The New Testament Greek Lexicon
| Strong's Number: 5659||Tense, Voice and Mood|
The aorist tense is characterized by its emphasis on punctiliar action; that is, the concept of the verb is considered without regard for past, present, or future time. There is no direct or clear English equivalent for this tense, though it is generally rendered as a simple past tense in most translations.
The events described by the aorist tense are classified into a number of categories by grammarians. The most common of these include a view of the action as having begun from a certain point ("inceptive aorist"), or having ended at a certain point ("cumulative aorist"), or merely existing at a certain point ("punctiliar aorist"). The categorization of other cases can be found in Greek reference grammars.
The English reader need not concern himself with most of these finer points concerning the aorist tense, since in most cases they cannot be rendered accurately in English translation, being fine points of Greek exegesis only. The common practice of rendering an aorist by a simple English past tense should suffice in most cases.
The optative mood is generally used in the so-called "fourth-class" conditions which express a wish or desire for an action to occur in which the completion of such is doubtful. By the time of the New Testament, the optative mood was beginning to disappear from spoken and written Greek, and such rarely occurs in the New Testament.
In a few cases, verbs in the optative mood stand apart from a conditional clause to express the strongest possible wish regarding an event. The most common of these appears in the phrase "mh genoito" (AV,"God forbid"; NKJV "Certainly not").
Thayer and Smith. "Greek Lexicon entry for ". "The New Testament Greek Lexicon".