105. THE USAGE OF NEGATIVES
THE NEW TESTAMENT.
There are two principal negatives used in the New Testament, all others
being combinations of one or other of these with other particles.
- ou (before a vowel ouk ; before an aspirated
vowel ouch) = no, not; expressing full and direct negation,
independently and absolutely; not depending on any condition expressed
(a) ouchi, a strengthened form, often used in questions.
- me = no, not; expressing conditional
negation, depending on feeling, or on some idea, conception, or
Hence, ou is objective.
a matter of fact.
a matter of feeling.
a supposition, and prohibits or forbids.
generally used with the Indicative Mood.
the other moods of the verb.
For the difference, see John 3:18 : "He that believeth on Him
is not (ou) condemned : but he that believeth not (me,
supposing such a case) is condemned already, because he hath not (me)
believed (according to the supposition made).
See also Matt. 22:29 : "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures".
Had the negative here been "ou" it would imply the fact that
they did not know, because of not possessing them. But it is "me",
implying the feeling; they did not wish to know.
The same distinctions apply to all the compounds of ou and me
- ou me
- The two negatives when combined
lose their distinctive meanings, and form the strongest and most emphatic
asseveration; but, solemn and strong as it is, whenever it was used by
a human being the result always belied it, and the speaker never made it
- Matt. 16:22. Peter said, "This shall not be unto Thee".
(But it was)
- Matt. 26:35. Peter said, "I will not deny Thee".
(But he did)
- John 11:56. Some said, "What think ye, that He will not
come to the feast?" (But He did)
- John 13:8. Peter said, "Thou shalt never wash my feet".
(But He did)
- John 20:25. Thomas said, "Except I shall see ... I will not
believe". (But he did)
- On the other hand, when the Lord used this solemn asservation
it was always absolutely true, and was, or will yet be made good.
It is variously rendered, as a simple negative (as above); no, not, by
no means, in no wise, or in no case, &c.
This expression was used by our Lord on forty-six separate occasions
(omitting the parallel passages, which are placed within brackets), adding
three (Matt. 25:9. Luke 8:17, and John 16:7), and omitting two (Matt.
24:2 and Luke 22:34), with the critical texts. They are as follows,
and are all worthy of the closest attention (see Matt. 5:18; 16:28; 24:34.
John 6:37; &c.).
Matt. 5:18, 20, 26; 10:23, 42; 13:14; 15:6; 16:28 (Mark 9:1; Luke
9:27); 18:3 (Luke 18:17); 23:39; 24:2 (omitted by all, but retained
in Mark 13:2), 21, 34 (Mark 13:30. Luke 21:32), 35 (Mark 13:31.
3); 25:9 (added by all); 26:29 (Mark 14:25. Luke 22:18).
Mark 9:41; 13:2 (omitted in Matt. 24:2, retained here); 16:18.
Luke 6:37; 8:-17 (added by most); 10:19; 12:59; 13:35; 18:7, 30; 21:18;
22:16, 34 (omitted by all, retained in John 13:38), 67, 68.
John 4:14, 48; 6:35, 37; 8:12, 51, 52; 10:5, 28; 11:28; 13:38 (omitted
in Luke 22:34, but retained here); 16:7 (added by some).
- The expression ou me is used once by an angel (Luke
- Fourteen times by Paul : three in Acts (13:41; 28:26),
and eleven times in his Epistles (Rom. 4:8. 1Cor. 8:13. Gal.
4:30; 5:16. 1Thess. 4:15; 5:3. Heb. 8:11, 12; 10:17; 13:5).
- Twice by Peter (1Pet. 2:6. 2Pet. 1:10).
- Sixteen times in the Apocalypse (one being added in all the
critical texts, 9:6) : Rev. 2:11; 3:3, 5, 12; 9:6; 15:4; 18:7,
14, 21, 22, 23; 21:25, 27.
The occurrences are thus eighty-four in all (twelve sevens). See Ap. 10.
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