YES OR NO?
T. PIERCE BROWN
There are three ways of asking a question, both in English and in Greek. Perhaps the most common one is just a question that may have any kind of answer that is appropriate. For example, “Where have you been?” might be answered in one word or in a long explanation. “Have you been out?” can be answered with a yes or no. However, if we ask the question, “You have been out, have you not?” we expect “yes” for the answer. If we ask, “You have not been out, have you?” we expect “no” for the answer.
In the Greek New Testament this distinction is clearly made, but it is not carried over into our most commonly used versions. When we find the Greek word “ou” with the indicative, the answer expected is positive. When “me” with the indicative is used, the answer expected is negative. Some instances of such construction may be helpful in our understanding of the original text.