On The Reading “Church Of God;” Acts 20:28 -- By: Ezra Abbot
BSac 33:130 (April 1876) p. 313
On The Reading “Church Of God;” Acts 20:28
Common version: — “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Received text: — Προσέχετε οὖν ἑαμτοῖς καὶ παντὶ τῷ ποιμνίῳ, ἐν ᾧ ὑμᾶς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἔθετο ἐπισκόπους, ποιμαίνειν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, ἣν περιεποιήσατο διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος. Various readings: — οὖν, “therefore,” is bracketed by Lachmann, and omitted by Tischendorf, Tregelles, Green (Twofold New Test.), and Westcott and Hort, but is retained by Alford and Wordsworth. For τοῦ θεοῦ, “God,” Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Green read τοῦ κυρίου, “the Lord”; Alford, Wordsworth, and Westcott and Hort retain θεοῦ. But Tregelles places θεοῦ in the margin with a mark of interrogation, implying some doubt whether it should not be regarded as an alternative reading; and Alford on the other hand puts κυρίου in the margin, in large type, as of nearly equal authority with θεοῦ. All the editions named above read in the last clause διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου for διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος.
Of those who have written treatises on the textual criticism of the New Testament, Porter, Davidson, and Hammond give the preference to κυρίου; Scrivener and Milligan defend θεοῦ. Among recent commentators and translators, θεοῦ is preferred by Dr. Gloag; on the other hand, Meyer, Ewald, Lechler (in Lange’s Bibelwerk) very confidently, Overbeck, Dr. David Brown (with hesitation), Holtzmann (in Bunsen’s Bibelwerk), the new Dutch translation (1868), and Weizsäcker adopt the reading κυρίου.
To recount the opinions of the earlier critics, or to give a sketch of the literature of the subject, would carry us too far. But as a mistake made by one scholar often leads many astray, it may be well to say that Matthaei does not read θεοῦ, as stated by De Wette,
BSac 33:130 (...
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