Re: MENOUN in Luke 11.28

Date: Thu May 06 1999 - 13:38:11 EDT


"Maurice A. O'Sullivan" wrote:
> OTOH, Fitzmyer, in his own translation for the Anchor Bible volume 28A, gives:
> " Blessed rather are ........"
> And on p. 928, he has an informative note, which I won't attempt to
> reproduce in full.
> Initially making the point that here MENOUN is used at the head of a
> sentence, against classical Greek usage.

Well, Liddell & Scott does adduce the 2d c. AD Phrynicus (at 322).
But clearly, *men* and its permutations are usually postpositive. L&S
give "yea, rather"; the NT use is unusual among the sources we have.

> He then goes on to list three different usages:
> (a) adversative
> (b) affirmative
> (c) corrective [ "yes, but rather" ]
> Citing Thrall in " Greek Particles in the N.T", "for Luke the first two
> uses are to be eliminated " , quoting Thrall's reasons.
> He concludes " hence, the last corrective sense is to be preferred" and we
> are referred to Moule's 'Idiiom Book'

I'd like to see these reasons (unfortunately I have neither Thrall nor
Fitzmeyer handy)-- again, we're perilously close to an area of
historically rather heated inter-confessional argument, and it's not
as though scholars have always been entirely unaffected by
confessional prejudice or traditional readings! It's just hard to see
how a "corrective" makes sense in the light of 8.15,21; 2.19,51; 1.48
and also 1.42-43 (where it says *euloghmenh/os* not *makarios* as I
said the other day--oops!)-- all of which seem to be pretty strong
statements about Mary as one who exemplifies the kind of faithfulness
Jesus speaks of at 11.28-- unless it's a rather soft corrective--
something more along the lines of "Certainly! but it's because they
are blessed who hear... and keep..."


John Burnett, MA (OT)

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:25 EDT