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Re: [textualcriticism] Acts 8:39

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  • sarban
    ... From: Minton, Ron To: Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 2:21 PM Subject: [textualcriticism] Acts 8:39
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 10, 2005
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Minton, Ron" <rminton@...>
      To: <textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 2:21 PM
      Subject: [textualcriticism] Acts 8:39


      >
      >
      > I received this note from a missionary in Russia. How would you respond
      to
      > his comments and question? It seems to me the textual evidence for not
      > including his capital letter portion is extremely strong.
      > Ron Minton
      >
      > Tuesday January 04, 2005
      >
      > .........................
      > Dear Bro. Minton,
      >
      > I have a very serious question regarding the Russian Bible.
      >
      > Doing some study, I came across the verse:Ac 8:39 And when they were come
      up
      > out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the
      eunuch
      > saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
      >
      > In the Russian Synodal Version, which is the most accurate and true
      Russian
      > translation available, the same verse reads
      >
      > Ac 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the
      Lord
      > CAME UPON EUNUCH, AND THE ANGEL OF THE LORD caught away Philip, that the
      > eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
      >
      > In other words, the translators ADDED the words I capitalized above.
      Thus,
      > it leaves the impression of Baptismal Regeneration, but more importantly,
      > how can I stand up and say to the people that this is God's Word without
      > error, when the translators obviously tampered with the text?
      >
      > I dont mean to stir up any controversy, just want to know how I can teach
      my
      > people properly.
      >
      >
      This reading is part of the 'Western' text of Acts. (found
      in various Fathers some Latin texts of Acts and in the
      margin of the Syriac Harclean). There are a number of
      distinctively Western readings in the Slavonic text of Acts.

      Whether this reading is the original text or not depends
      largely upon whether the Western text of Acts is generally
      closer to the original than the Neutral/Alexandrian text.

      (The majority/Byzantine text mostly follows the neutral/
      Alexandrian text not the Western text)

      The majority scholarly opinion is probably that the special
      Western readings in Acts are not original but very ancient
      going back to the 2nd century CE.

      The translators were NOT deliberately tampering with
      the text but in good faith using in Acts a largely Byzantine
      text but one with with many Western readings.

      Theologically I don't think the Western reading necessarily
      involves any strong sacramental doctrine of Baptismal
      Regeneration. In the context of the narrative the baptism is
      the eunuch's first public profession of Christian committal
      occurring within a few hours of being first confronted with
      the claims of Christ. IMO there is no need of a strong
      doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration to regard it as an
      appropriate time for him to receive the Holy Spirit.

      Andrew Criddle
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