The Pluperfect Tense

The Kind of Action:

Linear and Punctiliar. The past tense of completed action with abiding results.

 The Intensive Pluperfect

In this use, verbs that denote a present state in the perfect denote a past state in the pluperfect. These verbs are linear in force, functioning practically like imperfects when put into the past. The reality of the fact is stressed, which present it more strongly than could be done with the aorist. It must be translated into English by the simple past.

 The Extensive Pluperfect

This use denotes a state following completed act in past time. Sometimes it is made clear by the context that a considerable space of time has intervened. It is used to take the reader behind the scenes. John uses it most frequently.

 The Iterative Pluperfect

This use represents a past action as a series of events. It is very rare in the New Testament. Some have referred to it as the “Pluperfect of Broken Continuity”.

The Pluperfect of Conditional Sentence

This use denotes the continuance of the contingent result in a second-class condition to the time of speaking. The Pluperfect is used where the second-class conditions are determined to be unfulfilled in relationship to the past.

 The Periphrastic Pluperfect

This use, which is formed by adding the perfect participle to an imperfect of εἰμί, occurs somewhat frequently in the New Testament. A majority of the occurrences are “intensive,” the rest are “extensive.”