I do hope this is the right forum for this,but I have been wondering over one (well,a lot of things but right now this.) Jh.2:4. Far from be one who are against anything Christ said,and maybe at that time things were different,well,they was for sure,but if I would have called my mother “woman” I would still be grounded! Are here anyone brave enough to explain His choice of word?


It’s a common problem for those who could fathom the idea of dishonoring your parents–breaking the Fourth Commandment.

But Christ, the God-man who is inherently and permanently sinless and incapable of sin, would never, ***ever ***“backtalk” his mother.

So what was Christ doing? His words are actually an honorific to his mother.

See this Ask an Apologist answer to the same question, which has a link to the answer.

Well we know Jesus is God and God is Love. Love would not hurt the feelings of His mother.
Actually only God can say “woman!” and say it knowing the full truth about the dignity of her, as she is created in the image of God and as a gift to others.

God created woman, so He has every right to call her by that name, because He doesnt despise what he has made but calls it good.

In the garden of Eden God called: Adam, where are you… meaning, “man! where are you”. This was also not wrong in any way… There is no degradation or abuse in the words of God.

From a prophetic view point one can say that the new woman, the new Eve, is Mary… so maybe Jesus tried to point to Mary’s role of the new obedient Eve, when He said “woman”.

yes in this culture that demeans women to a sex object, especially given the use of the word in media especially rap music, this would be a problematic use of the word. Jesus however was not in this culture, and his use of the word to address his mother, or any of the other women he spoke to, is elevating their status and used as a term of honor. It is a huge mistake to judge use of language especially translated words from another language against the backdrop of our own culture. Woman actually ought to be a word of honor and status for us also, blame the popular media if it is otherwise.

Haha, that’s a funny image. Mary: “Jesus, you go to your room!”

This reminds me of the story told when asked why did Jesus seem to reject Mary’s request and then fulfill it? How does one tell their Jewish mother NO?


New Wine, New Eve

Dr. Edward P. Sri
Professor of theology and Scripture at the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado.


The Gospel of John starts with the words “In the beginning . . . ,” which hearken back to Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In the next four verses, John goes on to write of light, life, creation, and light shining in darkness—once again, images taken right out of the creation story (Jn. 1:2–5). By drawing on these themes from Genesis, John introduces the story of Jesus against the backdrop of the story of creation, highlighting how Jesus comes to bring about a renewal of all creation.

Some scholars have noted how John’s Gospel continues this creation theme by setting up a series of days that establishes a new creation week. The sequence begins in 1:1 with the phrase “In the beginning.” John then demarcates a second day in 1:29 with the words "The next day . . . " He then uses the same phrase to note a third day in 1:35 and a fourth day in 1:43. Finally, after the succession of these first four days, the story of the Wedding at Cana is introduced as taking place three days after the fourth day: "On the third day there was a marriage at Cana . . . " (2:1). The third day after the fourth day would represent the seventh day in the Gospel of John. Consequently, the wedding at Cana comes at the climax of the new creation week, the seventh day.

The New Eve

Now we are ready to understand the profound meaning of Jesus calling His mother “woman” at the wedding feast of Cana. Highlighting how this scene takes place on the seventh day of the new creation week, John’s Gospel leads us to view Jesus and Mary in light of the creation story. And in this context, Jesus calls Mary “woman.” With the Genesis themes in the background, this title would bring to mind the “woman” of Genesis, Eve (Gen. 2:23; 3:20).

This woman of Genesis played an important part in the first prophecy given to humanity. After the fall, God confronted the serpent and announced his eventual defeat, saying:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15)

Given at the dawn of creation, these words, known as the Protoevangelium (“First Gospel”), foretell how the woman one day will have a seed, a son, who will crush the head of the serpent (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 410). Centuries later, at the wedding feast of Cana, this prophecy begins to be fulfilled. By calling Mary “woman” with the creation story in the background, Jesus in the narrative of John’s Gospel is not merely addressing her politely as He does Mary Magdalene or the Samaritan woman. Rather, He is identifying Mary as the woman of Genesis 3:15.

