The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

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DennisKenaga
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The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

Post by DennisKenaga » July 26th, 2019, 3:47 pm

Luke 11:28 αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπεν Μενοῦν μακάριοι οἱ ἀκούοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ φυλάσσοντες.

Why does the critical text compound the hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28 when all 39 instances of μὲν οὖν are not compounded? The editors compound it because μενοῦν is initial in this clause while the 39 instances of μὲν οὖν are postpositive (second or third). Words are either postpositive or not. (The lexeme ἀν is sometimes mistakenly listed as postpositive, but it may be initial, so it violates the definition.)

I found 38 lexemes (like ὦστε, ὀτάν, μενοῦνγε or οὐδέ) that are compounds of uninflected lexemes, with 1489 occurrences in the GNT. μενοῦν is the only one that occurs both compounded and uncompounded, and only once. μενοῦν is peculiar and is not in Strong’s.

οὐδέ never occurs as οὐ δέ; οὖ δέ is never compounded. The editorial rule for two consecutive uninflected lexemes is either “always compounded” or “never compounded,” but not both. Compounding is editorial, not original. The editorial policy is reasonable and consistent. I found 1246 pairs of uninflected lexemes with 5659 occurrences in the GNT, none compounded except μενοῦν. (The unusual ὅ τι occurs uncompounded, but ὅτι, with a different meaning, is not a compound of uninflected lexemes because the components are inflected.)

There is no classical or Koine example of μὲν οὖν or μενοῦν in the initial position. μενοῦν lacks confirming evidence in Bauer or Moulton and Milligan. Smyth treats μὲν οὖν in section 2901 but does not compound it. Initial μενοῦνγε is classical, occurring in Plato. μενοῦνγε is the only non-postpositive compound that starts with a postpositive. There are 11 postpositive lexemes, including μέν and μέντοι, with 4787 occurrences in the GNT, never in the initial position. The GNT grammar rule against initial postpositives is absolute with no exceptions. I would be interested in any exceptions or thoughts about μενοῦν. I have given more ideas about μενοῦν in the podcast https://www.greeknewtestament.io/gnt-io-blog

Dennis Kenaga, Lansing, MI
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 26th, 2019, 4:49 pm

DennisKenaga wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 3:47 pm
There is no classical or Koine example of μὲν οὖν or μενοῦν in the initial position. μενοῦν lacks confirming evidence in Bauer or Moulton and Milligan.
How would you analyze these examples?

Luke 11:28 αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπεν, Μενοῦν μακάριοι οἱ ἀκούοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ φυλάσσοντες.
Romans 9:20 ὦ ἄνθρωπε, μενοῦνγε σὺ τίς εἶ ὁ ἀνταποκρινόμενος τῷ θεῷ; μὴ ἐρεῖ τὸ πλάσμα τῷ πλάσαντι, Τί με ἐποίησας οὕτως;
Romans 10:18 ἀλλὰ λέγω, μὴ οὐκ ἤκουσαν; μενοῦνγε, Εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν ἐξῆλθεν ὁ φθόγγος αὐτῶν καὶ εἰς τὰ πέρατα τῆς οἰκουμένης τὰ ῥήματα αὐτῶν.
Phil 3:8 ἀλλὰ μενοῦνγε καὶ ἡγοῦμαι πάντα ζημίαν εἶναι διὰ τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου μου, δι᾽ ὃν τὰ πάντα ἐζημιώθην, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι σκύβαλα, ἵνα Χριστὸν κερδήσω
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 26th, 2019, 8:24 pm

DennisKenaga wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 3:47 pm
Luke 11:28 αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπεν Μενοῦν μακάριοι οἱ ἀκούοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ φυλάσσοντες.

***

I found 38 lexemes (like ὦστε, ὀτάν, μενοῦνγε or οὐδέ) that are compounds of uninflected lexemes, with 1489 occurrences in the GNT. μενοῦν is the only one that occurs both compounded and uncompounded, and only once. μενοῦν is peculiar and is not in Strong’s.
That's because Strong's is keyed to the Textus Receptus (TR), and the TR reads reads μενοῦνγε there instead.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 27th, 2019, 9:01 am

Dennis, does this make any difference at all in our understanding of the text? Here is the LSJ on the subject:
LSJ wrote: 2. μὲν οὖν is freq. used with a corresponding δέ, so that each Particle retains its force, Od.4.780, Pi.O.1.111, S.OT244, 843, Ph.359, D.2.5, etc.: but freq. also abs., so then, S.Ant.65; ταῦτα μὲν οὖν παραλείψω D.2.3; esp. in replies, sts. in strong affirmation, παντάπασι μὲν οὖν Pl.Tht.158d; κομιδῇ μὲν οὖν ib.159e; πάνυμὲν οὖν ib.159b; ἀνάγκη μὲν οὖν ib.189e; also to substitute a new statement so as to correct a preceding statement, nay rather, κακοδαίμων; Answ. βαρυδαίμων μὲν οὖν! Ar.Ec.1102; μου πρὸς τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀποψῶ wipe your nose on my head: Answ. ἐμοῦ μὲν οὖν .. nay on mine, Id.Eq.911, cf. A.Pers.1032 (lyr.), Ag.1090 (lyr.), 1396, S.Aj.1363, El.1503, OT705, Ar.Ra.241, Pl.Cri.44b, Grg.466a, 470b, Prt.309d, etc.; also μὲν οὖν δή S.Tr.153; καὶ δὴ μὲν οὖν Id.OC31; cf. οὐμενοῦν: in NT μενοῦν and μενοῦνγε, to begin a sentence, yea, rather, Ev.Luc.11.28, Ep.Rom.9.20, etc., cf. Phryn.322, Hsch.—In Ion., μέν νυν is used for μὲν οὖν, Hdt.1.18, 4.145, etc.
Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 1102). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
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DennisKenaga
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Re: The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

Post by DennisKenaga » July 27th, 2019, 12:51 pm

I don’t think there is a semantic difference between μενοῦν and μενοῦνγε because I think μενοῦν was μενοῦνγε in the original. The post is about text editing principles, not about compounding or the Byzantine. Even though Bauer and LSJ and Moulton and Milligan give an entry for the compound μενοῦν, they give no examples of it occurring in the initial position, which is its only reason for existing.

