Biblical Greek - Lesson 1

The Greek Language

This lesson, titled "The Greek Language," is an introduction to biblical Greek. It covers topics such as the alphabet and pronunciation, nouns and adjectives, pronouns and verbs, and the importance of further study. The lesson emphasizes the importance of learning Greek for a deeper understanding of the New Testament and the biblical text as a whole. It includes information about the declension of nouns and the conjugation of verbs in different tenses, such as the present, imperfect, future, and aorist. The lesson provides a brief overview of each topic, making it accessible to beginners who are just starting to learn biblical Greek.
Bill Mounce
Biblical Greek
Lesson 1
Watching Now
The Greek Language

I. Introduction

A. Importance of Learning Greek

B. Overview of the Course

II. Alphabet and Pronunciation

A. Introduction to the Greek Alphabet

B. Pronunciation of Greek Letters

C. Accentuation and Breathing Marks

III. Nouns and Adjectives

A. Introduction to Nouns and Adjectives

B. First Declension Nouns

C. Second Declension Nouns

D. Third Declension Nouns

E. Adjectives

IV. Pronouns and Verbs

A. Personal Pronouns

B. Demonstrative and Relative Pronouns

C. Introduction to Verbs

D. Present Active Indicative

E. Imperfect Active Indicative

F. Future Active Indicative

G. Aorist Active Indicative

V. Conclusion

A. Importance of Further Study

B. Recap of Course Topics

  • Bill Mounce invites you to join this course on Biblical Greek and learn the language that he believes is not as hard as people make it out to be, and assures that his lectures will hit just the high points of Greek and that there are resources available on his website for deeper understanding.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the fundamentals of biblical Greek, including the alphabet and pronunciation, nouns and adjectives, pronouns and verbs, and the importance of further study. You will learn about the declension of nouns and the conjugation of verbs in different tenses, such as the present, imperfect, future, and aorist. This lesson provides a comprehensive overview of the basics of biblical Greek, making it accessible to beginners who are just starting to learn.
  • In the Learning Greek lesson, you will tackle memorization, learn about tools to assist you, understand the importance of exercises, and discover the significance of time, consistency, and discipline to enhance your Greek language skills and develop a closer connection with Jesus.
  • In this lesson, you learn the Greek alphabet and its pronunciation, discovering similarities to the English alphabet and mastering special pronunciation rules like gamma nasal, vowels, diphthongs, iota subscript, diuresis, and breathing marks, crucial for Greek language study.
  • You will gain insight into the importance of punctuation and syllabification in Greek, which will help you better understand the meaning and pronunciation of Greek texts.
  • Through this lesson, you will develop a solid foundation in English nouns, their types, functions in sentences, and practical tips for mastery.
  • In this lesson, you grasp the significance of nominative and accusative definite articles in Biblical Greek, exploring their roles in identifying subjects and direct objects, and applying the definite article in context.
  • This lesson equips you with the knowledge to identify and translate the genitive and dative cases in biblical Greek, enhancing your understanding and interpretation of biblical texts.
  • Gain insight into the importance of prepositions in Biblical Greek, explore their different categories and meanings, and learn how they modify verbs, nouns, and adjectives to enhance your understanding of the New Testament's original language.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about adjectives in Biblical Greek, their declension, comparison, and their crucial role in syntax, semantics, interpretation, and translation of Biblical texts.
  • By studying the third declension in Biblical Greek, you gain insight into noun and adjective formations, enhancing your ability to analyze and interpret New Testament texts.
  • You gain knowledge of first and second person personal pronouns in Biblical Greek, learning their forms, usage, and application in translating and interpreting New Testament texts.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of Greek pronouns, focusing on forms and genders, and learn to apply this knowledge to accurately interpret biblical texts.
  • By studying this lesson, you acquire a thorough understanding of demonstrative pronouns and adjectives in Biblical Greek, their forms, syntax, and proper application in New Testament passages.
  • This lesson equips you to comprehend relative pronouns in Biblical Greek and their role in connecting ideas and forming dependent clauses.
  • In this lesson, you gain an in-depth understanding of verbs in Biblical Greek, learning about tenses, voices, and moods, and how to apply this knowledge in biblical exegesis.
  • Master the present active indicative in Biblical Greek to understand the language's structure, form regular and irregular verbs, and accurately translate and interpret the text.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into contract verbs in Biblical Greek, learning to identify and parse them, enabling accurate translation and interpretation of the New Testament texts.
  • This lesson provides a deep understanding of the present middle-passive indicative verb forms in Biblical Greek, including their formation, usage, and tips for accurate translation.
  • This lesson provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the future active and middle indicative verb forms in Biblical Greek, equipping you with translation techniques and practice exercises to enhance your skillset.
  • Through this lesson, you acquire knowledge of verbal roots and future forms in Biblical Greek, enabling better interpretation of the New Testament by recognizing regular and irregular patterns.
  • This lesson teaches you how to understand and use the imperfect indicative in biblical Greek, offering insights into verb conjugations, context, and translation accuracy.
  • You will gain expertise in Second Aorist Active and Middle Indicative forms in Biblical Greek, their formation, usage, and importance in biblical interpretation.
  • This lesson equips you with knowledge of the First Aorist Active and Middle Indicative in Biblical Greek, covering formation, parsing, and translation techniques while providing examples from the New Testament.
  • By studying this lesson, you learn to identify and translate Aorist and Future Passive Indicative verb forms in Biblical Greek, enabling accurate exegesis and interpretation of the New Testament.
  • In this lesson, you acquire knowledge on forming, conjugating, and translating perfect indicative verbs in biblical Greek, with a focus on understanding context and handling irregular verb forms.
  • Through this lesson, you learn about Greek participles, their types, and translation techniques, enhancing your ability to analyze and understand the New Testament texts.
  • This lesson teaches you to identify, translate, and interpret present continuous adverbial participles in Biblical Greek, enhancing your understanding of New Testament exegesis.
  • Gain insights into aorist undefined adverbial participles, their types, and translation techniques to improve your understanding of the Greek text and biblical exegesis.
  • Through this lesson, you master the intricacies of adjectival participles in biblical Greek, including their forms, translation, and syntax, ultimately enhancing your ability to analyze and translate biblical texts.
  • This lesson teaches you the intricacies of perfect participles and genitive absolutes in biblical Greek, enabling you to accurately translate and understand complex grammatical structures.
  • Gain insight into the subjunctive mood in Biblical Greek, understanding its formation, functions, and importance for interpreting the New Testament's nuanced meanings.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to recognize and understand the various roles and functions of infinitives in Biblical Greek, ultimately enhancing your ability to study the biblical text.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the imperative mood in Biblical Greek, its forms and uses, negation, and the subjunctive as an alternative for expressing commands and requests.
  • In this lesson, you learn to understand and apply the imperative mood in Biblical Greek, including its formation, nuances, and its use in exegesis.
  • In this lesson, you gain a deeper understanding of non-indicative forms and conditional sentences, learning to differentiate between subjunctive, imperative, infinitive, and participle forms, as well as first, second, and third class conditional sentences, while expanding your vocabulary.
  • Gain insights into Biblical Greek constructs, conditional sentences, Greek particles, and techniques for parsing and translating complex passages, enhancing your ability to interpret the New Testament.