Far from rebuking His mother or distancing Himself from her, Jesus, in calling Mary “woman,” honors her in a way no woman had ever been honored before. She is the New Eve, the woman whose long-awaited Son will defeat the devil and fulfill the prophecy of Genesis.

when Jesus calls His mother “woman” in John 2:4, and again in John 19:26, it is actually, in His language, meant as a very beautiful endearment, but it, unfortunately, got lost in the translation,
and despite the poor translation, what we also get from this expression is that By referring to His mother as “woman” He distinguished her from just being His own mother and gave her to all of us, so really it was given with the most beautiful intent,
and what else would we expect from Jesus?
another point in His life that is often taken the wrong way, is when, as a child, He went to the temple without Joseph and Mary knowing, and they “Sought” Him “sorrowing” and He asked His mother, “How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father’s business?”
many take this as if it were expressed coldly or in a serious manner, but when Jesus said this, He said it very sweetly and compassionately, wrapping His arms around His mother and looking up to her lovingly.

it’s easy to read things the wrong way, just as we do online so often, simply because you cannot hear it with your ears, and so, very often we take Jesus’ words as we envision Him in our hearts, serious and authoritative, but we know Jesus was most merciful and compassionate, He was love itself, meek and Humble of heart,
so when we read His words, we should keep that in mind.

alright, hope this helps, take care.

I was watching Mother Angelica this morning on EWTN and Scott Hahn was on. This was in 2001 one and they were talking about his book Hail Holy Queen. This topic came up because he was talking about how before he was catholic that he struggled with the issue of Mary and so did his wife and he explained it as when Adam referred to Eve as Woman this was what Jesus was doing. Eve of course was born immaculate, but she sinned. Mary on the other hand was born immaculate and never sinned. Jesus and Mary were the new Adam and the New Eve. I know I am probably not explaining it totally right, but he explained it well. Mother Angelica said this was another fiat. That Mary knew that if she asked this of her son it would start his public ministry that is why he said “Woman, what does this have to do with you or me” Of course I am not quoteing this totally right or explaining it nearly as well as Mother Angelica. Mother Angelica said that she turned around and said “Do Whatever he tells you” and that this was her second fiat. That she said yes to his public ministry just like she said yes at the Annunciation. Then Scott Hahn I believe said her third fiat was at the crucifixion. It was explained so beautifully and it touched me. Mother Angelica was trying to show how wonderful Our Lady was and is. How can we not have devotion to her? Can you imagine being able to say yes to all of those things as a human being. What a wonderful woman our Blessed Mother was and is.

Hope this all made sense. Maybe you should check out this episode. I think it may play again on EWTN on Friday morning.

Kerri :slight_smile:

Thank you all for your answers. They where good,and funny. But it did give me the answer I was looking for. (However,I would never ever in any way dare to call my mother “woman”! She is old,real old,but I still look up to her with a bit of fear in my heart.) I have often wonder about that part in the Bible,but there is,in my mind,a deeper meaning as well. Jesus tell His mother that His time has not come yet,but still He obey His mother,so as one conclusion we can say that it was Our Blessed Virgin who told Jesus when the time was right. Hence,what bothers me is that the first miracle was making vine,not healing someone. God bless.:bible1:

Don’t be bothered. The miracle at the wedding in Cana is the first sign that Christ comes to restore the relationship between man and woman. You remember the curse on Eve that she would desire the man and he would dominate her… well it was like that in the OT- women were seen as property and had less rights than men.
Jesus raises marriage, which had become so distorted after the fall, into a sacrament. Thereby He heals millions of lives and does a preventative miracle too… by healing the relationship of man and woman, also by pointing out that marriage is full of dignity and goodness because He is present in it.

The bottom line here is that when we start to judge 1st-century Middle Eastern activities by 20th-21st-century North American standards, we wind up completely misunderstanding what we’re trying to judge. If we want to understand the culture of Jesus’ day, we first have to take off our own culture.


I agree with this interpretation, but I think every mom will agree with me that in translation it sounds very much like the typical response a kid gives you in any “what were you thinking?” moment. They always seem to have a reason that makes sense only to them. I do think it is proof of God’s love for us that he gave us all a Jewish mother.

I am reading Life of Christ by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen for Lent. It…is…AWESOME!!!

Last night, I read the chapter on Jesus’ Hour. It specifically talked about Mary and the miracle at Cana. Here is a link to a snippet on the web: FJS

This put a whole new perspective on that series of events for me. Hope it helps you on your journey.

Peace and grace,

Eve was only called “woman” before the Fall:

[quote=Gen 2:23]And Adam said: This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.

Right after the Fall, she was named “Eve”:

[quote=Gen 3:20]And Adam called the name of his wife Eve: because she was the mother of all the living.

So too does Jesus use the name “woman” to refer to His mother on two occasions:

At His first public miracle:

[quote=Jn 2:4]And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come.

From the Cross:

[quote=Jn 19:26-27]When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.

This shows that, just as Christ is the New Adam, the New Man (“Adam” means “man” in Hebrew, but it is also used as the personal name for the first man); Mary is the New Eve, the New Woman.

[quote=Apoc 21:5 (cf. 2Cor 5:17)]Behold, I make all things new

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.