saj in Matt. 23:20 o{j a}n o]mo<s^

might have stood, and it may be translated, whoever sweareth; and for

o[ u[pomei<naj in Matt. 24:13 o{j a}n u[pomei<n^ might have stood, and it may

be translated, whoever shall endure. Cf. Luke 12:8-10. But these

differences are due not to a difference in the force of the tense in the

three cases. In each case a translation by a timeless verbal noun-

receiver, swearer, endurer--would correctly (though from the point

of view of English rather awkwardly) represent the thought of the

Greek. As respects the time-relation of the action of the participle

to that of the principal verb o[ labw<n and o[ u[pomei<naj are participles

of antecedent action, o[ o]mo<saj is a participle of identical action. But

these distinctions, again, as stated above, are made, not to mark different

functions of the Greek tense, but to aid in a fuller interpretation of the

facts of the case.


151. Some scholars have endeavored to explain all participles with

the article as equivalent to the relative pronoun with the corresponding

tense of the Indicative. It is true that such participial phrases may often

be resolved in this way and the sense essentially preserved. But that

this is not a general principle will be evident from a comparison of the

function of the tense in the Indicative and in the participle.

(a) All the tenses of the Indicative express time-relations from the

point of view, not of the principal verb, but of the speaker. This principle

holds in a relative clause as well as in a principal sentence. An Aorist

verb standing in a relative clause may indeed refer to an action antece-

dent to the time of the principal verb, but this antecedence is not expressed

by the tense of the verb. All that the Aorist tense does in respect to


1 W. G. Ballantine, Attributive Aorist Participles in Protasis, in Bio.

Sac. Apr. 1889.

70                                THE TENSES.

time is to place the action in past time; its relation in that past time to

the action of the principal verb must be learned from some other source.

The corresponding thing is true of the Present tense, which in a relative

clause denotes time not contemporaneous with the action of the principal

verb, but present from the point of view of the speaker. See, e.g., Matt.

11:4; 13:17.

(b) The participle, on the other hand, is in itself timeless, and gains

whatever suggestion of time-relation it conveys from its relation to the

rest of the sentence. It is not affirmed that the Aorist Participle denotes

time relative to that of the principal verb, but that its time-relations are

not independent, like those of the Indicative, but dependent.

It is thus apparent that the whole attitude, so to speak, of the parti-

ciple toward time-relations is different from that of the Indicative, and no

formula of equivalence between them can be constructed. A timeless

noun or adjective cannot by any fixed rule be translated into a time-

expressing verb.

Somewhat less of error is introduced if the rule is made to read that

the participle may be trauslated into English by a relative clause using

that tense of the English  Indicative which corresponds to the tense

of the Greek participle. Relative clauses in English frequently use the

tenses apparently to denote time relative to that of the principal verb.

Thus in the sentence, When I am in London I will come to see you, the

present tense, am, really denotes time future with reference to the speaker,

time present relative to that of the principal verb. Similarly in the

sentence, They that have done good shall come forth to the resurrection of

life --have done is past, not with reference to the time of speaking, but

to that of the principal verb. But such uses of tenses in English are

merely permissible, not uniform. Shall have done would be more exact

in the last sentence. Moreover, the rule as thus stated is false in principle,

and not uniformly applicable in fact. It would require, e.g., that a

Present Participle, standing in connection with an Aorist verb, should be

rendered by an English Present, instead of by an English Past as it

should usually be. See John 2:16; Acts 10:35.




152. The Future Participle represents an action as

future from the point of view of the principal verb. HA.

856; G. 1288.

THE PERFECT PARTICIPLE.                                 71


Acts. 24:11; ou] plei<ouj ei]si<n moi h[me<rai dw<deka a]f ] h$j a]ne<bhn prosku-

nh<swn ei]j  ]Ierousalh<m, it is not more than twelve days since I went

up to worship at Jerusalem.

1 Cor. 15:37; ou] to> sw?ma to> genhso<menon sprei<reij, thou sowest not the

body that shall be.


REM. The Future Participle is of later origin than the participles of

the other tenses, and is a clearly marked exception to the general time-

lessness of the participle. While its function was probably not primarily

temporal, the relations which it expressed necessarily suggested subse-

quence to the action of the principal verb, and hence gave to the tense a

temporal force. Del. IV. pp. 97 ff.; Br.163.


153. The Present Participle me<llwn followed by an Infini-

tive of another verb is used as a periphrasis for a Future

Participle of the latter verb, but with a somewhat different

range of use. To express that which is to take place, either

form may be used. But me<llwn is not used to express the

purpose of an action, and is used, as the Future Participle is

not, to express intention without designating the intended

action as the purpose of another act. See John 12:4 (cf. John

6:64); Acts 18:14; 20:3, 7.




154. The Perfect Participle is used of completed ac-

tion. Like the Perfect Indicative it may have reference

to the past action and the resulting state or only to the

resulting state. The time of the resulting state is usually

that of the principal verb. HA. 856; G.1288.


Acts 10:17;  oi[ a@ndrej oi[ a]pestalme<noi . . . e]pe<sthsan e]pi> to>n pulw?na,

the men who had been sent. . . stood before the gate.

Rom. 15:14; peplhrwme<noi pa<shj th?j gnw<sewj, filled with all knowledge.

Luke 8:46;  e@gnwn du<namin e]celhluqui?an a]p ] e]mou?, I perceived that power

            had gone forth from me.

72                                THE TENSES.


155. The Perfect Participle stands in two passages of the New Testa-

ment as the predicate of the participle w@n. The effect is of a Perfect

Participle clearly marked as one of existing state. See Eph. 4:18;

Col. 1:21.


156. The Perfect Participle is occasionally used as a Plu-

perfect to denote a state existing antecedent to the time of the

principal verb. The action of which it is the result is, of

course, still earlier.


John 11:44;  e]ch?lqen o[ teqnhkw>j dedeme<noj tou>j po<daj kai> ta>j xei?raj

            keiri<aij, he that was [or had been] dead came forth bound hand and

foot with grave-clothes. See also Mark 5:15, e]sxhko<ta, noting the

Present Participle in the same verse and the Aorist Participle

in v. 18; also 1 Cor. 2:7, a]pokekrumme<nhn, comparing v. 10.








157. The Indicative is primarily the mood of the un-

qualified assertion or simple question of fact. HA. 865;



John 1:1; e]n a]rx^? h#n o[ lo<goj, in the beginning was the Word.

Mark 4:7; kai> karpo>n ou]k e@dwken, and it yielded no fruit.

Matt. 2:2; pou? e]sti>n o[ texqei>j basileu>j tw?n  ]Ioudai<wn, where is he

that is born King of the Jews?

