Biblical Greek - Lesson 26

Introduction to Participles

In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of Greek participles and their usage in the New Testament. You will explore the basics of participles, such as their definition, function, tense, voice, case, and agreement. As you delve further into the lesson, you will learn about the various types of participles, including adjectival, adverbial, and genitive absolute. Finally, you will discover techniques for translating participles and practice applying these methods in different contexts with examples and exercises.

Bill Mounce
Biblical Greek
Lesson 26
Watching Now
Introduction to Participles

I. Basics of Participles

A. Definition and Function

B. Tense and Voice

C. Case and Agreement

II. Types of Participles

A. Adjectival Participles

B. Adverbial Participles

C. Genitive Absolute

III. Translating Participles

A. Translation Techniques

B. Participles in Context

C. Examples and Exercises

All Lessons
Class Resources
Lesson Resources
  • 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
Introduction to Participles
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] Well, today we're going to look at chapter 26, which is the introduction to participles. What I've done is that I've broken participles into five different chapters. There's quite a bit going on in participles, and I've always found it easier to break them into smaller chunks. What we're going to be doing in chapter 26 is learning the grammar of the participle. If you can get chapter 26 down, the rest of the chapters are just nothing but forms. So we're going to hit the grammar of the participles in 26. If you can get a good grasp on what it means to be a verbal adjective, you're home free. The rest of the chapters, or just how it works out in terms of its morphology, in terms of its form in preparation for learning participles. Let me just cover three quick things. First of all, I really hope you're caught up. The trouble in participles is that you're merging nouns and verbs, and if you're not all up on nouns and all up on verbs, by merging them in the participle, they can get confusing. So hopefully you're all caught up on your noun grammar and your verb grammar. And this is also why one of the reasons why the grammar splits nouns from verbs. So you have the nouns is a discernable chunk. Verbs is a discernible chunk. And then once you get your handle on those, you can put them together in a participle. And also, just let me say, don't be scared of these things. If you have learned Greek before, you might be a bit apprehensive about participles. But we've got a way to teach participles here. They're a piece of cake. And in the last several years, people have blown through participles. Like there was nothing special about them.

[00:01:47] So I say that by way of encouragement, if you have a little baggage from a previous class. All right, So what do you have to know about participles? That's really simple. Only three things in theory. One is that participles are EMG words. Eating, sleeping, studying. Passing. Okay. Participles are just in G words. We take verbs and we stick in john them. And that's what makes an English participle. Secondly, and most importantly, participles are verbal adjectives. If you can get that into your head, then everything will kind of make sense in participles. Now, like I said before, because participles merge, the verbal and the noun system is can be kind of weird. A verb with the case ending. But if you can get it into your head that participles are verbal adjectives and we'll talk about what that entails. But that's the whole key to participles. And thirdly, we're going to learn a few what are called participle morphemes. Morphemes are the smallest unit of meaning. When you put words together, a case ending is a morpheme. The stem is a morpheme. And what we're going to learn is that there are certain participle, morphemes. There are certain actually only about four really things that you stick into a word to make it a participle. So in essence, those are the only four things that you have to memorize. Everything else you already know. You know the verbs, you know the case endings. Now, that's a little oversimplified, but you'll see what I mean in a second. What do you mean by verbal adjectives? Well, participles are words that are built off of a verb and therefore have some verbal characteristics, but they also function within the noun system and carry some of its characteristics. Okay.

[00:03:47] What do you get from the verbal side on a participle? Why? You have tense. In other words, you can form a participle from the present tense form of a verb or an arrest. Form of a verb. Or a perfect form of a verb. So you're going to have three tenses of participles. Now, what's interesting in participles and in terms of meaning, this is very important. When you have a present participle, it does not describe an action occurring in present time. Now, if you have a present verb, it generally describes an action that occurs right now. Right. That's called absolute time. Present describes an action of the present of future, describes an action of the future. Absolute time participles. In fact, anything outside the indicative system do not have absolute time. And there is a present participle doesn't necessarily describe a present action. An arrest participle doesn't necessarily describe to pass action. What's important in participles is what's called aspect. And what that means is that if you have a participle. Formed on the present tense stem. It is describing a continuous action that is its primary significance, not time but aspect. If you have a participle that is formed on the RS ten stem of the verb, it is describing primarily an undefined action. And if the participle is formed on the perfect tense stem of the verb, then its aspect is perfected. Describes an action that was brought to completion with ongoing consequences. Okay, so on the verbal side of the participle, because you have three aspects, you have three kinds of participles. The participle built on the present tense time of the verb describes a continuous action. The participle built on the errors, tense time of the verb describes an undefined action, and the participle built on the perfect form of the verb describes a perfected action.

