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Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek

, 2008
ISBN: 9780310499480

Digital Logos Edition

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Verbal aspect in the Greek language has been a topic of significant debate in recent scholarship. The majority of scholars now believe that an understanding of verbal aspect is even more important than verb tense (past, present, etc.). Until now, however, there have been few accessible textbooks.

In this book, Constantine Campbell investigates the function of verbal aspect within the New Testament Greek narrative. He has done a marvelous job in this book of simplifying the concept without getting caught up using terms of linguistics that no one except those schooled in that field can understand. The book includes exercises, an answer key, glossary of key concepts, an appendix covering space and time, and an index to Scripture cited.

Professors and students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, will use this is as a supplemental text in both beginning and advanced Greek courses. Pastors that study the Greek text will also appreciate this resource as a supplement to their preaching and teaching.

Resource Experts
  • Provides a basic handle on verbal aspect for those interested in exegesis and translation of Greek text
  • Presents the material in a way that can be read and understood by all
  • Includes an introduction that explains the importance of verbal aspect
  • Verbal Aspect Theory
    • What Is Verbal Aspect?
    • The History of Verbal Aspect
    • Perfective Aspect
    • Imperfective Aspect
    • The Problem of the Perfect
  • Verbal Aspect and New Testament Text
    • Verbal Lexeme Basics
    • Present and Imperfect Tense-Forms
    • Aorist and Future Tense-Forms
    • Perfect and Pluperfect Tense-Forms
    • More Participles

Top Highlights

“Aktionsart refers to how an action actually takes place—what sort of action it is. Aspect refers to viewpoint—how the action is viewed. They are two different categories.” (Page 22)

“While there are various ways of defining verbal aspect, the simplest description is viewpoint. An author or speaker views an action, event, or state either from the outside or from the inside. The view of an action, event, or state from the outside is called perfective aspect, while the view from the inside is called imperfective aspect.” (Page 19)

“When speaking of verbs, pragmatics refers to the expression of semantic values in context and in combination with other factors. In other words, pragmatics refers to how it all ends up—the way language is used in context.” (Page 23)

“Semantics asks, ‘Who am I?’ while pragmatics asks, ‘What do I do?’” (Page 23)

“Verbal aspect in Greek is called a synthetic semantic category. What this means is that aspect is realized in the morphological forms of verbs.” (Page 20)

Constantine R. Campbell

Constantine R. Campbell (PhD, Macquarie University) is the author of several books on the New Testament and Ancient Greek, including Paul and Union with Christ—the 2014 Christianity Today Book of the Year in Biblical Studies. He is Professor and Associate Research Director at the Sydney College of Divinity, and was previously Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Illinois) and senior lecturer in New Testament at Moore Theological College (Sydney). Dr Campbell lives in Canberra, Australia. His website is found here.


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