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Title: Acts 4, 25a : recognizing a concentric arrangement
Authors: Abela, Anthony
Keywords: Bible. New Testament -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Theology
Citation: Abela, A. (2005). Acts 4, 25a : recognizing a concentric arrangement. Melita Theologica, 56(1), 93-100.
Abstract: Scholarship's approach to this verse has always been text critical and grammatical but never literary and rhetorical; this explains why this verse has always been experienced as a crux by both 'tradents' of textual traditions I as well as by exegetes and translators. "The text of this verse is in a very confused state. The reading ofthe old uncials is anomalous both grammatically (how is the phrase 1GU JWTpOS; ~IlWV to be construed?) and theologically (where else does God speak through the Holy Spirit?). Many attempts have been made to account for the confusion in the manuscripts."2 In their A Translator s Handbook on the Acts of the Apostles3 , Barclay M. Newman and Eugene A. Nida comment that the Greek text of this verse "is not strictly grammatical nor entirely clear." Ernst Haenchen qualifies the text of verse 25 as "the most ancient attested in manuscripts, even though grammatically impossible."4 In his commentary on Acts Professor Joseph A. Fitzmyer writes that "The text of this introductory clause in the Alexandrian text is garbled"5 and cites M. Dibelius's description of it as "one of the most impossible clauses in the entire Book of ActS."6 The solutions offered to date were text critical and translational. By the fonner we mean those attempts made in view of understanding the text by adding or subtracting components from the current version as we find it in Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece7 ; by the latter we understand most old and modem translations which approach the text ad sensum without accounting for its syntax. Why has Acts 4, 25a become a crux interpretum? One should first keep in mind that this is not a simple 'introductory clause' to direct speech8 notwithstanding the participle drrwv marking the beginning of a citation from the Greek text of Psalm 2,1-2. It forms part of what Cynthia L. Miller would call a 'quotative frame'9 by which she means 'the speech of a reporting speaker', and distinguishes this discourse genre from 'quotation' which is the' speech of the reported speaker' .1 0 It consists of one of two declarative, very emphatic statements appended as qualifications of the specifying personal pronoun 11 OD in verse 24 which, in turn qualifies the sentence initial vocative LlĀ£orroTa that refers to God. 12 The other statement is found in verse 24b.
Appears in Collections:MT - Volume 56, Issue 1 - 2005
MT - Volume 56, Issue 1 - 2005

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