Vasile Stancu

New Testament Greek for Beginners

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


Comparison of Adjectives
Declension of μείζων
Genitive of Comparison and Use of ἤ
Genitive with Adverbs of Place
Genitive of Time
Genitive of the Articular Infinitive Expressing Purpose
Dative of Respect
Accusative of Specification
Dative of Time
Possessive Adjectives
μή Used as a Conjunction
ἵνα with the Subjunctive in Various Uses
μή with the Indicative in Questions Expecting a Negative Answer

455. Vocabulary

ἐμός, -ή, -όν poss. adj., belonging to me, my
ἔμπροσθενadv., in front, in the presence of (with gen.)
ἐνώπιονadv., before, in the sight of, in the presence of (with gen.)
ἔξωadv., outside, outside of (with gen.)
ἐχθρός, ὁ an enemy
conj., than (the meaning or has already been given)
ἡμέτερος, -α, -ον poss. adj., belonging to us, our
ἴδιος, -α, -ον belonging to one's self, one’s own
ἱκανός, -ή, -όν sufficient, worthy, considerable
ἰσχυρότερος, -α, -ον stronger , comparative of ἰσχυρός, -ά, -όν, strong
καλῶςadv., well
κρείσσων, -ον better , comparative of ἀγαθός
μᾶλλονadv., more, rather
μείζων, -ον greater , comparative of μέγας
μήconj., lest, in order that not (the adverbial use of μή = not has already been given)
μήποτε lest perchance
ὅπως in order that (takes the subjunctive. Used very much as ἵνα is used)
πάλινadv., again
πλείων, -ον more , comparative of πολύς
σάββατον, τό sabbath (the plural τὰ σάββατα, with irregular dative τοῖς σάββασι(ν) , is often used in the singular sense)
σός, -ή, -όν poss. adj., belonging to thee, thy
ὑμέτερος, -α, -ον poss. adj., belonging to you, your

Comparison of Adjectives

456. The comparative degree of adjectives ends sometimes in -τερος, -α, -ον, (declined like a regular adjective of the second and first declension) and sometimes in -ιων, -ιων, -ιον (declined according to the third declension in all three genders).

457. The superlative degree ends in -τατος, -η, -ον, or -ιστος, -η, -ον. But in the New Testament the superlative is rather rare.

458. A number of adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms. These can be learned from the lexicon as they occur.

Example: μικρός, little; ἐλάσσων, less; ἐλάχιστος, least.

459. The declension of μείζων, -ον, greater, the comparative of μέγας, is as follows:

sg pl
m,f n m,f n
N μείζων μεῖζον μείζονες μείζονα
G μείζονος μείζονος μειζόνων μειζόνων
D μείζονι μείζονι μείζοσι(ν) μείζοσι(ν)
A μείζονα μεῖζον μείζονας μείζονα

460. σώφρων, wise, ἄφρων, foolish, ἐλάσσων, less, πλείων, more, κρείσσων, better, etc., are similarly declined.

461. The shortened form, μείζω, can stand for μείζονα in the accusative singular masculine and feminine and neuter plural nominative and accusative, and the shortened form, μείζους, in the nominative and accusative plural masculine and feminine.

462. Genitive of Comparison and Use of ἤ, than

Where English uses than after a comparative word, Greek uses either ( 1 ) the genitive of comparison or ( 2 ) followed by the same case as that which stands in the other member of the comparison.


(1) μείζονα τούτων ποιήσει, greater things than these will he do.

(2) ἠγάπησαν οἱ ἄνθρωποι μάλλον τὸ σκότος ἢ τὸ φῶς, men loved darkness more than light. Here φῶς is accusative. The meaning is men loved darkness more than they loved light.


463. Many adverbs are formed from adjectives by substituting ς for ν at the end of the genitive plural masculine and neuter.

Example: καλός, good; genitive plural, καλῶν; adverb, καλώς, well.

464. The comparative degree of adverbs is like the accusative singular neuter of the comparative degree of the corresponding adjective; and the superlative degree of the adverb is like the accusative plural neuter of the superlative degree of the corresponding adjective.

