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Old & New Testament Greek

Information for #5658

Tense
Aorist

The aorist tense is characterized by its emphasis on punctiliar action; that is, the concept of the verb is considered without regard for past, present, or future time. There is no direct or clear English equivalent for this tense, though it is generally rendered as a simple past tense in most translations.

The events described by the aorist tense are classified into a number of categories by grammarians. The most common of these include a view of the action as having begun from a certain point ("inceptive aorist"), or having ended at a certain point ("cumulative aorist"), or merely existing at a certain point ("punctiliar aorist"). The categorization of other cases can be found in Greek reference grammars.

The English reader need not concern himself with most of these finer points concerning the aorist tense, since in most cases they cannot be rendered accurately in English translation, being fine points of Greek exegesis only. The common practice of rendering an aorist by a simple English past tense should suffice in most cases.

Voice
Active

The active voice represents the subject as the doer or performer of the action. e.g., in the sentence, "The boy hit the ball," the boy performs the action.

Mood
Infinitive

The Greek infinitive mood in most cases corresponds to the English infinitive, which is basically the verb with "to" prefixed, as "to believe."

Like the English infinitive, the Greek infinitive can be used like a noun phrase ("It is better to live than to die"), as well as to reflect purpose or result ("This was done to fulfil what the prophet said").

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