Re: Jo 19:25

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Tue Oct 19 1999 - 07:56:08 EDT

<x-flowed>To: Stephen C. Carlson,

SCC: << By the way, does anyone know the Greek word for "sister-in-law"? I
got lots of hits on Perseus for "mother-in-law," "father-in-law,"
"brother-in-law," and "son-in-law," but no hits for "sister-in-law" (or,
for that matter, "daughter-in-law"). >>

Hmm ... I'm not as high-tech as yourself, but looking in my "English-Greek
Dictionary: A Vocabulary of the Attic Language" compiled by S.C. Woodhouse
(Routedge & Kegan Paul, 1910) I found entries for "mother-in-law,"
"father-in-law," "brother-in-law," and "son-in-law," but no entries for
either "daughter-in-law" or "sister-in-law." (Some of us still use books! <g>)

SCM: << ... there are perhaps three reasons why one might want
to seriously consider understanding Jn 19:25 as referring to four women:
(a) the reason the KAI is omitted before the first MARIA is because John
lists two sets of pairs: the two sisters and the two Marys; (b) the normal
order is proper name first followed by an articular substantive of
relationship in apposition; and (c) it would be very unusual to have two
sister with the same first name. >>

SCC: << The last reason was decisive for BAGD's endorsing of the Four Women
Hypothesis ... >>

Some people are easy to convince, while others are simply incredulous. All
the scholarly commentaries, which I've consulted, have been just as
gullible! <g>

SCC: << I suppose one rejoinder is to follow Hegesippus (mentioning a
Clopas as a brother of Joseph) and postulate that they are sisters-in-law
with the same name. >>

Or perhaps a family with one Mary decided to adopt another Mary, after her
(the adopted Mary's) parents died a horrible and tragic death, and raise
the two Marys as sisters. Unfortunately, John gave us very little of these
women's life history.

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)

 From Luther's Large Catechism: "Why, do you think, is the world now so
full of unfaithfulness, shame, misery, and murder? It is because everyone
wishes to be his or her own master, be free from all authority, care
nothing for anyone, and do whatever he or she pleases. So God punishes one
knave by means of another" (BoC 386.154).

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