Sunday, March 24, 2024

Acts 2: the derivation of 'Pentecost'

While I continue to work on speed-learning HTML code, we'll start Acts 2.  Recall that at the end of Acts 1, Matthias has just been chosen to replace Judas.  In Acts 2:1, the disciples are gathered together on the day of Pentecost.

Καὶ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι . . . . And in the to fulfill  

τὴν ἡμέραν τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς, . . . . the day of Pentecost

ἦσαν ἅπαντες . . . . they were all

ὁμοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό. . . . together on the place

And when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

The form συμπληροῦσθαι is the present middle/passive infinitive of συμπληρόω - 'I fill, fill completely, fulfill'.

Ἠ Πεντηκοστῆ is translated as 'Pentecost', but is more literally 'fiftieth', with 'day' understood from context.  This word derives from πέντε, 'five', and the ending -κοστος, both known from classical times down, with -κοστος declined as usual for an adjective.  

This ending corresponds to the '-ieth' or '-eth' endings of English, e.g., twentieth, thirtieth, two-hundredth and so on.  Thus we see the form πεντηκοστῆς used here, since 'day' (ἡμέρα) is feminine, and the genitive case is by sense.

The adverb ὁμοῦ ('together, at the same place / time') is replaced in the Byzantine Majority Text by the adverb ὁμοθυμαδὸν, which is generally translated with something like 'with one accord'.  Ὁμοθυμαδὸν is actually used more often in the New Testament than ὁμοῦ.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Acts 2:1 in the Codex Sinaiticus: what happened to ΠΑΝΤΕΣ?

 Here's a wider snippet of what we saw before:

The tilde at the end of the fifth line seems to indicate a missing word.  

Apparently people made mistakes in those days, as well.  

On the left, you see the word ΠΑΝΤΕC (παντες) in smaller printing, under another tilde.  So ΠΑΝΤΕC goes in front of the 'Ο', with the whole reading:

 . . . ἦσαν πάντες ὁμοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό

I was originally confused by the note on the right, which is physically closer to the tilde by the 'Ο', but closer inspection showed that these missing words (ΚΑ(Ι) ΕΛΑΜΙΤΑΙ) go with verse 9, in the column to its right, which is not seen here.

One of the things which I am not certain of is whether notes like 'ΠΑΝΤΕC' are written in the original hand.  It doesn't look like it to me; the letters are smaller and less careful, even there seems to be enough room, and the color of the ink is different to my eyes.  A later copyeditor?  Here is an expanded view of this region:


Now, as to the 'ΚΑ' in the beginning of the first line (the end of verse 1:26):  on first glance I assumed it was for 'ΚΑΙ', as a common abbreviation for that short, common word.  But no, it is the last two letters of the preceding word, ἔνδεκα ('eleven'):

μετα των ενδε
κα αποστολων

Next post:  all the countries.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Reading the Codex Sinaiticus: the beginning of Acts 2

Here's the beginning of Acts 2.  I've included the last line from Acts 1:26, showing that the manuscript gives no indication of modern conventions of chapter or verse.

 Before moving on to the transcription, note that we have:

1  All capital letters

2  'C' (the lunate sigma) is used instead of 'Σ', and a rounded 'W' instead of 'Ω'

3  No punctuation, and no spaces between words

4  Words may be broken and run from one line to the next, without indication

5  Fading noted particularly on the thin horizontal strokes of 'Π', 'Η', and sometimes 'Θ'

6  Considerable similarity between 'Α' and 'Λ', especially when the cross-stroke of alpha has faded

Here is a transcription using modern type.  Acts 2:1 begins on the second line:

Lets try it again, with spaces between words and in lower case, although without accents:

This should be readable, more or less.  In the next post, I'll discuss the extra markings in the original.  Also: what's that 'κα' before 'αποστολων' from Acts 1:26?

Friday, March 15, 2024

Answers to quiz on Acts 1

1  From verse 1:  Ἐποιησάμην is a 1-S, aorist middle indicative  (d)

2  Verse 3: Ζῶντα is a masculine participle  (a)

3  Verse 6:  Βασιλείαν is most closely translated as 'kingdom'  (b)

4  Verse 11:  Ἐλεύσεται is 3-S, future middle indicative  (a)

5  The lexical form for ἐλεύσεται is ἔρχομαι  (d)

6  Verse 13:  Ἀνέβησαν  is 3-P, aorist active indicative  (c)

7  The closest translation for ἄνέβησαν is 'they went up'  (a)

8  Verse 21:  Εἰσῆλθεν and ἐξῆλθεν are both 3-S, aorist active indicative  (d)

9  Verse 22:  The closest English translation for μάρτυρα is 'witness'

10. Verse 24:  Κύριε is in the vocative case  (e)

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

News from koineworkbook

[Update: Still having problems.  The entire quiz is below, but answers do not show up.]

