Re: Acts 8.35 and 40: euangelizo

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Tue Apr 29 1997 - 11:04:12 EDT

Re: Acts 8.35 and 40: euangelizo

Carl W. Conrad responded to Gregory Bloomquist(dative case)

>>>>>This is an interesting question in more than one respect. A check with LSJ
is not really very helpful, as it offers exactly what you've shown, namely
that EUAGGELIZOMAI in 8:40 is taking TAS POLEIS PASAS as an accusative
object, despite the fact that there's a participle DIERCOMENOS immediately
preceding the verb EUHGGELIZETO. There's certainly no problem in 8:35; one
would expect a direct object and a dative of the person to whom the gospel
is proclaimed, but 8:40 is different. The odd thing about DIERCOMAI is that
it is rarely used in the concrete sense of travel through an area and is
normally used in a transferred sense (most frequely "narrate"). I don't
have BAGD ready to hand, owing to an absurd accident that I have described
heretofore, but I think you are right here: that TAS POLEIS PASAS ought to
be understood as the object of DIERCOMENOS and EUHGGELIZETO ought to be
understood absolutely: as you say, literally, "going through every village,
he kept preaching ..." I think you're right and NRSV and LSJ are wrong. The
fact that the imperfect is used in EUHGGELIZETO seems to me to make this
all the more natural, since the sentence ends with hEWS TOU ELQEIN AUTON
EIS KAISAREIAN, "until he arrived at Caesarea." So what we actually have
is: " ... and making his way through every village, he kept preaching the
gospel until he arrived at Caesarea."<<<<<<


>>>>>>Just for the heck of it I just did a quick search of the present stem
EUAGGELIZ-in Acts on the TLG disk; I found several accusatives of the goods
tidings proclaims but only one of a person proclaimed to--and it was the
pronoun hUMAS. So I do think there's something fishy about making TAS
POLEIS PASAS the object of EUAGGELIZETO.<<<<<<

Having read this post in the archive, I was very interested in it. I have
had the luxury of looking in BAGD. You will have to consider also Acts
14:21 where THN POLIN EKEINAN has to be the object of the aorist middle
(note I did not say deponent) EUAGGELISAMENOI almost in the sense of
"evangelized that city" or at the very least "preached in that city."
There are also a number of places where the object of this verb is a
pronoun, hUMAS or AUTOUS or the article used as a pronoun. I do not see
any difference syntactically between the use of a noun as object of this
verb or a pronoun. Both appear in the acusative case. This is also the
form in Pol. 6:3 translated by Lake as "the Apostles who 'brought us the
gospel'." Sometimes the acusative is used with this verb with the
preposition EIS. That is different syntax.

I would tend to agree with the RSV, etc. & LSJ in translating Acts 8:40 as
"while passing through, he preached in all the cities until he came to
Caesarea." It really seems to me to be used in the sense of "to
evangelize" though I agree it seems strange in Greek. But that would be
appropriate for translating a middle verb into English when it takes a
direct object in the acusative would it not? I did finally get to catch a
nice large mouth bass, so I may be a little fishy. I told my dean that I
was doing skoulikology in certain limnic areas of our state.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Chair, Division of Religious Studies
voice 318 487-7241
fax 318 442-4996

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