How to Find Emphatic Negation in the New Testament

A Logos user sent me this inquiry:

I’ve been studying Mark 10:15 in which Jesus says “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Numerous commentaries pointed out the presence of a double negative or emphatic negation in the phrase “not enter it.” How can I find other instances of this in the New Testament?

First, he is correct in that the adverbs ou and mē appear back to back here. Each standing alone is a negative, but placing them together adds emphasis.

Next, and fortunately for us, Logos has tagged this construction so locating other instances is easy breezy (double-positive—get it?).

Give this a go:

  • Open a Bible with the interlinear option to Mark 10:15 (A)
  • Right-click on the word not in the phrase not enter it (B)
  • Select from the left side of the Context menu Emphatic Negation Grammatical Constructions (C)
  • Select from the right side of the Context menu Search: Bible (D)
  • Notice the query {Section <GrammaticalConstructions = Emphatic Negation>} (E) and 107 results in the ESV (F)

This label is a part of the Greek Grammatical Constructions Dataset which, along with its Hebrew counterpart, is provided in the Bronze and above base packages or feature sets. In these datasets, the makers of our software have tagged numerous constructions in the Bible that both scholars and students alike want to discover.

As we’ve seen, finding them is just a right-click away!

For more detailed training about the Hebrew and Greek Grammatical Constructions Datasets, please check out 24/7 video training at

And don’t forget to follow the group, and you’ll automatically receive a FREE digital download of Dr. Grant Osborne’s commentary Ephesians Verse by Verse.


Morris Proctor is a certified trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.

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Morris Proctor

Morris Proctor (1961–2023) was a certified trainer for Logos Bible Software and founder of MP Seminars. Morris trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, and his team continues to provide many training materials.

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