Re: Colossians 1 questions

From: Steven Cox (
Date: Fri Apr 03 1998 - 07:13:48 EST

At 12:05 98/04/02 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>Why is "brethren" really any more "gender-neutral" than "brothers"?
>Personally I wouldn't hesitate to use "brothers and sisters," because my
>understanding of the usage is that the masculine word is intended to be
>inclusive in the Greek.

        Whoops Sorry Carl. (Lesson: read all the in-box first before
        flipping off a comment or you might end up plagiarising

        The objection to "brothers and sisters" is usually made on
        grounds of being 'too cumbersome' to have three words always
        but it is normal practice with some North Asian languages
        with a lot of binary character vocabulary to automatically
        think of rendering one word => two/three/four in English.

        As a really wild comment English does seem to be at the extreme
        end of the gender fixation table (what does that tell you about
        Anglo-Saxons?).[In the table N = No gender differentiation
        when referencing ADELFOI, Y = Yes differs, *=if older sibling
        only, **=not sure if Geschwister is still used these days?]

                   Indonesian Vietnamese b-Greek German English
        M sg N Y* Y Y Y
        F sg N Y* Y Y Y
        M pl N N N Y Y
        MF pl N N N N** Y
        F pl N N Y Y Y

        (The above is obviously a gross simplification).

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