RE: Acts 13:48

From: Bill Ross (
Date: Wed Mar 01 2000 - 19:31:59 EST

>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.

So are you saying that this construction can be viewed as a pluperfect
middle or pluperfect passive, as in:

"had been appointed" or "had appointed themselves"?

>* 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.

Mounce gives this about the pluperfect:

"This form was originally used to emphasize the continuous force of the
participle (which is why the aorist participle never occurs in this
construction)...perhaps the continuous idea will be emphasized but that is
up to the context, not the verbal form...The pluperfect is used to describe
an action that was completed and whose effects are felt at a time after the
completion but before the time of the speaker." - Basic Grammar

So, how would it affect the understanding if "continuous force is

>* 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


Main Entry: dic.tum
Pronunciation: 'dik-t&m
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural dic.ta /-t&/; also dictums
Etymology: Latin, from neuter of dictus, past participle of dicere
Date: 1599
1 : a noteworthy statement: as a : a formal pronouncement of a principle,
proposition, or opinion b : an observation intended or regarded as
2 : a judge's expression of opinion on a point other than the precise issue
involved in determining a case

I opted for "dictum" because I believe that the "LOGOS" referred to is not
the incarnate Christ of the Scriptures but this particular "ruling" from the
Lord concerning the Gentiles:

46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the
word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from
you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the
47 For so hath the Lord **commanded us, saying**, I have set thee to be a
light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of
the earth.
48 And when the Gentiles heard **this**, they were glad, and glorified the
word of the Lord [concerning the inclusion of the Gentiles]: and as many as
were ordained to eternal life believed.
49 And **the word** [concerning the inclusion of the Gentiles] of the Lord
was published throughout all the region.

>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.

I am under the impression that the topic under discussion is this dictum
concerning the inclusion of the Gentiles. Hence, they are glorifying the
LOGOS that they are "determined" into eternal life.

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 ..."

If you retain the word order but add a comma, then believed becomes part of
the previous phrase:

"...And the gentiles, hearing, were rejoicing and glorifying the Lord's
dictum and trusted, all those being determined at that time into life

Or, read it like this:

"...And the gentiles, hearing,
        * were rejoicing
        * and glorifying the Lord's dictum
        * and trusted,
        ...all those being determined at that time into life eternal"

The event under discussion is the inclusion of the Gentiles, which really
excited the Gentiles. This all relates to the "determinatino" that they were
in life eternal.

It also might read like this, if there is a grammatical reason not to have
EPISTUESAN conjoined with "TA EQNH":

"...And the gentiles, hearing,
        * were rejoicing
        * and glorifying the Lord's dictum
        ...and they believed, all those being determined [designated] at that time
into life eternal"

In other words:

* Paul announces God's dictum to the Jews - "we've been commanded to turn to
the Gentiles"
* the Gentiles, hearing this dictum, rejoice, glorify [applaud?] the dictum
* they believed the dictum, everyone being designated into eternal life

Bill Ross

>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


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