Why did Jesus call Mary 'woman' instead of mother?

Why did Jesus call Mary 'woman' instead of mother?

Scripture: John 19:26
Why did Jesus call Mary 'woman' instead of mother? The term "woman" used to address a female today sounds disrespectful, but a better translation today might be "madam" or some other term of respect.
NOTE: If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate. Please be civil to one another.


Caller:  I wonder why Jesus never called his mother ‘Mother’ He always called her ‘woman’.  From the cross there in John 19, He always called her ‘woman’.

Pastor Doug:  Keep in mind, that’s the King James translation of that phrase ‘woman’ in our language it sounds almost derogatory—it sounds like a motorcycle biker talking to his motorcycle mama—hey, woman, come here.  But we don’t understand that that word in Hebrew means ‘madam’.  It was a term of respect.  You know, Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, ‘Woman, where are your accusers?’  Well, He wasn’t talking down to her. 

He was actually addressing her with respect.  So when Jesus said to his mother, while He hung on the cross, ‘Woman, behold your son’, ‘Son, behold your mother’, it was a term of respect.  In our language—you know how terms change with every generation? Like, you know, fifty years ago you tell someone you’re happy and gay—it had a whole different meaning than it has now.  So back in 1611 Woman was a term of respect. 

Name:

Email:

Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:

Email:

Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question