ANASTASIS in Acts 17:18

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ANASTASIS in Acts 17:18

Postby klitwak » September 13th, 2012, 1:33 am

I have read several works on Acts 17:16-34 and found that many authors say, based upon TON IHSOUN KAI.THN ANASTASIN, EUHGGELIZETO, that Paul was preaching about Jesus and Anastasia. I might be missing something but this seems to me to be problematic. ANASTASIN is simply the acc.s.fem. of the third declension noun ANASTASIS. There may indeed be a Greek name ANASTASIA, but that is not what Acts uses. So I'm curious how one could justify rendering the Greek as Anastasia.

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Re: ANASTASIS in Acts 17:18

Postby Stephen Carlson » September 13th, 2012, 2:23 am

NA27 does not give any variant reading with Anastasia (though it is not exhaustive). I would avoid such works and authors. I hope they're not scholarly.
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Re: ANASTASIS in Acts 17:18

Postby David Lim » September 13th, 2012, 7:55 am

klitwak wrote:I have read several works on Acts 17:16-34 and found that many authors say, based upon TON IHSOUN KAI.THN ANASTASIN, EUHGGELIZETO, that Paul was preaching about Jesus and Anastasia. I might be missing something but this seems to me to be problematic. ANASTASIN is simply the acc.s.fem. of the third declension noun ANASTASIS. There may indeed be a Greek name ANASTASIA, but that is not what Acts uses. So I'm curious how one could justify rendering the Greek as Anastasia.

Ken Litwak


Well here is what some of these supposed works say:
Some of the philosophers thought this was a religion about a couple of divinities named Jesus and Anastasia. Anastasia is the Greek word for Resurrection, as well as being a girl's name.

So there is a stir in the marketplace in v 18. "What is this babbler trying to say?" "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods." They evidently thought that Jesus and Anastasia (the resurrection) were two new gods: Jesus being a strange god and Anastasia a foreign goddess. This could be a serious charge. Plato says Socrates was accused and executed because he introduced strange gods.

The accusation that Paul was introducing foreign deities into the Greek pantheon is probably based on the false assumption that he was endorsing multiple gods; “Jesus” and his feminine counterpart, “Anastasia” (Resurrection). The Greek term anastasia is feminine, and may have been taken as the name of the female consort for the male god “Jesus.” This interpretation goes back to John Chrysostom (Hom in Acta 38.1).


Now this is what Chrysostom actually said, according to http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/210138.htm:
It is a wonder the philosophers did not laugh him to scorn, speaking in the way he did. "And some said, What does this babbler mean to say?" insolently, on the instant: — this is far from philosophy. "Other some said, He seems to be a setter forth of strange gods," from the preaching, because he had no arrogance. They did not understand, nor comprehend the subjects he was speaking of— how should they? affirming as they did, some of them, that God is a body; others, that pleasure is the (true) happiness. "Of strange gods, because he preached unto them Jesus and the Resurrection:" for in fact they supposed "Anastasis" (the Resurrection) to be some deity, being accustomed to worship female divinities also.


So it has never been "Anastasia" but "αναστασις"...
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Re: ANASTASIS in Acts 17:18

Postby timothy_p_mcmahon » September 13th, 2012, 12:49 pm

A lot of Greek minor deities are personifications of abstract nouns (Dike, Cratus). It seems reasonable that Paul's interpreters might have taken τον ιησουν και την αναστασιν as two deities.
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Re: ANASTASIS in Acts 17:18

Postby klitwak » September 17th, 2012, 2:14 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:NA27 does not give any variant reading with Anastasia (though it is not exhaustive). I would avoid such works and authors. I hope they're not scholarly.


Stephen,

No, I'm afraid that I'm finding this in only journal articles, as I would not look at anything else for what I'm doing. I could certainly understand some random web site getting this wrong but I would have hoped that journal articles would not. Of course, they're not from NTS or JBL, so I guess the peers that reviewed them might have not thought about it. I'm just to know that no one here has a good reason for using "Anastasia."

Ken.
Kenneth D. Litwak, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor of New Testament
Adjunct Theological Reference Librarian
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Azusa Pacific University
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