Biblical Greek - Lesson 33


In this lesson on the imperative mood in Biblical Greek, you will gain a deeper understanding of the various forms and uses of the imperative mood. The lesson covers the definition and usage of the imperative, as well as the different types, including present, aorist, and future imperatives. Additionally, you will learn how to negate the imperative mood using Μη and Ου, and explore the subjunctive mood as an alternative to the imperative, specifically the hortatory and deliberative subjunctive. This knowledge will help you grasp the nuances of command and request in the New Testament text.

Bill Mounce
Biblical Greek
Lesson 33
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I. Introduction to the Imperative Mood

A. Definition and Usage

B. Types of Imperative

II. Forms of the Imperative Mood

A. Present Imperative

B. Aorist Imperative

1. First Aorist

2. Second Aorist

C. Future Imperative

III. Negating the Imperative Mood

A. Prohibition and Negation

B. Use of Μη and Ου

IV. The Subjunctive as an Imperative Alternative

A. Hortatory Subjunctive

B. Deliberative Subjunctive

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
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] Well, welcome to chapter 33. Three more to go. Well, today we're going to learn the imperative. Just three basic things apart from form about the imperative. First of all, the imperative is the mood of command. Now, which if you want to tell someone to do something, the verb goes into the imperative, Right? Second of all, in English, all imperatives are second person, right? If I say answer me, the implied subject is you either use singular or you plural. In Greek, we have second and third person imperatives. And what you're going to see is that we'll use a phrase something like let. So if you had a third person imperative, you say, let him answer. Second person will be answer. Third person is let him or let them answer. And finally, we're only going to learn the forms for two imperatives the present imperative and the arrest imperative. There are only four perfect imperatives in the New Testament. They're listed in the textbook. We won't learn them, but we're going to learn imperatives that are formed on the present tense stem. And what do you think they're going to indicate? Continuous action. Right. And what do you think the imperative built on the UN augmented Eris tense STEM is going to indicate undefined action. C So simple, isn't it so easy? No time at all. Only aspect. Okay, well, here's the imperative morpheme chart. I have tried. I don't know how many different ways to find a way to summarize what the imperative looks like in the second person singular. I just haven't been able to do it. I can't find an easy way to do it. And when I first learned the imperatives, I started with the second person singular. And because they were different from tends to tense, I mistakenly thought that the imperative was irregular.

[00:02:05] But as you can see, the rest of the imperative is blissfully regular. So here's what I do with the imperative of morpheme chart. The second person singular has a question mark that just means it differs from tense to tense. And I memorized it as something to to Towson. And then in the middle passive, the tau was replaced with the sigma theta. And I get something. So there those. Okay. So when you see it that way, it's absolutely regular and easy to learn. It's just a second person. Singular forms are going to have to be memorized. Notice also that the left hand column is what the imperative looks like in the active and the arrest passive. Now, we've seen that over and over again, haven't we? That there is passive use as active forms. Okay. What about the second person singular imperative? Let's look at some of them here. If you saw this dealer and if I told you this is an imperative, you know, it's got to be a second person singular, Second person, singular president act of imperative is an epsilon. So pissed USA would be translated. Believe, or if you wanted to say you believe, you could. If is fit the context. Now, how are you going to indicate the difference between a present imperative and an interest imperative? You can't. I mean, it's really hard. You could say something like continue to believe versus the simple believe. But again, that's horrid English. And so most people just say, translate the present and the first imperatives the same way. That's why they're preachers, because it's really interesting to watch in the New Testament when the imperatives are present and when they're eeriest, when they're continuous, when they're undefined. Very hard to bring out the difference in the translation, though.

