Re: John 15:4 MEINATE EN EMOI?

From: Paul J. Bodin (
Date: Fri Feb 28 1997 - 16:51:33 EST


At 08:00 AM 2/28/97 -0600, you wrote:

> I'd agree that one ought not to see this EN EMOI as a comitative dative but
> rather as an extension of the locative dative to personal use, and I think
> Jonathan is quite right in understanding this as referring to mystical
> communion of believers with Christ. What is involved here is the
> fundamental and recurrent Johannine usage of MENW and its cognate MONH
> (Elizabethan English "mansion") to give expression to the notion of what I
> like to call "mutual indwelling." It's worth looking at what Raymond Brown
> has to say on MENW (and other verbs too, for that matter) in the appendix
> to the second volume of his Anchor commentary on John's gospel.

While I don't disagree with anything that Carl has written, and heartily
second his recommendation of Brown's volume, there is another important note
to be made here: not all such expressions yield to an exclusively
grammatical solution, for the biblical writers used metaphors just as we do
(and everybody does). This is a metaphor, and the figure of speech MEINATE
EN EMOI should be analyzed with this in mind. Culpepper's volume on John
has an excellent treatment of the author's use of metaphor.

 Paul J. Bodin <>
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