Vasile Stancu

New Testament Greek for Beginners

(Based on the book with the same title by Gresham Machen, The MacMillan Company, 1923)


The First Declension

46. Vocabulary (audio)

ἀλήθεια, ἡ truth
βασιλεία, ἡ a kingdom
γραφή, ἡ a writing, a Scripture
δόξα, ἡ glory
εἰρήνη, ἡ peace
ἐκκλησία, ἡ a church
ἐντολή, ἡ a commandment
ζωή, ἡ life
ἡμέρα, ἡ a day
καρδία, ἡ a heart
παραβολή, ἡ a parable
φωνή, ἡ a voice
ψυχή, ἡ a life
ὥρα, ἡ an hour

47. All nouns of the first declension ending in α or η are feminine.

48. The declension of ὥρα, ἡ, an hour, is as follows (audio):

N, Vὥραὧραι

49. The stem of ὥρα is ὡρα-, and the first declension is sometimes called the α-declension, because its stems end in α. Since, however, the final vowel of the stem enters into various combinations with the endings it is more convenient for the beginner to regard ὡρ- as the stem and -α, -ας, etc., as the endings. It should be noticed that α is characteristic of this declension as ο is of the second declension.

50. It should be observed that the α in the nominative, genitive, and accusative singular, and in the accusative plural is long.

51. The genitive plural shows an exception to the rule of noun accent. The rule of noun accent would require the accent to remain on the same syllable as in the nominative singular. But nouns of the first declension have a circumflex on the ultima in the genitive plural no matter where the accent was in the nominative singular.

52. The declension of βασιλεία, a kingdom, is exactly like that of ὥρα, since here also there is a long accented penult in the nominative singular followed by a long a in the ultima.

53. The declension of ἀλήθεια, ἡ, truth, is as follows (audio):

N, Vἀλήθειαἀλήθειαι

This noun has a short α in the ultima in the nominative singular, and when in the first declension the α is shοrt in the nominative singular it is also short in the accusative singular. In the accusative plural the α is long in all first declension nouns. The accent follows the noun rule everywhere except in the genitive plural (see §51).

54. The declension of δόξα, ἡ, glory, is as follows (audio):

N, Vδόξαδόξαι

55. The α in the nominative singular of first-declension nouns is changed to η in the genitive and dative singular except after ε, ι, or ρ.

56. The declension of γραφή, ἡ, a writing, a Scripture, is as follows (audio):

N, Vγραφήγραφαί

57. When a first-declension noun ends in η, in the nominative singular, the η is retained throughout the singular. But the plurals of all first-declension nouns are alike.

58. In the first declension (exactly as in the second, see §40), when the ultima is accented at all, it has the circumflex in the genitive and dative of both numbers, elsewhere the acute.

59. Exercises

I. (audio)

1. ψυχὴ βλέπει ζωήν.
2. βασιλεία γινώσκει ἀλήθειαν.
3. ἄνθρωπος γράφει ἐντολὰς καὶ νόμους.
4. ἀπόστολοι λαμβάνουσι δούλους καὶ δῶρα καὶ ἐκκλησίας.
5. ἀπόστολοι καὶ ἐκκλησίαι βλέπουσι ζωὴν καὶ θάνατον.
6. υἱὸς δούλου λέγει παραβολὴν ἐκκλησίᾳ.
7. παραβολὴν λέγομεν καὶ ἐντολὴν καὶ νόμον.
8. βασιλείας γινώσκετε καὶ ἐκκλησίας.
9. ἐκκλησίαν διδάσκει ἀπόστολος καὶ βασιλείαν δοῦλος.
10. νόμον καὶ παραβολὴν γράφει ἄνθρωπος ἐκκλησίᾳ.
11. καρδίαι ἀνθρώπων ἔχουσι ζωὴν καὶ εἰρήνην.
12. φωνὴ ἀποστόλων διδάσκει ψυχὰς δοῦλων.
13. ὥρα ἔχει δόξαν.
14. φωναὶ ἐκκλησιῶν διδάσκουσι βασιλείας καὶ ἀνθρώπους.
15. βλέπεις δῶρα καὶ δόξαν.
16. γράφει ἐκκλησίᾳ λόγον ζωῆς.
17. λέγει καρδίαις ἀνθρώπων παραβολὴν καὶ νόμον.
18. γράφει ἐκκλησίᾳ υἱὸς ἀποστόλου.


1. A kingdom takes glory.
2. Churches are saying parables to hearts of men.
3. A heart of a man is teaching an apostle, and a voice of an apostle is teaching a servant.
4. We have writings of apostles.
5. Churches have peace and glory.
6. A day sees life and death.
7. Apostles take temples and kingdoms.
8. We see houses and temples and churches.
9. A servant says a parable to hearts of men.
10. We know voices of churches and words of truth.
11. A voice of an apostle says a parable to souls of men.