What Do We Make of CWRIS and ANDRES?
B. Ward Powers
bwpowers at optusnet.com.au
Thu Oct 18 11:44:54 EDT 2001
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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