[00:06:03] Because participles are verbal adjectives, they not only have tense, they also have voice. In other words, participles are going to be active, middle or passive or deponent. Nothing new there. You would expect that from a verb. But because participles are verbal adjectives, guess what? They also have case number and gender. In other words, participles are going to modify a word when a participle modifies another word. What's going to determine his case number and gender? The word it modifies just like an adjective. Right? So if you have good a as the subject and then you have a participle modifying guna the participle and say good is the subject of the sentence, the participle will be nominative, singular, feminine. Right. So how do you construct a participle again? In theory? How do you put a participle together? Why do you start with a verb and the verbal supply you with the meaning of the participle? Right. So if you have a participle formed on a cool, it's going to have something to do with hearing. Right. Then what happens is they stick the participle morpheme onto the end of the participle. You noticed there are no personal endings in participles? Yes. That's really cool. No personal endings. No all AC ominous stuff on participles, but rather you have the verbal stem and then you stick the morphemes. And basically the morphemes are neutral, and that's your primary active participle. There's also Omicron Taal, which is an alternate active participle. And the primary middle passive morpheme is. Or unless it's first declension, it goes to many, but it's the same participle morpheme. So in terms of memorizing morphemes, you've got new Tao, Omicron, Tao and Minot or Minnie. That's the actual participle, part of the participle, so to speak.

[00:08:18] If the participle is masculine or neuter, those are the endings you're going to tend to see when you switch over into the feminine. There changed quite a bit. Aunt becomes Ouzo, Omicron Tau goes to Huila and then nicely Manago. Simone is still identifiable. So you may want to memorize five morphemes. Do you see what's nice about all the feminine participles? There's something consistent as you go down that column. They're all first declension. All feminine participles are first declension. Makes them really easy. You have the verb, you have the participle. Morpheme. And then what are you going to stick on the end? Case endings. Participles have to agree with the word or modify in case number and gender. The main way to do that in Greek is with endings, just like you have with adjectives. And the paradigm that is so helpful on making sure that you know what the case endings are going to be with participles is the past paradigm. So if you're wanting to make sure on case and make sure you know part C passes a313 adjective, isn't it? Masculine is third declension feminine. His first neuter is third. Participles are for the most part 313 in their adjectival component. Read. The rest of this chapter is just playing games, all right? It's just a mind game. Just say I know this stuff. This is not hard. I know this stuff. Okay, Let's say you came across the form volunteers. Don't tell me what you don't know. Tell me what you do. No money? No. Okay. It's from Barlow. It's present. Right. You can see the double lambda. It's a third declension. It's going to be masculine because of the Epsilon Sigma case ending its plural nominative. What would force a participle into being nominative? Because it's modifying the subject.

[00:10:30] Right. What would make it nominative? Plural. So the word is modifying, Right? In other words, if you were to find ball on tests in a sentence. Most likely you've got a plural masculine subject and this thing is modifying it. What does the fact that it's present tell you about how you're going to translate it? It's going to be continuous. Now, what you're going to find once we get outside the indicative system in Greek, it's really hard to bring the full significance of the verbal form into English. In other words, outside the indicative you are normally going to end up under translating. Just because English can't carry it. You'll look at this, you say, Oh, it's a continuous participle. It's I've got I've got to make the action an ongoing process. And then you're going to try to find some way to do it and you're going to go good. That's terrible English. That's why we have preachers. All translators are traitors. As the old saying goes. It is impossible. And you've learned that by now, haven't you? It is impossible to bring all of the meaning of Greek into English. It's impossible. You either bring a little less or a little more outside the indicative. You're going to have to do this more. So, for example, how would you translate that which you do on participles? The first step is simply stick an and g on it throwing. All right. How are you going to make throwing continuous. You can say while you can make it into a temporal clause, sometimes while throwing or continually throwing, you see the problems. You just can't say that in English. So what you'll do in participles is you'll look and see what it means. In Greek, you will do the best job you can translating it into English, and then when you teach it and preach it, you will explain that Jesus is describing not something that simply happens, for example, but is something that goes on over and over again.

