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Home » Class Notes » BBG 25: Perfect Indicative

BBG 24: Aorist and Future Passive « PreviousNext » BBG 26: Participles

χαῖρετε μαθηταί

Review and Addenda

  • Download Verb Paradigms Chart

Review Aorist and Future Passives

  • In English we form past and future passives by using helping verbs, e.g. ‘you were taken’ and ‘you will be taken’ respectively
    • See Appendix on p. 351 (3rd edition)
    • This is how we will translate the Aorist and Future passives
  • Both are built on the 6th Principal Part (aka Tense Form)
    • e.g. λύω, λύσω, ἔλυσα, -, -, ἐλύθην
    • We will learn the 4th and 5th Principal Parts (Perfect Active, Perfect Middle/Passive) next chapter
  • Formation of Aorist Passive: Augment + Aorist Passive tense stem + Tense formative (θη or η) + Secondary active personal endings
    • Augment ε
      • Indicates Past Time
      • Always goes with Secondary Endings
    • Aorist Passive Tense Stem
      • Usually the same as the Present Tense Stem and Verbal Root, in 1st Aorist,
      • It often varies in the 2nd Aorist (the paradigmatic γράφω, γράψω, ἐγράφην does not)
      • 2nd Aorist Passives are rare in the New Testament
    • Tense Formative θη (1st Aorist) or η (2nd Aorist)
      • The presence of θη is a fairly reliable indicator of the Aorist Passive
      • Important to recognize the Tense Formative, due to variation in the Tense Stem
      • Stops will aspirate before the Tense Formative θη (24.10 and footnote 5)
      • No connecting vowels. (Why?) – Tense Formative ends with a vowel
    • Secondary Active Endings (not Passive)
      • Alternative ending -σαν in 3rd Plural
  • Paradigms for Aorist Passive
    • 1st Aorist Passive – 24.4-5
    • 2nd Aorist Passive – 24.11-12
  • Formation of Future Passive – Aorist Passive Tense Stem + Tense Formative (θησ or ησ) + Connecting Vowel + Primary Middle/Passive personal endings
    • Aorist Passive Tense Stem (no augment – why? Not Past Time)
    • Tense Formative θης (1st Future) or ης (Second Future)
      • Sigma is adding for the Future, just as in the Active
    • Connecting Vowel (ο/ε)
    • Primary Passive Endings
      • -θησαν is Aorist Passive 3rd Plural, not Future Passive – only exception to the θης pattern.
  • Translate Future Passive – λυθήσομαι → “I will be loosed”
    • Simple (undefined) aspect
  • Paradigms for Future Passive
    • 1st Future Passive – 24.14-15
    • 2nd Future Passive – 24.18-19
  • Deponent Futures may be Middle in form or Passive in Form (24.17)
    • Compare γενήσομαι (Middle Form) and φοβηθήσομαι (Passive Form) – both deponents (Active meaning), “I will become” and “I will be afraid” respectively

Perfect Indicative

  • Perfect Tense: past time (from the speaker’s viewpoint), completed action
    • Action occurred and was completed in the past, but its effect are felt in the present


*English has no exact equivalent to the Greek Perfect Tense

  • nothing that exactly captures its genius – “It is written” is probably closest.
  • translate using helping verbs ‘have/has’ or ‘is’ with the past participle, depending on context
    • e.g. πεπίστευκας – You have believed
    • e.g. γέγραπται – It is written (action occurred in the past, but the effect is applicable in the present). The translation, “it stands written” might capture the significance of the perfect even a little better.
  • translate also using the present tense, e.g. ἤγγικεν γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν. (Matthew 3.2) “for the kingdom of heaven is near” (has come near)
  • Often used to express significant theological truth, e.g. “Jesus died” vs. “Jesus has died (for our sins), the effect of which is present now”

Formation and Paradigm of the Perfect Active (25.4-5)

Reduplication + Perfect Active Tense Stem + Tense Formative κα + Primary Active personal endings

