Tag Archives: Acts

Textual Variant Acts ch 26 v 4

Here is a Greek textual variant in Acts chapter 26 verse 4 which makes a large difference in meaning, even though the variant is one two-letter word:

txt εν τε “and also in” 𝔓⁷⁴ ℵ A B E 181 1175 2464 vg-ms syr-hms Chrys SBL TH ECM ‖ εν “in” C H L P Ψ 049 056 33 1611 1735 1739 1891 Byz it-e vg syr-hms Chrys TR RP ‖ lac 𝔓²⁹ 𝔓¹¹² 048 096.

The problem with translations made from the Byzantine Greek text not containing τε is that they are saying Paul’s life was spent in Jerusalem from the beginning, when in fact his country was Tarsus in Cilicia (Acts 9:11; 21:39).

There isn’t any way to translate the majority text that can make it accurate or acceptable, as you can see in the following English translations based on the Byzantine text:

(KJV)  My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;

(NKJV)  My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know.

(EMTV)  Therefore my way of life from my youth, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation in Jerusalem, all the Jews know,

Majority text advocates say that an accidental dropping out of short words or a few letters is far more likely than them being added.  So here you go, majority text advocates, the little word τε probably accidentally dropped out of your line of transmission.  So thank God for Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus which sometimes have a more accurate Greek text than does the majority text. 

Here is my translation from the correct Greek text:

(DRP) My manner of life since youth therefore, which took place at first in my own country and also in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews.

Acts 5 Hidden Text

What TC term do we use for this kind of missing text? It’s not really a lacuna, but rather a binding issue. In Acts 5:15 in Codex E it reads και εν ταις πλατ___ because the rest of the word is hidden in the binding gutter of the codex/book. Muenster says it reads πλατειας and Swanson πλατειαις. (When I publish a book with Amazon, I am very generous with gutter size, because I don’t want to get anywhere near this problem. I want people to be able to place my book on a copier and be able to copy it without pressing too hard and ruining the binding, and also so that no text is obscured or distorted by the falling away of the gutter.)

Acts chapter 26 verse 4

There is a textual variant in the Greek manuscripts of The Acts of the Apostles chapter 26 verse 4, that affects the accuracy of the translations made from them. The variant is the presence or absence of the word τε, which means “and” or “also.” The NA28 and Tyndale House Greek New Testaments contain the word τε, while the Textus Receptus and the Byzantine Majority Text do not contain it.

Here is how the English text reads in some translations with the word τε in their source text:
NIV: The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem.
DRP: My manner of life since youth therefore, which took place at first in my own country and also in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews.

The problem with the text without τε, is that the translations made from it make it sound like the apostle Paul lived his whole life in Jerusalem, when in fact he was from Tarsus in Cilicia before he lived in Jerusalem.

KJV: My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
NKJV: My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know.
EMTV: Therefore my way of life from my youth, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation in Jerusalem, all the Jews know,

Here is the list of the readings of the manuscripts:
 txt εν τε 𝔓⁷⁴ ℵ A B E 181 1175 2464 syr-h-ms SBL TH NA29 {\} εν C H L P Ψ 049 056 33 1611 1739 1891 Byz vg syr-h-ms Chrys TR RP lac 𝔓²⁹ 𝔓¹¹² 048 096.

Audio Files


I am making audio files of my translations.  Here are links to a page where it will read out loud for you my translation of Acts and of Revelation.  Click the link, and when on the page, click the play button.  This is good for if you are sick in bed, or driving, etc. After it finishes reading with a premium voice, you can switch to a free voice, and also control the speed.

Acts:

https://www.naturalreaders.com/online/?s=V1bf743109-0e5b-4415-8191-6e8b56d58804/personweb/doc/b0c970dc-80fe-11ec-9731-45fa0f69faf3.pdf&t=ActsReader.pdf

Revelation
https://www.naturalreaders.com/online/?s=V1bf743109-0e5b-4415-8191-6e8b56d58804/personweb/doc/271daedf-78ee-11ec-a1b4-3b46d56ebeed.pdf&t=RevelationReader.pdf

Acts 21 verse 40

Acts 21:40, 22:2
⁴⁰And after he gave him permission, Paul stood on the steps, and motioned to the people downward with his hand.  And when it was largely quiet, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, and said…
²And when they heard him addressing them in the Hebrew language, they offered greater silence.

Here I am focusing on the progression from “when it was largely quiet” in 21:40 to “they offered greater silence” in 22:2.

