Re: ANQRWPOS in Jn2:25-3:1

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Sun Jun 29 1997 - 10:32:56 EDT

At 12:49 AM -0400 6/26/97, Paul S. Dixon wrote in reference to John 2:25-31:

>This, of course, is another example of where ANQRWPOS unequivocally
>refers not to a person or mankind, but to a man. It is the only
>that will do. Somone earlier on the list made such a statement, i.e.,
>ANQRWPOS never refers only to a man, and that ANQRWPOI never refers
>to men only. There are plenty of examples to the contrary. This is just
>On the other hand, are there any examples of ANQRWPOS referring to
>only a woman? Hmm. If not, then why not? Is it possible that women
>were (are) viewed as ANQRWPOI only through their male leadership.
>That, then, would amply explain the use of ANQRWPOI and would in no
>way demean womanhood. Furthermore, if we then translate ANQRWPOI
>as "persons" or "mankind," then we would lose the significance of the
>male leadership motif.

There are not any examples of ANQRWPOS (singular) referring to a woman in
the New Testament for one simple reason: it was not necessary to use
ANQRWPOS to refer to one woman or a group of only women since there was
another word available with exactly that meaning: GUNH. That is not to say
that ANQRWPOS was never used to refer to a woman, but only that it is
natural that such an unusual meaning does not appear in such a small corpus
as the New Testament.

The plural form ANQRWPOI *is* used for mixed groups, however, since there
was not another word for referring to groups which included both males and
females in the sense that we use 'people'.

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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