John 1:38; ti< zhtei?te, what are ye seeking?


158. The Indicative has substantially the same assertive

force in many principal clauses containing qualified assertions.

The action is conceived of as a fact, though the assertion of

the fact is qualified.


John 13:8;  e]a>n mh> ni<yw se, ou]k e@xeij me<roj met ] e]mou?, if I wash thee not,

thou hast no part with me.


159. (a) When qualified by particles such as a@n, ei@qe, etc.,

the Indicative expresses various shades of desirability, improb-

ability, etc. Respecting these secondary uses of the Indicative

in principal clauses, see 26, 27, 248.

(b) Respecting the uses of the Future Indicative in other

than a purely assertive sense, see 67, 69, 70.



74                                THE MOODS.


(c) Respecting the uses of the Indicative in subordinate

clauses, see 185-360, passim.


REM. The uses of the Indicative described in 157 and 158 are substan-

tially the same in English and in Greek and occasion no special difficulty

to the English interpreter of Greek. The uses referred to in 159 exhibit

more difference between Greek and English, and each particular usage

requires separate consideration.




The uses of the Subjunctive in principal clauses are as



160. The Hortatory Subjunctive. The Subjunctive

is used in the first person plural in exhortations, the

speaker thus exhorting others to join him in the doing of

an action. HA. 866, 1; G. 1344; B. p. 209; WM. p. 355;

G.MT. 255, 256.


Heb. 12:1;  di ] u[pomonh?j tre<xwmen to>n prokei<menon h[mi?n a]gw?na, let us

            run with patience the race that is set before us.

1 John 4:7; a]gaphtoi<, a]gapw?men a]llh<louj, beloved, let us love one



161. Occasionally the first person singular is used with

a@fej or deu?ro prefixed, the exhortation in that case becoming a

request of the speaker to the person addressed to permit him

to do something.


Matt. 7:4; a@fej e]kba<lw to> ka<rfoj e]k tou? o]fqalmou? sou, let me cast

            out the mote out of thine eye. See also Luke 6:42; Acts 7:34.


The sense of a@fej in Matt. 27:49 and of a@fete in Mark 15:36 is doubt-

ful (see R.V. ad loc. and Th., a]fi<hmi, 2, E.).

In Matt. 21:38 (Mark 12:7) deu?te is prefixed to a hortatory first per-

son plural without affecting the meaning of the Subjunctive.

THE SUBJUNCTIVE.                                   75


In none of these cases is a conjunction to be supplied before the Sub-

junctive.  Cf. the use of a@ge, fe<re, etc., in classical Greek. G.MT. 257;

B. p. 210; WM. p. 356.


162. The Prohibitory Subjunctive. The Aorist Sub-

junctive is used in the second person with mh< to express a

prohibition or a negative entreaty. H.A. 866, 2; G. 1346;

G.MT. 259.


Matt. 6:34; mh> ou#n merimnh<shte ei]j th>n au@rion, be not therefore anxious

            for the morrow.

Heb. 3:8; mh> sklhru<nhte ta>j kardi<aj u[mw?n, harden not your hearts.

Matt. 6:13; kai> mh> ei]sene<gk^j h[ma?j ei]j, and bring us not into



163. Prohibitions are expressed either by the Aorist Sub-

junctive or by the Present Imperative, the only exceptions

being a few instances of the third person Aorist Imperative

with mh<. The difference between an Aorist Subjunctive with

mh< and a Present Imperative with mh< is in the conception of

the action as respects its progress. H.A. 874. Thus


164. (a) The Aorist Subjunctive forbids the action as a

simple event with reference to the action as a whole or to its

inception, and is most frequently used when the action has

not been begun.


Acts 18:9; la<lei kai> mh> siwph<s^j, speak and hold not thy peace.

Rev. 7:3; mh> a]dikh<shte th>n gh?n, hurt not the earth.


165. (b) The Present Imperative (180-184) forbids the

continuance of the action, most frequently when it is already

in progress; in this case, it is a demand to desist from the



Mark 6:50; e]gw< ei]mi, mh> fobei?sqe, it is I, be not afraid.

John 5:14; mhke<ti a[ma<rtane, sin no more.

76                                THE MOODS.


When the action is not yet begun, it enjoins continued

abstinence from it.


Mark 13:21;  kai> to<te e]a<n tij u[mi?n ei@p^   @Ide w$de o[ xristo<j   @Ide

e]kei?, mh> pisteu<ete, and then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here

is the Christ; or, Lo, there; believe it not. Cf. Matt. 24:23.


166. The Prohibitory Subjunctive occurs rarely in the third

person. 1 Cor. 16:11; 2 Thess. 2:3.


167. The strong negative, ou] mh<, occurs rarely in prohibi-

tions with the Aorist Subjunctive.


Matt. 13:14 and Acts 28:26, from Septuagint, Isa. 6:9, are probably

to be understood as prohibitory (as in the Hebrew of the passage in Isa.),

rather than emphatically predictive, as in R. V. Cf. Gen. 3:1, ou] mh> fa<ghte

which is clearly prohibitory. G.MT. 297. Cf. 162.

In Matt. 21:19, on the other hand, the emphatic predictive sense, there

shall be no fruit from thee henceforward forever, is more probable, being

more consistent with general usage and entirely appropriate to the con-

text. The imperative rendering of the R.V. makes the passage doubly

exceptional, the Imperative Subjunctive being rare in the third person,

and ou] mh< being unusual in prohibitions.


168. The Deliberative Subjunctive. The Subjunctive

is used in deliberative questions and in rhetorical questions

having reference to the future. HA. 866, 3; G. 1358.


Luke 3:10; ti< ou#n poih<swmen, what then shall we do?

Luke 11:5; ti<j e]c u[mw?n e!cei fi<lon . . . kai> ei@p^ au]t&?, which of you

            shall have a friend. . . and shall say to him?


169. Questions may be classified as questions of fact and

questions of deliberation. In the question of fact the speaker

asks what is (or was or will be). In the question of delibera-

tion, the speaker asks what he is to do, or what is to be done;

it concerns not fact but possibility, desirability, or necessity.

But questions may be classified also as interrogative or real

questions, and rhetorical questions. The former makes a real

THE SUBJUNCTIVE.                                   77


inquiry (for information or advice); the latter is a rhetorical

substitute for an assertion, often equivalent to a negative

answer to itself, or, if the question is negative, to a positive


Since both questions of fact and questions of deliberation

may be either interrogative or rhetorical, it results that there

are four classes of questions that require to be distinguished

for purposes of interpretation.


(a) The interrogative question of fact.

Matt. 16:13;  ti<na le<gousin oi[ a@nqrwpoi ei#nai to>n ui[o>n tou? a]nqrw<pou,

who do men say that the Son of man is? See also Mark 16:3;

John 7:45; Acts 17:18.


