From: Josef Lowder (
Date: Fri Aug 01 1997 - 12:43:25 EDT

Subject: adelf+

Greetings Dr. Conrad ...

Would you be so kind as to share your thoughts about both the
technical (Greek) and application (theological and societal)
implications of translating "adelf+" in its various forms to
"brother/s" and "sister/s" and "brethren"?

For example, consider the following example verses:

MAT-05:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother
without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall
say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but
whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
MAT-05:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there
rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
MAT-05:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way;
first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.


JOH-21:23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren ...

Surely, these verses are applicable to the sisters also and not only
to the brothers/brethren. Is it absolutely essential, technically, to
limit all translations of "adelf+" to only masculine (or feminine) terms?

Do the words used in the Greek text necessarily and specifically
exclude women from consideration here? Surely the intent is not
to suggest that being angry with one's sister without a [just?]
cause is OK ... or that if you remember that a sister has something
against you, that can be disregarded ... or that when the word went
forth, it went forth only among the men and not among the women.

Do any of the following spelling variations of "adelf+" (especially
the plural forms) refer to both men and women rather than exclusively
to masculine "brethren" or feminine forms only? If so, how might
one best deal with that?

Also, does "adelf+" refer only to immediate blood brothers and sisters
and/or to fellow-believers ... or perhaps to just any male(s) and/or
female(s) whether blood relatives or believers or not?

While contexts provide clarification in many cases, I am interested
to understand more about the efficacy (or lack of it) in using
"brother" and "brethren" in cases where it seems clear that a wider
audience is intended, and to consider what options might be available.

t:adelfh :8 #g0079 MAT-12:50 sister
t:adelfhs :3 #g0079 JOH-11:01 sister
t:adelfhn :5 #g0079 JOH-11:05 sister
t:adelfas :5 #g0079 MAT-19:29 sisters
t:adelfai :3 #g0079 MAT-13:56 sisters
t:adelfe :6 #g0080 LUK-06:42 brother
t:adelfos :43 #g0080 MAT-05:23 brother
t:adelfoi :149 #g0080 MAT-12:46 brethren
t:adelfois :17 #g0080 MAT-28:10 brethren
t:adelfon :42 #g0080 MAT-04:18 brethren
t:adelfou :17 #g0080 MAT-07:03 brother's
t:adelfous :39 #g0080 MAT-01:02 brethren
t:adelfw :13 #g0080 MAT-05:22 brother
t:adelfwn :20 #g0080 MAT-20:24 brethren
t:adelfothti :1 #g0081 1PE-05:09 brethren
t:adelfothta :1 #g0081 1PE-02:17 the brotherhood

Do you know of any word(s) in any language(s) which refer to both
brothers and sisters equally without being specifically masculine
or feminine. My objective is NOT to seek a "gender neutral" or
too broad of an "inclusive language" treatment, but rather, I have
long felt that somehow there surely must be (ought to be) technically
correct ways to achieve "audience inclusive" renderings.

The only gender inclusive terms I have been able to identify are
"suggen+" and "kindred/kin" etc., and those are not much help.

t:suggeneia :1 #g4772 LUK-01:61 kindred
t:suggeneias :1 #g4772 ACT-07:03 kindred
t:suggeneian :1 #g4772 ACT-07:14 kindred
t:suggeneis :5 #g4773 LUK-01:58 cousins
t:suggenesin :2 #g4773 MAR-06:04 his own kin
t:suggenh :1 #g4773 ROM-16:11 kinsman
t:suggenhs :2 #g4773 LUK-01:36 cousin
t:suggenwn :2 #g4773 LUK-21:16 kinsfolks

Just for the sake of discussion, would the following
(note the words flagged with "+") be reasonable possibilities?
... Or are they technically indefensible?

MAT-05:22 But I say to you: That whoever is angry with another+
without a [just] cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
And whoever says to another+: Raca, shall be in danger of the council.
But whoever says: You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
MAT-05:23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar and there
remember that anyone+ has anything+ against you,
MAT-05:24 leave your gift there before the altar and go first [to] be
reconciled to them+ and then come and offer your gift.


JOH-21:23 Then this saying went abroad among the believers+ ...

Thank you for your consideration and best wishes to you.

Josef Lowder

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:24 EDT