Vasile Stancu

New Testament Greek for Beginners

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


Future Active and Middle Indicative

150. Vocabulary

ἀναβλέπωfut. ἀναβλέψω, I look up, I receive my sight
βήσομαι I shall go, dep. fut. of βαίνω
γενήσομαι I shall become, dep. fut. of γίνομαι
γνώσομαιI shall know, dep. fut. of γινώσκω
διδάξω I shall teach, fut. of διδάσκω
διώκω fut. διώξω, I pursue, I persecute
δοξάζω fut. δοξάσω, I glorify
ἐλεύσομαι I shall come, I shall go, dep. fut. of ἔρχομαι
ἕξω I shall have, fut. of ἔχω (note the breathing)
κηρύσσω fut. κηρύξω, I proclaim, I preach
λήμψομαι I shall take, dep. fut. of λαμβάνω
προσεύχομαι dep., fut. προσεύξομαι, I pray
τυφλός, ὁ a blind man

151. The present and imperfect tenses, in all three voices, are formed on the present stem, to which the personal endings, being joined to the stem by the variable vowel ο/ε, are added.

But the future active and middle are formed on the future stem, which is formed by adding the tense suffix σ to the stem of the verb. Thus, while λυ- is the stem of the verb (which in the case of λύω is also the present stem), λυσ- is the future stem.

152. The future, being a primary tense, has primary personal endings like the present tense. The variable vowel is also the same. Therefore the future active and middle indicative are conjugated exactly like the present active and middle, except that the future has λυσ- at the beginning instead of λυ-.

153. It will be remembered that in the present and imperfect tenses the middle and passive are alike in form. But in the future the passive is quite different from the middle and will be reserved for a subsequent lesson. λύομαι, therefore, means I shall loose for myself, but it does not mean I shall be loosed.

154. The future active indicative of λύω, is as follows:

1 λύσωI shall loose λύσομενwe shall loose
2 λύσειςthou wilt loose λύσετεye will loose
3 λύσειhe will loose λύσουσιthey will loose

155. The future middle indicative of λύω is as follows:

1 λύσομαι I shall loose for myself λυσόμεθα we shall loose for ourselves
2 λύσῃ thou wilt loose for thyself λύσεσθε ye will loose for yourselves
3 λύσεται he will loose for himself λύσονται they will loose for themselves

156. Future Active and Middle of Stems Ending in a Consonant

When the stem of a verb ends in a consonant, the addition of the tense suffix σ brings two consonants together. The following results then occur:

(1) π, β, φ (called labial mutes because they are pronounced by means of the lips) form with the following σ the double consonant ψ.

Examples: The future of πέμπω is πέμψω, and of γράφω, γράψω.

(2) κ, γ, χ (called palatal mutes because they are pronounced by means of the palate) form with the following σ the double consonant ξ (ks).

Examples: The future of ἄγω is ἄξω, and of ἄρχω, ἄρξω.

(3) τ, δ, θ (called lingual mutes because they are formed by means of the tongue) drop out before the σ.

Example: The future of πείθω is πείσω.

Formation of the Future Stem and Other Tense Stems of Various Verbs

157. In the case of many verbs the verb stem is different from the present stem.


(1) The verb stem of κηρύσσω is not κηρυσσ- but κηρυκ-. From κηρυκ- the future κηρύξω is formed by the rule given in §156.
(2) The verb stem of βαπτίζω is not βαπτιζ- but βαπτιδ-. From βαπτιδ- the future βαπτίσω is formed by the rule given in §156.

158. In general, the future of a Greek verb cannot certainly be formed by any rules; it must be looked up in the lexicon for every individual verb, so numerous are the irregularities.

159. The Greek verb is for the most part exceedingly regular in deriving the individual forms indicating voice, mood, person and number from the basal tense stems. But the formation of those basal tense stems from the stem of the verb (and still more from the present stem) is often exceedingly irregular. The basal tense stems, from which all the rest of the verb is formed, are six in number. These six, given with the personal ending for the first person singular indicative, are called the principal parts. So far, only two of the six principal parts of λύω have been learned. From the first of the principal parts, λύω, all of the present and imperfect in all three voices is formed; from the second, λύσω, all of the future active and middle. The present and imperfect together form the present system; the future active and middle form the future system.

160. The regularity of the Greek verb in making the individual forms within each tense system from the first form of the tense system, and the great irregularity in making the first forms themselves, may be illustrated by the very irregular verb ἔρχομαι. The student would certainly never have expected that the future of ἔρχομαι would be ἐλεύσομαι; but once he has learned from the lexicon that ἐλεύσομαι is the first person singular of the future, the third plural, ἐλεύσονται, for example, can be derived from it exactly as λύσονται is derived from λύσομαι, which in turn is derived from λύσω.

