Re: ANQRWPOS in Jn2:25-3:1

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Fri Jun 27 1997 - 14:02:14 EDT

Carl, Jonathan:

First of all, let's set this straight. I am not arguing for the maleness
of ANQRWPOS on the basis of the masculine gender, nor more
than I would argue for the maleness of hO LOGOS because of the
masculine gender. If I am arguing for maleness here it is because
of the male leadership motif prevalent in scripture. You say that is
importing something into the text not found there. Yes and no.
No, because ANQRWPOS can refer to males only. It does not
always refer generically to mankind. Yes, because we are
considering other scripture and the possible affect it might have
upon the interpretation. This, of course, is nothing new to
exegesis (comparing scripture with scripture).

I would like to argue that ANQPRWPOS can carry the meaning of
a man, but by metonymy refer to the human race. E.W. Bullinger,
"Figures of Speech Used in the Bible," cites metonymies where
1) princes are put for the thousands whom they led (Mt 2:6, cf.
Micah 5:2; 1 Sam 10:19), 2) Christ is put for His people (Acts 9:4,
1 Cor 12:12; Col 1:24). Furthermore, in Rev 2-3 the messenger
(TW AGGELW) appears to be put for the church related to him.

My point is simply this: it may be that ANQRWPOS should be
taken singularly, referring immediately to a man, but by
metonymy be extended to include all of humanity.

If so, then we may be remiss in translating "mankind" or

Paul S. Dixon, Pastor
Ladd Hill Bible Church
Wilsonville, Oregon

On Fri, 27 Jun 1997 08:40:17 -0400 Jonathan Robie
<> writes:
>At 04:03 AM 6/27/97 EDT, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>>Jonathan, Carl:
>>Fair enough. I suppose we could check Bullinger on this, but there
>>are figures of speech in scripture, such as metonymies where one
>>thing is put for another thing necessarily related to it. Perhaps I
>>am being overly concise here (yawn), but so be it. If ANQRWPOS
>>can refer to man, as well as to humanity, and if there is a male
>>leadership motif in scripture, then it is possible that ANQRWPOS
>>can be taken as "man" and that it also be understood metonymically
>>as a figure put for the whole corpus over which he is the leader.
>I learned figures of speech in rhetoric about 22 years ago, so I may
>hazy, but the examples of metonomy that I remember are things like
>chair" to refer to the leader of a meeting, "the bottle" to refer to
>("he's giving up the bottle"), etc. Clearly, "the chair" is a figure
>speech associated with the concept of leadership, but I think it would
>bizarre to argue that leaders derive their status from chairs.
>Similarly, I
>don't think that we would argue that the defining characteristic of
>alcoholic beverages is the bottle. Although we say "the iron hand of
>justice", I doubt that justice is derived from iron hands. Figures of
>are, well, figures of speech, not to be taken literally.
>Now maybe this is synechdoche, like "give us this day our daily
>where bread means food in general, and fish would also be gladly
>But that would not mean that fish derives its foodhood from bread.
>Undoubtedly, hO ANQRWPOS can be used to refer to the whole class of
>just as hOI ANQRWPOI can be used to refer to all humans, and I *think*
>our rhetoric class might have used "man" in this sense as an example
>synechdoche ("never in the history of man..."). But to argue that this
>that women participate in history only through their connection to men
>be to miss the point of what a figure of speech is. Figures of speech
>to be taken literally.
>But I don't think that using ANQRWPOS to mean "human" is a figure of
>at all, it is just a basic and frequent sense of the word, and the
>article for it is irrelevant. If you can say that hO ANQRWPOS is
>because the male is a prototype that represents humanity, then you can
>say that PROBATON is neuter because the castrated sheep is a prototype
>represents all sheep. And if educated people like you and some others
>this forum can get confused about this, that's all the more indication
>we have to be very careful about translating using English forms which
>gender reference in contexts where gender reference was not implied in
>Jonathan Robie
>POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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