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Matthew M. DeLoera | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Feb 2 2019 8:08 AM

I've got the NA27 w/apparatus. Support info 


Many unclean spirits were coming out of the ones who had (them), crying with a loud voice. (my translation)

"unclean spirits" is tagged neuter accusative, but I think it has to be neuter nominative (keeping in mind neuter nominative and accusative endings look alike).


Posts 2467
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 2 2019 8:25 AM

The tagging is correct

πολλοὶ γὰρ τῶν ἐχόντων πνεύματα ἀκάθαρτα βοῶντα φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἐξήρχοντο

πνεύματα ἀκάθαρτα being the object (noun phrase) of ἐχόντων

Posts 8
Matthew M. DeLoera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 2 2019 8:52 AM

Which is how I read it at first glance, but I think the plural imperfect verb introduces a complication. 

Fundamentally, "many came out". But if πνεύματα ἀκάθαρτα is the object of ἐχόντων, then isn't that like saying "many of the ones possessed came out"? That makes it sound like the people are the subject of verb, rather than the spirits.

Posts 1257
HJ. van der Wal | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 2 2019 10:05 AM

"Ac 8:7 (text prob. damaged or perh. anacoluthon)."

William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 348.

Posts 8
Matthew M. DeLoera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 2 2019 10:24 AM

Ah! I hadn't looked there yet. That helps a lot. Just checked the google and it looks like there are other notes about anacoluthon elsewhere. That helps. Thanks everyone!

Posts 1257
HJ. van der Wal | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 2 2019 10:49 AM

Metzger also discusses this verse in his "A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament". 

Posts 2467
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 3 2019 12:04 AM

To show the power of Logos:

The grammar of the reading that is attested by the earlier and better witnesses (πολλοὶ γὰρ τῶν ἐχόντων πνεύματα ἀκάθαρτα βοῶντα φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἐξήρχοντο, 𝔓74 א A B C al) is strained, for the author begins with πολλοί as the subject and πνεύματα ἀκάθαρτα as object of τῶν ἐχόντων, and then proceeds as though πνεύματα were the subject of the main verb ἐξήρχοντο (“For many of those who had unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice they came out”). In order to improve the syntax scribes altered the nominativus pendens into πολλοῖς (so codex Bezae) or πολλῶν (so H P al copbo arm Chrysostom); the latter reading passed into the Textus Receptus. Modern scholars, dissatisfied with the anacoluthon and recognizing that πολλῶν is a secondary development, have proposed several conjectural emendations. For example, Lachmann suggested that πολλά should be read instead of πολλοί. Blass, followed by Hilgenfeld, thought that ἅ had fallen out after ἀκάθαρτα; with the relative pronoun restored, πολλοί is to be construed (along with the following πολλοί) as the subject of ἐθεραπεύθησαν.

On the other hand, however, Torrey argued that the Greek, rough though it is, ought not to be emended, since it represents the conjectural Aramaic original, in which the suspended construction is not unusual.

Irrespective of one’s view concerning the hypothetical Aramaic original, it is perhaps best to retain the anacoluthon and to conclude, with Lake and Cadbury, that we have here “one of those tricks of mental ‘telescoping’ to which all writers are liable,” and that, as such, “it is one of several indications in the text that it was never finally revised.”

Metzger, B. M., United Bible Societies. (1994). A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, second edition a companion volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th rev. ed.) (pp. 312–313). London; New York: United Bible Societies.

To summarize:

1. There is absolutely no need to emend or improve the text (I'm agreeing with Metzger here).

2. Nothing changes the fact that πνεύματα ἀκάθαρτα is in the accusative.

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