Biblical Greek - Lesson 30

Perfect Participles and Genitive Absolutes

In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of perfect participles and genitive absolutes in biblical Greek. You will learn the formation and usage of perfect participles in the active, middle, and passive voices, as well as translation techniques for perfect and pluperfect tenses. Additionally, you will explore the definition, function, and formation of genitive absolutes, including noun and participle agreement and the tense and voice of the participle. You will also develop translation techniques for genitive absolutes by identifying contextual clues and understanding temporal or circumstantial relationships.

Bill Mounce
Biblical Greek
Lesson 30
Watching Now
Perfect Participles and Genitive Absolutes

I. Perfect Participles

A. Formation and Usage

1. Active Voice

2. Middle Voice

3. Passive Voice

B. Translation Techniques

1. Perfect Tense

2. Pluperfect Tense

II. Genitive Absolutes

A. Definition and Function

B. Formation

1. Noun and Participle Agreement

2. Tense and Voice of the Participle

C. Translation Techniques

1. Contextual Clues

2. Temporal or Circumstantial Relationships

  • 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
Perfect Participles and Genitive Absolutes
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] Well, today we're going to look at chapter 30, which is not only have you moved into the thirties from the twenties, but probably more significantly, you're at the last part, a simple chapter. So that's good. Today we're going to look at perfect participles, in other words. These are the participles that were used to indicate completed action. Just like the perfect does in the indicative. And we'll start by playing our little guessing game because you already know this, I think. Luke Curtis. What's that? Tell me what you know. Okay. You've got to be duplication. So you know you're into the perfect system. You've got a tense formative in a Kappa, but something's a little different, isn't it? What was the tense? Formative and the perfect indicative of Kappa Alpha, which goes to Kappa Epsilon in the third singular. Here you have Kappa, followed by an crime. Well, actually, and again, there's some debate on this point, but I view just the Kappa as a tense, formative. So, yeah, the test cap. But what else do you have? He got a form of Luol. And you have for the participle morpheme. I'm accountable. Okay, so here's the last of those morphemes. Newtown has normally been the one that's been used. But in the perfect active the participle morpheme is on Macron Tao. And then you have the appropriate case endings, right? Because the Tao is a consonant. It takes three declension endings. So you have Epsilon Sigma. So Lulu Curtis is a perfect active participle. Nominative. Plural, masculine. Okay. A.P. Curtis. It's pretty much the same thing. If there's one thing that might kind of stand out to you as being a little unexpected. Or maybe you just know so. Well, You're sure? Obviously. Yeah. You'll notice on a pay contest, the first ADA is still long.

[00:02:07] Now, what happened to augments in errors? Participles. They dropped out. Why is the ADA still long? I mean, obviously, this is from Apollo. Right, because it's a vocaliq. We duplication. It's not an augment. It looks like an augment, but is performing a different function in the perfect tense. It's indicating completed action. So when you have a perfect stim that lengthens the initial vowel as vocal liquid duplication to indicate the perfect when you get into the non indicative that long vowel remains. Okay. It's not indicating past time, so it doesn't have to drop out. Luminous. What's your participle? Morpheme. Yeah. The men. Yeah, the middle passive morpheme, every duplication you notice you have no tenths foreigners, you have no connecting vowels. That's the big sign of the perfect middle passive. Right. So luminous. Is a perfect middle passive participle. And in this case I left it nominative. Singular, masculine. Okay. Are these three forms clear? Again, if you if you're working on how words are put together, most of this should make sense. So how are you going to translate a perfect participle? Well, as a very general rule, you'll probably use after and then having in other words, you're still using have like you do in the indicative, but because it's a participle in English, that's the part of the verbal construction that gets the I and g. So after having. And then your verb. So. So Curtis is from what form? What word? So. Jill. Very good. And so this would be translated after having saved. If this were a passive participle, how would you have translated it? After having been saved. That's more English than anything else. Okay. Pretty straightforward. It just to break them down. Let's look at the perfect active. How do you find the perfect active? You have a duplication.

[00:04:22] You have your perfect tan stem. You have your tense formative, which is the simple kappa. You have the participle morpheme, which is art. I'm accountable. And then you have the appropriate case endings. The six forms you're going to learn are course queer. Cos Qatar's queer SCOTUS. What happened there? Well, start with the genitive cactus for the masculine neuter. That straightforward, right? But you can see what happens in the feminine. The art goes to queer. If you go back up into the nominative, you can kind of see what happens, can't you? In the masculine you have the sigma, the towel drops off the Amilcar Lincoln student omega, you get course and in the neuter you have a sigma also and the top drops off before sigma, but the vowel doesn't lengthen. So you get cos again, it's not important that you go through those gyrations. You just need to memorize the six forms. But I think it's helpful if you know what's actually going on. In the perfect middle passive. It's deduplication. Perfect middle pass of ten stem. The appropriate participle morpheme, which is manat or many. And then either a second or a first declension case ending. And so your forms are minus and then whatever, right? Minus the name and M.A. menu. Okay, That's the end of the actual forms of the participle. But there's two other situations that I'm going to give you in this chapter that you need to be aware of. The first is called the Genitive Absolute. The genitive absolute is one of those constructions that if you don't recognize it in the verse, you'll get really, really frustrated. But the minute you see, oh, it's a unit of absolute, it gets really simple. Okay, here's the deal. Let's say you were reading along and read to Yasuke Guinea Santos McCoy Ale, son.

