Re: Acts 13:48

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Mar 01 2000 - 17:07:54 EST

At 3:16 PM -0600 3/1/00, Bill Ross wrote:
>Am I correct that:
>* TETAGMENOI, (in the absence of HSAN), could be read as either middle or

The participle could be understood as middle or passive in either case.

>* TETAGMENOI, when coupled with HSAN, must be read as a periphrasatic
>construction as being in the pluperfect?

Yes, i.e. HSAN TETAGMENOI is a pluperfect form. There's no particular
virtue to calling it periphrastic as the morphological pluperfect
equivalent TETACATO hadn't (so far as I know, been used for centuries).

>* that the pluperfect gives the sense of "were being, at that time"?
>* that TETAGMENOI's semantic range includes (and closest usage is [see Acts
>15:2, KJV, at the end of this post]) "determined"?

Either of two possibilities: "were appointed/assigned/designated"--with
emphasis upon the status held at the time--OR "had been
appointed/assigned/designated"--with emphasis upon completion of the
appointing prior to the time of their believing.

>* that this is a legit translation, if not the preferred?
>"...And the gentiles, hearing, were rejoicing and glorifying the Lord's
>dictum and trusted all those being determined at that time into life

"dictum"? I personally wouldn't use "determined" here, although that fits
neatly enough for Acts 15:2 where TASSW means "reach a decision." Most
fundamentally TASSW means "to put in place," but there are quite a few
different ways to convey it into English in different contexts. I think I'd
use "designated" in Acts 13:48.

But the bigger problem with the translation is that the word-order of the
translation suggests that "all those who were designated for life eternal"
is the OJBECT of EPISTEUSAN, whereas in fact it is the SUBJECT of
EPISTEUSAN. It should be "all those who were/had-been designated for life
eternal believed ..."

>Acts 15:2 (KJV)
>"When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation
>with them, they **determined** that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of
>them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this


Carl W. Conrad Department of Classics/Washington University One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018 Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 WWW:

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