Any Greek geeks?


I’m having a conversation with a protestant about Mary as mediatrix and found a Catholic Answers post that says “the Greek word for “one” is heis, which means “first” or “primary” and does not denote something exclusive.” Her reply was "Regarding I Timothy 2:5, the Greek word used for “one” is “heis”, but this word does not mean “first” or “primary”, as you suggest. This word is translated to mean “one”, just as the text says. Strong’s Concordance also shows that it means “in opposed to many”. And we know that “one” is the proper translation because the Greek word “heis” is used twice in this one passage: “For there is one (heis) God and one (heis) Mediator…”

When I looked up Strong’s, it doesn’t have the word “primary” or “first” as an alternative to one. Am I missing something?


The basic meaning of ['εις]( is the numeric value “one”, as opposed to “two or more”; it is used in other ways when other terms are added (the best one, not one, each one). That passage (1 Tim 2:5) is quite clear about the numeric value, because, as your correspondent notes, it assigns the same value to God as to the Mediator: one God, one Mediator.

Still, my impression of the Catholic theology around Mary as Mediatrix was that a/ it is not dogma anyway, and b/ she is seen as sharing in Christ’s mediating role, not as having her own separate role.


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