In the NLT we see a very explicit rendering of εἰ μὴ as an exception: NLT Gal. 1:19 The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother.

Is this the correct? Does εἰ μὴ in Gal. 1:19 indicate an exception and if so an exception to what?

What is the classical and koine evidence for εἰ μὴ used as adversative (εἰ μὴ = ἀλλὰ) "... but only James". Does adversative fit the context of Gal. 1:19?

" Ἔπειτα μετὰ ἔτη τρία ἀνῆλθον εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἱστορῆσαι Κηφᾶν καὶ ἐπέμεινα πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡμέρας δεκαπέντε, 19 ἕτερον δὲ τῶν ἀποστόλων οὐκ εἶδον εἰ μὴ Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου" NA27 Gal. 1:18

NRSV Gal. 1:18   Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; 19 but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother.

Note some translations such as NIV, NJB leave the door open.

NIV Gal. 1:19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother.

NJB Gal. 1:19 but did not set eyes on any of the rest of the apostles, only James, the Lord’s brother.

  • This is an ancient crux Interpretum. There is historical issue, a semantic issue concerning the meaning of Apostle and a syntax issue. I am addressing the syntax aspect of the curx. Jun 24, 2015 at 17:20
  • 1
    I am not sure I understand the question, the grammatical issue is in regards to whether Paul is actually identifying James as an Apostle, the meaning of εἰ μὴ isn't that significant, in answer to your question though μὴ is been used as a negative particle so I can't see how εἰ μὴ could be read in any other way except introducing and exception clause to what has juts been said Jun 25, 2015 at 15:06


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