These lectures will take you through the main points of each chapter in Bill Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek (3rd edition). These Summary Lectures are also available at billmounce.com, along with other free resources for learning biblical Greek. [The first lecture was originally given in the course Dr. Mounce was teaching at Gordon-Conwell seminary. The syllabus he mentions was for that group of students and is not available.]


BillMounce.com also sells video lectures by Bill Mounce that cover every point in the grammar.

Recommended Books

Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar 3rd (third) Edition

Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar 3rd (third) Edition

William D. Mounce's "Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar" and its companion tool "Basics of Biblical Greek Workbook" are the best-selling and most widely accepted textbooks for learning New Testament Greek.
Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar 3rd (third) Edition

Dr. Bill Mounce
Biblical Greek
The Greek Language
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:01] Well, good morning. I'm Dr. Death. Welcome to Greek Finance Week. The days I'll have the wheelbarrows and the aisles going up and down saying, Bring out your dead now. Welcome to Greek. My name is Dr. Mounts, otherwise known as Bill. I don't care what you call me. Politely, I guess. I've always been called Bill my whole life. I'm kind of partial to the name, but I know for some of you that's difficult. So choose which name or title you're comfortable with. No fear. A lot of what some of you are going to have to deal with is not real. It's fictional. Romeo and Juliet wasn't real. And Greek is not that hard. It's not. Now, you've probably been told that by a lot of people who are looking for an excuse for the fact they no longer null their Greek and the alphabets different. And so it kind of gives the appearance of being hard. But in terms of modern languages, it's much easier than German. If you've had German, it's probably a little harder than French, although it's extremely regular. And in that sense, it's easier than French. Nothing is as easy to learn as Spanish, though. So if you are. Most of you probably know who have learned in the second language have learned Spanish. You'll find Greek a little more challenging than Spanish, but not a lot. And the reason it's not is that we're such good teachers. No, the reason it's not is that it's a beautifully regular language. Very, very few exceptions. Technically, there's not any, but you kind of need to get over the hurdle. I talked to one of you at the retreat on Wednesday and just scared. It's not that hard. It really isn't. The secret, as you'll find out, is to study regularly every day.