(b) The rhetorical question of fact.

1 Cor. 9:1; ou]k ei]mi> a]po<stoloj, am I not an apostle'

Luke 23:31; o!ti ei] e]n u[g&? cu<l& tau?ta poiou?sin, e]n t&? chr&? ti< ge<nhtai,

for if they do these things in a green tree, what will be done in the dry?

See also Luke 11: 5; 16: 11.


(c) The interrogative deliberative question.

Mark 12 : 14; dw?men, h} mh> dw?men, shall we give, or shall we not give' See

also Matt. 6:31; 18:21; Luke 22:49.


(d) The rhetorical deliberative question.

Rom. 10:14; pw?j ou#n e]pikale<swntai ei]j o{n ou]k e]pi<steusan; pw?j de>

pisteu<swsin ou$ ou]k h@kousan; . . . pw?j de> khru<cwsin e]a>n mh>

a]postalw?sin, how then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? . . . how shall they preach except they be sent? See also Matt. 26:54; Luke

14:34; John 6:68.


Interrogative questions of fact, and rhetorical questions of

fact having reference to the present or past, employ the tenses

and moods as they are used in simple declarative sentences.

Rhetorical questions of fact having reference to the future,

and all deliberative questions, use either the Subjunctive or

the Future Indicative.

78                                THE MOODS.


170. The verb of a deliberative question is most frequently

in the first person; but occasionally in the second or third.

Matt. 23:33; Rom. 10:14. The verb of a rhetorical question

may be of any person.


171. The Deliberative Subjunctive is sometimes preceded

by qe<leij, qe<lete, or bou<lesqe.  No conjunction is to be supplied

in these cases. The verb qe<lein is sometimes followed by a

clause introduced by i!na, but  i!na never occurs when the verb

qe<lein is in the second person, and the following verb in the

first person, i.e. when the relations of the verbs are such as to

make a Deliberative Subjunctive probable.


Luke 22:9; pou? qe<leij e[toima<swmen, where wilt thou that we make ready?

See also Matt. 26:17; 27:17, 21; Mark 10:36, 51; 14:12; 15:9;

Luke 9:54; 18:41; 1 Cor. 4:21 (N.B.), and cf. (i!na) Matt. 7:12;

Mark 6:25; Luke 6:31; 1 Cor. 14:5.


172. The Subjunctive in Negative Assertions. The

Aorist Subjunctive is used with ou] mh< in the sense of an

emphatic Future Indicative. HA. 1032; G. 1360.


Heb 13:5;  ou] mh< se a]nw? ou]d ] ou] mh< se e]gkatali<pw,  I will in no wise

fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee. See also Matt. 5:18;

Mark 13:30; Luke 9:27, et freq. Cf. Gild. in A.J.P. III. 202 f.


REM. In Luke 18:7 and Rev. 15:4 the Subjunctive with ou] mh< is used

in a rhetorical question. The Subjunctive may be explained as occasioned

by the emphatic negative or by the rhetorical nature of the question.


173. This emphatically predictive Subjunctive is of frequent occurrence

in Hellenistic Greek. The Present Subjunctive is sometimes used with

ou] mh< in classical Greek, but no instance occurs in the New Testament.

Concerning the rare use of the Future with ou] mh< see 66; cf. Gild. u.s.

THE OPTATIVE.                                           79




174. The Optative Mood is much less frequent in the New

Testament, and in Hellenistic writers generally, than in clas-

sical Greek. Cf. Harmon, The Optative Mood in Hellenistic

Greek, in J.B.L. Dec. 1886. .

It is mainly confined to four uses, two of which are in prin-

cipal clauses.


175. The Optative of Wishing.  The Optative is used

without a@n to express a wish. HA. 870; G. 1507.


1 Pet. 1:2; xa<rij u[mi?n kai> ei]rh<nh  plhqunqei<h, grace to you and peace

            be multiplied.

2 Thess. 3:16; au]to>j de> o[ ku<rioj th?j ei]rh<nhj d&<h u[mi?n th>n ei]rh<nhn,

now the Lord of peace himself give you peace.


176. The Optative of Wishing occurs thirty-five times in the New

Testament: Mark 11:14; Luke 1:38; 20:16 ; Acts 8:20; Rom. 3:4;

3:6; 3:31; 6:2, 15; 7:7, 13; 9:14; 11:1, 11; 15:5, 13; 1 Cor.6:15;

Gal. 2:17; 3:21; 6:14; 1 Thess. 3:11, 12; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:17; 3:5,

16; 2 Tim. 1:16, 18; Philem. 20; Heb. 13:21; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Pet. 1:2;

always, except Philem. 20, in the third person singular. It most frequently

expresses a prayer. Mark 11:14 and Acts 8:20 are peculiar in being im-

precations of evil.


177. The phrase mh> ge<noito is an Optative of Wishing which strongly

deprecates something suggested by a previous question or assertion.

Fourteen of the fifteen New Testament instances are in Paul's writings,

and in twelve of these it expresses the apostle's abhorrence of an inference

which he fears may be (falsely) drawn from his argument. Cf. Mey.

on Rom. 3:4, and Ltft. on Gal. 2:17. On Gal. 6:14 cf. 1 Macc. 9:10.


178. The Potential Optative. The Optative with a@n

is used to express what would happen on the fulfilment of

some supposed condition. It is thus an apodosis correla-

80                                THE MOODS.


tive to a protasis expressed or implied. It is usually to be

translated by the English Potential. HA. 872; G. 1327 ff.


Acts 8:31; pw?j ga>r a}n dunai<mhn e]a>n mh< tij o[dhgh<sei me, how should I be

            able unless some one shall guide me?

Acts 17:18; ti< a}n qe<loi o[ spermolo<goj ou$toj le<gein, what would this

            babbler wish to say?                                                          


179. The Optative with a}n occurs in the New Testament only in Luke's

writings: Luke *1:62; *6:11; *9:46; [*15:26; 18:36] ; Acts *5:24;

†8: 31; *10:17; †17:18; [26:29]. Of these instances the six marked

with * are in indirect questions; the two marked with † are in direct

questions; those in brackets are of doubtful text; others still more

doubtful might be added. In only one instance (Acts 8:31) is the con-

dition expressed.




180. The Imperative Mood is used in commands and

exhortations. HA. 873; G. 1342.


Matt. 5:42; t&? ai]tou?nti< se do<j, give to him that asketh thee.

1 Thess. 5:19; to> pneu?ma mh> sbe<nnute, quench not the spirit.


REM. Respecting other methods of expressing a command, see 67,



181. THE IMPERATIVE MOOD is also used in entreaties and



Mark 9:22; a]ll ] ei@ ti du<n^ boh<qhson h[mi?n splagxnisqei>j e]f ] h[ma?j,

but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us.

