From the Beginning

A STORY OF "TIME" by Trevor Topsfield

The Greek of The New Testament

The Greek of The New Testament

The Original Copies

A sample of the Dead Sea Scrolls

There are hundreds of very old manuscripts found in various places and a huge amount of research has been carried out to establish how old they are and where they came from. Because they were hand copied some errors were made in the copying by mistake, others were made when someone would put in his own personal view in to make a point. With so many manuscripts it was a slow and arduous job to compare one with others to understand when these changes were made.

Within The Greek New Testament; the Third Addition by United Bible Society is published their result of the work gone into much of the research of the old manuscripts. The resultant text has the Greek printed in the upper section of each page and the first verse of the New Testament looks something like this: – 

The genealogy of Christ Jesus

(Lk 3.23-38)

1 βίβος γενέσεως ’Ιησοῠ Χριστοῠ υίοῠ Δαυιδ υίοῠ  Ἀβραάμ.

The lower section of the page has an example of a difference found in various manuscripts.

In verses 7 and 8 of Matthew chapter 1 the third King after Israel was re-established from their exile in Babylon is stated as Ασάφ (Asaf) in about 20 manuscripts, while in another approx. 20 he is stated as Ασά (Asa). In 1 Kings 15: 9 according to the New International Version of The Bible this King is named as Asa. This begs the question; how did Matthew know him? Asaf or Asa and does it make any difference?

The point being that there has been an enormous amount of research gone in even the smallest details to decide the final makeup of the Greek New Testament; Third Edition.

This is the starting point for my research into The New testament and what I considered I needed was the technical information on each word to better understand the message as a whole. Therefore I recorded on a data base all the Greek words and as much detail of each one so I could quickly reference the passages I was researching at the time.

Because I did this when home computers were in their infancy I allotted certain English letters for various Greek letters using this code.

 a = α alpha       b = β beta      c = θ theta        d =  δ  delta       e  = ε epsilon          f =  φ phi      g = γ  gamma        h = rough breathing        i =  ι iota         j = ψ psi        k = κ kappa          l = λ lambda          m = μ mu         n = ν nu         o = o omicron       p =  π pi          r =  ρ rho    s =  σ sigma           t =  τ tau    u = υ upsilon          v = ξ  xi       w = ω omega         x = χ chi           y = η eta            z = ζ zeta

 Most of the English have a similar sound to their allotted Greek, but not always. For example I used “w” for omega because they look alike.

This is an example of how it appears.

MATT

VS

WORD

GRAMMAR

STEM

NO

ENGLISH_CO

0101 biblos a noun n biblos 0976 a writen book. a roll or scoll.
0101 genesews gen sing n genesis 1078 of birth. nativity. existence. life. source. origin.
0101 iysou gen. dat. voc. n iysous 2424 Jesus. (Joshua). whose help is Jehovah.
0101 xristou gen n xristos 5547 annointed, Jesus as Christ, of the Messiah, of the coming of the King.
0101 huiou gen sing n huios 5207 a son. male issue (one begotten by a father and born of a mother).
0101 dauid David n dauid 1138 David.
0101 huiou gen sing n huios 5207 a son. male issue (one begotten by a father and born of a mother).
0101 abraam proper name, indecl. n abraam 0011 Abraham. The founder of the Jewish race.

 A book of birth of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham

 The left side is the Chapter and Verse :- 0101 Chapter 1 Verse 1.

 Next is the Greek word from the Greek New Testament; Third Edition and using my letter code, so biblos = βιβλος.

 Third column is the Grammatical information; a noun from The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised 1978 Edition, this also states the stem from which the word originates.

 Fourth column is the stem from which the Greek word originates; biblos

 Fifth column is the number 0976. given to each stem by a James, Strong, S.T.D., LL.D. (The author of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible).  The definite article has no Strong’s number so I inserted the book from which this passage originates.

 The last column is a short English translation mostly from Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of The New Testament, although I have altered some slightly with further personal research. The “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament” has added to my ability to understand better the meanings behind the Greek words. (The “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament” is sometimes referred to as “Kittel” because he has written the Preface.)

  This the basis of much of my research, with the result I have written these few articles found on my website.