πολλῆς δὲ σιγῆς γενομένης προσεφώνησεν τῇ Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ λέγων
largely and quiet became, he addresed in the Hebrew language, saying

Ἀκούσαντες δὲ ὅτι τῇ Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ προσεφώνει αὐτοῖς μᾶλλον παρέσχον ἡσυχίαν.
when they heard and that in the Hebrew language he addressed them greater they offered a silence.

Starting with Wycliffe and Tyndale, they interpreted πολλῆς as an adjective rather than the adverb it is in this context.  And most all of the translations tells us that the mob became very silent merely because Paul motioned with his hand. Really, the mob that was just trying to kill him?

Wycliffe
Poul stood in the grees, and bikenede with the hoond to the puple. And whanne a greet silence was maad, he spak in Ebrew tunge, and seide,
And whanne sum herden that in Ebrew tunge he spak to hem, thei yauen the more silence.

Tyndale
Paul stode on ye steppes and beckned with the honde vuto the people and ther was made a greate silence.
Whe they hearde that he spake in ye Ebrue tonge to them they kept the moore silence.

Some translations do not even translate the word πολλῆς:

God’s Word
So Paul stood on the stairs of the barracks and motioned with his hand for the people to be quiet. When the mob was silent, Paul spoke to them in the Hebrew language.
When the mob heard him speak to them in Hebrew, they became even more quiet.

Good News Bible
so Paul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand for the people to be silent. When they were quiet, Paul spoke to them in Hebrew:
When they heard him speaking to them in Hebrew, they became even quieter;

CEV
so Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the people. When they were quiet, he spoke to them in Aramaic:
When the crowd heard Paul speak to them in Aramaic, they became even quieter.

Many translations that do translate πολλῆς end up contradicting themselves, such as the NLT.  Verse 31 says there was “a deep silence” but then in v. 2 it says “the silence was even greater.”
How can you have a silence greater than “a deep silence”?  And there is no word for “even” in the Greek.

New Living Translation

so Paul stood on the stairs and motioned to the people to be quiet. Soon a deep silence enveloped the crowd, and he addressed them in their own language, Aramaic.
When they heard him speaking in their own language, the silence was even greater.

Now I will focus on the word παρέσχον in 22:2, which is 3rd person plural, they, they were offering.  The NLT does not correctly render that “they” part, see above.  But most translations do not correctly render the verb as “offered, afforded, gave” to someone.  Instead, they say something like “became” or “were”:

KJV
Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,
And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence:

NKJV
Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,
And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent.

TNIV
Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic
When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.

CSB

Paul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand to the people. When there was a great hush, he addressed them in Aramaic:
When they heard that he was addressing them in Aramaic, they became even quieter

ESV
Paul, standing on the steps, motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, saying:
And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language, they became even more quiet.

NABRE
Paul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand to the people; and when all was quiet he addressed them in Hebrew.
When they heard him addressing them in Hebrew they became all the more quiet.

NASB
Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned to the people with his hand; and when there was a great hush, he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, saying,
And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet; and he *said,

NET
Paul stood on the steps and gestured to the people with his hand. When they had become silent, he addressed them in Aramaic,
(When they heard that he was addressing them in Aramaic, they became even quieter.)

NRSV
Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the people for silence; and when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, saying:
When they heard him addressing them in Hebrew, they became even more quiet.

Here is how it should be translated:

DRP
Paul stood on the steps, and he motioned to the people downward with his hand.  And when it was largely quiet, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, and said,
And when they heard him addressing them in the Hebrew language, they offered greater silence. You can download the DRP translation here .

Acts 21:38; Did the Roman commander assume an Egyptian would know Greek?

Acts 21:38 οὐκ ἄρα σὺ εἶ ὁ Αἰγύπτιος

Did the Chiliarch assume an Egyptian would know Greek?
Or assume an Egyptian would not know Greek?

Many translations appear to believe that the Chiliarch assumed an Egyptian would not know Greek.
But some, like the Complete Jewish Bible, appear to believe the Chiliarch thought an Egyptian would know Greek.
Some are ambiguious or slightly implying affirmative, saying “Are you not that Egyptian?”
This is quite different from some, which say “Then you are not that Egyptian.” (See all the translations listed with their renderings, at the bottom of this post.)

But what are the rules of Greek grammar here?
The BDF grammar §440 says “οὐ is employed to suggest an affirmative answer, μή (μήτι) a negative reply; in the latter, μή with the indicative is an external indication that it is a question, since independent μή can be used in no other way than interrogatively”
So according to BDF, the correct translation here, employing οὐ, would be “Then you are that Egyptian, aren’t you.”
Combined with ἄρα DeBrunner says in §440(2) “Οὐκ ἄρα denotes astonishment in Ac. 21:38 (‘why, are you not…’), elsewhere it corresponds to ‘well’ or ‘then’. “
Hmm, why different only here, DeBrunner? I do not agree. I think the Chiliarch is saying, “Then aren’t you that Egyptian?” and assuming an affirmative answer, since that is the grammar.
BDAG says it means “are you not, then…” With ἄρα being inferential or consequential. (With οὐ suggesting an affirmative answer of course.)