Luke 17:5;  kai> ei#pan oi[ a]po<stoloi t&? kuri<& Pro<sqej h[mi?n pi<stin,

and the apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith.

John 17:11;  pa<ter a!gie, th<rhson au]tou>j e]n t&? o]no<mati< sou, holy

Father, keep them in thy name.


182. THE IMPERATIVE MOOD is also used to express con-

sent, or merely to propose an hypothesis.

FINITE MOODS IN SUBORDINATE CLAUSES.                         81


Matt. 8:31, 32; oi[ de> dai<monej pareka<loun au]to<n le<gontej Ei] e]kba<l-

leij h[ma?j, a]po<steilon h[ma?j ei]j th>n a]ge<lhn tw?n xoi<rwn.  kai> ei#pen au]toi?j   [Upa<gete, and the demons besought him saying, If thou cast

us out, send us away into the herd of swine. And he said unto

them, Go.

John 2:19; a]pekri<qh  ]Ihsou?j kai> ei#pen au]toi?j  Lu<sate to>n nao>n tou?ton

            kai>  [ e]n ] trisi>n h[me<raij e]gerw? au]to<n, Jesus answered and said unto

            them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

1 Cor. 7:36; kai> (ei]) ou!twj o]fei<lei gi<nesqai, o[ qe<lei poiei<tw: ou]x

a[marta<nei: gamei<twsan, and if need so require, let him do what he

will; he sinneth not; let them marry.


183. An Imperative suggesting a hypothesis mayor may

not retain its imperative or hortatory force.


Luke 6:37; mh> kri<nete, kai> ou] mh> kriqh?te, judge not, and ye shall not

            be judged. Cf. John 2:19, above.


184. Any tense of the Imperative may be used in positive

commands, the distinction of force being that of the tenses of

the dependent moods in general. Cf. 95 ff. In prohibitions,

on the other hand, the use of the Imperative is confined almost

entirely to the Present tense. A few instances only of the

Aorist occur. Cf. 163.




185. Many subordinate clauses employ the moods and

tenses with the same force that they have in principal

clauses. Others, however, give to the mood or tense a force

different from that which they usually have in principal

clauses. Hence arises the necessity for special treatment of

the moods and tenses in subordinate clauses. Principal clauses

also require discussion in so far as their mood or tense affects

or is affected by the subordinate clauses which limit them.

82                                THE MOODS.


186. Clauses considered as elements of the sentence may be classified

as follows:



(1) As subject or predicate nominative (211-214, 357-360).

(2) As object in indirect discourse (334-356).

(3) As object after verbs of exhorting, etc. (200-204).

(4) As object after verbs of striving, etc; (205-210).

(5) As object after verbs of fear and danger (224-227).



(1) Appositive (211, 213).

(2) Relative (289-333, in part).

(3) Definitive (215, 216, in part).


  III. ADVERBIAL, denoting

(1) Time (289-316, in part; 321-333).

(2) Place (289-316, in part).

(3) Condition (238-277, 296-315).

(4) Concession (278-288).

(5) Cause (228-233, 294).

(6) Purpose ([188-196], 197-199, 317).

(7) Indirect object, etc. (215, 217, in part; 318, 319).

(8) Result (218, 219, 234-237).

(9) Manner (217, 289-316, in part).

(10) Comparison, expressing equality or inequality (289-316,

in part).


REM. Conditional relative clauses introduced by relative pronouns,

and relative clauses denoting cause and purpose introduced in the same

way, partake at the same time of the nature of adjective and of adverbial



187. The arrangement of the matter in the following sections (188-

347) is not based upon a logical classification of clauses, such as is indi-

cated in the preceding section, but in part on genetic relationships, and

In part on considerations of practical convenience. The following is the

general order of treatment:

Moods in clauses introduced by final particles. . . . . . .     188-227.

Moods in clauses of cause  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      228-233.

Moods in clauses of result. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      234-237.



Moods in conditional sentences. . . . . . . . . . . . .     238-277.

Moods in concessive sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . .    278-288.

Moods in relative clauses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      289-333.

Definite relative clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . .     292-295.

Conditional relative clauses . . . . . . . . . .     296-316.

Relative clauses expressing purpose. . . .    317-320.

RelatIve clauses mtroduced by e!wj, etc.    321-333.

Indirect Discourse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     334-356.

Construction after kai> e]ge<neto, etc. . . . . . . . . .    357-360.




188. CLASSIFICATION. Under the general head of clauses

introduced by final particles are included in New Testament


(1) Pure final clauses.

(2) Object clauses after verbs of exhorting, etc.

(3) Object clauses after verbs of striving, etc.

(4) Object clauses after verbs of fearing.

(5) Subject, predicate, and appositive clauses.

(6) Complementary and epexegetic clauses.

(7) Clauses of conceived result.


189. General Usage. The relations expressed by the

clauses enumerated in 188 are in classical Greek expressed

in various ways, but, in the New Testament, these differ-

ences have, by a process of assimilation, to a considerable

extent disappeared. Clauses modeled after final clauses

take the place of Infinitives in various relations; the Opta-

tive disappears from this class of clauses; the distinction be-

tween the Subjunctive and the Future Indicative is par-

tially ignored. It results that the seven classes of clauses

named above conform in general to one rule, viz.:

84                                            THE MOODS.


Clauses introduced by a final particle usually employ the

Subjunctive after both primary and secondary tenses, less

frequently the Future Indicative.


REM. Concerning the Present Indicative after i!na, see 198, Rem.


190. Final Particles. The New Testament employs as

final particles i!na, o!pwj, and mh<.


REM. The usage of the final particles in classical Greek is elaborately

discussed by Weber in Schanz, Beitrage zur historischen Syntax der

griechischen Sprache, Hefte IV., V., and by Gild. (on the basis of Weber's

work) in A.J.P. IV. 416 ff., VI. 53 ff.


191. NEW TESTAMENT USE OF i!na.  !Ina occurs very fre-

quently in the New Testament, and with a greater variety of

usage than in classical Greek. Not only does it assume in

part the functions which in classical Greek belonged to the

other final particles, but clauses introduced by it encroach

largely upon the function of the Infinitive. This extension

of the use of  i!na is one of the notable characteristics of the

Greek of the New Testament and of all later Greek.   !Ina oc-

curs in the New Testament in

(1) Pure final clauses.

(2) Object clauses after verbs of exhorting, etc.

(3) Object clauses after verbs of striving, etc.

(4) Subject, predicate, and appositive clauses.

(5) Complementary and epexegetic clauses.

