Acts 16:19, “They” becomes “we”
And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew [them] into the marketplace unto the rulers
//If you’ve read the books of Acts cover-to-cover, you know it contains some mighty hard-to-believe stories. This tends to hurt the book’s credibility in the eyes of many scholars. But there is a fascinating turning point in Acts, where scholars suddenly perk up.
Today’s verse is a pivot point in Acts; a point where the pronoun “they” changes suddenly to “we,” and remains “we” for quite some time. You probably won’t notice this in your chosen version, because care is taken by most interpreters to make the story read cohesively. See the word [them], bracketed purposefully by the online Blue Letter Bible I copied from? It isn’t really there, not in the original Greek. Instead, the text suddenly switches from third-person to first-person. It is as if the author of Acts lifted a story, presumably written by Paul himself, and placed it within his own narrative. These portions describe the exploits and journeys of Paul, and coincide well with authentic Pauline writings elsewhere in the Bible. This change to a personal pronoun increases scholars’ confidence in at least this portion of the book of Acts.
The Way It Happened
|Revelation: A love story gone awry.||The Gospel: A love story set aright.|
What really happened 2,000 years ago? How did a persecuted minority of end-time believers known as Christians, with their dreams of Armageddon and a conquering Messiah named Jesus, evolve into the largest religion in the world? Author Lee Harmon explores the period in which the New Testament was written in his books about John's Gospel and Revelation.
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