Luke 22:44 states 'εγενετο δε ιδρως αυτου ωσει θρομβοι αιματος καταβαινοντες επι την γεν' [Stephens 1550].

Is there any justification for supposing that blood, itself, fell to the ground rather than that the perspiration, ιδρως, was as, ωσει, blood only in its manner of forming on the skin and dropping to the ground ?

What, exactly, in this place, is the meaning of ωσει ?


1 Answer 1


According to lexical authorities, ωσει means "like" or "as."

Bauer Arndt & Gingrich:

A first definition given is "particle denoting comparison as, like, (something) like, lit[erally] "as if" . . .

A second definition: "w[ith] numbers and measures about . . ."


"prop[erly] as if, i.e. a. as it were (had been), as though, as, like as, like . . . b. about, nearly . . . before numerals . . ."

The sweating in Gethsemane is not recorded in parallel accounts in Matthew 26:36-46 and Mark 14:32-42.

The Greek New Testament, United Bible Societies 4th Corrected Edition has Luke 22:43-44 enclosed in double brackets, and a footnote in The New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.: Carol Stream, IL, J.D. Douglas editor, 1990) states: "Note: The double brackets in the Greek text indicate that this passage was a later addition to the text, which, however, was retained because of its importance in the textual tradition."

It appears, then, that if we accept the text as read, Jesus did not sweat blood but rather that his sweat was like drops of blood.

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