Jn.20:25 ἐὰν μὴ ἴδω ... οὐ μὴ πιστεύσω

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Stephen Hughes
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Jn.20:25 ἐὰν μὴ ἴδω ... οὐ μὴ πιστεύσω

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 14th, 2016, 10:55 pm

What logic or syntactic knowledge could / should be applied here to determine whether οὐ μὴ πιστεύσω is aorist subjunctive or future?
John 20:25 wrote:ἐὰν μὴ ἴδω ἐν ταῖς χερσὶν αὐτοῦ τὸν τύπον τῶν ἥλων, καὶ βάλω τὸν δάκτυλόν μου εἰς τὸν τύπον τῶν ἥλων, καὶ βάλω τὴν χεῖρά μου εἰς τὴν πλευρὰν αὐτοῦ, οὐ μὴ πιστεύσω.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Jn.20:25 ἐὰν μὴ ἴδω ... οὐ μὴ πιστεύσω

Post by cwconrad » December 15th, 2016, 9:33 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:What logic or syntactic knowledge could / should be applied here to determine whether οὐ μὴ πιστεύσω is aorist subjunctive or future?
John 20:25 wrote:ἐὰν μὴ ἴδω ἐν ταῖς χερσὶν αὐτοῦ τὸν τύπον τῶν ἥλων, καὶ βάλω τὸν δάκτυλόν μου εἰς τὸν τύπον τῶν ἥλων, καὶ βάλω τὴν χεῖρά μου εἰς τὴν πλευρὰν αὐτοῦ, οὐ μὴ πιστεύσω.
If, as I assume (perhaps wrongly) that you're asking about how usage may be changing in Hellenistic Greek of the period in which this was composed, it's an interesting question. We know that the future indicative was used in the LXX formulation of the commandments of the Decalogue, where older Greek might have used μή or οὐ μή with a subjunctive. In the 1st sg. forms we don't know if the -ω is indicative or subjunctive. I don't have access to Muraoka, but I wonder what he has to say about forms such as these. Another question is whether this author (or other NT authors) have learned their Greek in a school or where and how they have learned it. Do the ancient grammarians like Apollonius Dyscolus have anything useful to say on an issue like this? If an author did not learn to speak and write Greek in a school but reproduces what he has seen and heard spoken, how would he understand the grammar of it?
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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