What Do We Make of CWRIS and ANDRES?

B. Ward Powers bwpowers at optusnet.com.au
Thu Oct 18 11:44:54 EDT 2001

Fellow b-greekers:

In our Biblical Greek Bible Study class we are now surging ahead through 
Matthew's Gospel, and at our last meeting we came to the tale of the 
Feeding of the Four Thousand - and the question of What Do We Make of CWRIS 
and ANDRES (Matthew 15:38).

You see, Matthew tells us that "those who ate were four thousand men, CWRIS 
GUNAIKWN KAI PAIDIWN". Which initially we took to mean, "apart from women 
and children", i.e., not counting women and children" - so that, if you 
were to count in the women and children also, the total of "those who ate" 
would be correspondingly greater. This is in accord with a standard use of 
CWRIS meaning "besides, in addition to", as the lexica tell us.

And in the parallel story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, Matthew also 
tells us (Mt 14:21) that "those who ate were about five thousand men CWRIS 
GUNAIKWN KAI PAIDIWN". Which once again looks as if it means "five thousand 
adult males, with women and children not being counted". Especially as in 
both places in Matthew the word for "men" is ANDRES, not ANQRWPOI.

But if the ANDRES were in addition to the women and children who were 
present, one wonders how Matthew managed to count the men while omitting 
the women and children from the count. The mind boggles somewhat at the 
logistics involved. Not to mention the motivation for such a procedure. 
However, in both places Matthew does seem to be differentiating the ANDRES 
quite specifically from the GUNAIKES and PAIDIA.

Is there another explanation of the meaning? Because CWRIS does not always 
mean "besides, in addition to". It certainly does not have such a meaning 
in Hebrews 9:28, where we are told that Christ will appear a second time 
CWRIS hAMARTIAS, "apart from sin". Sometimes (as here) it can mean "in the 
absence of", the opposite of "in the presence of". Similarly in Hebrews 
11:40, "God had planned something better for us, so that they should not be 
perfected CWRIS hHMWN". Which does not mean "in addition to us". And 1 
Corinthians 4:8, "You have begun to reign as kings (if taken as an 
inceptive aorist; otherwise, have reigned as kings) CWRIS hHMWN". Etc.

So: could Matthew be telling us that the crowd of four thousand in Mt 15:38 
(and similarly, the crowd of five thousand in Mt 14:21) consisted solely of 
men, ANDRES, adult males, without women and children being present? In 
Mark's account of the Feeding of the Four Thousand (Mk 8:9) he tells us 
simply that "those present were about four thousand" (no mention of ANDRES, 
GUNAIKES, or PAIDIA); but in his story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand 
(Mk 6:44) he says that those who ate [the loaves] were "five thousand 
ANDRES" (and NOT "ANQRWPOI"). And both Luke (9:14) and John (6:10) also 
tell us that the crowd consisted of "about five thousand ANDRES". So all 
four Gospels are in agreement in their use of ANHR of the persons in the crowd.

Can ANDRES in the plural be used to encompass both men and women, as 
ADELFOI can? I cannot recall having encountered such a usage - I would have 
expected ANQRWPOI if "persons of both sexes" had been the intended meaning. 
Have I overlooked some such occurrences of ANHR?

Now, here's an interesting point: In John 6:10 Jesus instructs his 
disciples, "Get the people to sit down" - and the word used IS "ANQRWPOI"!! 
And then - in that same verse - we are informed that the number of the "hOI 
ANDRES" who sat down was "about five thousand". (Is John by implication 
agreeing with Matthew that the adult males numbered five thousand, and they 
were only part of a larger crowd of ANQRWPOI?)

So: how much weight can we put upon the consistent use of ANDRES in all the 
"Feeding" narratives (plus one use, in John 6:10, of ANQRWPOI)?

And what then do we make of CWRIS in Matthew's two accounts?

Oh, and one last question: If we were to decide that the crowds consisted 
solely of men, ANDRES, adult males, without any women and children with 
them, how did the young PAIDARION happen to be present (John 6:9), who gave 
his picnic lunch to Jesus?

Anyone care to throw any light on CWRIS and ANDRES before my class meets again?



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers        Phone (International): 61-2-8714-7255
259A Trafalgar Street          Phone (Australia): (02) 8714-7255
PETERSHAM  NSW  2049      email: bwpowers at optusnet.com.au
AUSTRALIA.                         Director, Tyndale College

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