[00:12:38] There's one other character in ball contest that nobody pointed out. What is that? Yeah, the American. There's a connecting vowel. We're trying to stay very general and broad for you because sometimes there are connecting vowels. There's other little things that happen. But for example, this is obviously a present participle. So present participles are formed with the present tense stem, a connecting vowel. And since this is an active part, a simple is formed with the active participle morpheme neutral. Because the morpheme ends in a constant, it has to be third declension. And so you have a third declension ending. Lou on to what's different. The case ending is different. You have an alpha, so you're in one of three places, right? In third declension, you still have the tail before it, so you know you're in third declension. Alphas occur in three places. Where are they? Right. Accusative masculine singular place Pontus party pond tar and it occurs right nominative plural neuter pond pontus Ponti pond pond tar ponton pussy pond top okay, so luan is either an accusative singular masculine, or it's a nominative or accusative plural neuter. And the other change obviously is the stems different. We switched to loo. Okay. What about values? Say the US is the feminine form of the new Tao and you have any Yoda is not sub scripted. So what case number and gender is it? Nominative. Feminine. Plural. Right. Very good. So Balu Sai is a present active participle. Nominative. Plural Feminine from bolo meaning throwing is, isn't it? Okay, here's a couple of other forms. Lou Amini. What's different? It's a middle passage, isn't it? It's still formed after the present tense stem, and in the present tense, middle and passive are identical. Right. You have the men, so you know, you have a middle passage of participle morpheme, but your ending is alpha iota.

[00:15:11] So you know that it's nominative, plural, feminine. So Lou Amini is a present middle passive participle. You'll notice in the passing order where you normally state the mood. I'm just stating participle participles technically aren't moods, but it's a good place to put the word. So this is a present middle passive participle nominative plural feminine from Luo, meaning you got to make it passive and it's got to be a participle being loosed. In other words, in English, the English to the helping verb being loosed. That's just English. Okay, what about our common us? Well switched lexical forms. Right? We're an error, homie. The AMA current sigma tells you it's a nominative, singular masculine. Right. The participle morpheme is monare. So how would you pass this thing? This is a present. Yes. Oh, you're so good. Congratulations. That was the last hurdle you had to jump, right? Why did you say deponent? Because Aracoma is deponent in the present. Cool. Give yourself a pat on the back. That's a huge thing to see you all. Okay. You're melding your verbs and your noun system together. Good. Yeah. Our common cause is a present deponent, participle, nominative, singular, masculine. So you already know this stuff. You're seeing things together that you're not used to seeing together. That's the challenge. Lucentis, What's the big thing that's different? You have an arrest. Now, was that Eris active or Eris Middle? It's active. How come? Because of the new Tao. New Tao is your active morpheme. Basically, men is your basic middle passive morpheme. All right. So Lucentis is built with lul u sigma Alpha is the tense formative for the first arrest. You have your morpheme neutral, and then you have the case endings that are appropriate. Now I'm seeing some acquisitive looks, which is good.

[00:17:38] What's missing? AUGMENT. Guess what? Why do you think the augments gone right? Very good. Very good. AUGMENT indicates past time. There is no such thing in the participle system as past time. So you got to get rid of the augment. So we talk about on augmenting the form. So it's not a typo. Lucentis is your eris active participle nominative plural masculine from Luo. And what we'll do for the errors is try to keep it in its most simple form and you will see loosing. And sometimes what you can do is instead of saying while you'd say after loosing if it's the nearest. But we'll talk more about that later. Cool. What's ball on Tess? You're going to see why it's so important to have done your memory work. Precisely. What is that? What tenses up? Yeah. You have a second there. How do you know it's a second first? Because there's a single lambda. It looks just like a present, doesn't it? Yeah, because there's no augmente. Here's where your memory really kicks in. And while I'll be encouraging you to do so, look at a form like volunteers, and your first thing you'll see is. Is this the form I memorized? A number two. Is this the present tense stem? Well, you're not going to know the answer to that if you haven't done your memory work. Exactly. We don't have nearly as many words to memorize in Greek as we do in other languages, but you have to know them. Exactly. Precisely. Otherwise, you're going to think the lexical form is below with a single lambda, and you're going to parse this as a present active participle and you're going to be wrong because there is no such word as Bala with a single lambda.

