Help with my Greek

I’m trying to learn Greek, but I have a question a bit above my current level of knowledge (which is approximately kindergarden). Perhaps someone could help…

Specifically, it’s to do with the word menounge. I don’t understand why it’s translated differently in different verses. In Rom 10:18, and Php 3:8 it’s translated “Yes, verily” and “Yea, doubtless”. In Luke 11:28, and Rom 9:20 it’s translated “Nay, but” or “rather (implying negation Luke 11:28 (NASB))”. What gives? The verse I’m most concerned with is Luke 11:28, as it is frequently brought up with Protestants…

Thank you in advance for your help,

The Complete Word Study says this:

[left]3304**. μενοῦνγε **menoúnge; compound particle of affirmation or concession, from mén (3303), indeed, and oún (3767), but now, verily, therefore, and ge (1065), an emphatic. Yes indeed, yes verily, found in composition (Luke 11:28; Rom. 9:20; 10:18; Phil. 3:8).[/left]

%between% %between%

Strong’s says this:

[left]3304** μενοῦν, **μενοῦνγε menounge /men·oon·geh/] particle. From 3203 and 3767 and 1065; GK 3528 and 3529; Four occurrences; AV translates as “yea rather” once, “nay but” once, “yea verily” once, and “yea doubtless” once. 1 nay surely, nay rather.[/left]

%between% I am not sure of your question, the translations seem very similar to me unless I am missing something. Greek NT words are often translated slightly differently in different places, as the translators tried to capture the inspired essence of each verse. That’s why there are subtle (maybe evn sometimes not so subtle) differences in Bible translations, especially when you take into account that translators do their job based on diffreent goals (make it real easy to understand, make it literal to the original language translation, make it accurate in the new language, etc.)

I know I probably didn’t address your specific concern, did I?

my concern is in the dialog when the woman says [paraphrase] to Jesus, “blessed is your mother”, and he says something in return, starting with menounge. some translations would read His reply as “no, she’s not” and others as “yes, but blessed are also”. i realize that this is fairly tangential to the actual discussion (and wouldn’t hurt my argument either way), but if one version is clearly correct, i would like to know.

does that clear it up? that said, i’m still confused…


Well in the KJV, which any self-respecting Protestant would believe in :), Luke 11:28 is translated to:

But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it.

Yea means “Yes”, rather in Mirriam’s is translated primarily to “more properly” :
[left]rath•er [ ](“http://#_ftn1”)ˈra-ṯẖər, ˈrä-, ˈrə- also ˈre-; interjectionally ˈra-ˈṯẖər, ˈrä-, ˈrə-\ adverb[/left]

[left][Middle English, from Old English hrathor, comparative of hrathe quickly; akin to Old High German rado quickly, Old English hr+d quick][/left]

[left](before 12th century)[/left]

[left]1 **: **with better reason or more propriety **: **more properly 〈this you should pity rather than despise —Shakespeare〉[/left]

[left]2 **: **more readily or willingly **: **preferably 〈I’d rather not go〉 〈would rather read than watch television〉 — often used interjectionally to express affirmation[/left]

[left]3 **: **more correctly speaking 〈my father, or rather my stepfather〉[/left]

[left]4 **: **to the contrary **: **instead 〈was no better but rather grew worse —Mk 5:26 (Revised Standard Version)〉[/left]

[left]5 **: **in some degree **: **somewhat 〈it’s rather warm〉 — often used as a mild intensive 〈spent rather a lot of money〉[/left]

So it seems to me, in response to the prior verse, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.”, Jesus is saying Yes (“I agree that the womb that bore me is blessed”) but more properly (“more importantly, or more significantly”), blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it."

Nowhere in here does Jesus deny his mother or the womb that bore him. Even if someone really tries to construe this, and uses the “Contrary” LEAST likely definition of the word rather per Merriam’s, it just means No, here’s what’s REALLY blessed - there is NO context for a reply about who bore him!

Hope that helps…

Hi Ryan!

Greek is good/bad when discussing with protestants. They have to be able to work with Greek to even argue with you – some can, some can’t. Here is a quasi-greek post on a protestant website (by I assume, a Catholic), which took the same question on decently.

Please be gentle in your posts, if you make any. The audience is expecting nasty Catholics – prove 'em wrong! & Preview before submittng, sometimes their site does not post correctly. (computer glitch I guess).

Start at this post:Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 6:05 am
Mary, Women – Breasts & Womb

Glad to have you studying Greek.
Andrew υιου θεου λεγω χαιρε Ryan! :slight_smile:

Even kindergarden Greek is useful!

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