Re: Acts 4:13

Carlton L. Winbery (
Tue, 17 Sep 1996 18:22:36 +0400

Abrantes wrote;
>Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
>lit., "unlettered" (grammata, "letters:" grapho, "to write"), Acts 4:13, is
>explained by Grimm-Thayer as meaning "unversed in the learning of the
>Jewish schools;" in the papyri, however, it occurs very frequently in a
>formula used by one who signs for another who cannot write, which
>suggests that the rulers, elders and scribes regarded the Apostles as
>"unlettered" (Moulton and Milligan).
>King James version seems to adopt the sense of <ignorant> instead of
>literal sense <unlettered>=someone who dont know how to write.
>Acts 4
>13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that
>they were
>unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of
>them, that they
>had been with Jesus.
>What is the most correct meaning to agramattoi?

The short entry in Liddell & Scott has;
AGRAMMATOS, ON, illiterate, Xen. Mem. 4.2.20, Damox.2.12, Epicur. Fr.236,
AP11.154 (Lucill.), cf. S.E.M.1.99; unable to read or write, Plat. Tim.
23a. Adv. -ts Ph.1.195, Arr.Epict.2.9.10.

II. = agraptos, eth Plat. Stat. 295a.

III. of animals, unable to utter articulate sounds, Arist.HA488a33.