[B-Greek] Synonym study

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Mon Oct 12 12:02:01 EDT 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Randall Buth" <randallbuth at gmail.com>
To: "B Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 12. oktober 2009 17:42
Subject: [B-Greek] Synonym study

> Iver egrapse
>> As I studied the occurrences in the GNT where MIMNHSKOMAI occurs 23 times (0 
>> in
> LXX) and MNHMONEUW occurs 21 times (26 in the LXX), I suggest that there is a
> slight difference. Whether that holds up to closer scrutiny, I don't know, but
> it is worth looking into.>
>>MNHMONEUW is basically, I think, "keep in mind" or "retain in memory" (you'll
> find these glosses in BAGD). The idea is that you should not forget what you
> already know. (I remember the good old days.)>
>>MIMNHSKOMAI is basically "come to mind, realize". The Middle/Passive forms
> correspond somewhat to English "it occurred to me". Some event or thought made
> me realize something. If an imperative is used it is "put to mind, think about
> it." (When I had closed the car door, I remembered that I had left the keys
> inside.)>
> When looking at words with different lemma in a dictionary one must be
> careful to
> see how they pattern in usage of the language. There are many verbs
> that function
> as 'suppletives' or "near suppletives". For example, most NT students
> link BLEPEIN
> to IDEIN 'see', though in older Greek it is more common to link ORAN
> to IDEIN. Both
> linkages are 'suppletives', pieces of older words that recombine to
> form newer verbs.
> MNHMONEYEIN and MNHSQHNAI are two such words that are near suppletives in
> Koine.
> Your statistics on the verbs above could mention that MNHSQHNAI is
> 21/23 (aorist
> while MNHMONEYEIN is 19/21 (present/PARATATIKH).

If one ONLY occurred in the aorist and the other ONLY occurred in the present, I 
would happily buy your thesis of suppletives.

When this is not the case, I am a bit sceptical. An alternative explanation 
could be that the semantic differences between the two verbs result in one 
naturally being used mainly in aorist and the other mainly in present. (In the 
LXX, you have future and imperfective of MNHMONEYEIN in addition to present, but 
aorist is rare there as in the NT - 2 of 26).

I accept that the subtle distinction in meaning may not be maintained in the 
portions of the GNT most influenced by Hebrew, such as Revelation and Luke 1. As 
I mentioned only one of the words appear in the LXX.

Iver Larsen

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