 Translating 

While translating the original Greek of The New Testament is a study in it-self, there needs to be a cross referencing  with other verses throughout The Bible to verify the story the translation tells is consistent.

While I applaud the work of the various translators, I think it can be said that for our own personal research we need some ability to verify the exact meaning of individual words so a better understanding of the story is available to us.

While there are no short cuts, any additional knowledge of the Greek must help in our practical application of God’s Word to our life’s experiences. At the same time we are demonstrating our personal ambition to discover something of the greatness of God. It is one thing to read The Bible; it is another to study it by cross referencing different passages both in the English translations and the Greek.

I will add some passages you like to try to translate and this will give an understanding of how difficult is, but at the same time the challenge is there to better appreciate what the passage says.

List of some of the abbreviations and meanings of third column. 

Nom      –  nominative       –     subject

Acc       –   accusative        –    direct object

Gen       –   genitive           –     indicates possession

Voc       –   vocative           –     calling to something

Dat        –   dative              –     indirect object 

Voice

Act         –   active             –     the subject does the action of the verb

Pas         –   passive           –     the subject receives the action of the verb

Mid        –   middle           –     the subject does it to himself 

Tense

Pres        –   present tense

Perf        –   prefect tense  –     an action with results that continue

Aor        –   Aorist tense    –     an action considered as a point in time

Imperf   –    imperfect       –     repeated action in past times

Plup       –   pluperfect       –     a completed action in the past with continuing results

Part        –   participle       –      verbal adjective  

Mood

Ind         –    indicative     –       makes a statement or asks a question     

Imper     –   imperative    –       is a command

Subj       –   subjunctive   –       expresses a wish

Infin      –   infinitive       –       a general action  

Person                Gender

1pers                   masc

2pers                   fem

3pers                   neut 

Pronouns

Demonstrative pronoun:    Showing ones feelings/explaining  or proving 

Most of this information comes from “Wenham’s Elements of N.T. Greek 

2615 eipen 3pers sing aor2 ind act v eipon 1512 to speak. to say. what shall I say? to speak ill of one.
2615 ti nom + acc sing neut interrog tis2 5101 interrog pron. who? which? what? who…save.
2615 celete 2pers pl pres ind v celw 2309 to be resolved or determined. to purpose. intend.
2615 moi dat sing r egw 1473 personal pronoun. “I”. here am I. behold me, I am,
2615 dounai aor2 infin f didwmi 1325 to give. of one’s own accord to give one something.
2615 kagw contracted form kai, egw c kagw 2504 and I. I (to speak of myself). and so. I also. I as well. .
2615 humin dat pl r su 4771 pronoun of the 2pers. thou. ye. thou being a Jew. if
2615 paradwsw 1pers sing fut ind act v paradidwmi 3860 to give into the hands of another. to give over into ones power or use.
2615 auton acc sing masc r autos 0846 3rd pers. pron. he, she, it, with article “the same”,
2615 hoi nom masc pl l hoi Matt Definite article. “the”.
2615 de a conjunctive particle c de 1161 on the other hand, moreover. but. general contrast, interupted sentence.
2615 estysan 3pers pl aor1/aor2 ind v histymi 2476 to cause or make stand. to place. to set. to bid to stand by. set up. to pay
2615 autw dat sing masc + neut r autos 0846 3rd pers. pron. he, she, it, with article “the same”, reflex pron, self
2615 triakonta adjective a triakonta 5144 thirty.
2615 arguria acc pl n argurion 0694 silver. a silver coin. silver-piece.
2616 kai conjunction c kai 2532 it connects single words or terms. translated and. also. for. now. ect.
2616 apo prep forth, from, p apo 0575 signifying separation by which union or fellowship is destroyed, from.
2616 tote adv of time, then d tote 5119 then. at that time. thereupon. when…then. demonstr adv of time.
2616 ezytei 3pers sing imperf act v zytew 2212 to seek. to seek in order to find. to inquire into. aim at. strive after.
2616 eukairian acc sing n eukairia 2120 seasonable time. opportunity.
2616 hina conjunction c hina 2443 where, in what place, to the purpose or end, with the result that.
2616 auton acc sing masc r autos 0846 3rd pers. pron. he, she, it, with article “the same”, reflex pron, self
2616 paradw 3pers sing aor2 subj act v paradidwmi 3860 to give into the hands of another. to give over into ones power or use.
2617 ty dat fem sing l ty Matt Definite article. “The”.
2617 de a conjunctive particle c de 1161 on the other hand, moreover. but. general contrast, .
2617 prwty dat sing fem r prwtos 4412 first. the eternal One. the first of two. first of all. first in order.
2617 twn gen masc + fem + neut pl l twn Matt Definite article. “The”.
2617 azumwn gen pl r azumos 0106 unfermented. free from leaven.
2617 prosylcon 3pers pl aor2 ind v proserxomai 4334 to come to. to approach. to draw near to God.
2617 hoi nom masc pl l hoi Matt Definite article. “the”.
2617 macytai nom pl n macytys 3101 a learner. pupil. disciple.
2617 tw dat masc/neut sing l tw Matt Definite article. “The”.
2617 iysou gen. dat. voc. n iysous 2424 Jesus. (Joshua). whose help is Jehovah.
2617 legontes nom pl masc part pres act t legw 3004 to collect. gather. recount. narrate. describe. to say.
2617 pou an interrog. part of place d pou 4226 where? in what place? where shall…appear.
2617 celeis 2pers sing pres ind v celw 2309 to be resolved or determined. to purpose. intend.
2617 hetoimaswmen 1pers pl aor1 subj act v hetoimazw 2090 to make ready. prepare. to make the necessary preparations.
2617 soi dat sing/enclit dat sing r su 4771 pronoun of the 2pers. thou. ye. thou being a Jew..
2617 fagein aor2 infin f esciw 2068 to devour. to eat. (consume) a thing. to take food.
2617 to nom neut sing/acc neut sing to Matt Definite article, The.
2617 pasxa indeclin n pasxa 3957 a passing over. the Pascal lamb. the feast of the Passover.
2618 ho nom masc sing l ho Matt Definite article, The.

