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Old & New Testament Greek

Information for #5661

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
Subjunctive

The subjunctive mood is the mood of possibility and potentiality. The action described may or may not occur, depending upon circumstances. Conditional sentences of the third class ("ean" + the subjunctive) are all of this type, as well as many commands following conditional purpose clauses, such as those beginning with "hina."

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