[B-Greek] FW: Galatians 1:6-7 and EI MH
iver_larsen at sil.org
Thu Jun 11 01:06:03 EDT 2009
At the moment I don't have a lot of time to research this interesting question
in detail, but I think it would be helpful to approach it from a different angle
You mentioned the possibility of emphatic usage, and I like that. A certain
emphasis seems to be present in all examples of EI MH, maybe akin to the
emphasis in OU MH.
EI MH x is at times equivalent to "surely x". The writer may set up a scenario,
usually by a question, and then he gives an answer that may be obvious, but
surely is seen by the speaker to be correct and emphatic.
For instance, in Esther 6:6 we find:
εἶπεν δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ Αμαν Τί ποιήσω τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ, ὃν ἐγὼ θέλω δοξάσαι; εἶπεν δὲ
ἐν ἑαυτῷ Αμαν Τίνα θέλει ὁ βασιλεὺς δοξάσαι εἰ μὴ ἐμέ;
EIPEN DE hO BASILEUS TWi AMAN: TI POIHSW TWi ANQRWPWi hON EGW QELW DOXASAI?
EIPEN DE EN hEAUTWi AMAN: TINA QELEI hO BASILEUS DOXASAI EI MH EME?
The question Haman puts to himself is: Who could the king want to honor? Surely,
it must be me! Who else?
It seems a stretch to demand that the question is rhetorical and especially that
the expected answer is: No one. But I accept that the EI MH appears to narrow
down the answer to one idea or person. So, I would be more inclined to consider
"no one else/nothing else".
Let me move down to the other examples below:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Runge" <srunge at logos.com>
To: "B Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 10. juni 2009 23:30
Subject: [B-Greek] FW: Galatians 1:6-7
> So far as I have been able to determine, there will be an expectation of a
> negative answer, no matter how slight that negative is. This does not mean
> that there will be no instance where a writer does not follow this principle,
> but I know that I can account for all NT tokens of EI MH. The example from Eph
> 4:9 is one of those marginal ones. What I have outlined is a principle, not a
> rule. I expect there will be exceptions. ;-) That was for you, Carl.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Iver Larsen [mailto:iver_larsen at sil.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 11:55 AM
> To: Steve Runge; Elizabeth Kline; B Greek
> Cc: Charles Johnson
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Galatians 1:6-7
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Steve Runge" <srunge at logos.com>
> To: "Elizabeth Kline" <kline_dekooning at earthlink.net>; "B Greek"
> <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Cc: "Charles Johnson" <cpj5117 at gmail.com>
> Sent: 10. juni 2009 21:27
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Galatians 1:6-7
>> Here is an excerpt from my blog post that accounts for both your cited
>> exception from 2 Cor, and that from Cooper.
>> "What about εἰ μή? Can it be used in non-negative contexts? The answer
>> in most every case is “no”. But there is one exception (pun intended):
>> rhetorical questions. This apparent exception confused me even more
>> than the original problem, since it seemed to break with the expected
>> pattern of negation. Then I realized that even though the rhetorical
>> questions are technically positive, they expected a negative answer
>> where εἰ μή was used . In other words, the expected answer to the question
>> is nothing or no one.
> Does the question have to expect a negative answer? Does this apply to the
> following examples?
> Rom 11:15: εἰ γὰρ ἡ ἀποβολὴ αὐτῶν καταλλαγὴ κόσμου, τίς ἡ πρόσλημψις εἰ μὴ ζωὴ
> ἐκ νεκρῶν; EI GAR hH APOBOLH AUTWN KATALLAGH KOSMOU, TIS hH PROSLHMYIS EI MH
> ZWH EK NEKRWN
What will there acceptance result in? Surely, life from the dead. (What else
than life from death?)
> Eph 4:9 τὸ δὲ Ἀνέβη τί ἐστιν, εἰ μὴ ὅτι καὶ κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα [μέρη] τῆς
> γῆς; TO DE ANEBH TI ESTIN, EI MH hOTI KAI KATEBH EIS TO KATWTERA MERH THS GHS
What does the "he went up" mean? Surely, it meant that he also had gone down to
the lower parts of the earth.
> 1Jn 2:22 Τίς ἐστιν ὁ ψεύστης εἰ μὴ ὁ ἀρνούμενος ὅτι ᾽Ιησοῦς οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ
> Χριστός; TIS ESTIN hO YEUSTHS EI MH hO ARNOUMENOS hOTI IHSOUS OUK ESTIN hO
Who is THE liar? Surely, it is the one who denies that Jesus is (not) the
1 Cor 7:17: Εἰ μὴ ἑκάστῳ ὡς ἐμέρισεν ὁ κύριος, ἕκαστον ὡς κέκληκεν ὁ θεός, οὕτως
EI MH hEKASTWi hWS EMERISEN hO KURIOS, hEKASTON hWS KEKLHKEN hO QEOS, hOUTWS
Surely, as the Lord has apportioned it to each person, as God has called each
on, him/her should live in that way. How else?
I agree that when the EI MH clause is connected to another clause that is
negative, the basic sense is "except, unless". The EI MH clause usually follows,
in which case "except" works fine in English. When the EI MH clause precedes its
counterpart, English prefers "unless" or "if not", e.g.
Jhn 9:33 Unless/If not this man was from God, he could not do anything (like
There are examples where EI MH is not connected to a negative clause nor to a
Act 26:32 Ἀπολελύσθαι ἐδύνατο ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος εἰ μὴ ἐπεκέκλητο Καίσαρα.
APOLELUSQAI EDUNATO hO ANQRWPOS hOUTOS, EI MH EPEKEKLHTO KAISARA
This man could have been released, if he had not appealed to Caesar.
1 Cor 14:5 μείζων δὲ ὁ προφητεύων ἢ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσαις ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ διερμηνεύῃ
MEIZWN DE hO PROFHTEUWN H hO LALWN GLWSSAIS, EKTOS EI MH DIERMHNEUHi
The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues unless
he/she explains the meaning.
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