(6) Clauses of conceived result.


Of these clauses, the first class is the only one that regularly

employs i!na in classical Greek. Cf. G.MT. 311.


192. NEW TESTAMENT USE OF o!pwj.   !Opwj occurs in the

New Testament, as in classical Greek, in



(1) Pure final clauses.

(2) Object clauses after verbs of exhorting, etc.

(3) Object clauses after verbs of striving, etc. Cf. G.MT.



193. NEW TESTAMENT USE OF mh<.  Mh< is used in the New

Testament, as in classical Greek, in

(1) Pure final clauses.

(2) Object clauses after verbs of striving, etc.

(3) Object clauses after verbs of fearing. Cf. G.MT.

807-310,339, 352.


194.  [Wj, which occurs as a final particle in classical prose,

appears in a final clause in the New Testament in only one

passage and that of doubtful text, Acts 20:24.  @Ofra, which

was used as a final particle in epic and lyric poetry, does not

occur in the New Testament. Cf. G.MT. 312, 314.


195. In classical Greek, final clauses and object clauses after verbs

of striving, etc., frequently have o!pwj a@n or w[j a@n. G.MT. 328; Meist.

p. 212. According to Gild. a@n gives to the clause, except in the formal

language of inscriptions, a relative or conditional force, o!pwj a@n being

equivalent to h@n pwj. A.J.P. IV. pp. 422, 425; VI. pp. 53-73; L. and S.

o!pwj. In the New Testament o!pwj a@n occurs four times (o!pwj alone forty-

nine times), always in a final clause proper. In Luke 2:35; Acts 3:19

15:17 the contingent color may perhaps be detected; but in Rom. 3:4,

quoted from the Septuagint, it is impossible to discover it.


196.   !Opwj after verbs of fearing, which is found occasionally in

classical Greek, does not occur in the New Testament.


197. Pure Final Clauses. A pure final clause is one

whose office is to express the purpose of the action stated

in the predicate which it limits.

In classical Greek, final clauses take the Subjunctive

86                                THE MOODS.


after primary tenses; after secondary tenses either the

Optative or the Subjunctive. HA. 881; G.1365.

In the New Testament, the Optative does not occur.

The Subjunctive is regularly used after primary and sec-

ondary tenses alike.


Matt. 7:1; mh< kri<nete, i!na mh> kriqh?te, judge not, that ye be not judged.

Rom. 1:11; e]pipoqw? ga>r i]dei?n u[ma?j, i!na ti metadw? xa<risma u[mi?n pneu-

matiko<n,  for I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual


Rom. 9:17;  ei]j au[to> tou?to e]ch<geira< se o!pwj e]ndei<cwmai e]n soi> th>n

            du<nami<n mou, for this very purpose did I raise thee up that I might

show in thee my power.

Acts 28:27;  kai> tou>j o]fqalmou>j au]tw?n e]kka<mmusan: mh< pote i@dwsin

toi?j o]fqalmoi?j, and their eyes they have closed; lest haply they should

perceive with their eyes.


198. Pure final clauses occasionally take the Future Indica-

tive in the New Testament as in classical Greek. HA. 881, c;

G.1366; B. pp. 234 f.; WM. pp. 360f.; WT. pp. 289f.


Luke 20:10; a]pe<steilen pro>j tou>j gewrgou>j dou?lon, i!na . . . dw<sousin,

he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that they might give. See also 199.


REM. Some MSS. give a Present Indicative after  i!na in John 5:20;

Gal. 6:12; Tit. 2:4; Rev. 12:6; 13:17. In 1 John 5:20 ginw<skomen is

probably pregnant in force, "that we may know, and whereby we do

know." Zhlou?te in Gal. 4: 17, and fusiou?sqe in 1 Cor. 4:6 are regarded

by Hort (WH. II. App. p. 167), Schmiedel (WS. p. 52), and Blass

(Grammatik, p. 207), as Subjunctives. On John 17:3 see 213, Rem.


199. The Future Indicative occurs in pure final clauses in classical

Greek chiefly after o!pwj, rarely after mh<, w[j, and o@fra, never after i!na.

G.MT. 324; Weber, u.s.; Gild. u.s. The New Testament instances are

chiefly after i!na; a few instances occur after mh< (mh<pote) and one after o!pwj.

The manuscripts show not a few variations between Subjunctive and Future

Indicative, and both forms are sometimes found together, after the same

conjunction. The following passages contain the Future, or both Future

and Subjunctive: Matt. 7:6; 13:15; Mark 14:2; Luke 14:10; 20:10;

John 7:3; 17:2 ; Acts 21:24; 28:27 ; Rom. 3:4; Gal. 2:4; 1 Pet. 3:1.



200. Object Clauses after Verbs of Exhorting, etc.

In classical Greek, verbs of exhorting, commanding, entreat-

ing, and persuading are sometimes followed by an object

clause instead of the more usual Infinitive. Such a clause

usually employs o!pwj and the Future Indicative, sometimes

the Subjunctive. G. 1373; G.MT.355;

In the New Testament, object clauses after such verbs

are frequent; they use both i!na and o!pwj; and employ

the Subjunctive to the exclusion of the Future Indicative.


Mark 5:18;  pareka<lei au]to>n o[ daimonisqei>j i!na met ] autou? ^# he who

had been possessed with a demon besought him that he might be with him.

Luke 10:2;  deh<qhte ou#n tou? kuri<ou tou? qerismou? o!pwj e]rga<taj e]kba<l^

ei]j to>n qerismo>n au]tou?, pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that

he send forth laborers into his harvest. See also Matt. 4:3; 14:36;

16:20; Acts 23:15; 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 8:6; Mark 13:18

(cf. Matt. 24 :20); Luke 22:46 (cf. v. 40).


REM. In Eph. 1:17 dw<^ (Subjunctive) should be read rather than d&<h

(Optative).  Cf. 225, Rem. 2.


201. The use of  i!na, in an object clause after a verb of exhorting is

almost unknown in classical Greek. G.MT. 357. In the New Testament

i!na, occurs much more frequently than o!pwj in such clauses.


202. The regular construction in classical Greek after verbs

of exhorting, etc., is the Infinitive. This is also in the New

Testament the most frequent construction, occurring nearly

twice as often as the  i!na and o!pwj clauses. Keleu<w and the

compounds of ta<ssw take only the Infinitive.  ]Ente<llomai

employs both constructions.


203. Under the head of verbs of exhorting, etc., is to be in-

cluded the verb qe<lw when used with reference to a command

or request addressed to another. It is frequently followed by

an object clause introduced by i!na. Here also belongs the verb

88                                THE MOODS.


ei#pon, used in the sense of command; also such phrases as

ka<mptw ta> go<nata (Eph. 3: 14), and mnei<an poiou?mai e]pi> tw?n

proseuxw?n (Eph. 1:16; Philem. 4; cf. Col. 4:12), which are

paraphrases for proseu<xomai.


