Friday, September 18, 2009

Mother Mary, Anthropos

Luke's Greek gospel offers compelling evidence that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is an anthropos

(John Radcliffe inspires me to look at Mary by pointing us to that saying of Mary's son, a saying about mothers and their anthropos offspring.  Take a look here, scrolling down to what Radcliffe calls "Off topic somewhat.")

Now we can look at Luke's introduction of Mary and then his conclusion where he continues to figure her prominently.  Below is Luke's chapter 1 and his chapter 24.  I've included the Greek (and Hebrew names) after the English translation.  (Since John Radcliffe notes how the NKJV "gets it right" in John's gospel, let's stay in the same translation and even show the NKJV mechanics, such as italics). 

What should be obvious are these facts: 

1) when Luke introduces Mary, there are several other males also introduced, but none of these individuals is described as anthropos

2) when Luke is towards the end of his story, Mary is there the anthropos.
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”  29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”   34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
Luke's first description of Mary includes his use of these words:

παρθένος [parthénos, aka "marriable girl," NKJV "virgin"];
Μαριάμ [Mariám, aka מִרְיָם, "Miriam," NKJV "Mary"];
ἐν γυναιξίν [ẻn gunaizín, aka "within (married) women," NKJV "among women"].

In the same context (vv 27, 34), Luke's words for "man" are ἀνδρί, ἄνδρα [andri, andra].  Her baby, incidentally, is to be named Ἰησοῦν [Iesoun, aka יְהוֹשֻׁעַ , "Joshua," NKJV "JESUS"]

When one fast-forwards to the end, Luke has another angel speaking to other women, some married, some mothers, some Marys.  The angel quotes the son of Mary.  But the NKJV here does not get things quite right this time.  Here's a bit:
6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”  8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles.
Luke never says here andri or andra for the men.  Rather he writes, καὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς λοιποῖς [kai pasin tois loipois] which NKJV renders "and to all the rest."

Likewise, Luke doesn't say gune for the (married) women.  Instead he offers καὶ αἱ λοιπαὶ σὺν αὐταῖς [kai hai loipai sun autais] which NKJV makes "and the other women with them."

But Luke does have τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου [ton huion tou anthropou].  And to this Joshua (aka Jesus) there must have been in his own nickname for himself a fondness for his mother.  Because - despite NKJV's "The Son of Man" - he is reminding the other Marys and other women to tell the eleven disciples and the other men that he is the son of the anthropos.  And she is the anthropos, according to Luke's account, who knew no "man" and yet conceived and gave birth to her own anthropos.  Mother Mary, Anthropos.

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