06 June 2012

Inductive Bible Study, Part 6D: It's About Time

Dear Lissy,

We've been working letter by letter through a reminder of how to do an inductive study.  Today we'll be observing time indicators.

Identify words that denote time.
After, Afterward(s), As soon as, At that time, Later, Now, Soon, Then, Until, and When all indicate a sequence of events and answer the question "When?".  I also like to meditate on Why certain events either happen or are recorded in a particular order.
Marking:  Circle in green

Identify verb tenses and write them in the left margin of the working copy.
You found the verbs and probably double underlined them much earlier in the study.  In this work session, take the time to identify the Greek word tense using your Bible software.  
No element of Greek language is of more importance to the student of the New Testament than the matter of tense. A variation in meaning exhibited by the use of a particular tense will often dissolve what appears to be an embarrassing difficulty, or reveal a gleam of truth which will thrill the heart with delight and inspiration." ~ Dana & Mantey
Greek grammar is an entire discipline unto itself.  Even without a mastery of Greek grammar, however, you can use a few key charts and helps to illuminate the passage you're studying.  Print this letter out and keep the following charts with your study supplies for easy reference. Daddy is always just a phone call away, too.

I am loving you,

Greek Verb Cheat Sheet

Greek verbs have one of four different "moods":

Indicative is a statement of fact
Imperative is a command
Subjunctive indicates probability/possibility
Optative is a wish or hope

In English, and in most other languages, the tense of the verb mainly refers to the 'time' of the action of the verb (present, past, or future time). In Greek, however, although time does bear upon the meaning of tense, the primary consideration of the tense of the verb is not time, but rather the 'kind of action' that the verb portrays. The most important element in Greek tense is kind of action; time is regarded as a secondary element. ~ntgreek.org

 Kind of Action and Time of Action for Each Verb Tense in Imperative* Mood

Action:  Progressive (or 'Continuous')
Time:  present 
Action:  Simple (or ‘Summary’) Occurrence
Time:  past 
Action: Completed, with Results
Time: past, with present results
Action: Progressive (or 'Continuous')
Time: past 
Action: Simple Occurrence
Time: future 
Past Perfect
Action: Completed, with Results
Time: past 
Future Perfect
Action: Completed, with Results
Time: future

 *If the verb is in a mood other than imperative, these actions and times will not apply as above.

Inductive Bible Study, Part 1: Preparation
Inductive Bible Study, Part 2: Read
Inductive Bible Study, Part 3: Seeking the Context
Inductive Bible Study, Part 4: Book Summary Key
Inductive Bible Study, Part 5: The Choice
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6a: Chapter Analysis
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6b:  Identifying Key Words
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6C: Finding the 3C's
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6D: It's About Time
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6E: Keep Digging
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6F: Word Studies
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6G: Considering Context
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6H: Application Brings Transformation 
Inductive Bible Study, Part 7: Wrap It Up!

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