I am trying to add multiple-choice quizzes to the blog.  This is difficult (for me), and I do not know of any way to ensure that the quiz is 'working' (i.e., the answers show up when you press a button) other than actually publishing the darn thing.  

And then un-publishing it when it isn't working correctly.

So I apologize if you've run into one of these draft quizzes, and I hope to have the bugs worked out in the next day or two.  

Multiple choice quiz on the koine of Acts, chapter 1


We’ve finished the first chapter of Acts.  Below is a short multiple-choice quiz, covering vocabulary and parsings, from the verses of this first chapter.


1.  From verse 1:  How is ποιησάμην parsed?

a.  3-S, aorist middle indicative

b. 1-S, aorist active indicative

c.  3-S, present middle/passive indicative

d.  1-S, aorist middle indicative

Answer d

2. From verse 3: What is ζῶντα?

a.  a masculine participle

b.  an infinitive

c.  a feminine noun

d.  an indicative verb

Answer a

3. From verse 6: which choice is the closest English translation for βασιλείαν?

a.  promise

b.  kingdom

c.  king

d.  authority

Answer b

4. From verse 11: What is the correct parsing for ἐλεύσεται?

a.  3-S, future middle indicative

b.  3-P, future middle indicative

c.  3-S, future active indicative

d.  3-S, present middle/passive subjunctive

Answer a

5. What is the lexical form for ἐλεύσεται?





Answer d

6. From verse 13: Parse ἀνέβησαν.

a.  3-S, present active indicative

b.  3-S, aorist active indicative

c.  3-P, aorist active indicative

d.  3-P, present active subjunctive

Answer c

7. Which choice is the closest English translation for ἀνέβησαν?

a.  they went up

b.  he/she went up

c.  they entered

d.  they gathered

Answer a

8. From verse 21: Identify εἰσῆλθεν and ἐξήλθεν.

a.  They are both middle aorists.

b.  They are both 3-S, present subjunctives.

c.  They are both 3-P, aorist active subjunctives

d.  They are both 3-S, aorist active indicatives

Answer d

9. From Acts 1:22: Which choice is the closest idiomatic English translation for μάρτυρα?

a.  martyr

b.  disciple

c.  witness

d.  person of authority

Answer c

10. From Acts 1:24: What case is Κὐριε?

a.  nominative

b.  genitive

c.  dative

d.  accusative

e.  vocative

Answer e

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

The adjective ἴδιος, ἰδία, ἴδιον

From Acts 1:25:

ἀφ’ ἧς παρέβη Ἰούδας πορευθῆναι εἰς τὸν τόπον τὸν ἴδιον

from which Judas turned aside to go into his own place


The adjective ἴδιος, ἰδία, ἴδιον is a common one, used over 100 times in the New Testament.  One of its common meanings, as in Acts 1:25, is something like 'one's own':

καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν πόλιν . . . .  and he came to his own town (Matthew 9:1)

ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν . . . . each according to his own ability (Matthew 25:15)

τὴν δὲ δοκὸν τὴν ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ ὀφθαλμῷ οὐ κατανοεῖς . . . . the log in your own eye you do not notice (Luke 6:41)

καὶ κοπιῶμεν ἐργαζόμενοι ταῖς ἰδίαις χερσίν . . . . and we labor with our own hands  (1 Cor 4:12)

There are many, many other examples of this usage.  The other, albeit less common, NT meaning is 'in private, by oneself':

ἀνεχώρησεν ἐκεῖθεν ἐν πλοίῳ εἰς ἔρημον τόπον κατ’ ἰδίαν . . . . he withdrew from there in a boat, into a deserted place, by himself  (Matthew 14:13)

καὶ ἀπολαβόμενος αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου κατ’ ἰδίαν ἔβαλεν τοὺς δακτύλους αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὦτα αὐτοῦ . . . and have taking him away from the crowd, privately he put his fingers into the man's ears (Mark 7:33)

καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς κατ’ ἰδίαν εἶπεν . . . . and turning to his disciples privately, he said (Luke 10:23)

Here is an example of both uses in one phrase:

κατ’ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς ἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν πάντα . . . . and when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything (Mark 4:34)

In the next post we move on to Acts, chapter 2.