[B-Greek] Acts 13:32-33

Steve Runge srunge at logos.com
Tue Sep 4 14:27:20 EDT 2007


I will take a shot at addressing the pronoun question.  I would agree that it makes sense to understand hHMIN as part of the participial clause rather than as an appositive.  

If it were the primary indirect object of the main verb, one expect it to find it immediately following the verb.  

If these two phrases were in apposition, I would have expected hHMIN to be the primary IO, with TOIS TEKNOIS (AUTWN) as the thematic appositive, not the other way around.  Semantically redundant appositives often recharacterize the referent in a specific way that is salient in the context.   

Alternatively, if the pronoun were indeed intended to function as an appositive to TOIS TEKNOIS (AUTWN) as the primary IO, the addition of an ascensive KAI would be the most likely way of unambiguously marking this ('even TO US').

I did a search in OpenText's syntax database, based on how they analyzed things, to look for similar structures.  They construe hHMIN as appositional, so I looked for other places where a pronoun played a similar role.  Thus the following list should be viewed as representative rather than exhaustive.  

Searching for NPs that have a similar structure with a pronominal modifier following an adjectival modifier of some kind, there are only 8 in the GNT:  Lk 15:30, 32; 19:27; Acts 8:22; 13:33; Rom 7:24; 1 Cor 8:9; and 1 Pet 5:10.   With the exceptions of Acts 13:33 and 1 Pet 5:10, the pronominal appositives/modifiers are all demonstratives.  This would make sense, as the demonstrative helps to highlight the thematic salience of the NP.  In 1 Pet 5:10, the pronoun AUTOS is used as an intensive pronoun, accomplishing a similar task to the demonstrative. 

As Act 13:33 is written, I would say that the function of hHMIN is technically ambiguous, but I would cast my vote against it being read as an appositive in favor of your reading, based on usage elsewhere I could find.


Steven Runge, DLitt (Biblical Languages)
Logos Research Systems, Inc.

-----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

καὶ ἡμεῖς ὑμᾶς εὐαγγελιζόμεθα
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
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
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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