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2489: St Michael the Archangel, Auburn, Alabama, USA

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February 11, 2013

An interesting point in the sermon commentary about Jesus calling his Mother "woman."

My understanding is that we do not have a good English word to translate this passage. The British use the word "ma'am" to address even the Queen, and some British translators have been wise enough to use this word to translate this passage.

Our Lord's use of "woman" is a universal word of respectful, rather than personal, address; it is not disrespectful as it is all too frequently read and preached in the US.

William Barger

William Dewy replies:

Neither Father Victor nor the Mystery Worshipper suggested that the address "woman" was disrespectful. The preacher did suggest, as I recall, that the use of the word "woman" may sound impertinent to modern ears, but that was not how the word would have been understood in first century Cana.

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