Principal Parts of Frequently Encountered “Irregular” New Testament Greek Verbs

       Principal Parts of Irreg. Greek VERBS p.4 

The verb tenses in Greek are divided into six basic “systems” called Principal Parts (“mouse-over” images, then click, and click again for enlarged viewing). Each system has a distinct verb stem, from which all the various tenses and their respective “voices” are built (first image). In order to recognize a Greek verb, it is necessary to be familiar with its principal parts.The “regular” principal parts system is represented by the normal, “model” Greek verb λύω. The Principal Parts chart represented within the above image files delineates in alphabetical order the principal parts of many frequently encountered “irregular” verbs occurring in the Greek New Testament. To view all the pages at full-page size or to download the entire PDF, click here or view/download anytime from the sidebar, opposite.

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“Go ahead and salivate!” — A Proven Method for Greek Vocabulary Study and Mastery

Here’s a proven method for vocabulary card creation, study and mastery. It’s based on the principle, familiar to some, called “conditioning” (“conditioned reflex”). In the 1890s Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov demonstrated a repetitive occurrence in the behavior of dogs when presented with food accompanied by an additional stimulus (e.g., ringing a bell). Each time the dogs were presented with food, evoking salivation, a bell was rung simultaneously. After numerous trials of food presentation, accompanied by a ringing bell, with consistent occurrences of salivation by the dogs, the trials were run the ringing without food being presented—yet the dogs continued to salivate in successive trials.

This same “conditioning” principle is very effective in producing consistent memory results when studying Greek vocabulary. Since most pre-printed vocabulary cards only include the Greek word on the front of the card with the corresponding definition on the back, it’s important to create your own vocabulary cards with an important addition. Even if you use pre-printed cards, adding this additional information is critically important. “What is the additional information?” you may ask.  It is simply this: Write the Greek vocabulary word (learning occurs here, too) not only on the front of the vocabulary card, but also on the back of the card—with the definition immediately under it. In this way, you are associating the original Greek word (i.e., the “bell”) with its definition (i.e., the “food”), so that, when you turn the card over to the front side, even though it’s not really there, after repetitive viewings you will actually “see” the definition under the Greek word on the front side of the card as well!  In a sense, you can “salivate” all the way through your study of frequently used New Testament Greek vocabulary in gaining a mastery of those words. Try it; it really does work!!


picture-3.png FRONT of  Card (click to enlarge)
BACK of Card (click to enlarge)

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Judas and Jesus—A Reminder of Our Depravity (Matthew 26:25)

Here is a verse that provides and excellent example of how, oftentimes, our English bible translations simply fail to render the original Greek in the most accurate manner. Within Greek grammatical rules is a grammatical structure where if one of two Greek negatives, οὐ, is used in a question, then the questioner is expecting a “Yes” answer. Conversely, if the other of the two negatives, μή, is used, a “No” answer is expected. In the following verse under consideration, the New American Standard version gets it right, while the highly reputable English Standard version unexpectedly seems to miss it.

The setting is the last Passover Jesus will share with the twelve disciples. Among the twelve, of course, is Judas, who has already secured his booty of silver from the chief priests in exchange for his impending betrayal of Jesus (v. 15). This fact is key to understanding the importance of the Greek grammatical structure in verse 25!

Now, knowing what has occurred in earlier in verse 15, Matt. 26:25 is even more startling, when in answer to Jesus’ all-knowing statement that one of his disciples would betray him, Judas emphatically asks Jesus, “It is not I, is it, Rabbi?” — μήτι ἐγώ εἰμι, ῥαββι;

According to Greek usage, Judas is expecting—at least in his mind and heart—a “No” answer from his omniscient Lord. This, in spite of the fact that, shortly after “Satan entered into Judas” (Luke 22:3), he has already been paid by the chief priests for the yet uncommitted deed of betrayal. Yet, surely Judas reasonably should have known by then that Jesus, the very Son of God, would know what was in his heart. A reminder and warning to us all of our depraved condition, most clearly set forth by Jeremiah: “The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9)

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FLASH! Card!! Study!!! All the Words in the Greek New Testament Occurring More than 10 times!

For an online flashcard study of all the New Testament words occurring more than 10 times per Bruce Metzger’s Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek frequency lists (supported with words noted by Sake Kubo from his Reader’s Lexicon of the Greek New Testament >50x word usage appendix), click here. Each Greek vocabulary word occurs not only on the front of the vocabulary card, but also on the back of the card—with the definition immediately under it. In this way, you are associating the original Greek word with its definition, so that, when you turn the card over to the front side—even though the “answer” is not really there—after repetitive viewings you will actually “see” the definition under the Greek word on the front side of the card as well!  Some cards also include a “third side” clue to the word’s meaning (see screen shot example below).

Here’s a visual example—via screen shots—of what you’ll find once you’re on the “Cram.com” (formerly “Flashcard Exchange.com”) site.

1) Word frequency categories listing —


2) Word frequency group selected —


3) Features & Navigation —


4)  Sample Vocabulary Card (Front) —


5)  Sample Vocabulary Card “Third Side” Definition Clue —


6) Sample Vocabulary Card (Back) showing Greek word coupled with its English definition —

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Online Greek & Hebrew Reader’s Bible (Analytical)

For those who learn visually and love to have an organized, systematic way of studying and memorizing, this analytical Greek (& Hebrew) Reader’s Bible web application (click to go there) is replete with what you would have created if developer John Dyer hadn’t already done so. Similar to Zack Hubert’s former online interactive, analytical bible tool, but with many more creative and useful “bells and whistles,” John Dyer’s online New Testament Greek tool (click image below to enlarge) is also very user-friendly.

Searchable by Book/Chapter/Verse, the accented Greek text has a “roll-over” function embedded that provides a full analytical and lexical summary of each word.  The user may also assign colors to the words in the Greek text, according to parts of speech categories. You can even change the size and style of Greek font being used. (Of course, all the above also applies to the Hebrew text functions as well). There’s even more which you will easily find and be able to use in your Greek (and Hebrew) studies, like setting parameters to preclude information that a student is already supposed to know. So, use it wisely and responsibly, and enjoy!

link to this Bible Web App site is also available from the sidebar of  this “It’s All Greek to YOU!” site under the Online Greek Study Resources topical heading.

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“Getting (Up Close and) Personal” with Personal Pronouns

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