Acts 16:25

Vincent M. Setterholm Vincents at
Sat May 18 15:37:57 EDT 2002

Heb 2:12 also has HUMNEW with an accusative (the only other transitive
instance in the NT, I think).  I found it interesting that in both the NIV
and NASB the accusative there is rendered along the lines of 'about' rather
than 'to'.  "sing your praises" rather than "sing praises to you".  (and yet
both of those translations render the same construction as 'to' in Acts 16.)

In speach verbs like LEGW, if you wanted to speak 'to God' you would use
dative, rather than accusative, and if you wanted to speak 'about God' you
would use accusative (or PERI+Genitive, but never genitive alone).  An
example of this is is John 8:27.  Jesus speaks to them (dative) about the
father (accusative).

So if humnew functions like legw, then a good argument could be made for
'about' (as it is translated in Heb 2:12), but if HUMNEW allways takes an
accusative as its indirect object (as BAGD describes) then 'to' is correct,
and the above translations made some error in Heb 2:12.

Vincent Setterholm

-----Original Message-----
From: Wayne Leman [mailto:wayne_leman at]
Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2002 1:40 PM
To: Biblical Greek
Subject: [b-greek] Acts 16:25

Since the object TON QEON is in the accusative case, rather than the
genitive, I would think that they were singing to God.

Wayne Leman
Bible Translation discussion list:

> Does it mean they sung unto God or about God?
> Thanks,
>   Lubos Ouzky

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