465. Many adverbs, however, are of diverse forms which must be learned by observation.

466. The Genitive with Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place take the genitive.

Example: ἔξω, outside; ἔξω τῆς πόλεως, outside of the city; ἐγγύς τῆς πόλεως, near the city.

467. Genitive of Time Within Which

The genitive is occasionally used to express time within which.

Example: παρέλαβε τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ νυκτός, he took the young child and His mother hy night.

468. Genitive of the Articular Infinitive Expressing Purpose

The genitive of the articular infinitive, without any preposition, is sometimes used to express purpose.

Example: ἦλθεν πρὸς τὸν προφήτην τοῦ βαπτισθῆναι ὑπ' αὐτοῦ, he came to the prophet in order to he baptized hy him.

It will be remembered that for the most part the articular infinitive is used in the same constructions as those in which an ordinary noun with the article can be used. This use of the genitive to express purpose, however, would not be possible for an ordinary noun.

469. The Dative of Respect

The dative is used to indicate the respect in which anything exists or is true.

Example: γινωσκόμενος τῷ προσώπῳ, being known hy face (i. e. being known so far as the face is concerned); καθαρὸς τῇ καρδία, pure in heart (i. e. pure so far as the heart is concerned); ἀνὴρ ὀνόματι Ἰάκωβος, a man by name James (i.e. a man who is James so far as the name is concerned).

470. Accusative of Specification

The accusative of specification is very much the same in meaning as the dative of respect, but is less frequently used.

Example: τὸν ἀριθμὸν ὡς πεντακισχίλιοι, about five thousand in number.

The Dative of Time

471. The dative is sometimes used to express time when. Example: ἐθεράπευσε τῷ σαββάτῳ, he healed on the sabbath.

472. Usually, however, time when is expressed by prepositional phrases. So on the sabbath could be ἐν τῷ σαββάτῳ.

Possessive Adjectives

473. The possessive adjectives ἐμός, my, σός, thy, ἡμέτερος, our, ὑμέτερος, your, are sometimes used instead of the genitive case of the personal pronouns when emphasis is desired. These possessive adjectives are declined like regular adjectives of the second and first declension. They can stand in the attributive position with the article.


ὁ ἐμὸς λόγος, the belonging-to-me word (i.e., my word);
ἡ χαρὰ ἡ ἐμέ, my joy ;
τὸ θέλημα τὸ ἐμόν, my will;
τὰ ἐμὰ πάντα σά ἐστιν, all the belonging-to-me things are thine (i.e., all my things are thine);
ὁ ἡμέτερος λόγος, our word;
ὁ ὑμέτερος λόγος, your word.

474. This usage is comparatively infrequent. The common way of saying my word is not ὁ ἐμὸς λόγος, or ὁ λόγος ὁ ἐμός, but ὁ λόγος μου (the word of me).

μή Used as a Conjunction

475. Words denoting fear are followed by μή, lest, with the subjunctive. μή is here not an adverb, as is the case when it means not, but a conjunction.

Example: φοβοῦμαι μὴ ἔλθῃ, I fear lest he come.

476. Negative clauses of purpose may also be introduced by the simple μή instead of by ἵνα μή.

Example: τοῦτο ποιεῖτε μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς κρίσιν, do this lest you come into judgment.

477. ἵνα with the Subjunctive in Various Uses

In addition to the use by which it expresses purpose, ἵνα with the subjunctive is very frequently used after words of exhorting, wishing, striving, and in various ways that are not easily classified.


(1) εἰπὲ τῷ λίθῷ τούτῳ ἵνα γενήται ἄρτος, say to this stone that it become bread.
(2) αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἐντολὴ ἡ ἐμὴ ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους, this is my commandment, that you should love one another.

Questions Expecting a Negative Answer

478. Questions expecting a negative answer are expressed by μή with the indicative.

479. This rule constitutes an important exception to the general rule for the use of οὐ and μή (see §256). Questions expecting a positive answer have οὐ with the indicative.

Example: μὴ ἰσχυρότεροι αὐτοῦ ἐσμεν;, are we stronger than he? The answer expected is "No, of course not".
Compare οὐκ ἰσχυρότεροί ἐσμεν αὐτοῦ;, are we not stronger than he? Here the answer expected is "Yes, certainly we are".