204. In many cases a clause or Infinitive after a verb of commanding

or entreating may be regarded as a command indirectly quoted. It is

then a species of indirect discourse, though not usually included under

that head. Cf. 337, and G.MT. 684. Matt. 16:20; Mark 9:9; 13:34.


205. Object Clauses after Verbs of Striving, etc. In

classical Greek, verbs signifying to strive for, to take care,

to plan, to effect, are followed by o!pwj with the Future

Indicative, less frequently the Subjunctive, after both pri-

mary and secondary tenses. HA. 885; G.1372.

In the New Testament, the Subjunctive occurs more

frequently than the Future Indicative, and  i!na more fre-

quently than o!pwj.


John 12:10; e]bouleu<santo de> oi[ a]rxierei?j i!na kai> to>n La<zaron

            ktei<nwsin, but the chief priests took counsel to put Lazarus also to death.

Rev. 3:9; i]dou> poih<sw au]tou>j i!na h!cousin kai> proskunh<sousin e]nw<pion

tw?n podw?n sou, kai> gnw?sin o!ti e]gw>  h]ga<phsa< se, behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have

loved thee. See also 1 Cor. 16:10; Col. 4:16, 17; Rev. 13:12, 16.


206. When the object clause after a verb meaning to care

for, to take heed, is negative, classical Greek sometimes uses

mh< (instead of o!pwj mh<) with the Subjunctive, "or less fre-

quently with the Future Indicative. G. 1375; G.MT. 354.

This is the common New Testament usage. See Matt. 24:4;

Acts 13:40; 1 Cor. 8:9; 10:12; Gal. 6:1; Col. 2:8; 1 Thess.

5:15; Heb. 3:12.

 !Opwj mh< with the Future in classical Greek, and i!na mh< with

the Subjunctive in New Testament Greek, also occur. John

11:37; 2 John 8.



207.   !Opwj occurs in the New Testament in such clauses (205) only

in Matt. 12:14; 22:15; Mark 3:6, and in all these cases after a phrase

meaning to plan. The clause thus closely approximates an indirect de-

liberative question. Cf. Mark 11:18. See Th. o!pwj, II. 2.


208. The Optative sometimes occurs in classical Greek after a

secondary tense of verbs of striving, etc., but is not found in the New



209. It is sometimes difficult to say with certainty whether mh< with

the Subjunctive after o!ra or o[ra?te is an objective clause or an independent

Prohibitory Subjunctive. In classical Greek the dependent construction

was already fully developed (cf. G.MT. 354, 307); and though in the

New Testament o!ra is sometimes prefixed to the Imperative (Matt. 9:30;

24:6), showing that the paratactic construction is still possible, mh< with

the Subjunctive in such passages as Matt. 18:10; 1 Thess. 5:15 is best

regarded as constituting an object clause.

Mh< with the Subjunctive after ble<pw is also probably to be regarded as

dependent. It is true that ble<pw does not take an objective clause in

classical Greek, that in the New Testament only the Imperative of this

verb is followed by a clause defining the action to be done or avoided, and

that in a few illstances the second verb is an Aorist Subjunctive in the

second person with mh<, and might therefore be regarded as a Prohib-

itory Subjunctive (Luke 21:8; Gal. 5:15; Heb. 12:25). Yet in a

larger number of cases the verb is in the third person (Matt. 24:4; Mark

13:5; Acts 13:40; 1 Cor. 8:9, etc.), and in at least one instance is in-

troduced by i!na (1 Cor. 16:10). This indicates that we have not a coor-

dinate imperative expression, but a dependent clause. In Col. 4:17

ble<pe, and in 2 John 8 ble<pete, is followed by i!na with the Subjunctive;

the clause in such case being probably objective, but possibly pure final.

In Heb. 3:12 the Future Indicative with mh< is evidently an objective



REM. Concerning Luke 11:35, see B. p. 243; WM. p. 374, foot-note,

and p. 631; WT. p. 503; Th. mh<, III. 2; R. V. ad loc.


210. Verbs of striving, etc., may also take the Infinitive as

object. With Matt. 26:4, and John 11:53, cf. Acts 9:23;

with Rev. 13:12 cf. 13:13.

The verbs zhte<w and a]fi<hmi, which are usually followed by

90                                THE MOODS.


an Infinitive, are each followed in one instance by i!na with the

Subjunctive. See Mark 11:16; 1 Cor. 14:12; cf. also 1 Cor.



211. Subject, Predicate, and Appositive Clauses intro-

duced by i!na. Clauses introduced by i!na are frequently

used in the New Testament as subject, predicate, or appos-

itive, with a force closely akin to that of an Infinitive.

The verb is usually in the Subjunctive, less frequently in

the Future Indicative.


These clauses may be further classified as follows:


212. (a) SUBJECT of the passive of verbs of exhorting,

striving, etc., which in the active take such a clause as object,

and of other verbs of somewhat similar force. Cf. 200, 205.


1 Cor. 4:2.; zhtei?tai e]n toi?j oi]kono<moij i!na pisto<j tij eu[req^?, it is

required in stewards that a man be found faithful.

Rev. 9:4; kai> e]rre<qh au]tai?j i!na mh> a]dikh<sousin to>n xo<rton th?j gh?j,

and it was said unto them that they should not hurt the grass of the

earth. See also Mark 9:12 (ge<graptai implies command or will);

Rev. 9:5.



of various significance, especially such as are cognate with the

verbs which take such a clause as object, and with pronouns,

the clause constituting a definition of the content of the noun

or pronoun.


John 4:34; e]mo>n brw?ma< e]stin i!na poih<sw to> qe<lhma tou? pe<myanto<j

me kai> teleiw<sw to> e@rgon au]tou?, my meat is to do the will of him

that sent me and to accomplish his work.

John 15:12; au!th e]sti>n h[ e]ntolh> h[ e]mh<, i!na a]gapa?te a]llh<louj, this

is my commandment, that ye love one another. See also Luke 1:43;

John 6:29, 39, 40; 15:8, 13; 18:39; 1 Cor. 9:18; 1 John 3:1;

2 John 6; 3 John 4.



REM. The Present Indicative occurs in MSS. of John 17: 3 and is

adopted by Tisch. and Treg. (text).

214. (c) SUBJECT of phrases signifying it is profitable, it is

sufficient, etc.


Matt. 10:25; a]rketo>n t&? maqht^>?  i!na ge<nhtai w[j o[ dida<skaloj au]tou?,

it is enough for the disciple that he be as his master. See also Matt.

