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Is There an Emphatic μέν? A Consideration of the Particle's Development and its Function in Koine*

  • Christopher J. Fresch (a1)

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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I wish to thank James Aitken, Margaret Sim and Steven Runge for their helpful comments on this article.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

F. W. Danker , The Concise Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009)

E. J. Bakker , ‘Boundaries, Topics, and the Structure of Discourse: An Investigation of the Ancient Greek Particle ’, Studies in Language 17 (1993) 301

G. Horrocks , Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010 2) 27

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New Testament Studies
  • ISSN: 0028-6885
  • EISSN: 1469-8145
  • URL: /core/journals/new-testament-studies
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