[b-greek] RE: Acts 7:59

From: RUSSELL RANKIN (rrankin@isd.net)
Date: Fri Mar 23 2001 - 12:59:48 EST

Harold and Harry [Henry],

Acts 7:59 is an example of the translator having to evaluate the greater
context, i.e., the statements of Stephen's accusers, Stephen's response
[Acts 6-7]. One may discuss on Bible Translations forum if the King James
translators appropriately added the word "God" to EPIKALOUMENON and conveyed
the sense of the text [I would say they did]. The singular verbs suggest
Stephen is the referrant, not "they" in ELIQOBOLOUN. The text follows with
KURIE hESOU. This can only be attributed to Stephen rather than his
accusers, who in context would not have said, even sarcastically, what to
these Jewish leaders was blasphemy. Supporting this, "TO PNEUMA MOU" only
fits Stephen saying [LEGONTA], 'KURIE hESOU'.

Given the possibility of EPIKALOUMENON meaning praying to God, Luke's
statements in Acts 7:59,60 reflect Spephen prayed to "hO KURIOS" mentioned
in 7:30-33, 37 [Textus Receptus], and 49 [without the article], and saying
in his prayer, "KURIE hESOU....". Here Luke's statements are based partly
on his previous record of Peter's explanation of KURIOS from king David's
Psalm [Psa. 110:1; Acts 2:34-36], "hO KURIOS...KURIW MOU....OTI KAI KURION
AUTON KAI CRISTON EPOIHSEN hO QEOS". Therefore, it is not surprising that
Luke used in direct address both KURIE and KURIE hESOU without explanation,
except to recall first what Stephen said he saw in 7:55-56 and his accusers'
response in 7:57-59.

[This double usage is also found in further examination of KURIOS in Romans

Russell Rankin
Maple Grove, Minnesota, USA

-----Original Message-----
From: Harold R. Holmyard III [mailto:hholmyard@ont.com]
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2001 7:01 AM
To: Biblical Greek
Subject: [b-greek] Re: Acts 7:59

Dear Harry,

You write:

>I would give a different answer to the question posed by Tony, and in fact
>the one posed by myself earlier today. Stephen was not praying to Jesus;
>normally, we do not 'pray' to someone whom we see at the moment, even he
>should be in another world (dimension). That is also why I asked for a poll
>on the difference between 'EPIKALEW' and 'PROSEUCOMAI'. Most Polish
>translations use the Polish equivavelent for 'pray', which hardly ever
>happens in English translations. As the question borders on the problem on
>who we should actually pray to, we must stop here, as it is a broader one.
>personally pray to the Father in the Name of the Son; in the Protestant
>churches I know here I know here they mostly pray to Jesus.

This verb EPIKALEW is used often of calling on God. Acts 2:21 says, quoting
the Book of Joel, "And it will be that everyone who **calls on** the name
of the Lord will be saved." Here the "calling upon" involves prayer. The
verb is used that way in Acts 9:20-21:

Acts 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is
the Son of God.
Acts 9:21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that
destroyed them which **called on** this name in Jerusalem, and came hither
for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

You see, the disciples in Jerusalem called on the name of Christ,
presumably in prayer.

The word is used that way in Acts 22:16:

Acts 22:10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord [that is, the
Lord Jesus] said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall
be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
Acts 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led
by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
Acts 22:12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a
good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
Acts 22:13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive
thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
Acts 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou
shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the
voice of his mouth.
Acts 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast
seen and heard.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away
thy sins,**calling** on the name of the Lord.

The word is used is the same prayerful sense in Romans 10:12-14:

Rom. 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and
shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou
shalt be saved.
Rom. 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with
the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom. 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be
Rom. 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for
the same Lord over all is rich unto all that **call upon** him.
Rom. 10:13 For whosoever shall **call upon** the name of the Lord shall be
Rom. 10:14 How then shall they **call on** him in whom they have not
believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
and how shall they hear without a preacher?

See also:

1Cor. 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of
God, and Sosthenes our brother,
1Cor. 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are
sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every
place **call upon** the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

You see, believers everywhere "call upon" the name of the Lord Jesus, and
this "calling upon" refers to prayer and faith.

                                Harold Holmyard
                                Dallas, TX, USA

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