[B-Greek] MONON as a special particle

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Sat Feb 1 00:41:50 EST 2003

> >
> > [Moon:]> > > Recently I studied James 2:24, and was puzzled over MONON.
> > > > I read that Blass, Debrunner, and Funk, A Greek Grammar of the
> > > New Testament, [University of Chicago, 1961
> > > > p. 125,224, talk about an occasional "confusing" of the adverb MOMON
> > > > with the adjective MONO" in the NT.
> > > > Mark 6:8, Acts 11:19, 2 Tim 4:8, Heb 12:26, Jas 1:22, Mt 5:47,Uni
> > > > Mt 10:42, Gal 3:2, Rom 3:29 can be cited as examples when the
> > > > adverb is used instead of the adjective, yet having the force
> > > > of the adjective. This conclusion seesm to be based on the fact that
> > > > in these examples MONON modifiers nouns.
> >
> {Iver]
> > I have looked at p. 125 and 224 in BDF, but cannot find what you are
> > referring to. Can you be more precise?
> BDF, Universtiy of Chicago, 1961, p. 126, 224. Sorry for the sloppiness.
> I quote it from another source. I have not checked it. I do not have DBF.

Ok, I have found the statement that "the adjective MONOS and the adverb
MONON...are occasionally confused." It is in paragraph 243 on p. 126. I
would not agree with that statement, nor would you, since we prefer to take
MONON not as an adverb but as a particle like OU.

> For example, when I say:
> I did not introduced Bill to Sue,
> the information that is negated depends on what is the focus of
> "I introduced Bill to Sue". If I say:
>  I did not introduced BILL to Sue, with stress on BILL,
> what is negated is the fact that it was BILL that I introduced to Sue.
> The fact that I introduced somebody to Sue is the background
> information.
> I will call what is conveyed by "I introduced BILL to Sue"
> a "focused proposition" with the focus being BILL.
> Similary with
> I only introduced Bill to Sue.
> If I say,
>  I only introduced BILL to sue, with stress on BILL,
> what is conveyed is the fact that I introduced some person to Sue
> and that is BILL and there are none other than him.
> These English examples suggest that ONLY behaves very much like OU
> as a special particle. OU negates the focused proposition. ONLY
> says that the focus (e.g. BILL above) is the only instance
> for the constituent that is focused (e.g. the persons I
> introduced to Sue).

I have been a bit slow to fully understand your "focused proposition". But
now that I read your explanation, I agree with you. This may well be the
best way to explain what is going on.
> Once we liberated MONON (ONLY) from the category of adverb, we
> can approach James 2:24 with wider options.
> Quite a while ago, I did not agree to the analysis of Alan Thomas, who
> translated 2:24 as follows:
> Man is  justified from works and
> not only justified from faith.
> The message then is: man is justfied by faith (initially, Gen
> 15:6 in the case of
> Abraham), and man also justified by works (later, Gen 22 when
> Abraham offered Isaac)
> That man is justified or (vindicated) by works at the last
> judgement is a basic
> conviction of the Scriptures). So there is nothing surprising with James'
> statement.

With this, I fully and completely agree.

Thanks for clarifying it,

Iver Larsen

More information about the B-Greek mailing list