[00:02:07] And if you can block out the time and do that and not get behind, you'll find that the language is quite enjoyable. I got a letter from a prisoner the other day and I wanted to read it to you. Send me his picture and let me just tell you what he he said. He identifies it, gives his name, and he said, I am a convicted felon, doing time in an Ohio prison for simple robbery. And I am a sinner saved by the grace of God in Jesus Christ, your Lord and mine. I am writing this letter to Thank you, sir doesn't know me for what you taught me. And then he lists the Greek books. Thank you very much. This guy is a felon in an Ohio prison. Okay, sir. I wish you wouldn't call me that. But in prison, what usually makes it in is the health and wealth. Name it and claim it error. It becomes heresy when they say Christians are, quote, little gods or that our Lord took on the nature of Satan on the cross. Now, listen to this. It was because of my study of Greek and the sounds theology. It pointed me to that. I was not taken in by the above. Also, I now teach a small Greek class so that other men in here will not. The best of all is the Gospel. Jesus Christ and Him crucified and knowing that I am called in Him from before the foundation of the world. In him is where lies the peace that passes understanding. I possess that peace because he possesses me. I do not need a theology of glory. To see the naked God. As Luther put it, I have the theology of the cross where Jesus died in my place and raised again.


[00:03:55] Amen. Your brother in Christ. Pretty cool, huh? So if you're scared, here's someone with almost no resources, no one to talk to who's gotten through two years of Greek on his own and is now teaching in an Ohio prison now. Next time you get discouraged about Greek, think about him. Anyway, I was really encouraged. Every once in a while we get letters often asking for books, but this one was just a really nice, encouraging letter. We have struggled with ways to help you see that Greek is not learned for Greek sake, but is a tool for ministry. And we've also struggled with how to build community in a class this size. So here's how we do it. Add ten after eight, I will be in here. Maybe no one else, but I will be in here. And we always have devotions every morning. And what I try to do is pick some Greek passage that you can kind of figure out or deal with. And we'll talk about it and we'll talk about how you moved from Greek into preaching and devotional issues. And it's a time to for you to see that. And it's a time for us just to pray together. It is not a required time. It is outside of the 30 hours a semester that I can require you to be present. It will not affect your grade if you don't come. I have to say that for the Dean, but I would encourage you to come. It's a good way to start the day. It's also a good practice to get into of seeing how Greek actually does mean something in real life. So I would encourage you to be here at ten after eight. I had a student come in last February had been crying.


[00:05:38] He's a nice guy. I mean, I knew him from other situations and he was really, really nervous to see me. And I'm not I think I'm kind of approachable. And so I couldn't figure out what was going on. And it took him about a half a minute to get composure. And then he said, I need to confess something to you. Well, normally in that situation it means that he cheated and God's been after him. But he looked right at me and said, I need to confess, I hate you. I said, Okay. He said, Your Greek class made my life a living hell. And I had been absolutely miserable and I've hated you for it, and I need to confess it to you. Now. What do you say to that? Yes, I am a rotten person. There are certain things within my control. There are certain things that are not within my control. The amount of time I have you and how far we have to get through the texts is not under my control. I have begged on my hands and knees, as I recall, for more time. I begged to do anything to slow down the pace with which we have to go on this class. And there's simply nothing I can do about that. Now, if that's passing the buck, then so be it. If you hate me, hate me for something else. The deal is I know what you all are going to an extra Jesus class, but you're going to have me for romance. And I'm going to say, okay, pick up Romans one 1617 and read it in Greek. And I know what the other teachers are going to do, too. And I know what's required for you to do extra.


[00:07:20] Jesus, I have to finish the textbook. I joke with my colleagues. You know, if you don't quite get to eschatology, it may not really matter which course all the theologians get very fast with me, but I know God will still come again if we don't study eschatology. Well, according to some knowledge, you can't do actual Jesus without me. Verbs. The last two chapters, you can't do exegesis Jesus without subjunctive and imperatives and infinitives. I have to finish the book, and so I have to keep the pace up that I do. I apologize for an up front. The secret is simple. Study every day because you will find that you spend. As the catalog shows, about 3 hours out of class for every hour in class. Some of you a little less, some of you a little more. But that's what we're supposed to require of you in all our classes. So I don't mean to scare you, but I mean to warn you, you do need the daily time. You can't cram Greek. It's absolutely impossible. So please build into your schedule. I'll do this every day. If you do that, you get through. Fine. So much of what I said so far was more of an introduction to the class. But chapter one covers some issues on the Greek language, and it goes through the history of classical Greek in Koine, Greek and modern Greek. And you can read. It's pretty straightforward. But there is something at the end of the chapters, kind of a hobbyhorse that I want to emphasize. Sometimes people say we should be learning Latin because English is based on Latin, and that simply is not true. There was a lot of borrowing on English's part from Latin, but Latin is not the parent language of English.


[00:09:12] There's basically several families. There's romance languages, that's Latin, French, Italian and so forth. There's Germanic languages, which is English and German and Danish and others. And then there's the Greek languages and then into Iranian. Now, please notice Latin is romance language. English is a Germanic language. English is not based on Latin. Doesn't mean Latin is not important, although I think it's of only some significance for Abubakar's studies. If I don't say in the book, I learn Latin and read Caesar's Gallic Wars. It was interesting. I learned Greek and read the Bible and it was life changing. So don't get sucked into thinking that English comes from Latin. It doesn't. Okay. Into my pet peeve.