--- On Sat, 11/17/12, Puey McCleary <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Padraic, I’ll get back to your specific questions  soon.  But first I 
> have a general translation question about this passage.

I look forward with baited hooks!

> How is one supposed to interpret John 2:4?  What is its intended meaning 
> and tone?

There seems to be two basic interpretations. One is the "rebuke" -- the
"what have I got to do with you" translation. The other is the "what me
worry?" -- the "what's this to us (it ain't our party!)" translation. I
honestly don't understand how they get the first translation out of
what is clearly two people joined by a conjunction. I don't see the 
disjoint in "moi kai soi" / "mihi et tibi", both of which seem to be the
formal and semantic equivalents of "me and thee".

Take a look at

In general, I prefer Occam's Razors, for their simplicity. If I look at
a sentence like the above for ten minutes and can't figure out how they
got translation #1 (the rebuke) out of it, but translation #2 leaps off
the page like a jumping spider, well, I'll go with the simple and obvious
until a very convincing argument to the contrary is made.

> For the Greek we have:
> Legei aute o Iesous, “Ti emoi kai soi, gunai?  Oupo ekei e ora mou.”

> In the Vulgate:
> Et dicit ei Jesus : Quid mihi et tibi [est], mulier? Nondum venit hora 
> mea.

> It seems that there are two issues.  The first is an
> interpretation of this verse.  Both of the sentences
> seem a little puzzling.

It didn't seem that puzzling to me, leastways in reading the Greek or
Latin. The rebuke translation in English always struck me as odd: was
Jesus always a crabby old sod, or was he just having a bad day, or was
he feeling miffed cos his mum was dragging him along to another of his
mother's friend's daughters' weddings of the "see, dear Jesus, look at
that girl there! She's so happy! See how happy she's made her mother? When
are you going to settle down and give me some grandbabies already? Your
brother James has already got three boys and another one the way, and
here you are, thirty-two years old and haven't even asked that Mary out
on a date yet!" sort of thing?

> Second, there’s the issue of how to render them into a
> very alien idiom.

Well, first you have to choose which attitudinal Jesus your translators
will be bringing to the alien culture (or, for example in the case of
the World, which attitudinal Jesus the ancient authors, translators and
interpreters had settled on). That done, you then have the same job as
any other translation: render the chosen meaning in a culturally sensible

> For instance, some of us may have languages which, for social or taboo 
> reasons, one simply cannot address one’s mother as “woman.”

Fair enough. Obviously, a complication would arise if you left the
translation a literal one. You would naturally want to choose a culturally
appropriate term of address, use that, and perhaps make a foot note to the
effect that the original says "woman", and this is a normal (if barbaric!)
way of addressing one's mother back on Earth.

As for the (rather broad) translation I offered, one generally doesn't
address one's mother as "woman". Leastways, if one doesn't wish to get his
backside tanned to within an inch of its life. In this case, the scribe
chose "moter mine" -- "my mother" -- as the appropriate term for a warrior
princess to address her mother, the queen of the heavenly realm.

> Can she be addressed by her first name in one’s language?  Perhaps a 
> child, at any age, can only address her as “my-mother.” Does one have to 
> use an honorific when addressing one’s mother, 

In the text given, the Shepherd of Valor addresses her own mother in a very
intimate, close fashion -- simply "my mother", even though she is a very
exalted queen. However, when she orders the wedding overseer to serve the
new mead to the host, she addresses that woman as "noble mother, the queen"
even though her stature must be somewhat less than that of her own mother.

> or is one expected to be humble about one’s family and to exalt someone 
> else’s?
> In terms of English, I live in the southern part of the United States, 
> and here it’s customary to address women as “ma’am,”  even one’s own 
> mother or grandmothers.

Yes. I use "ma'am" pretty generally (or else "Miss NAME").

> just translated “Mine hour has not yet come,” rather
> literally.

Then I'd do the same with the other sentence: "What is it to thee and to

> The Land of Story has no difficulty in venerating a virgin mother. There 
> are at least three cases where children have been born of virgin mothers 
> – Crown Princess Éfhelìnye herself and her cousin Ixhúja, for instance, 
> and Prince Khyexhròwiqan, the protagonist of these gospels.  

Shouldn't pose a problem then.

> Prince Khyexhròwiqan is unique in being the only male child born of a 
> virgin, and his mother had no ritual consort.  So there’s no Joseph 
> character in this version.

Interesting that.

I don't know if Merriqiz has a consort or not. I can hardly imagine but
that the queen of the heavenly realm has at least one!

Patrick Dunn wrote:

> Well, γυνή covers a lot more semantic area than the English "woman."  It
> can be used as a term of address for one's wife, one's female servant, 
> and as a general term of address for women like "lady."  

I think English "woman" is at home with any of those uses, as well as uses
that apply to men...

> I wouldn't read Jesus' use of γυνή as distancing himself from his mother 
> at all.  

I think the distancing comes in with the "mihi et tibi" bit, more than the
"mulier" bit.

> I know a lot of people do, but I just don't see it in the Greek there.

Nor do I, neither in the Latin. I'm sure Ray will concur, but I'd like to
see what he has to add to this. Also Charlie, if he's reading this.

> I think the trickier clause, for me, is the first one, which I want to
> translate as "what is it to me and you, madam?"  In other words, "what
> concern is it of ours if they have wine or not?  we're not the hosts!
> We're guests."  But I'm not sure that's the original intent.

Makes more sense to me anyway than the alternative.

> By the way, for those who find it easier to read the Greek in the 
> original orthography, here it is:

> καὶ λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, γύναι; οὔπω ἥκει ἡ ὥρα μου.
> and said to.her the Jesus: what and, woman?  not.yet arrives
> the period
> Of course, my Greek is very green yet, so take all that with lots of ἅλς.

Halite liberally sprunklen.