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Didaktikon
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Date Posted:28/05/2011 5:37 AMCopy HTML

Good afternoon, all.

Enclosed is an article from the 'Bible Translator' journal produced by the United Bible Society. It is, I think, quite interesting in what it asserts:

Blessings,

Ian


http://image.aimoo.com/ForumImages/69dabc5d-4055-4ea0-a38a-9fcf49f1742d/110528_130549_98884952.pdf

An alternative location for the document can be sourced, here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/56503890/The-Identity-of-They-in-Acts-2-1
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
Talmid Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #1
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Re:The identity of 'they' in Acts 2:1

Date Posted:28/05/2011 8:49 AMCopy HTML

 Hi Ian,

What a clear explanation of who the referrent for "they" is! Given that the article was published by the UBS and back in 1995, would it be fair to conclude that this is now the accepted view amongst the majority of "1st rung" exegetes? If so would it be fair to say that the theology of "1st rung" commentators who have differed from this view is moving to reflect this understanding?

Perhaps I've missed something, or perhaps the understanding of koine Greek grammar has changed, but it seems that Sweeney notes (and in this case easily and convincingly discards) a possible fluidity regarding the referrants for pronouns which I thought you said in your "large Acts essay" was not possible. Have I got something wrong?
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Talmid Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #2
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Re:The identity of 'they' in Acts 2:1

Date Posted:28/05/2011 8:50 AMCopy HTML

 Make that "referent"
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Didaktikon Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #3
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Re:The identity of 'they' in Acts 2:1

Date Posted:28/05/2011 11:23 AMCopy HTML

Hi, Talmid.

What a clear explanation of who the referrent for "they" is! Agreed. The article was sent to me several years ago by a "1st rung" (as you put things) US-based Greek grammarian after I sought his opinion on the key findings of my 'large' Acts essay. The scholar in question pointed out that I had independently reached precisely the same conclusions, and for precisely the same reasons, as had Sweeney before me. Given that the article was published by the UBS and back in 1995, would it be fair to conclude that this is now the accepted view amongst the majority of "1st rung" exegetes? The stance that Sweeney and I independently argue for has long been the 'mainstream' grammatical position, albeit perhaps not the 'mainstream' theological position (hence the very fact of the article itself). If so would it be fair to say that the theology of "1st rung" commentators who have differed from this view is moving to reflect this understanding? It's impossible to say, given that noone has explicitly published on the matter. But Sweeney's article was referenced in the exegetical handbook to the Greek text of Acts that I mentioned here several weeks ago, so it certainly hasn't been 'forgotten' in the interim. Incidentally, I do find it interesting that both Daryl Bock (BECNT 2007) and David Peterson (PNTC 2009) stated that the 120 were in view in their recent Acts commentaries. By the same token neither advanced any grammatical reasons in support of their conclusions, a failing that Sweeney identified as quite common even back in 1995. (Exegesis often does 'tilt' to theology, even among professional biblical scholars.)

Perhaps I've missed something, or perhaps the understanding of koine Greek grammar has changed, but it seems that Sweeney notes (and in this case easily and convincingly discards) a possible fluidity regarding the referents for pronouns which I thought you said in your "large Acts essay" was not possible. Have I got something wrong? 'Nope'. Whilst our understanding of Greek grammar certainly has advanced significantly in the past 15 years, it's mainly been in the area of verbal aspect more than anything else. But to respond to your question, two points. First, Sweeney wrote as someone who is principally engaged in Bible translation rather than as a professional Greek grammarian, ergo his article was aimed more towards Bible translators than Greek grammarians. Second, what Dr Sweeney didn't point out in his essay was a rather significant fact that needs to be born in mind in discussions of this sort: differing NT writers adhered to (or deviated from) 'conventional' grammatical rules to varying degrees. His singular example of 'grammatical fluidity' was from the Gospel According to Mark, which was written in a fairly 'abrupt' and unsophisticated form of Greek, and which contains several glaring examples of solecisms. But Luke? Well, he's a completely different proposition altogether! The Gospel that bears his name, and the Acts of the Apostles are both written in a polished and literary form of the Κοινή, a feature I explicitly highlighted in my essay. As a sophisticated author writing to a sophisticated patron, Luke was completely scrupulous in his observance of Greek grammar, even to the point of 'correcting' certain 'rough' features in the various LXX passages which he quoted. So if he's to be compared with anyone, it certainly isn't to a Mark, but to someone very much like the anonymous author of the Letter to the Hebrews. Interestingly one or two scholars have recently suggested that Luke wrote Hebrews, so 'there you go'.

For these and similar reasons I think it very unlikely that Luke had in mind anything but what the Acts passage clearly states in Greek. Further, it just won't 'do' to presume the way that Greek functioned for lesser educated and non-native speakers (such as Mark) can be extrapolated to include highly educated and native speakers (such as Luke). Doing so would be somewhat analogous to comparing how Tony Barton writes to how I write!

Blessings,

Ian  
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
Talmid Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #4
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Re:The identity of 'they' in Acts 2:1

Date Posted:28/05/2011 7:08 PMCopy HTML

Ian

But Luke? Well, he's a completely different proposition altogether! The Gospel that bears his name, and the Acts of the Apostles are both written in a polished and literary form of the Κοινή, a feature I explicitly highlighted in my essay.

So I did miss something. Yet again context-context-context shows as important.

Thanks
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Didaktikon Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #5
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Re:The identity of 'they' in Acts 2:1

Date Posted:29/05/2011 12:32 AMCopy HTML

Good morning, Talmid.

So I did miss something. Yet again context-context-context shows as important. But of course. You could multiply similar examples in the writings of 'everyday' English-speakers; consider those who regularly use a double-negative without thinking, for example. Grammatically a double negative = a positive affirmation, but the trained grammarian wouldn't naively presume that this was the case, understanding instead that c-o-n-t-e-x-t informs analysis. So too with those who work daily in the Greek of the various writers of the NT.

Blessings,

Ian
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:The identity of 'they' in Acts 2:1

Date Posted:28/01/2012 2:02 AMCopy HTML



Ian and Talmid,

I don't think that article proves very much at all. It offers an opinion and even Ian points out that other people who are "recognized" experts in Greek disagreed with it's conclusions in their Acts commentaries. It seems people see what they want to see.

Mr Grits
Didaktikon Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #7
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Re:The identity of 'they' in Acts 2:1

Date Posted:28/01/2012 2:56 AMCopy HTML

Grits, once more.

I don't think that article proves very much at all. It offers an opinion and even Ian points out that other people who are "recognized" experts in Greek disagreed with it's conclusions in their Acts commentaries. It seems people see what they want to see. Agreed, as people often do. The important distinction that I think you've overlooked; however, lies in a rather fundamental consideration. The author of the article in question, Dr Sweeney, explained 'how', 'where' and 'why' the point of view that he championed had merit, and he did so directly from the Greek text via appeals to the established rules of Greek grammar. Yet as I clearly indicated in my response to Talmid, Drs Bock and Peterson in their respective commentaries simply made assertions; neither advanced any grammatical reasons to establish or defend why their shared theological position was factual.

My own approach has been to favour the argument that best pits proven facts over proffered opinions, especially where 'experts' are involved ;)

Blessings,

Ian
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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