5:29, 30; 18:6; Luke 17:2; John 11:50; 16:7; 1 Cor. 4:3.


215. Complementary and Epexegetic Clauses intro-

duced by  i!na. Clauses introduced by i!na are used in the

New Testament to express a complementary or epexegetic

limitation, with a force closely akin to that of an Infinitive.

The verb of the clause is usually in the Subjunctive, some-

times in the Future Indicative.


These clauses may be classified as follows:


216. (a) Complementary limitation of nouns and adjec-

tives signifying authority, power, fitness, need, set time, etc.


Mark 11:28;  h} ti<j soi e@dwken th>n e]cousi<an tau<thn i!na tau?ta poi^?j

or who gave thee this authority to do these things?

John 12:23; e]lh<luqen  h]  w!ra o!ma docasq^? o[ ui[o>j tou? a]nqrw<pou, the

hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. See also Matt.

8:8; Luke 7:6; John 1:27; 2:25; 16:2, 32; 1 John 2:27;

Rev. 21:23.


217. (b) Complementary or epexegetic limitation of verbs

of various significance; the clause defines the content, ground,

or method of the action denoted by the verb, or constitutes an

indirect object of the verb.


John 8:56;   ]Abraa>m o[ path>r u[mw?n h]gallia<sato i!na i@d^ th>n h[me<ran

th>n e]mh<n, your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day.


92                                            THE MOODS.


Phil. 2:2; plhrw<sate< mou th>n xara>n i!na to> au]to> fronh?te, fulfil ye

my joy, that ye be of the same mind. (See an Infinitive similarly

used in Acts 15:10.) See also John 9:22; Gal. 2:9; in both

these latter passages the i!na clause defines the content of the agree-

ment mentioned in the preceding portion of the sentence. See also

John 5:7. Cf. Martyr. Polyc. 10. 1.


218. Clauses of Conceived Result introduced by i!na.

Clauses introduced by i!na are used in the New Testament

to express the conceived result of an action.


John 9:2;  ti< h!marten, ou$toj h} oi[ gonei?j au]tou?, i!na tuflo>j gennhq^?,

who did sin, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?

1 Thess. 5:4;  u[mei?j de>, a]delfoi<, ou]k e]ste> e]n sko<tei, i!na h[ h[me<ra

u[ma?j w[j kle<ptaj katala<b^, but ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that

that day should overtake you as thieves. See also 1 John 1:9 (cf.

Heb. 6:10--Infinitive in similar construction); 2 Cor. 1:17; Rev.

9:20 (cf. Matt. 21:32); 14:13; 22:14.


219. The relation of thought between the fact expressed in

the principal clause and that expressed in the clause of con-

ceived result introduced by i!na is that of cause and effect, but

it is recognized by the speaker that this relation is one of

theory or inference rather than of observed fact. In some

cases the effect is actual and observed, the cause is inferred.

So, e.g., John 9:2. In other cases the cause is observed, the

effect is inferred. So, e.g., 1 Thess. 5:4. In all the cases the

action of the principal clause is regarded as the necessary con-

dition of that of the subordinate clause, the action of the sub-

ordinate clause as the result which is to be expected to follow

from that of the principal clause.

It is worthy of notice that in English the form of expres-

sion which ordinarily expresses pure purpose most distinctly

may also be used to express this relation of conceived result.

We say, He must have suffered very severe losses in order to be

so reduced in circumstances. Such forms of expression are




probably the product of false analogy, arising from imitation

of a construction which really expresses purpose. Thus in the

sentence, He labored diligently in order to accumulate property,

the subordinate clause expresses pure purpose. In the sen-

tence, He must have labored diligently in order to accumulate

such a property, the sentence may be so conceived that the sub-

ordinate clause would express purpose, but it would usually

mean rather that if he accumulated such a property he must

have labored diligently; that is, the property is conceived of

as a result the existence of which proves diligent labor. This

becomes still more evident if we say, He must have labored

diligently to have accumulated such a property. But when we

say, He must have suffered severe losses to have become so re-

duced in circumstances, it is evident that the idea of purpose

has entirely disappeared, and only that of inferred result

remains. Actual result observed to be the effect of observed

causes is not, however, thus expressed except by a rhetorical

figure. With these illustrations from the English, compare

the following from the Greek. Jas. 1:4; h[ de> u[pomonh> e@rgon

te<leion e]xe<tw, i!na h#te te<leioi kai> o[lo<klhroi, and let patience have

its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire. Heb. 10:36;

u[pomonh?j ga>r e@xete xrei<an i!na to> qe<lhma tou? qeou? poih<santej komi<shsqe th>n e]paggeli<an, for ye have need of patience, that, having

done the will of God, ye may receive the promise. In the first sentence

the i!na clause expresses the purpose of e]xe<tw. In the second,

though the purpose of u[pomonh< is contained in the clause i!na

. . . e]paggeli<an, yet the function of this clause in the sentence

is not telic. Its office is not to express the purpose of the

principal clause, but to set forth a result (conceived, not act-

ual) of which the possession of u[pomonh< is the necessary condi-

tion. In John 9:2 the idiom is developed a step further, for

in this case the i!na clause in no sense expresses the purpose of

the action of the principal clause, but a fact conceived to be


94                                THE MOODS.


the result of a cause concerning which the principal clause

makes inquiry.

This use of  i!na with the Subjunctive is closely akin in force

to the normal force of w!ste with the Infinitive. Cf. 370, c, and

especially G.MT. 582~84.


220. Some of the instances under 215-217 might be considered as ex-

pressing conceived result, but the idiom has developed beyond the point

of conceived result, the clause becoming a mere complementary limita-

tion. The possible course of development may perhaps be suggested by

examining the following illustrations: John 17:2; Mark 11:28 ; Luke

7:6; 1 John 2:27. In the first case the clause probably expresses pure

purpose. In the last the idea of purpose has altogether disappeared.


221. In all these constructions, 211-218, which are distinct

departures from classical usage, being later invasions of the

i!na clause upon the domain occupied in classical Greek by

the Infinitive, the Infinitive remains also in use in the New

Testament, being indeed in most of these constructions more

frequent than the i!na clause.


222. There is no certain, scarcely a probable, instance in

the New Testament of a clause introduced by i!na denoting

actual result conceived, of as such.

Luke 9:45 probably expresses pure purpose (cf. Matt. 11:25; WK.

p. 574; WT. p. 459). Gal. 5:17 is also best explained as expressing the

purpose of the hostility of the flesh and the Spirit, viewed, so far as the

i!na clause is concerned, as a hostility of the flesh to the Spirit. So, ap-

parently, R.V. Rev. 13:13 is the most probable instance of  i!na denoting-

actual result; i!na . . . poi^? is probably equivalent to w!ste poiei?n, and is

epexegetic of mega<la. It would be best translated, so as even to make.

