Textual Ambiguity in Acts of the Apostles
I’m pleased to announce the publication of my essay, “God or Jesus? Textual Ambiguity and Textual Variants in Acts of the Apostles,” in the multi-author volume, Texts and Traditions: Essays in Honour of J. Keith Elliott, edited by Peter Doble and Jeffrey Kloha (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2014), pp. 239-54. In the essay, I study an interesting phenomenon: In Acts there are a number of places where we have variants that appear to reflect efforts to clarify whether Jesus or God is referred to, cases where the likely original reading was “kyrios” which in these places has a certain ambiguity as to who the referent is.
The phenomenon suggested itself in the course of researching and writing an earlier commissioned essay, “Christology in Acts: Jesus in Early Christian Belief and Practice,” published in Issues in Luke-Acts: Selected Essays,, eds. Sean A. Adams and Michael Pahl (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2012), 217-38.
Here is the Abstract of my essay that has just appeared:
“The correlation of God and Jesus in Acts, in particular the use of κύριος/ὁ κύριος for both, produced a number of statements in which there can be a certain degree of ambiguity as to the referent. At these points we often find variants in the manuscripts, which reflect efforts of ancient readers to disambiguate the statements and clarify the text. They often seem to have drawn upon the immediate context to help them judge matters. So the variants are artefacts of this exegetical activity of these ancient readers of Acts.”
I’ve uploaded the pre-publication version of the essay under the “Selected Published Essays” tab on this blog site.