Re: Questions from Matthew's gospel and semitic languages

From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Sun Oct 06 1996 - 21:00:48 EDT

You wrote
        Second, vs. 20 says ". . . Mh pobhqhs paralabein Mariam thn
>gunaika sou." I translated this as "Do not be afraid to take Mary
>(as) your wife." The only problem is the word 'as' is not in the
>text! Does anyone suggest the insertion of 'as' to make sense of the
>text? And if so, why doesn't the Greek test use the word 'ws'? This
>would seem to be good enough in any case!

Carl Conrad gave you good information here. Let me simply add that accoring
to Jewish law of the time, marriage took place in two actions. The first
was the signing of the GIT, marriage contract, between the fathers of bride
and groom. That made the woman legally the wife of the man. The second
stage was the ceremonial taking of the wife to her husband's home. In Matt
1:20 there is no need to insert an "as"; one ought to translate: "Don't be
afraid to take your wife Mary to [your] home."

In fact, the insertion of the "as" reflects lack of knowledge of Jewish
marital law.

Edgar Krentz, New Testament OR ***** NEW E-MAIL Address:
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street
TEL.: 312-256-0752 FAX: 312-256-0782
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