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On Sun, 18 Nov 2012 20:01:59 +0000
R A Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> As Patrick has observed above, one might have addressed a
> servant girl as "gynai", but it was also found as a term of
> respect: "lady" or "Madam".  Indeed, there have been
> suggestions that it be translated a "Ma'am" here.
> 
> I will go further.  If on both occasions, Jesus was saying
> the equivalent of "Ma'am" or "Lady", why didn't John use the
> unambiguous Κυρία [kyria]?  Why did he use "woman."

There is, of course, another factor which we've ignored. Jesus wouldn't
have spoken Greek on either occasion, but Aramaic. John is translating
into Greek because (1) he's addressing an international audience and
(2) even if he were only addressing a local one, Aramaic was currently
"out of fashion" as a written language, except in cult circles. How did
you address a lady in Aramaic? (Don't ask me!)