Re: Acts 2:22-24

Jonathan Robie (
Sun, 10 Nov 1996 18:24:38 -0500

At 08:35 AM 11/10/96 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 7:42 AM -0600 11/10/96, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>>But this is Peter
>>addressing a bunch of Jews. Why would he choose a classical Greek rhetorical
>>style? Is there a parallel in the Jewish tradition? To what extent does this
>>match the style that would be expected of a Jew addressing other Jews? If it
>>doesn't match, why not?
>A complicated question with no simple answer; nevertheless, there's a
>common view, which I espouse, that Luke is following conventions of ancient
>historiography as set down by Thucydides in the earlier part of Book 1 of
>his historyof the Peloponnesian War, regarding degrees of precision, use of
>speeches (especially--and the inerpretation o this part is not free from
>controversy): and this is applicable here: the question: did Luke compose
>this speech? did he edit it from a source available to him? Did he use a
>speech that he derived directly from some source? Opinions differ. I think
>that if he did get it from a source he edited it into a conventional Greek
>rheorical style because he is following historiographic conventions.

My wife, who occasionally massages my shoulders to make contact with me when
I'm spending too much time at the computer, made an interesting comment
about this: when we were living in Germany, we would go to folk dancing
camps or Christian gatherings where many languages were spoken. At night, we
would discuss conversations that had taken place, and not be sure which
language we had spoken, but if we recalled them as German discussions, our
memory supplied all the normal conventions of a German conversation, and if
we recalled them as English discussions, they supplied all the normal
conventions of an English conversation. Sometimes Esther was *sure* the
conversation had been in German, and I was equally sure that the
conversation had been in English. The substance of the conversations was the
same, but the conventions differed. If a Greek had been there, he might well
have recorded it using the conventions common to Greek speeches.

>You might want to put this question to the Acts-L list at Toronto; its
>substance has been discussed at some length there in the past couple years.
>I hope Ken Litwak will reply--this bears heavily on his dissertation work
>and he has some views that are probably not conventional.

How much traffic is there on Acts-L? I'm reluctant to get involved with
another mailing list since this one is using up the time I have available
for mailing lists...

>>Acts 2:22 (GNT) Andres Israhlitai, akousate tous logous toutous: Ihsoun ton
>>Nazwraion, andra apodedeigmenon apo tou qeou eis umas dunamesi kai terasi
>>kai shmeiois ois epoihsen di autou o qeos en mesw umwn kaqws autoi oidate,
>>23 touton th wrismenh boulh kai prognwsei tou qeou ekdoton dia ceiros anomwn
>>prosphxantes aneilate, 24 on o qeos anesthsen lusas tas wdinas tou qanatou,
>>kaqoti ouk hn dunaton krateisqai auton up autou.
>>In verse 22, why is Ihsoun accusative in the phrase "Ihsoun ton Nazwraion"?
>>I expected that to be a direct object of something, and I made my way all
>>the way to the end of verse 24 without encountering a subject to match it.
>It's the object of ANEILATE: Luke puts the whole complex object first, in
>fine rhetorical fashion, Look carefully at the translation and you'll see
>that it's clarified by the reiterated TOUTON referring back to IHSOUN.

Thanks. This makes sense now. That, together with your other comments,
straightens out the whole logic of these verses. Whew! I hope Acts gets
easier as I go along...


Jonathan Robie
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