 (Verse 15) Eipen 3rd Persons singular aorist tense (an event) they spoke    

 ti  interrogative pronoun what   

celete 2pers pl present tense, indicative mood (makes a statement) we are resolved.    

moi  dative (indirect object), singular, masculine,  I     

dounai aorist 2 infinitive give   

kagw and also    

humin dative (indirect object) plural to you all   

paradwsw   1st person, future tense, indicative mood (a statement) I will give    

auton accusative (direct object) singular, masculine, him       

hoi nominative (subject) masculine, plural the    

de adversitve particle in contrast     (I will give him in contrast to the money you pay me)

estysan 3rd person plural aorist tense (an event), indicative (statement) they pay     

autw dative (indirect object) singular, masculine, him  

 traikonta adjective thirty  

arguria  accusative (direct object) plural  silver coins 

 (Verse 16)

 kai  conjunction and      

apo preposition  from    

tote adverb of time then    

ezytei 3rd persons singular imperfect (repeated action in past times) he sought      

eukairian accusative (direct object) singular opportunity       

hina conjunction  for the purpose   

auton accusative (direct object) singular, masculine, him   

paradw 3rd person singular aorist  tense (an action) subjunctive mood (expresses a wish) active voice (subject does the action) to give   

(Verse 17)

  ty dative (indirect object) feminine, singular , on the     

de adversative particle in contrast    (in contrast to the feast)

prwty dative (indirect object) singular feminine,  first    

 twn genitive (indicates possession) of the

azumwn genitive (indicates possession plural  unleavens.   

New sentence  

prosylcon 3rd persons plural aorist (an action) indicative mood (statement)  They approached      

hoi nominative (subject) the    

mactai nominative (subject) plural disciples    

twdative (indirect object)  the    

iysou genitive (indicates possession) dative (indirect object) of Jesus      

legontes nominative (subject) plural participle (verbal adjective) active voice (subject does the action) saying       

pou interrogative particle where       

celeis 2nd persons, singular, present tense,  you intend    

 hetoimaswmen 1st persons plural aorist (an action) indicative mood (statement) we might prepare   

 soi dative (indirect object) you   

fagein  aorist (an action) infinitive ea

to nominative/accusative, neuter, singular,   the        

pasxa  Passover 

This I hope demonstrates the difficulty of making one language that has its own set rules to make sense with another with its own completely different set of rules.

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