Biblical Greek - Lesson 9


In this lesson on adjectives in Biblical Greek, you will gain a thorough understanding of their definition, function, and agreement with nouns. You will learn about the declension of adjectives, including first and second declension adjectives, as well as third declension adjectives with consonant and i-stem forms. Furthermore, you will explore the comparison of adjectives, examining their positive, comparative, and superlative forms, and how they are formed. Lastly, you will grasp the importance of adjectives in syntax and semantics, and their impact on interpretation and translation of Biblical Greek texts.

Bill Mounce
Biblical Greek
Lesson 9
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I. Introduction to Adjectives

A. Definition and Function

B. Agreement with Nouns

II. Declension of Adjectives

A. First and Second Declension Adjectives

1. Masculine and Feminine Forms

2. Neuter Forms

B. Third Declension Adjectives

1. Consonant Stem Adjectives

2. I-Stem Adjectives

III. Comparison of Adjectives

A. Positive, Comparative, and Superlative Forms

B. Formation of Comparative and Superlative Forms

IV. Adjectives and their Role in Biblical Greek

A. Importance in Syntax and Semantics

B. Impact on Interpretation and Translation

  • 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
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:01] Well, good morning. In this chapter, we're going to learn adjectives, and adjectives are simply words that modify an honor pronoun. Right. Good. Bad. High. Low. Adjectives in English perform three basic functions. An adjective can function as an attribute F, which means it simply modifies another word. It gives an attribute to the word. He is a good student. Good is an attribute of adjective that is giving an attribute or telling you something about the noun it modifies, namely student. But adjectives can also function substantively. They can function as substantive. They can function as nouns, in other words. And so, for example, you can say the good are welcome. Now, good technically is an adjective, but is functioning as a noun, isn't it? But adjectives can also function as predicates. And this is when you have the subject and you have the verb normally of to be, you know, M.R. was were. And because the meaning of that word, because it's an acquired a verb, what follows it doesn't modify the subject, but it predicates something about it. It makes an assertion about it. So if you say she is good, good doesn't modify she but is telling you something about the subject. It's asserting something about it. And it just has to do with the equator verbs and that what the verb to be means. The encouraging thing about adjectives in Greek is that you already know all the forms. Now you notice that this word, it's Augustus. It means good. You notice that it occurs unlike nouns in all three genders. We'll talk about why in just a second. But the endings of all the adjectives that you're going to meet in chapter nine are all endings that you know already. The adjective in Greek functions basically the same way that it does in English.

[00:02:12] And so, for example, you can have Greek adjectives functioning as an attribute of, in other words, is going to tell you something about the noun that it modifies. Now, how would you guess? And it's a guess, but you already have a hint in some other part of speech, you know, how would you guess? A Greek speaker would establish the form of an adjective, this modifying a noun. How would you determine the case number and gender? Yeah, whatever the noun is. So that an adjective that is an attribute of adjective that is modifying another noun is going to be in the same case number and gender of the word modifies. But Greek adjectives can also function substantively. So, for example, if you had Augustus Eston. It's going to be translated. The good is something or other. Now, let's let's make a stab at this. How do you think that the Greek writer would determine the case of an adjective this functioning as if it were a noun? Right. It's function in this case. What is Augustus doing in a sentence? It's the subject and therefore it's in the nominative. Okay, so the rule is that if an adjective is functioning substantively, its case is determined by its function in the sentence. See, there's nothing for it to modify, otherwise it'd be an attribute of. How do you think they're going determine the gender number of a substantive L.A.? Context. In other words, what does it stand for? It is a stand for a single masculine or a plural feminine, or maybe a singular neuter. At this point, we're in natural gender. Yeah, well, whatever it stands for, I mean, technically, there's not an antecedent. That's grammar has to do with pronouns, but the adjective is going to stand for something, and it's going to take its gender and number from whatever it stands for.

[00:04:17] The third function for the Greek adjective is the predicate function. In other words, if you were to see octopus Augustus, you'll find out in a second why, But you would translate that the man is good. And because a pretty good adjective is always asserting something about the subject, guess what case it always is. Not much of. What gender number is a predicate adjective going to be? Whatever it stands for. What I wanted to stress, by the way I'm doing this is that there's not a whole lot new to learn here, that you're taking things you've learned from a definite article in inflection in general and saying, Well, yes, common sense. Obviously, that's the way it works. The question then becomes, how do you recognize these things when you see an adjective in a text? How do you know whether it's an attribute of a substantive or a predicate? It all depends upon whether there's an article present or not. That's the key to everything in adjectives. Is there an article with the adjective? Is there an article with the noun? Is there an article with both? If you have Agatha's arm through a pass or if you have Anthroposophy. Augustus You'll notice that in both situations the adjective Augustus is a tribute. If you can either have article. Adjective. Noun. Are you going to have article? Noun. Article. Adjective. It doesn't make any difference which way it comes. In both of those cases, you have an articular adjective and therefore you know that it's an attribute of adjective. Okay. What have you have against us? In other words, what if you have an adjective and there's nothing for it to modify? What do you have? You have a substantive level adjective. You'll see the good and you'll go start looking for the good.

[00:06:29] What you'll find out there is no what. And oh, assumption table. Now, one of the tricks on subs and table adjectives is that you can add in words if the context requires it. If you had Augustus, see how good your guessing machine is. What could you add in? Because sometimes in English you can say the good. But if it's referring to a person, you can't. So what could you say? You'd say the good. You could say the good one if the masculine was functioning generically. If it was referring to a single male, then you could say the good. You can say the good man. What would it be? If the word was referring to a good woman? Hey, I just say, in other words, what you do is you look at the gender and the number of a substantive L.A.. Recognizing that when adjectives function substantively, they follow natural gender. And you can just add in a word that fits. If it's plural, you could say the good ones or the good people or the good crowd or whatever fits the context. If you saw her answer, Augustus or Augustus Anthropocene. What's different about that from the first two examples? And there's no article with the adjective, the articles there with the noun, but there's no article with the adjective that's called the predicate position. And what you can do is supply the verb. I am in one of its forms. So that would be translated. The man is good. So if there's an article present, whether it's with the noun or the adjective or both. Translation is quite simple. The problem becomes what if there aren't any articles? In other words, there's no clue. You don't have the help of the article. There's only one way to translate this.

[00:08:31] And the answer is. Context. In other words, you simply have to look at the context of the sentence and ask yourself what makes sense. And if you have Augustus Anthropocene or Anthropocene, Augustus the order again for first year doesn't matter. There are two ways that you could translate that. But you look at the context and you say is good qualifying man, Is it is it modifying man or is good asserting something about man? And so you could translate Augustus Arthur Pass as a good man or a man is good.