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John 4:28-29

Context
4:28 Then the woman left her water jar, went off into the town and said to the people, 1  4:29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Surely he can’t be the Messiah, 2  can he?” 3 

1 tn The term ἄνθρωποι (anqrwpoi) used here can mean either “people” (when used generically) or “men” (though there is a more specific term in Greek for adult males, ανήρ [anhr]). Thus the woman could have been speaking either (1) to all the people or (2) to the male leaders of the city as their representatives. However, most recent English translations regard the former as more likely and render the word “people” here.

2 tn Grk “the Christ” (both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “one who has been anointed”). Although the Greek text reads χριστός (cristos) here, it is more consistent based on 4:25 (where Μεσσίας [Messias] is the lead term and is qualified by χριστός) to translate χριστός as “Messiah” here.

3 tn The use of μήτι (mhti) normally presupposes a negative answer. This should not be taken as an indication that the woman did not believe, however. It may well be an example of “reverse psychology,” designed to gain a hearing for her testimony among those whose doubts about her background would obviate her claims.



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