[b-greek] Re: 1 John 3:6a

From: Daniel L. Christiansen (dlc@multnomah.edu)
Date: Thu Jun 21 2001 - 13:36:56 EDT

Mark Wilson wrote [snipped]:

> How do we know what OUC is negating?
> It is generally understood as above (negating sin).
> Could OUC negate MENWN,

To which Dale replied,

> OUC generally stands with the indicative mood and
> all othe moods usually take MH. If this is the case for the negative to
> stand with MENWN (a participle) it would needs be MH

and Jason agreed, with

> If he was saying, "Everyone who does not abide
> in him sins," then it would be:
> MH is used to negate participial substantives..

IMO, this connection of OU with hAMARTANEI is correct, but the reasoning is not.
The use of MH with non-indicative verbals is usual, but not absolute; in fact, OU
with the participle is one of the categories specifically listed in BDAG. Also, OU
is the particle of choice for the negation of general ideas, and non-verbal parts of
speech. Thus, I would not feel comfortable with saying OU must go with hAMARTANEI,
just because MENWN is thought to demand MH.

On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be any real confusion over which verbal OU
is negating, because of simple word order (yes, word order does have *some*
significance in Greek). Of course, I can't claim to have looked at every occurrence
of negatives in ancient Greek literature . . . Carl, feel free to jump in, here :) .
. . . But, I can't recall ever seeing a negative used after the verbal it negates.
Moorhouse distinguishes between nexal and special placement of the negatives, but I
don't recall him ever noting the placement of any negative subsequent to the term or
concept being affected.

Daniel L. Christiansen
Professor of Biblical Languages, Portland Bible College
Adjunct, Multnomah Bible College and Biblical Seminary
(503) 820-0231

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