Vasile Stancu

New Testament Greek for Beginners

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


Conjugation of ἵστημι and οἶδα
The Optative Mood
Conditions Contrary to Fact
Uses of γίνομαι

538. Vocabulary

ἀνίστημι transitive, I cause to rise, in the present, fut., and 1st aor. act.; intransitive, I stand up, I arise, in the 2nd aor. and perf. act., and in the middle
δοκέω I seem, I think
δύναμαι dep. (the present system conjugated like the middle of ἵστημι), I am able
δύναμις, δυνάμεως, ἡ power, a miracle
ἔβην2nd aor. (of the μι form) of βαίνω (conjugated like the 2nd aor. of ἵστημι)
ἕτερος, -α, -ον another (sometimes, but not always, implies difference of kind, whereas ἄλλος often denotes mere numerical distinction)
ἵστημι transitive, I cause to stand, in the pres., fut. and 1st aor. act.; intransitive, I stand, in the perf. (which has the sense of a present = I stand) and in the 2nd aor.
κάθημαι dep. of the μι form, I sit (pres, part. καθήμενος, sitting)
οἶδα2nd perf. used as pres., I know
ὅλος, -η, -ονadj., whole, all
ὅμοιος, -α, -ονadj., like, similar (with the dative of that to which anything is similar)
οὔτε and not, nor (οὔτε... οὔτε neither … nor )
παραγίνομαι I become near, I arrive, I come (παραγίνομαι εἰς τὴν πόλιν , I arrive in the city))
φανερόω I make manifest, I manifest
φημί I say (a μι verb with stem φα-. Much less common than λέγω).
ὡς adv. and conj., as, when (some of its other uses have already been studied)

539. The principal parts of the μι verb ἵστημι, I cause to stand, are as follows:

ἵστημι, στήσω, ἔστησα, ἕστηκα, ἕσταμαι, ἐστάθην, 2nd aor. act. ἔστην.

540. The stem is στα-. The present system is reduplicated by the prefixing of ἱ-. The future and first aorist systems are perfectly regular, the στα- of the stem being lengthened to στη- before the σ of the tense suffixes. The perfect active is regular except that the ε- of the reduplication has the rough breathing. The perfect middle and passive retains the στα- of the stem unchanged instead of lengthening its vowel. The aorist passive also retains the στα-, but otherwise is regular.

541. Learn the active voice of the present system of ἵστημι in §600.

542. The treatment of the stem and of the endings in the present system is very much the same as in the case of δίδωμι and τίθημι. The declension of the participle ἱστάς is like that of λύσας, the aorist active participle of λύω, except for the accent.

543. Learn the middle and passive forms of the present system of ἵστημι in §600. It will be noticed that the endings are joined directly to the reduplicated stem ἱστα-, except in the subjunctive mood.

544. ἵστημι differs from δίδωμι and τίθημι in that it has a complete second aorist active as well as a complete first aorist active. The first aorist means I caused to stand (transitive), and the second aorist means I stood (intransitive) .

545. Learn the second aorist active of ἵστημι in §601.

546. It will be observed that the conjugation is very much like that of the aorist passive of λύω. The participle στάς is declined like the present participle ἱστάς.

547. A second aorist middle of ἵστημι does not occur.

548. In addition to the first perfect active participle, ἑστηκώς, ἵστημι has a second perfect participle ἑστώς, ἑστῶσα, ἑστός, gen. ἑστώτος, etc. Both ἑστηκώς and ἑστώτος mean standing.

549. Learn the conjugation of οἶδα, I know (a second perfect used as a present, the pluperfect, ᾔδειν, being used as an imperfect) in §603.

550. The Optative Mood

In the classical period, the Greek language had another mood, the optative, in addition to those which we have studied. In New Testament Greek, however, most of the classical uses of the optative have practically disappeared. The optative is still retained to express a wish. Thus μὴ γένοιτο (γένοιτο being the second aorist optative, third person singular, of γίνομαι) means may it not take place, God forbid. The few other optative forms in the New Testament can be noted when they occur.

551. Conditions Contrary to Fact

Conditions contrary to fact are expressed by the secondary tenses of the indicative in both protasis and apodosis. The protasis is introduced by εἰ, and the apodosis has the particle ἄν, which, however, is sometimes omitted.

Example: κύριε, εἰ ἦς ὧδε, οὐκ ἂν ἀπέθανεν ὁ ἀδελφός μου, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died.

Uses of γίνομαι

552. Thus far, in the exercises, it has usually been possible to translate γίνομαι by the English word become. But very often, in the New Testament, such a translation is impossible. The English word become requires a predicate nominative, but in very many cases γίνομαι has no predicate nominative. In such cases it means happen, come into being, come to pass, appear, arise, be made. Sometimes it can be translated by the words come or be.


(1)ἐν ἐκεῖναις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐγένετο ἱερεύς τις, in those days there was (appeared in history) a certain priest.
(2) πάντα δι' αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, all things came into being (or were made) through him.
(3) εἶδεν τὰ γενόμενα, he saw the things that had happened.
(4) φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν, a voice came out of the heavens. [But it must not be supposed that γίνομαι is a verb of motion.]

553. The usage of καὶ ἐγένετο and ἐγένετο δὲ, meaning and it came to pass, calls for special comment. There are three forms of this usage, which may be illustrated as follows. (*1)

(*1) This method of illustration is taken, in essentials, from J. H. Moulton, Grammar of New Testament Greek, Vol. I, "Prolegomena", 2nd Edition, 1906, p. 16.

