[B-Greek] MENOUN in Acts 14:3??

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Fri Sep 7 02:13:00 EDT 2007


>From Iver Larsen:

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bryant J. Williams III" <bjwvmw at com-pair.net>
To: "Webb" <webb at selftest.net>; <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>

<skip>

> "After parenthetical remarks OUN indicates a return to the main
> theme (resumptive)."

I think this is the most relevant comment to the verses in question.

Moulton et al. (1978:1104) suggest eight functions for OUN:
1. Inference (logical consequence)
2. Consequent command or exhortation
3. Consequent effect or response
4. Inferential question
5. Summary (a final inference, a conclusive statement)
6. Adversative
7. Continuation or resumption of narrative
8. Continuation of discussion

In this concordance a number is assigned (occasionally two numbers) to each
occurrence of OUN. Numbers 7 and 8 occur frequently in John, but never in
Matthew or Mark proper (once in 16.19), and rarely in other authors. As can
be seen from the description above, the meaning correlates with the
classical usage (continuation).
The first four functions (numbers 1-4) occur evenly spread throughout the NT
(number 3 in narratives, and 1, 2, and 4 mainly in non-narrative texts and
speeches). The summary function (number 5) is very rare (less than 1%). All
of the above listed meanings except 6 can be closely related to the basic
meaning of consequence or continuation. But number 6 is suspect in this
regard, because there is no close connection between adversative and
consequence. Only ten instances of OUN (about 2 percent of the occurrences)
are numbered 6, and I am convinced that the adversative aspect is carried by
something other than OUN, so that these ten instances (Matt 26.54, John
8.38, 9.18, 12.7, Acts 23.21, 25.4, 26.22, 28.5, Rom 10.14, and 11.19)
should be reclassified. OUN in John's Gospel is a special case that needs
its own treatment.

In Acts 14:1-4, the DE in v. 1 indicates the beginning of a new episode, and
we hear in this verse that many became believers in Iconium. The DE in v. 2
seems to indicate a digression or a parenthesis, even though there is also a
contrast between those who believed in v. 1 and the unbelievers in v. 2. The
OUN in v. 3 appears to resume the thread from v. 1 about preaching
successfully. So, the OUN may point backwards to the preceding verse 1,
skipping over verse 2. It does not mean "therefore" as some of the extreme
literal versions like KJV and NASB suggest. Some of the less literal
versions like RSV, NRSV, REB, NET and NIV translate it by "so" which is not
quite right. Others leave it out, since there is no equivalent in English.
The context would indicate a logical connection like "nonetheless", and I
wouldn't object to this word in a dynamic translation, but I don't know how
much this comes from OUN and how much from the context. Resuming preaching 
after adversity does suggest some sense of "nonetheless".

The MEN, however, points forever, and is often complemented by a following
DE. Maybe that DE is the one in verse 4, since on the one hand (MEN) they
preached with convincing results, but on the other hand (DE) the city was
divided and many did not believe.

Iver Larsen

>> 2 hOI DE APEIQHSANTES IOUDAIOI EPHGEIRAN KAI EKAKWSAN TAS YUCAS TWN EQNWN
>> KATA TWN ADELFWN 3 hIKANON MEN OUN CRONON
>> DIETRIYAN PARRHSIAZOMENOI EPI TWi KURIWi TWi MARTUROUNTI EPI TWi LOGWi
>> THS
>> CARITOS AUTOU DIDONTI
>>
>> I thought for sure Acts 14:3 would begin by saying that despite the
>> hatred
>> and nastiness stirred up against them and the new believers at Iconium,
>> Paul
>> and Barnabas stayed at Iconium for quite a while. Is it conceivable to
>> take
>> MEN OUN as MENOUN and render it here as "Nonetheless", "Nevertheless", or
>> "Notwithstanding (this)"?
>>
>> Webb Mealy




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