Re: Double Negatives

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Fri Nov 19 1999 - 12:23:18 EST

<x-flowed>To: David Miller,

<< Upon re-reading Morris, I found, to my chagrin, that I had indeed
misunderstood his double negatives. I must have been in a bit of a fog
when I read him the first time. Morris does in fact agree with everyone
else that Rom 10:19 should be answered in the affirmative. I am not sure
what I am doing studying Greek, when I can't even read English! >>

IMO the issue is not so simple that confusion on this issue should be
thought to be abnormal. For example, in BAGD we find:

<< In cases like Ro 10:18f; 1 Cor 9:4f MH is an interrog. word and OU
negates the verb. The double negative causes one to expect an affirmative
answer >> (517).

But A.T. Robertson writes:

<< So Ro. 10:18, MH OUK HKOUSAN; We may render it 'Did they fail to hear?'
expecting the answer 'No' >> (1174).

How does "no" become "an affirmative answer"? <g>

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)

"... while steering clear of the Scylla of credulity one must be wary of
the Charybdis of undue skepticism" (Frederick W. Danker, "A Century of
Greco-Roman Philology," 146).

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