Re: PRAXEIS 13:1

From: George Blaisdell (
Date: Tue Apr 13 1999 - 00:14:12 EDT

>From: Navarro [with only one minor English correction!]

>I had an argument (friendly argument, of
>course) with Dr. Costa about PRAXEIS 13:1. It states:
>I think that this line says clearly that there was
>only one congregation in
>A)NTIOXEI/A| . Here is how I would translate it:
>Prophets and teachers were in the chapter of the
>Church that is in Antioch...
>Prophets and teachers were in the local
>congregation of Antioch...
>Or else: Prophets and teachers were in
>the congregation that is in Antioch...

>Dr. Costa doesn't agree with me. He says that the Greek article
>(unlike English article, but like Portuguese and Spanish
>article) has a generalizing force. His translation
>sounds something like: Prophets and teachers were present at
>the Assembly that happens to be in Antioch...
>His interpretation is based on the well know Attic construction,
>where the verb TUGXA/NW is droped if the expression is used
>in E)PIRH/MATI. I will try to explain this. In Attic, you may have a
>sentence like: hH E)KKLHSI/A TUGXA/NEI OU)=SA E)N A)NTIOXEI/A| .
>If you want to put this sentence under the preposition KATA/,
>you drop TUGXA/NEI and put the rest under KATA/
>The meaning is the same as the sentence with TUGXA/NEI, i.e.,
>"the congregation that happens to be in Antioch". That explanation
>would be
>fine, if we were talking about Attic Greek. However, I cannot
>remember many instances of TUGXA/NW + METOXH/ (is there any?) in GNT.
>Dr. Costa says that, even if TUGXA/NW + METOXH/ is not
>usual in GNT , the construction with a
>solitary METOXH/ was kept, with the same meaning...
>My interpretation: There was only one congregation in Antioch (in
>Uberlandia there are... 453 congregations... :)
>Dr. Costa's interpretation: The text doesn't tell about how many
>congregations there were in Antioch. It is possible that there was
>only one, but nobody can tell this from the text. However, the
>congregation about which the text is talking, happens to be in
>It is quite far fetched, isn't it?

>Anyway, I would like you to help us with this question. In
>Uberlandia, everybody aggrees with Dr. Costa
>(that is why there are 453 congregations
>around :) He may be right. However, does the text say so?

Ola Navarro ~

Dr. Costa is lucky to have at least one person in Uberlandia ~YOU~ who
will disagree with him! :-)

And if I were there with you, I would agree with Dr. Costa! His
[Attic] reasons may be better than mine, but I would as well argue
that one cannot tell from this sentence how many congregations were in


Ultra literally this reads:

"Now there were in Antioch, under the existing church,
prophets and teachers."

And just as Dr. Costa's 453 congregations comprise one church, so we
cannot tell how many 'congregations' comprise the EKKLHSIAN in

It certainly does not indicate that there are MORE than one, so your
reading is indeed clear. In fact, the existence of several
congregations that comprise one 'ecclesia' would argue FOR your
reading, yes?

And mine would hinge on just what is meant by THN EKKLHSIAN ~ one or
possibly several groups/congregations.

And Dr Costa's Attic understanding of this passage argues favorably
for my view as well, although it is beyond my level of study.

Those pesky articles again!! :-)

This is too much fun!
George Blaisdell
Roslyn, WA

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