Re: meno in John 15

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Jun 06 1996 - 16:17:04 EDT

At 2:45 PM -0500 6/6/96, David Tinberg wrote:
> I am doing some study onthe verb meno and find it interesting that
> jesus uses the term in John 15:4. The context seems to dictate a verb
> that can refer to a horticultural or agricultural process. My research
> however, shows it refering to nautical experiences, traveling (by road)
> experiences, referring to cities (as lasting) and living conditions (
> dwelling), etc. Is there any agricultural process referred to by this
> verb?

No, there is nothing distinctly horticultural or agricultural itself
referred to be the verb MENW, although John seems to pun on the notion of
the grain of wheat in 12:24 as one that MENEI MONOS if it does not
"fall/get buried" into the earth and "die/get executed." MONOS, "alone"
appears to have no etymological relationship to the verb MENW, yet John
plays upon the verbal similarity here and apparently deliberately so to
contrast the notion of "abiding" as properly associated with the "mutual
indwelling" of members of a community in each other with the notion of
"remaining alone." In 14:2 Jesus says that there are many MONAI in "my
Father's house." Here the noun MONH ("abode"--KJV: "mansion" which is
Elizabethan English for "dwelling place") is indeed clearly related to the
verb MENW ("abide") and a key Johannine theme of covenant community is
emphasized. The verb MENW recurs repeatedly throughout the entire gospel of
John, and this recurrence is important enough that Raymond Brown has a
special appendix on it in his Anchor Bible Commentary on John's Gospel,
Volume 1, pp. 510-512. He cites a couple older articles on it there; I
would imagine there's more been written on the subject since then. It would
be good to check BAGD for bibliographical references under the heading of

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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