[B-Greek] Verbal Adjectives

George F Somsel gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 7 13:15:37 EDT 2006

2. Verbal Adjectives. As a matter of fact no absolutely clear line can be drawn between verbal adjectives and other adjectives. An adjective may not only be used with a case like KENOS with the ablative, but may even take on a verbal nature in certain connections. Some, like KLUTOS, were always purely adjectival. Most of the forms in -TOS in Greek are adjectival, but many of them have a verbal idea developed also, either that of completion, as AGAPHTOS (‘beloved,’ Mt. 3:17), or of possibility or capability, as PAQHTOS (‘liable to suffering,’ Ac. 26:23). In Greek these verbals in –ôïò never became a part of the verb as in Latin perfect passive participle. Moulton shows how amatus est and “he is loved” represent different tenses, but scriptum est and “it is written” agree. But there was no reason why the -TOS should not have had a further verbal development in Greek. For the structure of this
 verbal adjective see the chapter on Formation of Words, where a list of the chief examples is given. Moulton points out the wavering between the active and passive idea when the true verbal exists in the N. T., by the example of ADUNATON in Ro. 8:3. Is it ‘incapable’ as in Ro. 15:1 or ‘impossible’ as is usual? Blass indeed denies the verbal character of the -TOS form in the N. T. to any examples except PAQHTOS (Ac. 26:23). But this is too extreme, as Moulton clearly proves. ASUNETOS is active in Ro. 1:31 while ASUNQETOS is middle (SUNTIQEMAI). With the forms in -TOS therefore two points have to be watched: first, if they are verbal at all, and then, if they are active, middle or passive. There is no doubt as to the verbal character of the form in -TEOS, which expresses the idea of necessity. This is in fact a gerundive [Page 373] and is closely allied to the -TOS form. It has both a personal construction and
 the impersonal, and governs cases like the verb. It is not in Homer (though -TOS is common), and the first example in Greek is in Hesiod. The N. T. shows only one example, BLETEON (Lu. 5:38), impersonal and governing the accusative. It appears in a few MSS. in the parallel passage in Mk. 2:22. One further remark is to be made about the verbals, which is that some participles lose their verbal force and drop back to the purely adjectival function. So hEKWN, MELLWN in the sense of ‘future.’ Cf. eloquens and sapiens in Latin. In general, just as the infinitive and the gerund were surrounded by many other verbal substantives, so the participle and the gerundive come out of many other verbal adjectives. In the Sanskrit, as one would expect, the division-line between the participle and ordinary adjectives is less sharply drawn.        
  Robertson, A. (1919; 2006). A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (372). Logos.

Joe Hightower <boeinguy2 at yahoo.com> wrote:  Several sources have stated that EULOGHTOS in Ephesians 1:3 is a verbal adjective. Can someone help me understand how a verbal adjective works?

Dana & Maney does not explain one, neither do Wallace (except to discuss how one is formed from a verb and -TOS) or Young (same info).

I know that Participles are verbal adjectives and carry the force of an adjective as well as a verbal idea. But I have not run across an adjective that functions this way.

Help please.
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