Re: Acts 3:16, NIV translation

From: Edgar Foster (
Date: Tue May 05 1998 - 13:41:51 EDT

---"Carl W. Conrad" wrote:

> At 7:07 PM -0500 5/4/98, Edgar Foster wrote:
> >Dear Paul,
> >
> >On pages 132-133 of the New American Commentary (the book of Acts),
> >John B. Polhill provides a lucid rationale for the NIV rendering of
> >Acts 3:16.
> >
> >In short, Polhill says that "the Greek is complex and somewhat
> >obscure, but the NIV probably renders it as clearly as it can be by
> >separating it into two parallel statements."
> >
> >As for the question of whose faith healed the man in Acts 3, Polhill
> >writes that Luke intentionally left it open. He does say, however,
> >that the apostles had faith which antedated the man's healing; the
> >restored man was unequivocally filled with faith after the miracle.
> >
> >The NA Commentary is published by Broadman Press: Nashville, TN. The
> >copyright year on Polhill's commentary is 1992.
> Well, that's an interesting note, but I don't find it all that
> I don't think Luke's Greek is at all confusing, but I do think the NIV
> version expresses the sense of the Greek adequately. What is perhaps
> confusing is that the Greek word-order runs counter to expectations
of an
> English-speaker.

Dear Carl,

For the record, I do not per se agree with Polhill. I cited him
because his commentary is based on the NIV text. I think that he
provides some justification for the NIV text, but I am not convinced
by his argument either.

Purveying the context of Acts 3:16ff, it could not be the man's faith
that was responsible for the apostolic miracle. It was clearly the
faith of the apostles.

In Acts 3:4, Peter told the man to look at he and John. The man


The above statement leads me to believe that the man neither expected
nor desired a miraculous cure from the apostles. He wanted money.
Therefore, his faith had nothing to do with the miracle performed in
Jesus' name. Undoubtedly, the man's faith was amplified after he
benefited from the soteriological services of the apostles EN XRISTOS.

E. Foster

L-R College

Classics Major

Get your free address at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:39 EDT