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Biblical Greek - Lesson 21

Imperfect Indicative

In this lesson, you learn about the imperfect indicative in biblical Greek, a verb tense that expresses continuous or ongoing action in the past. You explore the formation and usage of the tense, study regular and irregular verbs, and understand how to accurately translate and interpret the imperfect indicative based on context and aspect. Through this study, you gain valuable insights into the subtleties of the Greek language and how it enhances your understanding of the biblical text.

Bill Mounce
Biblical Greek
Lesson 21
Watching Now
Imperfect Indicative

I. Introduction to Imperfect Indicative

A. Definition and Usage

B. Formation

II. Regular Verbs in the Imperfect Indicative

A. First Conjugation

B. Second Conjugation

C. Third Conjugation

III. Irregular Verbs in the Imperfect Indicative

A. Contract Verbs

B. Liquid Verbs

IV. Translation and Interpretation of the Imperfect Indicative

A. Contextual Clues

B. Aspect and Aktionsart

C. Common Errors and Misunderstandings


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  • 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

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
NT201-21
Imperfect Indicative
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:01] Well, good morning. This morning, we're going to learn chapter 21, which is the chapter on what is called the Imperfect Indicative. The imperfect tense is the tense that is used to describe a continuous action. Normally in the past time, whereas in the present you can have it either be continuous or undefined. In the imperfect, it is always a continuous action that is being described. Greek has another past tense, used to describe undefined actions. So the imperfect is always continuous. Normally in the past time. The imperfect is formed from four basic parts. It starts with what is called an augment and then the present tense stem. Then a connecting vowel and then secondary personal endings. So there's two new things in there that you haven't seen before. The augment and the secondary personal endings. So, for example, let's take the present tense STEM, Lou. And the augment in this case is the epsilon. So you have Epsilon and then Lou, and then a connecting vowel and then a secondary personal ending. In this case, NU, and you get 11, which means I was losing or I was destroying. Now, if you want to make that middle passive, then you just use middle passive, secondary personal endings. And so, for example, you have L2 or main, just a different set of endings. Okay, Let me say something about what an argument is. An argument is basically a prefix that is stuck on to the beginning of the verb to indicate that it's a secondary tense, that it's in past time. In this case, there's a couple of different ways to form an argument if the present tense term begins with a consonant. Then the augment is an epsilon. So you have the present tense stem. Lou starts with a consonant, so you augment it with an epsilon and you get L1.

[00:02:15] However, if the present tense term begins with a vowel, the augment lengthens that initial vowel. So the present tense stem aga pop goes to a gap zone. See what happened there? The alpha lengthened to an ADA. Now I know you're used to Alphas lengthening to alphas, but when it comes to augments, alphas lengthen to eight, just like epsilon. So a gap porn is an imperfect. The ADA is the lengthened initial stem vowel. And that's what serves as an augment. What about the root, Ariel to the present tense term begins with a vowel. So the augment is lengthening. The vowel epsilon is lengthened to ADA and you get a real tone. Okay. What about a compound word? What about a word like cut to buy? No. If you realize that the argument is indicating past time, that is the secondary tense, then it wouldn't make any sense to augment the prepositional part of the compound verb wouldn't know. It only makes sense to augment the verbal part of a compound verb. So if you have a compound verb, it's not the preposition that gets augmented, but it's the second part that gets augmented. So cut by nil goes to cut by non. Now, there's a couple of things going on there. What usually happens is that the preposition that is used to form the compound verb ends in a vowel. Usually that vowel is dropped and you have a regular argument. In this case, the epsilon before the beta. Now, sometimes what happens if the final vowel of the preposition is in a Yoda, especially if it's Perry? Then the Yoda stays there and you still have a regular epsilon as an augment. But the important part to see is that it's the verbal part of the compound that's augmented is the preposition ends in a vowel.

[00:04:25] Normally that preposition drops its final vowel, and if it keeps its final vowel, that final vowel generally does not contract with the augment. And finally, one more situation You have the root Q risk. In the imperfect, it's hubris gone. In other words, it is very common for initial diff thongs to show no change when they're augmented now sometimes on Epsilon Epsilon. The epsilon may go to an ETA, but generally initial dip thongs stay the way they are. They don't show the augment. You remember in the master personal lending chart, there are four quadrants to this chart. We know the top left and the bottom left. Those are the primary active and the primary middle passive. In this chapter, we're going to learn the other two parts of the master personal lending chart. In the upper right, we find the endings that are secondary active. And so, for example, the paradigm oluwole is illusion. LAUSD elsewhere. Element alluded to illusion and the true endings are new sigma nothing men to new. Now you notice a couple of things about those endings. The first singular and the third plural are the same. Surprisingly, that doesn't get that confusing when you read it in context. Usually there'll be some kind of indication whether the subject is I or they. So generally isn't a problem. But notice also the similarities with the primary act of endings. Second, singular, it's got a sigma. First plural is the men. Second, plural is a tier. So there actually are some pretty good similarities there. But that's the secondary act of personal endings and the paradigm for the imperfect active of LOOL. And as I said, the imperfect indicates always continuous action. Normally in the past time. So I was losing. You were loosing he she it was loosing and so forth.

[00:06:34] In the lower right quadrant of the master personal lending chart are the secondary middle passive endings. And the endings are main saw to Mr.. The Hunter. Then you stick them on the augmented lool and you get alu I mean L2 allure to l2 on with a louis the alu on to again the second person singular has got that sigma the drops out and you have contractions and there are some similarities and yet some differences with the active as well. Well. So there you have it. The master personal lending chart is now complete. Every tenths that you're going to learn from here on out is either going to use these endings or some slight variation. So it's just critical you all that you commit this chart to perfect an absolute memory and the upper left hand corner is primary active. And those are the endings we used with the present, active in the future active. And then in the lower left hand corner, we have the primary middle passive endings, and those are the innings we used in the present middle, passive and the future middle in the upper right hand corner. We have the secondary active endings and we use those in the imperfect active. And then the lower right hand corner we have a secondary middle passive and that's used for the imperfect middle and passive. And finally, we have two more lines on the master verb chart now. Are you all keeping up with your master verb memorization? All right. Yes. Just one or two lines. A chapter. But if you procrastinate and put it off, all of a sudden there's going to be five or six. So make sure you keep up with your memory work. The Imperfect active is formed with an augment, the present tense stem with the connecting vowel and the secondary act of personal endings.

[00:08:26] And so, for example, we have illusion. And then in the imperfect middle, passive, and again, like the present, the middle and passive are identical in form. In the imperfect, we have an augment and a present tense stem connecting vowels, and then secondary middle passive endings. And so, for example, you have alarming. Okay, so that's the imperfect continuous action. Normally in the past time. Good job.