Vasile Stancu

New Testament Greek for Beginners

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


Second Aorist Active and Middle Indicative

186. Vocabulary

γάρ conj., postpositive (see §91), for
ἔβαλον I threw, I cast, 2nd aor. of βάλλω
ἐγενόμην I became, dep. 2nd aor. of γίνομαι
εἶδον (*1) I saw , 2nd aor. of βλέπω (may also be regarded as 2nd aor. of ὁράω)
εἶπον I said, 2nd aor. of λέγω
ἔλαβον I took, 2nd aor. of λαμβάνω
ἤγαγον I led, 2nd aor. of ἄγω
ἦλθον I came, I went, 2nd aor. of ἔρχομαι
ἤνεγκα I bore, I brought, 1st aor. of φέρω (conjugated like the 1st aor. of λύω, but with -κα instead of -σα)
λείπω 2nd. aor., ἔλιπον, I leave
ὄψομαι I shall see, dep. fut. of βλέπω
πίπτω 2nd aor. ἔπεσον, I fall
προσφέρω I bring to (takes the accusative of the thing that is brought and the dative of the person to whom it is brought. Example: προσφέρω τὰ τέκνα τῷ κυρίῳ, I bring the children to the Lord)

(*1) In the New Testament, εἶδον has, in the indicative, almost exclusively first aorist endings, instead of second aorist endings, and in other verbs also first aorist endings are often placed on second aorist stems. See J. H. Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek , Vol. II, 1920, "Accidence and Word Formation", edited by W. F. Howard, pp. 208f., note 1. It is therefore rather a concession to weakness when εἶδον etc. are here treated as second aorists throughout. But this procedure will probably be better until the nature of the second aorist becomes thoroughly familiar to the student. The first aorist endings can afterwards easily be recognized when they occur. Compare §521.

187. It has already been observed that the second aorist is not a different tense from the first aorist, but only a different way of forming the same tense. Very few verbs, therefore, have both a first aorist and a second aorist, just as very few verbs in English form their preterit both by adding -ed and by making changes within the body of the word.

Thus the preterit of live is lived, and the preterit of rise is rose, but live has no preterit love, nor has rise a preterit rised. The uses of the tense lived are exactly the same as the uses of the tense rose. So also in Greek the uses of the second aorist are exactly the same as the uses of the first aorist.

188. It cannot be determined beforehand whether a verb is going to have a first aorist or a second aorist, nor if it has a second aorist what the form of that second aorist will be. These matters can be settled only by an examination of the lexicon for each individual verb.

189. The second aorist system (consisting of all moods of the second aorist active and middle) differs from the present system (consisting of all moods of the present and imperfect active, middle and passive), not by adding -σα or any other tense suffix to the stem of the verb, but by differences, as over against the present, within the body of the word. Usually these differences mean that the second aorist has gotten back nearer to the real, fundamental verb stem than the present has.

(1) λαμβάνω has a second aorist ἔλαβον, λαβ- being the second aorist stem and λαμβαν- the present stem.
(2) βάλλω has a second aorist ἔβαλον, βαλ- being the second aorist stem and βαλλ- the present stem.

190. Upon the second aorist stem are formed the second aorist active and middle. The aorist passive of all verbs is different from the aorist middle, whether the aorist middle is first aorist or second aorist. ἐλιπόμην, therefore, the aorist middle of λείπω, does not mean I was left. In order to translate I was left, an entirely different form, the aorist passive, would be used.

191. The second aorist, being a secondary tense, has an augment, which is just like the augment of the imperfect. Thus a second aorist stem like λιπ- (of λείπω), which begins with a consonant, prefixes to make the augment (the stem λιπ- thus making ἔλιπον), while a second aorist stem like ἐλθ-, which begins with a vowel, lengthens that vowel (the stem ἐλθ- thus making ἦλθον).

192. The second aorist, being a secondary tense, has secondary personal endings. Between these and the stem comes the variable vowel ο/ε exactly as in the present and imperfect. The second aorist indicative, therefore, is conjugated exactly like the imperfect, except that the imperfect is formed on the present stem, while the second aorist indicative is formed on the second aorist stem. Thus ἐλείπομεν means we were leaving (imperfect), whereas ἐλίπομεν means we left (second aorist). Sometimes a single letter serves to distinguish imperfect from second aorist. ἐβάλλομεν, for example, means we were throwing (imperfect), whereas ἐβάλομεν means we threw (second aorist).

