Acts 14:1

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at
Wed Mar 13 10:44:15 EST 2002

> Hello -
> I am having some difficulty with Acts 14:1 and was wondering if
> anyone has
> any ideas on....
> 1) how to best translate (and the precise function of) KATA TO
> AUTO near the  beginning of the verse and,

That is an interesting question, and translators apparently disagree.

BAGD has listed Acts 14:1 under this section of KATA:

b. of equality, similarity, example in accordance with, just as, similar
(ly) to
... KATA TA AUTA in (just) the same way (Dit., Or. 56, 66; PEleph. 2, 6; 1
Macc 8:27; 12:2) Lk 6:23, 26; 17:30; Dg 3:1. On the other hand, the sing.
KATA TO AUTO Ac 14:1 means together (marriage contract PEleph. 1, 5 [IV bc]
... 1 Km 11:11).

Some translations like RSV and NLT chose the together option and translated
"they entered/went together (in)to the synagogue". This follows the
suggestion by BAGD that the singular TO AUTO gives a different sense than
the plural TA AUTA, but it does not make sense in the context.

Other translations take it in the same sense as the plural. TEV has "The
same thing happened in Iconium..." NRSV has "The same thing occurred in
Iconium when Paul and ..."
A more literal version would be "It happened in Iconium according to the
same (pattern) (as just described for Antioch) in their entering into the
synagogue of the Jews and their speaking..."

I would side with NRSV and TEV against BAGD because the context fits much
better the statement "The same thing happened in Iconium" as happened in
Antioch as it has been described in detail in most of chapter 13. Luke is
the only one who uses this idiom in the GNT, and since KATA TA AUTA means
"according to the same things" or "in the same way" it seems reasonable to
suggest that KATA TO AUTO can have the same meaning "according to the same
thing" or "in the same way".

But maybe Carl or others can comment from the background of their wider
exposure to Greek and give support to BAGD.

Iver Larsen

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