Re: Pros

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon May 31 1999 - 21:07:19 EDT

At 3:23 PM -0400 5/31/99, Donald L. Shaffer wrote:
>On 05/24/99, ""Wes Williams" <>" wrote:
>> Matt 13:55 Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary,
>> and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And his sisters,
>> are they not all with (PROS) us?
>It seems that translators are challenged by the word "pros." Sometimes it
>is translated as "with" as in Matt. 13:55, but more often "unto," "to,"
>"towards," etc. Even "in those things which pertain to." After looking at
>the context of various verses using "pros," I would like to suggest that it
>means "with" but with an implied oneness. Jesus' sisters were with them
>(even though perhaps not in the immediate company of) but there seems to be
>an implied oneness. The sisters were each one of them. So the Jews
>reasoned that Jesus couldn't have been who He seemed to be. They reasoned
>that He was but a carpenter's son. They knew that His brothers were normal
>people. Even His sisters were of them. If Matthew meant "with" then he
>would have probably used "meta," which is much more often translated as
>"with." Mark also chose to use "pros" at 6:3.
>And if "pros" means "with" with an implied oneness, then John 1:1,2 has a
>clearer meaning. In the begining was the Word (God was in the begining).
>The Word was one with God. The Word was God. Matt. 1:23 in contrast is
>saying that God was with ("meta") us.

I for one don't see any warrant whatsoever for understanding PROS as having
as sense "with" with an implied oneness. Most fundamentally it means
"facing," or "confronting."

SUN means "with" in the sense of association and is only used with the
instrumental-comitative dative. META means "with" in the sense of
accompaniment/going along with and is only used with a genitive. PROS means
"with" in the sense of being in the presence of, but I don't see that any
kind of UNITY is ever implied. I simply do not understand what is being
said about the "oneness" of the sisters; as I see Mt 13:55, what is being
said is: "Aren't his sisters habitually in our presence, amidst us, amongst
us?" Presence of rather than unity with, in my opinion.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243

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