I was looking at Galatians 2:20 -

I have been crucified with Christ.

(ESV version)
And I wondered if there was anything in the Greek grammar that showed if "have been" indicated an action of a single, past moment, or if it was a current and on-going condition.

I found the following on-line items, which break down the grammar to differing degrees. I'm wondering if I am correctly interpreting what I'm reading (the grammar helps - not the Greek).

First, from BibleHub:
Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι·
Christō synestaurōmai
Christ I have been crucified with
Seeing that "I have been crucified with" is interpreted as one word was a surprise. Yet the Greek word doesn't seem to be several different words crammed together (as the Germans might do).

At Scripture4All.org, I found this:
vi Perf Pas 1 Sg
verb indicative (mood)
1st person singular
So, yes, this is apparently a compound word: my Strong's references to G4957, which breaks it into G4862 + G4717, which gives me "with" + "impale; crucify". But the "I have been" is still elusive.

Then I hit Abarim Publications, which says this:

The word συνεσταυρωμαι is the 1st person single form of the verb marked similar below. Its tense is perfect (which indicates a present-tense report of an action that has been completed but has effects in the now; like: "he has done"), its voice is passive (which indicates that the subject receives the action in stead of performs it), and its mood is indicative (which describes a situation that actually is — as opposed to a situation that might be, is wished for, or is commanded to be).

Whew!! So it seems as though in the Greek, after working through all the various spelling variants indicating voice, tense, and so forth (which I'm still not sure what all that means), I am reasonably sure that "I have been" does indeed indicate an action that leaves me in this state as a current and on-going condition? That once "I have ben crucified with Christ", I am still crucified? (Asking only in the sense of grammar construction, not doctrinal viewpoint.)


  • 1
    The "have been" is the English perfect tense (passive) which isn't quite the same as the Greek perfect tense. – Perry Webb Dec 17 '18 at 21:21
  • Syn- means co-, stravros means cross, and -mai usually indicates the first person of the middle and/or passive voice, as well the first person of the aorist and/or perfect tense. – Lucian Dec 21 '18 at 22:55

I think you are on the right track, not only grammatically but contextually. Notice the next sentence ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγώ, (Gal. 2:20) "I live no longer" or "I am not living any longer." To the degree that not "living any longer" (present active indicative) is the result of being "crucified," I'd say the crucified state is considered present and ongoing. The use of δὲ often "denotes continuation and further thought development" (Friberg) and can lend support to the assertion that the two clauses do indeed belong together.


The problem refer primary to the question of meaning of perfectum tense.

It seems to me that your proposal

"I have ben crucified with Christ", I am still crucified?"

would be correct if this tense was used to describe an action which started at some point of time and lasts to actual moment - to emphasize a continuity.

But this is not a primary meaning of perfectum. There are several kinds of this grammatical case, but generally it is used to describe the present state which is a result of the past action. Action is completed, but the result goes on. An emphasis, depending of which kind of perfectum author used, can be on the present state or the action in the past.

To see the diffrence you can compare following 2 verses:

  • John 17:17 - "now they know (ἔγνωκαν) that everything that you have given me is from you" (they learned in the past, so now they know - emphasis is on the present state)

  • 1 Cor 15:4 - "he has been raised (ἐγήγερται) on the third day" (he was raised, so now he live, but emphasis is on the past action)

I think that second example fits better to Galatians 2:19, but there is a possibility to understand it in both ways.

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