I conclude that those translations which render it “then you are not that Egyptian” or, “I thought you were that Egyptian” are incorrect. And it is apparent to me, that the Roman commander assumed an Egyptian would know Greek. To read my translation of this verse, you can download my translation.

KJ21 Art not thou that Egyptian…?
ASV Art thou not then the Egyptian…?
AMP Then you are not [as I assumed] the Egyptian…?
AMPC Are you not then [as I supposed] the Egyptian…?
BRG Art not thou that Egyptian…?
CBW Are you not the Egyptian…?
CSB Aren’t you the Egyptian…?
CEB Aren’t you the Egyptian…?
CJB Say, aren’t you that Egyptian…?
CEV Aren’t you that Egyptian…?
DARBY Thou art not then that Egyptian?
DLNT Then are you not the Egyptian…?
DRA Art not thou that Egyptian…?
ERV Then you are not the man I thought you were. I thought you were the Egyptian.
EHV Are you not the Egyptian…?
EMTV Are you not then the Egyptian…?
ESV Are you not the Egyptian, then…?
ESVUK Are you not the Egyptian, then…?
EXB I thought you were [L Are you not…?] the Egyptian.
GNV Art not thou the Egyptian…?
GW Aren’t you the Egyptian…?
GNT Then you are not that Egyptian…?
HCSB Aren’t you the Egyptian…?
ICB I thought you were the Egyptian.
ISV You’re not the Egyptian…are you?
PHILLIPS Aren’t you that Egyptian…?
JUB Art not thou that Egyptian…?
KJV Art not thou that Egyptian…?
AKJV Art not thou that Egyptian…?
LAMSA Are you not that Egyptian…?
LEB Then you are not the Egyptian…?
TLB Aren’t you that Egyptian…?
MSG I thought you were the Egyptian.
MEV Are you not the Egyptian…?
MOUNCE Then you are not the Egyptian…?
MURD Art not thou that Egyptian…?
NOG Aren’t you the Egyptian…?
NABRE So then you are not the Egyptian…?
NASB Then you are not the Egyptian…?
NCV I thought you were the Egyptian.
NET Then you’re not that Egyptian…?
NIRV Aren’t you the Egyptian…?
NIV Aren’t you the Egyptian…?
NKJV Are you not the Egyptian…?
NLV Are you not the man from the country of Egypt…?
NLT Aren’t you the Egyptian…?
NMB Are you not that Egyptian…?
NRSV Then you are not the Egyptian…?
NTE Aren’t you the Egyptian…?
OJB Then you are not the Egyptian…?
TPT Aren’t you that Egyptian…?
Recov You are not then the Egyptian…?
RSV Are you not the Egyptian, then…?
TLV Then you’re not the Egyptian…?
VOICE We thought you were that Egyptian.
WEB Aren’t you then the Egyptian…?
WE I thought you were the man from the country of Egypt.
WYC Whether thou art not the Egyptian…?
YLT art not thou, then, the Egyptian…?

Variant Acts 20.4-5

Acts 20:4-5, NKJV:

(4) And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia—also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.  (5) These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas.  [While Paul and Luke went through Macedonia]

One immediately sees a problem with this text.  Verse 4 contradicts verse 5 and vice versa.  If they went on ahead of him to Troas (the landing port in Asia) then they did NOT accompany him αχρι – as far as Asia.

Ah, but the NA28 text does not contain the words αχρι της ασιας “as far as Asia.”

Also, the NA29 text has “δε” before “went on ahead.”  And there too, with the verb, is another variant.

20:4 txt omit ?⁷⁴ ℵ B 33 vg cop eth Or-Lat(V) NA29 αχρι της ασιας A (D μεχρι) E H L P Ψ 049 056 1175 1611 1739 1891 2464 it syr Chrys TR RP lac ?⁴¹ C

20:5 txt προσελθοντες δε ℵ A B* E Ψ 1735 1739 2464 TG SBL NA29 προελθοντες δε ?⁷⁴ B² 33 1611 1891 syr-h cop-sa,bo TD NA28 προσελθοντες H L P 049 056 1175 RP προελθοντες D latt syr-p Chrys TR AT BG lac ?⁴¹ C

The NA text makes more sense: these men accompanied him, δε, “however,” or, “except that” they went on ahead of him to Troas.