I believe that μενοῦν or μεν οὖν in the initial position in Luke 11:28 is impossible Greek. There are no examples with a postpositive in the initial position in the GNT. It is an absolute rule. I believe that text editors should reject impossible Greek just as they reject incorrect spelling. I think the original was probably μενοῦνγε.

Even though μενοῦνγε starts with a postpositive component, the 3-lexeme compound or sequence occurs in the initial position in classical Greek. I take γε as a switch that turns off post-positiveness as it actually does in Plato. As a non-postpositive, μενοῦνγε may go in any position. So the other three verses do not violate any rules, although I would have chosen the Vaticanus μεν οὖν over Nestle Aland μενοῦνγε in the verses where it is in the postpositive position.

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Re: The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 27th, 2019, 7:41 pm

DennisKenaga wrote:
July 27th, 2019, 12:51 pm
Even though μενοῦνγε starts with a postpositive component, the 3-lexeme compound or sequence occurs in the initial position in classical Greek. I take γε as a switch that turns off post-positiveness as it actually does in Plato.
I'm unaware of this behavior for γε. Do you have evidence or literature in favor of it?
DennisKenaga wrote:
July 27th, 2019, 12:51 pm
As a non-postpositive, μενοῦνγε may go in any position. So the other three verses do not violate any rules, although I would have chosen the Vaticanus μεν οὖν over Nestle Aland μενοῦνγε in the verses where it is in the postpositive position.
The alternative hypothesis is that μενοῦν and μενοῦνγε underwent a process of lexicalization (sort of like the opposite of grammaticalization) and became a non-postpositive mobile. It is not clear to me why you seem to accept it for the latter and not the former, as one is analogous for the other.
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Re: The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 27th, 2019, 8:46 pm

DennisKenaga wrote:
July 27th, 2019, 12:51 pm
I believe that μενοῦν or μεν οὖν in the initial position in Luke 11:28 is impossible Greek. There are no examples with a postpositive in the initial position in the GNT. It is an absolute rule. I believe that text editors should reject impossible Greek just as they reject incorrect spelling. I think the original was probably μενοῦνγε.
Let's look at the early manuscripts we havε for Luke 11:28. In P76, GA 01, GA 03, GA 02, and GA 032, we have μενουν in initial position. That's pretty good evidence that people who wrote these manuscripts thought that was quite possible Greek. They didn't believe in your absolute rule.

04 and 05 have μενουνγε in initial position.

For Romans 9:20 and Philippians 3:8, GA 03 has μενουν.
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Re: The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 28th, 2019, 8:06 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
July 27th, 2019, 8:46 pm
DennisKenaga wrote:
July 27th, 2019, 12:51 pm
I believe that μενοῦν or μεν οὖν in the initial position in Luke 11:28 is impossible Greek. There are no examples with a postpositive in the initial position in the GNT. It is an absolute rule. I believe that text editors should reject impossible Greek just as they reject incorrect spelling. I think the original was probably μενοῦνγε.
Let's look at the early manuscripts we havε for Luke 11:28. In P76, GA 01, GA 03, GA 02, and GA 032, we have μενουν in initial position. That's pretty good evidence that people who wrote these manuscripts thought that was quite possible Greek. They didn't believe in your absolute rule.

04 and 05 have μενουνγε in initial position.

For Romans 9:20 and Philippians 3:8, GA 03 has μενουν.
Yes, impossible Greek tends to get some sort of response from scribes in the history of transmissions, but we don't see that here. Nor does anyone else in the history of interpretation seem to see this, at least in what I can access.
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Re: The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 29th, 2019, 2:32 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 8:06 am
Yes, impossible Greek tends to get some sort of response from scribes in the history of transmissions, but we don't see that here.
Yes - if it is ungrammatical or unreadable, later scribes tend to smooth it out. And we don't see that.

The reason we see this word in critical editions is that it was there in most of the early manuscripts, not because of the overactive imagination of people creating the critical editions.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 8:06 am
Nor does anyone else in the history of interpretation seem to see this, at least in what I can access.
Mmmmphh, I'm not ready to say that nobody has ever thought that before.

BDAG has an article on μενοῦν that refers to BDF (section 450) and A.T. Robinson's grammar (1151ff). Useful reading.
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Re: The Peculiar Compound Non-postpositive Hapax μενοῦν in Luke 11:28

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 29th, 2019, 8:50 pm

In the 11th-century Etymologicum Gudianum, which I had never heard of before, there are these two entries:
Μενοῦνγε, τρεῖς εἰσὶ σύνδεσμοι σημαίνει δὲ βεβαιότητα καὶ ἀληθές.
Μενοῦν, διὰ τοῦτο, τοιγαροῦν.
At least this source, then, thinks μενοῦν is a word. That said, nearly every occurrence of μενοῦν following a period, question mark, colon, or comma in the TLG is followed by γε, though editors differ on whether to write μενοῦν γε as one word or two.
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