Re: MENEIN in 1 John 2:6

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Feb 15 1998 - 07:30:37 EST

At 12:26 AM -0600 2/15/98, Benjamin Raymond wrote:
>Well, we're finally in the second chapter of 1 John. I have to say, being
>able to read through the the first chapter and a half without consulting a
>lexicon or chart is exciting! <huge grin>
>I just need to confirm something. I parse MENEIN in 2:6 as an infinitive.
>Another student last week parsed it as a present active indicative 3rd
>singular with a moveable nu. My prof acknowledged that the latter might be
>a possibility, which left me with my jaw drooping to the floor.
>I found a number of instances in the GNT where MENEI is followed by a word
>beginning with a vowel (albeit only one other time with an omicron in 1 Cor
>3:14) and plenty more in the Septuagint... with no nu (and no nu's is good
>news!). As for me, I've just never heard of a moveable nu used after this
>2 Questions:
>Would anyone be so kind as to remind me when the moveable nu is an option?

Off the top of my head, I can only think of two situations:
        (a) A verb form ending in an epsilon or iota (single vowel, not
        (b) A dative plural (3d decl. in SI

I would add that EI never takes a movable Nu, and also that in better
writers the movable Nu is used most in two situations: (1) when a pause
immediately ensues--as at sentence end and where one would have a comma
expected; (2) when an immediately following word begins with a vowel.

>Assuming MENEIN here is an infinitive (which I'm still convinced it is),
>how does it function? Does it complete the thought of the participle
>LEGWN, something like (though probably no translated like) the English
>construction, "The one who claims to remain?"

Yes, you've underestood it rightly. A verb of speaking can be used with an
infinitive and a subject in this manner. LEGW isn't one that's commonly
used thus, but that's what is happening here. In such situations, the
subject is not expressed if it is identical with the subject of the main
clause; if it's someone other than the subject of the main clause, then the
subject will be accusative. In earlier Greek you'll much more likely see
FASKW functioning this way (the iterative of FHMI) than LEGW.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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