[00:04:08] Okay. If you saw at all, how would you translate that? Something told to Towson. You're going to have to have a subject of some sort from the context, aren't you? Let's say it's a her, but Mary is the subject of the imperative. And you would translate it. Let her believe. Okay. Do you see that? The translation on this is pretty straightforward. Here's a harder one ere who? It's second person singular imperative. How are you going to translate that? Go. Or come whatever side of the camera you want. The point of the illustration is that if a verb is deponent in the present, in the indicative, it's also deponent in the imperative. Have you seen that by now that a verb being deponent has nothing to do with its mood? It only has to do with its tense. So if a verb is deponent in the present indicative, it will be deponent in all of its present forms, regardless of mood. So ere who is come? Lavazza. You can see one of the interesting problems. The endings are something told to Towson. So this is a. It looks like a second person, plural, indicative from wobble. Right. But guess what? No such thing. So you look at that and you may think it's an indicative second plural. You look at the stem and you say, is that is that the present tense stem? Is that the stem of Memrise? The answer is no. It's an undocumented heiress. Oh. All right. Second person. Plural. Arrest. Active. Imperative. And you translate it. He got to thinking English. This is not this is not a Greek thing. This is an English thing at this point. How do you tell a group of people to learn bond or something? Receive.

[00:06:20] I wanted you to see the process I went through. All right. You may think this is a second person plural, indicative, but when you look at the stem, you go, Oh, that's not a present tense stem. Oh, it's an undocumented artist. I don't have to in a second person, plural, Eris. It's got to be something else. Oh, that's right. Something told to Tolson. Second person, plural arrest activ imperative from Lombardo. So if you saw Bleeth Tolson, something told to Tolson. It's a third plural. You look at the Bleeth, and you know you are in an arrest passive form. So you know that this is an arrest. Passive imperative. Third person, plural. Okay. How do I say that? The third person will be Let them. Okay, the verb is ball or throw, but I have to make it passive. Let them be thrown out of class. Not just teasing. You see that again? What you're doing. Same thing we've been doing with other verbal forms is that you've got to say, okay, what is this grammatically? And then you say, Oh, how do I say that in English? Let them be thrown. Let me just run through the paradigm very quickly. You'll need to spend time with them in your textbook. You're just going to have to memorize the second person singular in pair of title forms and in the master imperative chart. You're going to see that the second person singular forms are listed along with the third singular. And I don't know of any cute way to help you remember those things. You're just going to have to memorize them. So if you're in the active, the columns are the left column is the present imperative, and the middle column is the arrest imperative and the far right, the translation.

[00:08:19] So in the present act, if you have Lu Lu et or lu et lu et also in C, the second person singular is the only problem. If you go into the area active, if it's a first darris, it's going to be Luzon or whatever stem you have. And if it's a second Everest, remember second Everest use the same forms that the presidents do. So these patterns exist all the way through the different modes. It's labor. So once again, you look at labor, you see the epsilon, you go, oh, second person, singular imperative from labor. Oh, there's no such word. Must be nearest c y. You have to know your stems have to know your stems. Lose subtle losa to lose UT-Austin second Everest la better la but la better. So there's your active imperatives. So only the second person singular. That's an issue when you get into the middles. Same thing present middles Lu lu esto lu est lu est dolson. If it's a first darris, it's Luci. What's that look like? So I consider that, doesn't it? Same form, same letters doing this in the the infinitive. It very, very hard to confuse in context though, because an infinitive normally is like following a verb. Or you can have an article with the preposition or something with it. That'll be the clue that it's an infinitive. It really is. They're very difficult to confuse in context. But you have loose side. Loose source. The loose source. The loose Masterson. If it's a second. There's a new Guinness, though. Guinness. The Guinness. Those. And if you have a passive well in the present middle and passive over the same form, so there's no difference there. Lulu Esto Lewis the Lewis notion. But in the air is passive.

[00:10:23] All earth passes are formed off of a different tense stem from the Earth's actives. Right. So you have that change. And if it's a first terrace, it's Luther. A T is your second singular ending. Lose, Saito. Lose. Say to lose. Say, Towson. If it's a second verse. Graffiti. Graffito. Graffiti. Graffiti. Also. I wanted to run through the paradigms because it's. They're a little different. But I want you to see What you have to know is a question mark told to Towson. And then question marks those. There's still some, but you're going to have to memorize the second person singular forms, translations. And these things are a piece of cake. Just make it a command. If it's third person, use let. Now, let me give you one other very interesting piece of news. There's no more moods. We're actually done. In a real sense, the last two chapters have to do with something called me Verbs, and there's a slightly different way of the way the verbs form themselves. But in terms of tenses and moods, we're done. This is it. In basically in the Greek.