From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Mon Aug 24 1998 - 18:24:22 EDT

On Mon, 24 Aug 1998 13:22:22 -0700 clayton stirling bartholomew
<> writes:

>The last half of Acts 13:48 admits several readings. EIS ZWHN AIWNION
>can be joined with TETAGMENOI or with EPISTEUSAN. I have not looked into

>English translations but I suspect from reading H. A. W. Meyer's
comments >that the word order leads most commentators to join EIS ZWHN

Yes, it does appear most interpreters, even those whose theological bias
might encourage them otherwise, take EIS ZWHN AIWNION with
TETAGMENOI. The word order does seem to almost require it.

>The more I stared at this passage the more intrigued I became with the
>options. Luke likes to put subordinate clauses in the middle of a main
>clause to separate the major constituents of the main clause. Therefore,
>reading I came up with (far fetched?) is that hOSOI is functioning here
as a
>relative pronoun introducing a relative clause hOSOI HSAN TETAGMENOI
and >that the antecedent of hOSOI is the unstated subject of EPISTEUSAN.
The >main clause would be EPISTEUSAN EIS ZWHN AIWNION, where EIS . . .
>would read as a result of the action EPISTEUSAN.

If we take EIS ZWHN AIWNION with EPISTEUSAN, then we are left with 2
problems. First, to what were they appointed? The most natural
is that they were appointed EIS ZWHN AIWNION. Otherwise, it is left
blank and rather awkward. Secondly, what about the perfect tense in
relationship to the aorist? Shouldn't we rather expect the perfect to be
an aorist in parallel to the first aorist? Doesn't the perfect suggest
the completed action of the TETAGMENOI was prior to the action of the

>Another option is to read hOSOI as the subject of EPISTEUSAN but then
>it appears to be the subject of two finite verbs or is it?
>I don't think I have this quite sorted out correctly. Would anyone
>like to help me clear this up?

Some have focused on the meaning of TASSW from which we get
TETAGMENOI. Those who reject the meaning of "foreordained"
(foreordained unto eternal life) usually find the meaning "disposing
themselves" to believe the gospel. TETAGMENOI, of course, is
either middle or passive.

A study of the 8 occurrences of the word in the NT seems to suggest
the following conclusions:
1) The word is never used to denote an internal disposition or
arising from one's own self.
2) It has uniformily the notion of an ordering, disposing, or arranging
without; that is, from some other source than the individual himself.

The most natural reading of the text seems to suggest that they
believed as many as (no more and no less) had previously been
appointed unto eternal life.

Paul Dixon

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