[00:19:35] But once you realize that it's Bala with a double lambda in the present, you o secondaries. This must be an Irish participle. Loosewomen ni. What's that? Is an error. Do you have your sigma alpha? Is this a middle or is this a middle passive? Think of what you know from your verbal system in the arrest. The middle and the passive are distinctly different. Right? So since participles are verbal adjectives, they will be distinctly different also. So this is an oppressed middle participle. Dative, singular feminine men is the middle passive morpheme, which means it's used if it's middle or if it's middle passive. That was a trickier one. You can't forget what you've learned. You just seeing things together that you're not used to having together. But all your grammar still works. And you know that in the arrest you have three distinct forms for the three voices. Okay. Lou Santos. What's that? All right. It has to be in there as passive, doesn't it? You recognize that? That it's lool, but you have the theta. Now, what's different about the transformative? The ADA has shortened. What do we call that? Pablo? This is what I was saying back in chapter seven that vowels shorten or lengthen or can even drop out altogether. It happens all over the place in some forms. The tense form motives, the vowel part shortens, and so the and say are the same thing. So you have your tense stem. You have an arrest, passive tense, formative, no augment. Well, what's the other thing that's a bit strange? You have the active participle morpheme in the iris passive. Get over it. What you're going to find in non indicative systems in Greek, you often have active forms in the air as passive.

[00:21:58] I have no idea why. Okay, look at the second form here. Graph dentists. What can you tell me about it? What do you know? It's obviously from the lexical forum graph. But now if you've done your memory work carefully, you'll know something a little unusual, more graceful, and that is that the present tense them and the Aras passive. A second Aras passive are identical, aren't they? Okay. Just kind of tucked it in the back for a second. What else can you tell me? The participle morpheme is neutral, which is the active morpheme. But we also know that it's used in the ears passive. Yeah. And the Epsilon Sigma, what you would expect for a number of plural, masculine. So what's the last clue in this word? It's the epsilon, isn't it? Now, if you were to see this, I imagine you might initially think, Oh, it's a present active participle. Why can this not be a present active participle? The President Active participle is formed with a connecting vowel before the new tile and the connecting vowel before a new is an arma cron, not an epsilon. So if this were a graph contests then you would know it is a present participle, but its graph then tests with an epsilon and therefore. The second arrest. Tense, formative for participles is an epsilon, isn't it? You would expect that in the indicative system, theta ETA goes to ETA and in the participle Theta Epsilon, first Eris goes to epsilon second Eris. So this isn't Eris passive participle nominative plural masculine from graceful. After having been written Beyblade cactus, this is your arm across. It's an active morpheme. You obviously are in what tense? You're in the perfect bed. Lay is the perfect tense stem of Barlow.

[00:24:13] So how are you going to translate that? What's the helping verb with the perfect I have and in English, when you have a helping construction, it's the angles goes on the helping word. So it's having having thrown see the only confusion that some of you may be feeling. And it's it's okay to feel it. I mean, this is weird stuff. The only confusion is that you're seeing verbs and nouns together in a way that you've never seen them before. But if you realize that's the genius of the participle, then you can have you have all your verbal grammar work, all your noun grammar at work, and it's just a matter of how to put them together. So in that sense, there's not a whole lot new to learn. Okay. I mean, I don't want to oversimplify it and make you feel like you're stupid if you can't get this. I mean, this is not easy stuff, but I want you to see that it's not all new, but, you know, all the bits and pieces. We're just putting it together a little differently from what you've seen. All right. Good. Courtis, what is in the lexical form is it's a pothole. So you had that lengthened ETA just like you do an indicative here, the Kappa forming the perfect tense system. You have your active, your other active participle morpheme arm across town the appropriate endings. So this is a perfect active participle. Nominative, plural, masculine. There's one other thing that's a little unexpected. What is it? It's Ada, not alpha y gay. It's the VocalIQ. Re duplication. But why didn't it augment? Because it's not an augment. That's why I taught the VocalIQ. We duplication the way I did. And the perfect the VocalIQ we duplication, right? The length of the vowel.

[00:26:08] It looks just like an augment, but it's not an argument, is it? What is the lengthened vowel in the perfect indicator? Completed action, Not past time, it indicates completed time and therefore you don't lose it in the participle. Yeah, okay. It is easy. There's not a lot of new stuff that you have to learn. You just putting old stuff together in new ways. Okay. I have to adopt that mindset.