161. From this point on, it will be assumed that the student will use the general vocabularies at the back of the book. The method of using them may be illustrated as follows:

(1) Suppose it is desired to translate they will begin into Greek. The first step is to look up the word begin in the English-Greek vocabulary. It is there said that begin is expressed by the middle voice of ἄρχω. The next step is to look up the word ἄρχω in the Greek- English vocabulary. With it, in the Greek-English vocabulary, the principal parts are given. The second of the principal parts is the future ἄρξω. It is the future which is desired, because they will begin is future. But it is the middle voice of ἄρχω, which means begin. Therefore we are looking for the future middle indicative (third person plural). That can be derived from ἄρξω after the analogy of λύω. If the paradigm of λύω be consulted, it will be discovered that the future middle indicative, third person plural, is formed from the second of the principal parts by retaining the λυσ- of λύσω and putting on -ονται instead of . Treating ἄρξω in the same way, we keep ἄρξ- and add -ονται to it. Thus ἄρξονται is the form desired.

(2) If the form σώσει is found in the Greek-English exercises, the student will naturally guess that the second σ is the sign of the future just as the σ in the λύσει. He will therefore look up verbs beginning with σω-. Without difficulty σώζω will be found, and its future (the second of the principal parts) is discovered to be σώσω, of which, of course, σώσει is simply the third person singular.

(3) Similarly, if the student sees a form ἄξω he should at once surmise that the σ concealed in the double consonant ξ is the σ of the future. The present, therefore, will naturally be ἄκω or ἄγω or ἄχω. It may be necessary to try all three of these in the vocabulary until it be discovered that ἄγω is correct.

Of course these processes will soon become second nature and will be performed without thought of the individual steps.

162. The more difficult forms will be listed separately in the vocabularies, with references to the verbs from which they come.

163. But the forms of compound verbs will not be thus listed. For example, if the student sees ἀπελεύσεσθε in the exercises, he should observe that ἀπ- is evidently the preposition ἀπό with its final vowel elided. The simple verb form, then, with the preposition removed, is ἐλεύσεσθε. The first person singular would be ἐλευσομαι. This form will be found in the Greek-English vocabulary and will be designated as the future of ἔρχομαι. Therefore, since ἐλεύσεσθε comes from ἔρχομαι, ἀπελεύσεσθε will come from ἀπέρχομαι, and that is the verb which the student must finally look up.

164. Deponent Future of Certain Verbs

Some verbs are deponent in one tense but not in another.

Examples: βαίνω has a future of the middle form, βήσομαι. It is thus deponent in the future but not in the present.

165. Exercises


1. ἄξει ὁ κύριος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν.
2. γνωσόμεθα καὶ τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς καὶ τοὺς πονηρούς.
3. λήμψεσθε τὰ πλοῖα ἐκ τῆς θαλάσσης.
4. λύσεις τοὺς δούλους.
5. ἕξουσιν οἱ πονηροὶ οὐδὲ χαρὰν οὐδὲ εἰρήνην.
6. ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐλεύσεται ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου σὺν τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ.
7. ἁμαρτωλοί ἐστε, γενήσεσθε δὲ μαθηταὶ τοῦ κυρίου.
8. διώκουσιν οἱ πονηροὶ τοὺς προφήτας, ἀλλ' ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκέτι διώξουσιν αὐτούς.
9. προσεύξῃ τῷ θεῷ σου καὶ δοξάσεις αὐτόν.
10. τότε γνώσεσθε ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ κύριος.
11. ταῦτα γνώσομαι οὐδὲ ἐγώ.
12. ἄλλους διδάξει ὁ δοῦλος, ἀλλ' ἐμὲ διδάξει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὁ πιστός.
13. ἐκεῖνα λήμψονται οἱ ἀπόστολοι, ταῦτα δὲ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί.
14. διὰ τοῦ λόγου τοῦ κυρίου ἀναβλέψουσιν οἱ τυφλοὶ οὗτοι.
15. ὁ προφήτης αὐτὸς γράψει ταῦτα ἐν ταῖς γραφαῖς.
16. ἐλεύσονται κακὰς ἡμέρας.
17. ἀπελεύσῃ καὶ σὺ εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς τῶν πονηρῶν καὶ διδάξεις οὗτως τοὺς ἀνθρώπους.
18. κηρύξουσιν καὶ αὐτοὶ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἐν τούτῳ τῷ κόσμῳ τῷ κακῷ.
19. ἐλεύσεται καὶ αὕτη πρὸς αὐτόν, καὶ αὐτὸς διδάξει αὐτήν.
20. ἐκηρύσσετο τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταῖς κακαῖς, κηρύσσεται δὲ καὶ νῦν, ἀλλ' ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐλεύσεται ὁ κύριος αὐτός.


1. The Church will send servants to me.
2. These women will become good.
3. These words I shall write in a book.
4. These things will come into the world in those days.
5. Now he is not yet teaching me, but in that hour he shall both teach me and know me.
6. They were pursuing these women in the evil days. and they will pursue them even into the other places.
7. Then will blind men pray to the Lord, but evil men will not pray.
8. The gifts were being taken by us from the children, but we shall take them no longer.
9. We shall pray for (in behalf of) the same children in the Church.
10. In this world we have death, but in the kingdom of God we shall have both love and glory.
11. Then we were being taught by the apostles, but in that day we also shall teach.
12. In those days I was persecuting you, but now ye shall persecute me.
13. Thou wilt not go down to the sea, but wilt pursue these women with their children into the desert.
14. They were preaching this gospel, but now they will no longer preach it.
15. These things are evil, but you will have good things in that day.
16. The Lord will come to His Church in glory.