From: Edward Hobbs (EHOBBS@WELLESLEY.EDU)
Date: Tue Jan 04 2000 - 16:54:05 EST
In his message on this topic, George Polycarp66 (what an odd last name!--
since B-Greek asks that all of us sign our real names, I assume George's
last name is Polycarp66) writes:
From: IN%"Polycarp66@aol.com" 4-JAN-2000 14:57:23.58
Yet, is this any less objectionable than translating ) ADELFOI as "brothers
and sisters" with the NRSV? This is one of my pet peaves regarding an
otherwise good job.
It has often been recommended that those who post to B-Greek consult the
standard lexicons before commenting on the meaning of Greek words.
According to Lous & Nida, ADELFOI can mean "both 'brothers and sisters'"
(when it is literal) [10.49], "fellow believers" (when socio-religious
context is involved) [11.23], and person[s] belonging to the same socio-
religious entity and being of the same age group as the so-called
reference person" [11.25].
Bauer-A-G-D says (p. 16) "ADELFOS...the plural can also mean 'brothers and
sisters'", with many examples, outside the NT as well as in.
Liddell-Scott-Jones-McKenzie, says "ADELFOI: brother and sister" (p.20)
To fault the NRSV for translating ADELFOI in accordance with the standard
lexicons is strange criticism, indeed.
Like an earlier poster on this topic, I have lots of quibbles with the NRSV
-- but it is on the whole better than anything else we have; and it makes
no sense to criticize it for recognizing that the word "brethren" no longer says
"brothers and sisters", hence its using the two English nouns to translate a
single word in Greek (the "unmarked `masculine' plural").
I personally deeply regret the shift (in my lifetime) of "man", "men", and
"brethren" to meanm ONLY males; but it, alas, has happened. It had not
happened to the Greek language at the time of the New Testament writings.
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