Re: Who sent Paul and Barnabus?

From: Trevor M Peterson (
Date: Wed Sep 30 1998 - 06:19:48 EDT

On Tue, 29 Sep 1998 23:16:43 -0700 clayton stirling bartholomew
<> writes:
>In Acts 15:2 the subject of ETAXAN is not exactly obvious. I read and
>and read again Acts15:1-5 and the subject of ETAXAN was still not

Yeah, I don't think it's by any means obvious, but I guess you can narrow
down the choices in this context. I think it is important to touch on
the last verses of chap. 14 as well as these first verses of 15, but even
that doesn't help a lot. In 4:27, they gather together THN EKKLHSIAN,
then in v. 28 they stay with TOIS MAQHTAIS. And that brings us to v. 1,
where we have TOUS ADELFOUS, as well as TINES. In v. 2, PROS AUTOUS
seems to refer to the same group as TINES, and I think we can rule out
Paul and Barnabas appointing themselves in this case. So, I don't see
any alternative beyond the possibilities you listed. I suppose that
should be enough basis to establish one as the subject, by ruling out the

>almost looked like the subject was the TINES from 15:1 but I ruled
>that out as

And I would tend to agree. You might have already noticed that they
appointed Paul and Barnabas "and some others of them." Taking EX AUTWN
to qualify these others as part of the group that appointed Paul and
Barnabas, it would seem weird to call them ALLOUS, since that would also
tend to make Paul and Barnabas EX AUTWN. And with the way their
relationship has just been described, what sense does that make?

>Can anyone give me an argument supporting Meyer's reading?

Well, I can try. Along with the negative argument, that the other option
doesn't seem to fit logically, notice the independent clauses beginning
in 4:28:


If TOIS MAQHTAIS and TOUS ADELFOUS do in fact refer to the same group,
then we have more references to them in the major clauses of this
context. Admittedly, I do have one significant reservation about taking
TOUS ADELFOUS as the subject, namely, that this group has not appeared as
a subject elsewhere. Still, I think their presence is well established
in the context, and it does make better sense logically that they would
be the antecedent. I'm sorry I can't give a stronger grammatical
argument, but maybe someone else will have a better idea.

Trevor Peterson
Bible/Theology Department
Washington Bible College
Lanham, MD

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