Respecting  i!na plhrwq^?, Matt. 1:22 and frequently in the first

gospel, there is no room for doubt. The writer of the first gospel never uses

i!na to express result, either actual or conceived; and that he by this

phrase at least intends to express purpose is made especially clear by his

employment of o!pwj (which is never ecbatic) interchangeably with i!na.

With 1:22; 2:15; 4:14; 12:17; 21:4; 26:66, cf. 2:23; 8:17; 13:35.




223. Concerning the post-classical usage of  i!na in general see Jebb in

Vincent and Dickson, Modern Greek, pp. 319-821. Concerning whether

i!na in the New Testament is always in the strict sense telic, and whether

it is ever ecbatic (two distinct questions not always clearly distinguished),

see Meyer on Matt. 1:22:   !Ina ist niemals e]kbatiko<n, so dass, sondern

immer teliko<n, damit,"--the first half of which is true, the second half

far from true. Fritzsche on Matt. pp. 836 ft.; WT. pp. 457-462; WM.

pp. 573-578; B. pp. 235-240: "And although it [i!na] never stands in

the strict ecbatic sense (for w!ste with the finite verb), it has nevertheless

here reached the very boundary line where the difference between the

two relations (the telic and the ecbatic) disappears, and it is nearer to the

ecbatic sense than to its original final sense. Necessary as the demand is,

that in a systematic inquiry into the use of the particle, even within a

comparatively restricted field, we should always make its original telic

force, which is the only force it has in earlier Greek writers, our point

of departure, and trace out thence the transitions to its diverse shades of

meaning; the interests of exegesis would gain very little, if in every in-

dividual passage of the N.T. even (the language of which has already

departed so far from original classic Greek usage) we should still take

pains, at the cost of the simple and natural sense, and by a recourse to

artificial means, always to introduce the telic force," p. 239. Hunzinger,

"Die in der klassischen Gracitat nicht gebrauchliche finale Bedeutung

der Partikel i!na im neutestamentlichen Sprachgebrauch," in Zeitschrift

fur Kirchliche Wissenschaft, 1883, pp. 632-643--a valuable article which

elaborately disproves its own conclusion--"dass  i!na im N. T. in allen

Fallen final verstanden werden kann," unless a very broad and loose

sense be given to the term final.


224. Object Clauses after Verbs of Fear and Danger.

In classical Greek, clauses after verbs of fear and danger

employ mh< with the Subjunctive after primary tenses; the

Optative, more rarely the Subjunctive, after secondary

tenses. HA. 887; G. 1378.

In the New Testament the Subjunctive only is used.


2 Cor. 12:20; fobou?mai ga>r mh< pwj e]lqw>n ou]x oi!ouj qe<lw eu!rw u[ma?j, for

I fear, lest by any means, when I come, I shall find you not such as I

would. See also Acts 23:10; 27:29; 2 Cor. 11:3; Heb. 4:1.


REM. 1. Acts 5:26 may be understood as in R.V., to>n lao<n denoting

the persons feared, and mh> liqasqw?sin the thing feared (cf. the familiar


96                                            THE MOODS.


idiom with oi#da illustrated in Mark 1:24; see also Gal. 4:11), so that the

meaning would be expressed in English by translating, for they were

afraid that they should be stoned by the people; or e]fobou?nto . . . lao<n may

be taken as parenthetical, and mh> liqasqw?sin made to limit h#gen au]tou<j,

ou] meta> bi<aj; so Tisch. and WH.


REM. 2. Some MSS. and editors read a Future Indicative in 2 Cor.



225. The verb of fearing is sometimes unexpressed, the idea

of fear being suggested by the context; so, it may be, in Acts

5:39, and Matt. 25:9.


REM. 1. 2 Tim. 2:25, mh< pote dw<^ au]toi?j o[ qeo>j meta<noian is

probably best explained in the same way. For the gentleness and meekness in

dealing with those that oppose themselves, which he has enjoined, the

apostle adds the argument, [fearing] lest God may perchance grant them

repentance, i.e. lest on the assumption that they are past repentance you

be found dealing in harshness with those to whom God will yet grant



REM. 2. Dw<^ (Subjunctive) is to be preferred to d&<h (Optative) in

this passage as in Eph. 1:17. See the evidence in WS. p. 120 that this

form occurs as a Subjunctive not only in tbe Old Ionic language, but in

inscriptions of the second century B.C. Cf. WH. II. App. p. 168.


226. It is evident that object clauses after verbs of fear are closely

akin to negative object clauses after verbs signifying to care for. G.MT.

354. Some of the instances cited under 206 might not inappropriately

placed under 224. On the probable common origin of both, and their

development from the original parataxis, see G.MT. 307, 352.


227. When the object of apprehension is conceived of as

already present or past, i.e. as a thing already decided, al-

though the issue is at the time of speaking unknown, the In-

dicative is used both in classical and New Testament Greek.

HA. 888; G. 1380.


Gal. 4:11; fobou?mai u[ma?j mh< pwj ei]k^? kekopi<aka ei]j u[ma?j, I am afraid

I have perhaps bestowed labor upon you in vain. See also Gal. 2:2;

1 Thess. 3:5; Gen. 43:11.

MOODS IN CLAUSES OF CAUSE.                       97




228. A causal clause is one which gives either the cause or

the reason of the fact stated in the principal clause. Causal

causes are introduced by o!ti, dio<ti, e]pei<, e]peidh<, e]peidh<per, e]f ] &$

etc. HA. 925; G. 1505.


229. Moods and Tenses in Causal Clauses. The

moods and tenses are used in causal clauses with the same

force as in principal clauses.


John 14:19; o!ti e]gw> zw? kai> u[mei?j zh<sete, because I live, ye shall live also.

1 Cor. 14:12; e]pei> zhlwtai< e]ste pneuma<twn, pro>j th>n oi]kodomh>n th?j

e]kklhsi<aj zhtei?te i!na perisseu<hte, since ye are zealous of spiritual

gifts, seek that ye may abound unto the edifying of the church. See

also Luke 1:1; Acts 15:24; Rom. 5:12.


230. From the significance of a causal clause it naturally

results that its verb is usually an Indicative affirming a fact.

Any form, however, which expresses or implies either qualified

or unqualified assertion may stand after a causal conjunction.

Thus we find, e.g., a rhetorical question, or an apodosis of a

conditional sentence. In the latter case the protasis may be

omitted. In the following instances all three of these phe-

nomena coincide; the causal clause is an apodosis, its protasis

is omitted, it is expressed in the form of a rhetorical