Re: Pros

From: Donald L. Shaffer (
Date: Tue Jun 01 1999 - 05:36:21 EDT

On 05/31/99, ""Carl W. Conrad" <>" wrote:
> 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.

If that is all that is meant by PROS, then how does it fit into the context
of the reasoning of the Jews? What is the significance of the presence of
Jesus' sisters with them? The reasoning of verse 55 and 56 is in response
to the question in verse 54: "Where did this [Man] get this wisdom and
[these] mighty works?" His father wasn't anybody special, just a carpenter
(a normal person). They knew His brothers, and they were normal. It
should follow that they were also reasoning that His sisters were normal.
But the only way that I see that it is saying that they were normal is if
PROS connects them as being as themselves. The implied oneness could do

How should Romans 15:17 be translated?
Romans 15:17 (KJV)
     I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ *in those
     things which pertain to* (PROS) God.

Perhaps it could make sense to translate it "... through Jesus Christ *in
the presence of* God." But if that is what Paul meant, why didn't he use
"meta?" And the King James translators seem to have supplied their own
words to make it make sense to them. Consider verses 16, 19, and 20.
     16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles,
     ministering the *gospel of God,* ...
     19 ... I have fully preached the *gospel of Christ.*
     20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the *gospel,* ...

How many gospels are there? Which gospel did Paul preach? Verse 20 says
that He preached *the* gospel. It is one gospel, which is the gospel of
God and the gospel of Christ. Verse 17 is the connecting verse between
verses 16 and 19, making it one Gospel, since "pros" has an implied
oneness. Jesus Christ is one with God, which agrees with John 1:1, 2 and

The implied oneness for PROS is my conclusion. If I am wrong, I want to
know. But if I am right, I would like everyone to know. It would make a
difference in what our Bibles are saying.

Donald L. Shaffer

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

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