[00:06:27] Well Mogwai ales on the magic came. And then you've got this genitive of Vasu. And then Guinea fantasies. What? Gets a genitive singular from. Generous, passive having been born. You're going to look at that and go, Oh, why are those genitals there? The magi of Jesus, Magi of having no one see the problem? And you can sit there and scratch your head on these things and they can get really frustrating until you recognize that those first three words constitute a genitive absolute. Okay, what's a genitive absolute? Well, it's a noun or a pronoun. And a participle in a genitive case. And they're not grammatically connected to anything in the sentence. That's why it's called the genitive absolute. They're grammatically unconnected. In other words, there's nothing for the noun or the pronoun of the participle to modify. They're just kind of out there. Now you don't have to have the noun or a pronoun. Every once in a while we'll have a genitive absolute. There's nothing. But the part is simple, but normally there's a noun or a pronoun with it. So a genitive absolute is when you have a noun or a pronoun and a participle in the genitive, and they're not grammatically connected to the rest of the sentence. What happens in general of absolutes is when the writer wants to describe an action that's being done by someone or something other than the subject of the sentence. So you have the Magi coming and you have Jesus being born. And so that's usually the situation where these unit of absolutes pop up. They also tend to come at the beginning of a sentence in narrative material. When you read through Matthew, what you're going to find in the narrative material, there's a lot of genitive absolutes and that's just where they tend to occur at the beginning of a sentence when the writer is telling a story and the person who's doing the participle is different from the person who's doing the main verb or the thing.

[00:08:49] All right. Those are kind of some of your contextual clues that you're looking at a genitive absolute. So the question then becomes how to translate a genitive absolute? Well, generally they're temporal. And so you're generally going to be able to use while or after an an iron g form of the participle. The word this in the genitive, the noun or the pronoun in the genitive. It's acting as if it's the subject of the participle. Not technically. Participles can't take subjects, right? But in a genitive absolute, the word that the noun or pronoun in the genitive is acting as if it's the subject of the participle. So in our illustration you have to asu in the genitive and then you have the participle. So you would translate it after being born, after having been born. Oh, is Jesus who has been born. So the rule is you can use while or after. If the subject of the participle is expressed, you will generally turn the participle into a regular verb. After Jesus had been born. Genitive absolutes are idiomatic. You can't go word for word with them. If there is no noun or pronoun in the genitive, you just say after having been born. Just use the g form. All right. So genitive absolutes are normally temporal you can use while or after. If there is an honor of pronoun of the genitive, go ahead and translated as the subject of the participle, which means you're going to have to translate the participle as a regular verb. And if the subject is not express, then just use EMG for the participle. Again, like I said, they're pretty straightforward. Once you recognize that it's a genitive absolute, if you don't recognize it as a generative of absolute, you can scratch your head for a long time.

[00:10:46] And the final thing you need to know about participles is that we have something in Greek called a pair of frostick. A construction just means it's a roundabout way of saying something paraphrases. And what they did was they came up with a construction to emphasize the continuous action of a verb. And they would take a form of a me and join with the participle in order to stress that it was a linear or an ongoing a continuous action. So how would you just translate? Ein did us go? Yeah. So they're pretty straightforward. You would tend to say he was teaching and that's the great way to translate these things. Now words can come in between the form of Amy and the participle. So sometimes you go, Oh, there's Amy. You know, there is a participle. But originally this was the way the Greeks had to stress that an action was truly linear. Now, what's happened over time is that emphasis has been lost and there are quite a few paraphrased constructions in the New Testament where there is no emphasis on the linear action. And all you have to do is simply look at the context and say, you know, is this going to be stressing? Is continuous nature of the verb or not? And this chart is in the book and you can look at it. But as you can see, there's actually six different tenses that you can construct, paraphrase Stickley. And it's a present, imperfect or future form of Amy with a present participle or a present imperfect and future of Amy with the perfect participle to construct those six different tenses. It's really not that big of a deal. When you see Amy and you see the parties simply, you realize they're working together.

[00:12:39] You'll find that the translation is very straightforward. Well done with participles. Cool.