Re: 'widower' (was Introductory)

Micheal Palmer (
Mon, 17 Nov 1997 21:32:18 -0800 (PST)

At 8:35 AM -0500 11/17/97, Jonathan Robie wrote in response to Arthur
Barry's question about whether there was a word for 'widower' at the time
of the New Testament, and whether the word often translated 'unmarried'
might cover that category:

>English "unmarried". TAIS CHRAIS refers to those who are widowed - in
>general, we think of widows, not widowers, but it is quite possible that
>this term could also refer to widowers. Wait until you see what others say
>before you believe me too much ;->

I am really not sure about the New Testament period, but in Modern Greek
the work CHROS means 'widower'. It's just the masculine form of CHRA
('widow'--the nominative singular form of TAIS CHRAIS). I'm pretty sure
CHROS does not appear in the New Testament, but does it appear anywhere in
the hellenistic literature outside the New Testament? I don't have access
to TLG right now to check. Holly Mitchell pointed out that Harper's lexicon
said it 'rarely appears.' Can any of you say *where* it appears (what time
period even)?

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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