What Do We Make of CWRIS and ANDRES?

B. Ward Powers bwpowers at optusnet.com.au
Sat Oct 20 21:53:35 EDT 2001

Fellow b-greekers:

I have appreciated the on-list and off-list comments and discussion about 

First, there has been agreement about ANHR (used in all six accounts of the 
two "Miraculous Feedings" in the four Gospels): as Carl put it,

>I also suspect that what Mt means in the passages involved with CWRIS
>GUNAIKWN KAI PAIDIWN is the count is a round number and that it is only
>meant to include adult males.

But: does CWRIS here mean "in addition to" (i.e., there were women and 
children present, but not included in the count) or "in the absence of" 
(i.e., there were no women or children present at all). Is anyone pushing 
for the latter meaning? I got the impression that we were all agreed that 
such a crowd would not consist of adult males only.

But: only the adult males were included in the count. There was a 
discussion on how this could be so. Iver focussed on the narrative comments 
"by 100 and by 50", pointing out that this could mean there were 100 groups 
of 50 men, and then you would have the 5,000 of the first Miraculous 
Feeding story (and 80 groups of 50 for the second).

As for the women and children not being counted: they could be clustered in 
family groups around their men, which would still permit the counting and 
calculating of the number of men (Iver), or maybe, like in a synagogue, the 
women (with their children) were seated apart (CWRIS) from the men because 
they had been receiving a teaching ministry from Jesus - and they were 
separate during this teaching, and that was when the men were counted (Paul 
Schmehl) - even if they had subsequently joined their menfolk for the 
actual "eating a meal" part.

Or "it could also be that Jesus said there were that many, and he should 
know" (Dennis Hukel).

I gather, then, that the use of CWRIS does not really allow us to perceive 
just what is going on, and that there is no basis upon which we can work 
out exactly what is meant by the Gospel writers' descriptions of the scene.

Is that the conclusion to which we have now come?



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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