193. The second aorist active indicative of λείπω, I leave, is as follows:

1 ἔλιπον I left ἐλίπομεν we left
2 ἔλιπες thou leftst ἐλίπετε ye left
3 ἔλιπε(ν) he left ἔλιπον they left

194. The second aorist middle indicative of λείπω is as follows:


195. Exercises


1. καὶ εἴδομεν τὸν κύριον καὶ ἠκούσαμεν τοὺς λόγους αὐτοῦ.
2. οὐδὲ γὰρ εἰσῆλθες εἰς τοὺς οἴκους αὐτῶν οὐδὲ εἶπες αὐτοῖς παραβολήν.
3. ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐγένοντο μαθηταὶ τοῦ κυρίου.
4. οὗτοι μὲν ἐγένοντο μαθηταὶ ἀγαθοί, ἐκεῖνοι δὲ ἔτι ἦσαν πονηροί.
5. προσέφερον αὐτῷ τοὺς τυφλούς.
6. ἔπεσον ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ οἱ ἄγγελοι οἱ πονηροί.
7. τὰ μὲν δαιμόνια ἐξεβάλετε, τὰ δὲ τέκνα ἐθεραπεύσατε.
8. τοὺς μὲν πονηροὺς συνηγάγετε ὑμεῖς εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ὑμῶν, τοὺς δὲ ἀγαθοὺς ἡμεῖς.
9. οὐκ ἐκήρυξας τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐγένου μαθητής.
10. νῦν μὲν λέγετε λόγους ἀγαθούς, εἶπον δὲ οὗτοι τοὺς αὐτοὺς λόγους καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις.
11. ἐπιστεύσαμεν εἰς τὸν κύριον, οἱ γὰρ μαθηταὶ ἤγαγον ἡμᾶς πρὸς αὐτόν.
12. ταῦτα μὲν εἶπον ὑμῖν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, ἐκεῖνα δὲ οὔπω λέγω.
13. τότε μὲν εἰσήλθετε εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, ἐν ἐκείνῃ δὲ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ εἰσελεύσεσθε εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν.
14. τότε ὀψόμεθα τὸν κύριον ἐν τῇ δόξα αὐτοῦ· ἐπιστεύσαμεν γὰρ εἰς αὐτόν.
15. ὁ μὲν κύριος ἐξῆλθε τότε ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου, οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἔτι μένουσιν ἐν αὐτῷ.
16. ταύτας τὰς ἐντολὰς ἔλαβον ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου, ἤμην γὰρ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ.
17. τότε μὲν παρελάβετε τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν παρὰ τοῦ κυρίου, νῦν δὲ καὶ κηρύσσετε αὐτὴν ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ.
18. ἤλθετε πρὸς τὸν κύριον καὶ παρελάβετε παρ' αὐτοῦ ταῦτα.
19. συνήγαγεν ἡμᾶς αὐτὸς εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν αὐτοῦ.
20. εἶδον οἱ ἄνθρωποι τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ· ἐγένετο γὰρ αὐτὸς ἄνθρωπος καὶ ἔμεινεν ἐν τούτῳ τῷ κόσμῳ.


1. We did not see Him, for we were not yet disciples of Him.
2. The apostle brought the sinners to Him.
3. Ye did not hear me, but ye came to my disciples.
4. Ye entered into this house, but the others went out of it.
5. The sinners were going into their houses, but the apostles saw the Lord.
6. In those days we shall see the Lord, but in the evil days we did not see Him.
7. Thy brothers were taking gifts from the children, but the apostles took the children from them.
8. You became a servant of the apostle, but the apostle became to you even a brother.
9. Ye have become a church of God, for ye have believed on His Son.
10. He has gathered together His disciples into His kingdom.
11. The faithful teacher said that the Lord is good.
12. They believed in the Lord and brought others also to Him.
13. They heard the children and came to them.
14. We received joy and peace from God, because we were already entering into His kingdom.
15. The disciples say that the apostles saw the Lord and received this from Him.
16. You went out into the desert, but the apostle said these things to his brethren.