Acts 4:5 Bezae, 2nd Draft or Original?

From: Clayton Bartholomew (
Date: Wed Apr 30 1997 - 16:40:55 EDT

This is a question for the grammarians. Looking at Acts 4:5 in Codex
Bezae we see a change of the main verb from an infinitive to a finite
verb and corresponding change of case in the triple subject from
accusative to the nominative.

Bezae: verb(finite) -> noun(nom) noun(nom) noun(nom)

NA27: verb(infinitive) -> noun(acc) noun(acc) noun(acc)

Now if Blass were correct and Bezae was the original from which the
other tradition was a polished final draft, would this transformation
support his theory? I know that Blass is out of vogue on this issue but
the question is worth considering.

What I am asking is, would an editor trying to clean up a first draft go
from a triple subject (nominative) plus a finite verb to a triple
subject (accusative) plus infinitive? Which construction would have been
more acceptable to the original reading audience? Or would it have
mattered at all which construction was used?

I did a quick search with Accordance (Gramcord for the Mac) for these
two patterns and found the construction in Codex Bezae was about five
times more likely to occur in the NT. Scanning the results I could see
that the data would require close scrutiny to weed out invalid matches.

What about this, grammarians, whose syntax is more regular and whose is
more rough in Acts 4:5?


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point

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