Acts 19:4 word order

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Thu Jul 22 15:22:34 EDT 1999

At 11:16 AM -0700 7/22/99, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>Acts 19:4 brought me up short, particularly the second half of the
>verse. Apparently I am not alone here, since the commentators are not in
>agreement about how this ought to be unscrambled.
>On issue which intrigued me is where to connect (syntactically):
>Barrett (Acts:ICC) makes it limit the verb PISTEUSWSIN. This makes a
>nice smooth reading in English but the position of hINA makes me
>skeptical of this solution.
>Barrett's English translation: ". . . telling the people that they
>should believe in the one who was coming after him . . ."
>Fitzmyer (Acts:AB) makes it limit LEGWN.
>Fitzmyer's English translation: "he used to tell the people about the
>one who would come after him"
>My question is about Barrett's solution. Is it feasible, given the
>position of hINA?

I think Barrett is right; in this instance the hINA clause is a substantive
clause that is the object of LEGWN (in the sense of KELEUWN), while the EIS
phrase really must go with PISTEUWSIN despite the awkward word-order; I
think that the parenthetical clarification (TOUT' ESTIN EIS TON IHSOUN)
makes this clear and may have been added precisely because the word-order
is somewhat awkward with that EIS TON ERCOMENON MET' AUTON stuck out ahead
of the hINA clause itself. My 2c worth.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at

More information about the B-Greek mailing list