480. Exercises


1. παρακαλῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς ἵνα τὸ αὐτὸ λέγητε πάντες.
2. ὅσα ἐὰν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, οὗτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε· οὗτος γὰρ ἐστιν ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται.
3. κέλευσον οὖν τηρηθῆναι τὸ σῶμα ὑπὸ τῶν στρατιωτῶν, μήποτε ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ λάβωσιν αὐτὸ καὶ εἴπωσιν τῷ λαῷ ὅτι ἠγέρθη ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν.
4. οὐκ ἔστιν δοῦλος μείζων τοῦ πέμψαντος αὐτόν.
5. μείζονα ταύτης ἀγάπην οὐδεὶς ἔχει, ἵνα τις ἀποθάνῃ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἄλλων.
6. πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν ἄλλους δούλους πλείονας τῶν πρώτων.
7. εἰ δίκαιόν ἐστιν ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ ὑμῶν ἀκούειν μᾶλλον ἢ τοῦ θεοῦ, κρίνατε.
8. ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν Ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν καὶ προσεύχεσθε ὑπὲρ τῶν διωκόντων ὑμᾶς, ὅπως γένησθε υἱοὶ τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς.
9. εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασι καλῶς ποιεῖν.
10. ἔμεινεν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐκεῖ διὰ τὸ εἶναι τὸν τόπον ἐγγὺς τῆς πόλεως.
11. τότε συναχθήσονται ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη.
12. μὴ ποίει τοῦτο· οὐ γὰρ ἱκανός εἰμι ἵνα εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν μου εἰσέλθῃς.
13. ἐλθόντες οἱ στρατιῶται νυκτὸς ἔλαβον τὸν ἄνδρα καὶ ἀγαγόντες αὐτὸν ἔξω ἀπέκτειναν.
14. τῇ μὲν σαρκὶ οὒκ ἐστε μεθ' ἡμῶν, τῇ δὲ καρδία ἐστὲ ἐγγύς.
15. μὴ περιπατοῦμεν κατὰ σάρκα; οὐκ ἔχομεν τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ;
16. εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως τοῦ εἶναι ἐγγὺς τοῦ τόπου ὅπου ἦν ὁ Ἰησοῦς.
17. εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον.
18. ἐγὼ ἐλήλυθα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ πατρός μου, καὶ οὐ λαμβάνετέ με· ἐὰν ἄλλος ἔλθῃ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τῷ ἰδίῷ, ἐκεῖνον λήμψεσθε.
19. μὴ ἐποίησα τὸ ἴδιον θέλημα; οὐ μᾶλλον ἐποίησα τὸ σόν;
20. εἰ ἐμὲ ἐδίωξαν, καὶ ὑμᾶς διώξουσιν· εἰ τὸν λόγον μου ἐτήρησαν, καὶ τὸν ὑμέτερον τηρήσουσιν.


1. Those who have done one work well will do also greater things.
2. He who rules his own house well does a greater thing than he who takes many cities.
3. Why do ye do these things? Are ye kings and priests? Are ye not servants?
4. Those who were in the darkness besought us that we should pity them and not cast them out.
5. Those who belong to me are in the city and those who belong to thee are outside of it, but we shall all be in the presence of God.
6. Art thou stronger than the One who made the earth and the sea and all the things that are in them?
7. Do not fear him who kills the body, but fear rather Him who has made all things.
8. When ye have seen your own brethren ye shall go also to the Gentiles.
9. We have more servants than you, but ours are not sufficient to evangelize (*1) all the Gentiles.

(*1) What construction has been used after ἱκανός to express the idea sufficient (or worthy) that they should... ?

10. Those who worship the Lord by day and by night shall be stronger than those who persecute them.
11. More are those who are with us than those who are with them.
12. Being with you in heart, not in countenance, we exhorted you that ye should do well all the things which we had commanded you.
13. The priests went out of the city, lest perchance the scribes might see them doing that which it is not lawful to do.
14. If anyone stronger than we comes against us we shall not remain in our city.
15. Jesus having healed a certain man on the sabbath, the scribes were afraid lest the people should make Him a king.
16. It is better to die in behalf of the brethren than to do what the apostles exhorted us that we should not do.