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Old & New Testament Greek

Information for #5737


The present tense represents a simple statement of fact or reality viewed as occurring in actual time. In most cases this corresponds directly with the English present tense.

Some phrases which might be rendered as past tense in English will often occur in the present tense in Greek. These are termed "historical presents," and such occurrences dramatize the event described as if the reader were there watching the event occur. Some English translations render such historical presents in the English past tense, while others permit the tense to remain in the present.


The middle voice indicates the subject performing an action upon himself (reflexive action) or for his own benefit. E.g., "The boy groomed himself." Many verbs which occur only in middle voice forms are translated in English as having an active sense; these are called "deponent" verbs, and do not comply with the normal requirements for the middle voice.


The imperative mood corresponds to the English imperative, and expresses a command to the hearer to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding. Thus, Jesus' phrase, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mk.1:15) is not at all an "invitation," but an absolute command requiring full obedience on the part of all hearers.

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