Critical Notes -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 046:183 (Jul 1889)
Article: Critical Notes
Author: Anonymous

Critical Notes

Acts 26:28, In The Light Of Latin Idiom.

The influence of Latin on the Greek of New-Testament times is unquestioned. Not only single Latin words, as κεντυρίων,1 are found in the New Testament, but translated phrases, as ἐργσίαν δοῦναι (operam darea). The influence of Latin idiom would naturally be looked for in a report of the language of one brought up at Rome and speaking Greek in a Roman court. Such a report we have in these words, ᾿Εν ὀλίγῳμε πείθεις Χριστιανὸν ποιῆσαι.2 This is translated in the Revised Version: “With but little persuasion thou wouldst fain make me a Christian.” This is certainly ingenious, but is it not forced? Why cannot Χριστιανὸν ποιῆσαι mean “to act the part of a Christian”? The Latin agere furnishes numerous parallels in writers of the Silver Age. According to Tacitus, Piso says of Otho that his vices ruined the government, etiam cum amicum imperatoris ageret, “even when he was acting the part of a friend of the emperor.” Hist. 1. 30. Mucianus is said to be socium magis imperii quam ministrum agens, “acting as an ally rather than a servant of the government.” Hist. 2. 83. Thrasea is said, agere senatorem, “to act the senator.” Annals 16. 28. Quintilian says of Socrates, Agens imperitum et admiratorem aliorum tanquam sapientium, “acting the part of an ignoramus and an admirer of others as if they were wise.” Inst. Or. 9. 2. 46. Also 11. 3. 91. and 12. S. 10. The following examples are found in the Letters of Pliny: Sunt qui defunctorum quoque arnicas agant, “act the part of friends.” 1. 17.1 Amissoque filio matrem adhuc agere, “though the son was lost still to play the mother, in. 16. 6. Patremfamiliae hactenus ago, “I play the householder.” 9:15. 3. Pliny’s Panegyric has these two: Tunc maxime imperator quum amicum eximperatore agis. 85. 6. Quum agere tam bonum consulem posses. 56. 3. A tragedy of Seneca, a contemporary of Paul, has the following line (Clytaemnestra to Electra): Sed agere domita feminam disces malo, “Tamed by misfortune, thou shalt learn to play the woman.” Agam. 5. 3. 7, Suetonius has several examples: Non priucipem sed ministrum egit. Claud. 29. Also Tiber. 12. 26. Valerius Maximus, writing in the reign of Tiberius, gives us at least twelve instances of this usage. Speaking of the first Brutus, and of the execution of his sons,

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