Traditionally in Koine Greek grammar, the particle μέν has been described as having two functions: (1) correlating its sentence with forthcoming content, typically introduced by δέ, and (2) communicating emphasis or affirmation. Of these two functions, the first is readily apparent in Koine, but with regard to the second, communicating emphasis, it is not clearly evident that it can be posited for the particle. The propagation of ‘emphatic μέν’ seems to be the result of diachronic confusion. Those handful of instances of μέν in the New Testament that are sometimes labelled ‘emphatic’ can be more satisfactorily and consistently explained by an awareness of how the particle is used in the Koine period and a fuller understanding of its correlative function.
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