  • Reduplication (25.8) – fundamentally, reduplication indicates completed action
    • Two forms: Consonantal and Vocalic
    • Consonantal – initial consonant of Tense Stem is doubled, followed by ε, e.g. λελ for λύω
    • Aspirates reduplicate to Voiceless (25.8.1), e.g. χαρίζομαι —> κεχάρισμαι
      • This is the opposite of what happens to voiceless stop followed by θη which becomes aspirate (24.10)
    • Vocalic – initial vowel of Tense Stem is lengthened, e.g. ἀγαπάω —> ἠγάπηκα (25.8.2)
      • Diphthongs often do not lengthen, ε.γ. εὑρίσκω —> εὑρήκα
      • Verbs beginning with a consonantal cluster (2 or more consonants), will usually have vocalic reduplication, e.g. γνω (γινώσκω) —> ἔγνωκα
    • Compound verbs reduplicate the verbal part of the verb (25.8.3)
  • Perfect Active Tense Stem (4th Principal Part, aka “Tense Form”)
    • Sometimes the same as the Present Tense stem, sometimes changes, e.g. the stem vowel
  • Tense Formative κα (α for 2nd Perfects. See 25.14)
    • In 3rd singular, κα → κε as in Aorist σα → σε
    • No connecting vowels, since Tense Formative ends with a vowel
  • Primary Active Personal Endings
    • No augment, hence primary endings are used
    • 3rd person plural variant καν, similar to 1st Aorist

The Square of Stops (BBG 10.17-20)

Type Voiceless Voiced Aspirate Spirant Double (With Sigma)
Labials π β φ + σ => ψ
Velars(Palatals) κ γ χ + σ => ξ
Dentals τ δ θ + σ => σσ => σ

Formation and Paradigm of the Perfect Middle/Passive (25.6-7)

Reduplication + Perfect Middle/Passive Tense Stem + Primary Middle/Passive personal endings

  • Reduplication
  • Perfect Middle/Passive Tense Stem (5th Principal Part, aka “Tense Form”)
  • Primary Middle/Passive Personal Endings
    • No Tense Formative or Connecting Vowels
    • Final Stem consonant often changes, e.g. γράφω —> γέγραμμαι
    • The 2nd person singular does not contract
  • Contract vowels lengthen, as in the Future and Aorist (25.13)
  • Exegetical Insight – τετέλεσται “It is finished” (John 19.30)
  • See Smyth on the Perfect

(BBG p.354)

Verb TenseAugment/
1st Person
Present ActivePresentο/εPrimary Activeλύω
Present Middle/PassivePresentο/εPrimary Middle/Passiveλύομαι
Imperfect ActiveεPresentο/εSecondary Activeἔλυον
Imperfect Middle/PassiveεPresentο/εSecondary Middle/Passiveἐλυόμην
Future ActiveFuture Activeσο/εPrimary Activeλύσω
Liquid Future ActiveFuture Activeεσο/εPrimary Activeμενῶ
Future MiddleFuture Activeσο/εPrimary Middle/Passiveπορεύομαι
Liquid Future MiddleFuture Activeεσο/εPrimary Middle/Passiveμενοῦμαι
1st Future PassiveAorist Passiveθησο/εPrimary Middle/Passiveλυθήσομαι
2nd Future PassiveAorist Passiveησο/εPrimary Middle/Passiveἀποσταλήσομαι
1st Aorist ActiveεAorist ActiveσαSecondary Activeἔλυσα
1st Aorist MiddleεAorist ActiveσαSecondary Middle/Passiveἐλυσάμην
1st Aorist PassiveεAorist PassiveθηSecondary Activeἐλύθην
Liquid Aorist ActiveεAorist ActiveαSecondary Activeἔμεινα
2nd Aorist ActiveεAorist Activeο/εSecondary Activeἔλαβον
2nd Aorist MiddleεAorist Activeο/εSecondary Middle/Passiveἐγενόμην
2nd Aorist PassiveεAorist PassiveηSecondary Activeἐγράφην
1st Perfect ActiveλεPerfect ActiveκαPrimary Activeλέκυκα
2nd Perfect ActiveλεPerfect ActiveαPrimary Activeγέγονα
Perfect Middle/PassiveλεPerfect PassivePrimary Middle/Passiveλέκυμαι