(1) καὶ ἐγένετο ἐλθεῖν, and it came to pass that he came. Here the accusative and infinitive depend on ἐγένετο in a way that is at least after the analogy of ordinary Greek usage.

(2) καὶ ἐγένετο καὶ ἦλθεν, and it came to pass and he came. The literal English translation is here intolerable, and the Greek also is not in accordance with the ordinary usage of the Greek language, but is derived from a Hebrew idiom.

(3) καὶ ἐγένετο ἦλθεν, and it came to pass he came. This also is not an ordinary Greek usage, ἦλθεν, being left without a construction. Both (2) and (3), as well as (1) may be translated freely and it came to pass that he came.

554. Exercises


1. διὰ τοῦτο ὁ κόσμος οὐ γινώσκει ἡμᾶς ὅτι οὐκ ἔγνω αὐτόν. Ἀγαπητοί, νῦν τέκνα θεοῦ ἐσμεν, καὶ οὔπω ἐφανερώθη τί ἐσόμεθα. οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἐὰν φανερωθῇ ὅμοιοι αὐτῷ ἐσόμεθα, ὅτι ὀψόμεθα αὐτὸν καθώς ἐστιν.
2. ἔλεγον οὖν αὐτῷ Ποῦ ἐστιν ὁ πατήρ σου; ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς Οὔτε ἐμὲ οἴδατε οὔτε τὸν πατέρα μου· εἰ ἐμὲ ἤδειτε, καὶ τὸν πατέρα μου ἂν ἤδειτε.
3. ζητήσετέ με καὶ οὐχ εὑρήσετε, καὶ ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγὼ ὑμεῖς οὐ δύνασθε ἐλθεῖν.
4. καὶ συνέρχεται πάλιν ὁ ὄχλος, ὥστε μὴ δύνασθαι αὐτοὺς μηδὲ ἄρτον φαγεῖν.
5. ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν Ὑπάγω καὶ ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς. εἰ ἠγαπᾶτέ με, ἐχάρητε ἂν ὅτι πορεύομαι πρὀς τὀν πατέρα, ὅτι ὁ πατὴρ μείζων μού ἐστιν.
6. εὗρεν ἄλλους ἑστώτας, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Τί ὧδε ἑστήκατε ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν;
7. προφήτην ὑμῖν ἀναστήσει κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ὑμῶν ὡς ἐμέ· αὐτοῦ ἀκούσεσθε (*1) κατὰ πάντα ὅσα ἂν λαλήσῃ ὑμῖν.

(*1) The future of ἀκούω is here deponent.

8. καὶ ἀναστὰς ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Οὐδὲν ἀποκρίνῃ;
9. τότε οὖν εἰσῆλθεν καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς ὁ ἐλθὼν πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ εἶδεν καὶ ἐπίστευσεν· οὐδέπω (*2) γὰρ ᾔδεισαν τὴν γραφὴν, ὅτι δεῖ αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῆναι.

(*2) οὐδέπω, not yet.

10. εἰ ἐν Σοδόμοις (*3) ἐγενήθησαν αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ γενόμεναι ἐν σοί, ἔμεινεν ἂν μέχρι (*4) τῆς σήμερον (*5) .

(*3) Σόδωμα -ων, τά, plural in singular sense, Sodom.
(*4) μέχρι with gen., until, up to.
(*5) σήμερον, adv., today; ἡ σήμερον (supply ἡμέρα), today

11. ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δύναμιν καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ πάντα τὰ δαιμόνια.
12. ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα (*6) τὸν λαὸν καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου ἀνεῳχθῆναι τὸν οὐρανόν, καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον.

(*6) ἅπας, ἅπασα, ἅπαν, all (a strengthened form of πᾶς).

13. ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὰ ὄρη προσεύξασθαι.
14. ἐξῆλθον δὲ ἰδεῖν τὸ γεγονός, καὶ ἦλθον πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν, καὶ εὗρον καθήμενον τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἀφ' οὗ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐξῆλθον.
15. καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν τόπῳ τινὶ προσευχόμενον, ὡς ἐπαύσατο, (*7) εἶπέν τις τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτὸν Κύριε δίδαξον ἡμᾶς προσεύχεσθαι, καθὼς καὶ Ἰωάννης (*8) ἐδίδαξεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ.

(*7) παύομαι (middle), I cease.
(*8) Ἰωάννης, -ου, ὁ, John.

16. ὁ δὲ ἔφη αὐτῷ Ἀγαπήσεις κύριον τὸν θεὸν σου ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ καρδίᾳ σου.
17. δοκεῖτε ὅτι εἰρήνην παρεγενόμην δοῦναι ἐν τῇ γῇ;
18. περὶ τίνος ὁ προφήτης λέγει τοῦτο; περὶ ἑαυτοῦ ἢ περὶ ἑτέρου τινός;
19. αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί.


1. He forgave those who had risen up against their king.
2. We know that those who are sitting in the house will not go out until they see the apostle.
3. When Jesus had gone down from the mountain, the disciples saw the man sitting in the house.
4. We saw the apostles standing in the presence of the chief priests.
5. When the women had arrived in the city they saw Jesus doing many miracles.
6. In those days there rose up a certain king who did not know us.
7. Thou hast manifested Thyself to those who are sitting in darkness.
8. When he had seen these things he did not know what he was saying.
9. We are not able to know all these things unless the Lord manifests them to us.
10. We have found the One who is able to take away our sins.
11. We know that no one is able to do what the king does.