[B-Greek] Acts 13:32-33

Webb webb at selftest.net
Tue Sep 4 14:20:56 EDT 2007


Dear Iver,
Thanks for the proposal. Your analysis seems possible, particularly given the pattern of hOTI beginning v. 33 and resumed with hOTI DE in v. 34. These verses seem capable of being taken as two elements of the fulfillment of the promise mentioned in v. 32: (1) the giving (raising up for us) of the Prophet/Messiah and (2) his raising up from among the dead. If this reading is preferred, a clash of sorts results between the two senses of ANISTHMI in vv. 33 and 34, which goes a long way to explaining the confusion of translators and copyists (often reading AUTWN in v. 33 in place of hHMIN. 
One could speculate that Luke, attempting to give a précis of Paul's presentation of the good news to Jewish audiences, unwittingly compressed things to the point that it left a stumbling-block for his Gentile readers, who would not so automatically see in the words hHMIN ANASTAS a reference to Deut. 18:15, 18.

Webb Mealy

-----Original Message-----
From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Iver Larsen
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 9:56 AM
To: BG
Subject: [B-Greek] Acts 13:32-33

We have the following text from Paul's speech in the synagogue in Antioch in
Pisidia:

καὶ ἡμεῖς ὑμᾶς εὐαγγελιζόμεθα
KAI hHMEIS hUMAS EUAGGELIZOMEQA
And WE are telling YOU the good news (about)

τὴν πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ἐπαγγελίαν γενομένην,
THN PROS TOUS PATERAS EPAGGELIAN GEGOMENHN
the promise that came to our forefathers

ὅτι ταύτην ὁ θεὸς ἐκπεπλήρωκεν τοῖς τέκνοις [αὐτῶν]
hOTI TAUTHN hO QEOS EKPEPLHRWKEN TOIS TEKNOIS (AUTWN)
that God has fulfilled this very (promise) for the(ir) children,

ἡμῖν ἀναστήσας Ἰησοῦν
hHMIN ANASTHSAS IHSOUN
having raised up Jesus for US (by raising up...)

Two questions:
1) Should hHMIN not be taken with ANASTHSAS rather than as an apposition to
TOIS TEKNOIS AUTWN?
2) What is the meaning in this context of ANASTHSAS?

It seems to me that the raising here has the sense of "bringing onto the
scene", i.e. the incarnation of Jesus as the next verse says "You are my
son, I have fathered you today". There is a similar construction in 13:22
where God raised up David as a king for the people:

ἤγειρεν τὸν Δαυὶδ αὐτοῖς
HGEIREN TON DAVID AUTOIS
he raised up David for them

The relevant promise to the forefathers is Deut 18:18(and 15), which in the
LXX reads:
προφήτην ἀναστήσω αὐτοῖς ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν αὐτῶν
PROFHTHN ANASTHSW AUTOIS EK TWN ADELFWN AUTWN

The verb to raise up with a dative beneficiary is used in all cases to mean
to bring onto the scene for someone's benefit. This is one reason that I
prefer to take hUMIN in 13:33 with ANASTHSAS, because the promise to the
forefathers from Deuteronomy must have been very wellknown to Peter,
Stephen, Paul and Luke and the original audience. It is quoted or alluded to
several times in Acts, see below.
Another reason is the word order.
If the text was supposed to mean "for us, their children", then hUMIN ought
to have preceded TOIS TEKNOIS AUTWN. It is more likely that the hUMIN is
fronted before ANASTHSAS to indicate that whereas the promise came to the
forefathers, it was actually fulfilled for their "children", when God raised
up for US Jesus (as the saviour and king and Messiah).
There are a number of examples of "raising up" connected with a dative
pronoun, e.g.
Luk 1:69: καὶ ἤγειρεν κέρας σωτηρίας ἡμῖν ἐν οἴκῳ Δαυὶδ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ
KAI HGEIREN KERAS SWTHRIAS hHMIN EN OIKWi DAVID PAIDOS AUTOU
Act 3:22 (Peter): Μωϋσῆς μὲν εἶπεν ὅτι Προφήτην ὑμῖν ἀναστήσει κύριος
MWUSHS MEN EIPEN hOTI PROFHTHN *hUMIN ANASTHSEI* KURIOS
Act 3:26: (Peter) ὑμῖν πρῶτον ἀναστήσας ὁ θεὸς τὸν παῖδα αὐτοῦ ἀπέστειλεν
αὐτὸν
*hUMIN PRWTON ANASTHSAS* hO QEOS TON PAIDA AUTOU APESTEILEN AUTON
Act 7:37 (Stephen) οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Μωϋσῆς ὁ εἴπας τοῖς υἱοῖς Ἰσραήλ, Προφήτην
ὑμῖν ἀναστήσει ὁ θεὸς ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ὑμῶν ὡς ἐμέ
hOUTOS ESTIN hO MWUSHS hO EIPAS TOIS hUIOS ISRAHL: PROFHTHN *hUMIN
ANASTHSEI* hO QEOS EK TWN ADELFWN hUMWN hWS EME (not an exact quote from the
Hebrew text or LXX, but very much like Acts 13:33)

Why do so many commentators and translations take hUMIN with TOIS TEKNOIS
and assume that this refers to raising Jesus from the dead when the patterns
and context in Acts so strongly suggest a fronted dative pronoun with this
verb? (I suppose the answer is that the KJV got it wrong, so others follow.)
I have had a hard time finding a good English translation. Probably JBP is
the closest, but still not quite right: "And as for us we tell you the good 
news
that the promise made to our forefathers has come true—that, in raising up
Jesus, God has fulfilled it for us their children."

Iver Larsen

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