In John 11:21 and John 11:32, Martha and Mary make almost identical statements to Jesus.
The only difference in the greek is the placement of the possessive genitive first person singular pronoun. What are we seeing here in this story? Is there a significance to the variation in word ordering?
Why do they say identical statements? If the purpose of john’s gospel is so that we might believe, then how does this serve that purpose?
John 11:21 (NRSV), "Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.”"
John 11:32 (NRSV), "When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”"
- Martha says: "Κύριε εἰ ἦς ὧδε οὐκ ἂν ἀπέθανεν ὁ ἀδελφός μου"
- Mary says: "Κύριε εἰ ἦς ὧδε οὐκ ἄν μου ἀπέθανεν ὁ ἀδελφός"
Interesting note: Maria and Martha are separated by one letter in the greek alphabet. Theta and iota come right in sequence in the alphabet. Also, when crossed with the Luke account of Mary/Martha, I get a real Cain & Abel vibe.