The Middle Voice

  • The action of the verb somehow affects, or returns to, the subject. It emphasizes the subject’s participation in the action, the subject’s “vested interest”
  • Visual: Active: Subject →, Passive: Subject <-, Middle: Subject <—>
  • The “self-interest” nuance is present in many middles, but not all
  • The difference between the Middle and the Active voices can be said to be that the Active voice emphasizes the action, and Middle voice emphasizes the actor.
  • Middles are almost always active in meaning, whether deponent, or “true” middles

Categories of the Middle with Examples

  • Direct or Reflexive Middle – the subject acts on himself/herself
    • καὶ ῥίψας τὰ ἀργύρια εἰς τὸν ναὸν ἀνεχώρησεν, καὶ ἀπελθὼν ἀπήγξατο. (ἀπάγχω “I strangle”, Matthew 27.5)
    • ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι περιζώσεται καὶ ἀνακλινεῖ αὐτοὺς καὶ παρελθὼν διακονήσει αὐτοῖς. (περιζώννυμι “I gird around” Luke 12.37)
  • Redundant Middle – like the Direct (Reflexive), but with a reflexive pronoun
    • οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς λογίζεσθε ἑαυτοὺς [εἶναι] νεκροὺς μὲν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ (λογίζομαι “I reckon, count, calculate” Romans 6.11)
  • Indirect Middle – emphasizes the participation of the subject in the action, the subjects acts for himself or by himself, in his own interest
    • Μαριὰμ γὰρ τὴν ἀγαθὴν μερίδα ἐξελέξατο (ἐκλέγω “I choose” Luke 10.42)
      • like many middles which are identified as deponents, the active form does not occur in the NT, but it does in other Hellenistic Greek literature. The line is often fuzzy between “deponent” and Indirect Middles. The verb should not be taken as deponent.
    • Πιλᾶτος … ἀπενίψατο τὰς χεῖρας (ἀπονίπτω “I wash off” Matthew 27.24)
      • The middle emphasizes Pilate the subject, that he washed his own hands, in his own self-interest, as if this act could absolve him.
  • Causative Middle – subject does something for himself or to himself
    • Ὁ νικῶν οὕτως περιβαλεῖται ἐν ἱματίοις λευκοῖς (περιβάλλω “I clothe” Revelation 3.5)
  • Permissive Middle – subject allows something to be done for himself or to himself
    • ἀναστὰς βάπτισαι καὶ ἀπόλουσαι τὰς ἁμαρτίας σου ἐπικαλεσάμενος τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ. (βαπτίζω “I baptize”, ἀπολούω “I wash away” Acts 22.16)
  • Deponent Middle – middle form, active meaning
  • For a full discussion, see GGBB (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics), pp.414-430, especially pp. 428-430 for discussion how to identify a true deponent.

Review New Vocabulary

  • Note that you are now learning 4 principal parts
  • After next week you will be learning all 6
  • Learn the 6th Principal Part for previous vocabulary

Review principal parts (pp. 370-380)

Look at chapter 25 workbook exercises


  • Final Exam is in 3 weeks. It will cumulatively cover the entire year’s work:
    • Review Noun Rules, 1st, 2nd, 3rd declensions, etc. as well as everything from this semester
    • All work in workbook must be complete before you take the Exam, through the review on chapters 21-25.
  • Prepare for quiz on chapter 25 on the Perfect, and complete workbook exercise 25 on the same
    • Know all Principal Parts for all verbs
    • Identify of the components of the Perfect Active, and Perfect Middle/Passive
    • Parsing of verbs, especially Perfects
    • Given a verb form, be able to identify its Tense, Voice, and Lexical Form
    • Translation
    • All memory verses
    • All vocabulary
  • Review Exercise on chapters 21-25 will be due for the next class
  • Learn all 6 principal parts for all verbs to date
  • Continue your life habit of reading Greek aloud from the Greek New Testament
  • Lexical Aids: Appendix II pp 79-85 on compound verbs. Part I pp.1-10 – make sure you know all words with NT occurrences > 150. Pay special attentive to the derivatives
  • Continue taking your Greek NT to church with you, and follow along
  • Memory Passasge: 2 Corinthians 3.17

ὁ δὲ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν· οὗ δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα κυρίου, ἐλευθερία.

The Lord’s Prayer (Listen)

Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς·
ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου· ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου· γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς·
τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον· καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν, ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν·
καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.
ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμήν.

χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη

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