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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Is there chiasmus in Acts 20:32?

I continue to spend many hours checking the ISV and emailing the ISV team with my comments. (You, too, can email them with suggestions for changes in the ISV text.) I have finished checking the gospels, Romans, and Philemon, and am currently 2/3 of the way through the book of Acts.

Yesterday I came to ISV Acts 20:32:
I am now entrusting you to God and to the message of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.
I wrote the ISV team:
Hmm, I'm not sure what the subject of "give" is. I would think that it is God who gives this inheritance. Might there be chiasm here, where God gives the inheritance and they are built up by the message?
Chiasmus was frequently used by Semitic speakers and there are chiastic relationships in a number of Bible passages, including in the New Testament whose Greek is often colored by Semiticisms.

I don't think we can know with certainty if there is an intended chiasmus in Acts 20:32, but it is an intriguing possibility. I have checked other English versions and none of them translate a chiastic structure for this verse, while some do for other passages, such as Matt. 7:6 and Philemon 5.

What do you think?

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At Wed Feb 28, 06:09:00 AM, Blogger Jared Coleman said...

Wow, that's so fascinating, Wayne! I think that the verse makes more sense if translated as a chiasm. Thanks for pointing this out!

By the way, I can't remember if I've commented here before, but I love this blog! Keep up the good work.

At Thu Mar 01, 06:14:00 AM, Blogger Dan Sindlinger said...

This doesn't appear to be a chiasmus but it definitely needs some clarification, which I've tried to do in The Better Life Bible by blending/combining verses 31 and 32:
"You’ve depended on me for three years to help you follow God’s advice so you can enjoy the life God promised. Now you must depend directly on God."


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