Re: EAN MH = but in Gal 2:16?

From: George Blaisdell (
Date: Mon May 31 1999 - 12:38:52 EDT


>From: "Moon"

>EAN MH is usually taken to mean "unless". I wonder if this is the case with
>Gal 2:16.


>(a) Man is not righteoused out of works of the law unless through faith in

>Rendered this way, it seems to imply that man is righteoused out of works
>of the law as long as through faith in Christ.

>This rendering deviates from the usual translation:

>(b) Man is not righteoused by works of the law but by faith in Christ.

>Why (b), not (a)?

Moon ~

Good question! EAN MH, I suspect, although usually given the gloss "unless"
in English, may have more to it in Greek. EI AN MH = 'if ever not' ~ Others
will know much more than I on this one. Your [a] rendition seems closer
than the [b] one to the Greek in my book.

It would surely be attested in the Psalms, where the writer lived under the
law and through his faith in 'the Lord' was made right through Him in the
face of his [inner] enemies, thus becoming a righteous man.

I have been trying 'rectified' as a gloss for DIKAIOUTAI ~ [It even seems to
work on the analogy of electricity, where rectification only allows the
passage of current to flow one way when it is trying alternately to flow
both ways!!] I understand the term as 'being made right', and a good English
gloss for that is elusive... 'Justified' is so wrapped up colloquially in
English with excuses for questionable behavior that it has lost its roots
from the older and nobler meaning in the KJV.

Your term 'righteoused' seems to be a good bridge from the older to the
current English usage.

George Blaisdell
Roslyn, WA

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