Date: Sat Sep 05 1998 - 16:44:13 EDT


ADELFOI, a "masculine" plural, is an unmarked form, and means
"siblings" in English. ADELFAI, a feminine plural, is the marked form,
and means "sisters." Hence, ADELFOI may be translated as "siblings,"
or (if one knows the facts involved), as "brothers" or "brothers and
sisters." But it doesn't always mean "brothers and sisters"--it may
or may not. It just means "siblings of unspecified sexuality," although
the word has GRAMMATICAL "gender."

Similarly, THEOI means "gods" or "gods and goddesses," while THEAI
means "goddesses."

In order to be unequivocal when only male siblings are involved,
one does just what Luke's Paul does in Acts 23:1 -- one adds

Edward Hobbs

You wrote (in part)---->>>>>>>>>>>>

At any rate, Acts 23:1 as Paul addressing the council, no doubt
comprised exclusively of men, and he addressing them, ANDRES ADELPHOI.
This is translated simply "Brothers" in the NRSV, which makes sense.
ADELPHOI is masculine but properly means "brothers and sisters" in the
plural, just as ANTHROPOI means "people" and not "men" (i.e.,
specifically male human beings). The same is expression is used in:

        Acts 1:16; 2:29; 2:37; 7:2; 13:15; 13:26; 13:38; 15:7; 15:13;
                22:1; 23:1; 23:6; and 28:17

Elsewhere, ADELPHOI by itself can be translated "brothers and
sisters" or perhaps "siblings."

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