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Bible Commentaries
Acts 26

Alford's Greek Testament Critical Exegetical CommentaryAlford's Greek Testament Commentary

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Verse 1

Acts 26:1 . ] The stretching out of the hand by a speaker was not, as Hammond supposes, the same as the κατασείειν τῇ χειρί of ch. Acts 12:17 ; Acts 13:16 . The latter was to ensure silence; but this, a formal attitude usual with orators. Apuleius, Met. ii. p. 54 (Meyer), describes it very precisely: ‘Porrigit dextram et ad instar oratorum conformat articulum, duobusque infimis conclusis digitis ceteros eminentes porrigit.’ The hand was chained τούτων τ . δεσμ ., Acts 26:29 .

Verses 1-32

CHAP. Act 24:1 to Acts 26:32 . ] PAUL’S IMPRISONMENT AT CÆSAREA.

Verse 2

2 .] There is no force in Meyer’s observation, that by the omission of the art. before Ἰουδαίων , Paul wishes to express that the charges were made by some, not by all of the Jews. That omission is the one so often overlooked by the German critics (e.g. Stier also here), after a preposition . See Middl. ch. vi. § 1, and compare κατὰ Ἰουδαίους in the next verse, of which the above cannot be said.

μέλλων contains the ground of ἥγημαι , in that I am to defend myself .

Verse 3

3. γν . ὄντα σε ] For the construction see reff.; and cf. Viger (ed. Hermann), p. 337, where many examples are given e.g. Herod. vi. 109: ἐν σοὶ νῦν ἔστιν ἢ καταδουλῶσαι Ἀθήνας , ἢ ἐλευθέρας ποιήσαντα μνημόσυνον λιπέσθαι κ . τ . λ .

Verse 4

4. ] The μὲν οὖν takes up ἀπολογεῖσθαι : q. d. ‘well, then, to begin my apology.’

Verse 5

5. ἀκριβεστάτην ] See ch. Acts 22:3 ; κατὰ ἀκρίβειαν τοῦ πατρῴου νόμου . Jos. (B. J. i. 5. 2) calls the Pharisees σύνταγμά τι Ἰουδαίων δοκοῦν εὐσεβέστερον εἶναι τῶν ἄλλων , καὶ τοὺς νόμους ἀκριβέστερον ἀφηγεῖσθαι . The use of the term finds another example in Ephesians 5:15 , βλέπετε πῶς ἀκριβῶς περιπατεῖτε , which command it illustrates.

θρησκεία ] ἡ λατρεία · ὅθεν καὶ ἑτερόθρησκος , ἑτερόδοξος . Suidas.

We have an instance here of αἵρεσις used in an indifferent sense.

Verse 6

6. ] The rec. text has apparently been corrected after ch. Acts 13:32 ; for there we have πρός , and no ἡμῶν . The εἰς has its propriety here, combining the ideas of address towards , and of ethical relation to , its object: so ἐς δ ʼ ὑμᾶς ἐρῶ μῦθον , Æsch. Pers. 159: ψόγος ἐς Ἕλληνας μέγας , Eur. Bacch. 778 (735): δημοκρατίας κατίστα εἰς τὰς πόλιας , Herod. vi. 43. See Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 217, where many more examples are given.

The promise spoken of is not that of the resurrection merely, but that of a Messiah and His kingdom, involving ( Act 26:8 ) the resurrection . This is evident from the way in which he brings in the mention of Jesus of Nazareth, and connects His exaltation ( Act 26:18 ) with the universal preaching of repentance and remission of sins. But he hints merely at this hope, and does not explain it fully; for Agrippa knew well what was intended, and the mention of any king but Cæsar would have misled and prejudiced the Roman procurator. There is great skill in binding on his former Pharisaic life of orthodoxy (in externals), to his now real and living defence of the hope of Israel. But though he thus far identifies them, he makes no concealment of the difference between them, Acts 26:9 ff.

Verse 7

7. τὸ δωδεκάφυλ . ] The Jews in Judæa and those of the dispersion also. See James 1:1 . There was a difference between Paul and the Jews, which lies beneath the surface of this verse, but is yet not brought out: he had already arrived at the accomplishment of this hope, to which they , with all their sacrifices and zeal, were as yet only earnestly tending , having it yet in the future only (so Romans 10:2 ; ζῆλον θεοῦ ἔχουσιν , ἀλλ ʼ οὐ κατ ʼ ἐπίγνωσιν ). It was concerning this hope (in what sense appears not yet) that he was accused by the Jews.

The adverb ἐκτενῶς and subst. ἐκτένεια are disapproved by the philologists, as belonging to later Greek. See Lobeck on Phrynichus, p. 311. We have the adj., Æsch. Suppl. 990: ἐκτενὴς φίλος .

Verse 8

8. ] Having impressed on his hearers the injustice of this charge from the Jews, with reference to his holding that hope which they themselves held, he now leaves much to be filled up, not giving a confession of his own faith, but proceeding as if it were well understood. ‘You assume rightly, that I mean by this hope , in my own case, my believing it accomplished in the crucified and risen Jesus of Nazareth.’ Then, this being acknowledged, he goes on to shew how his own view became so changed with regard to Jesus; drawing, by the μὲν οὖν ( Act 26:9 ), a contrast in some respects between himself , who was supernaturally brought to the faith, and them , who yet could not refuse to believe that God could and might raise the dead. All this he mainly addresses to Agrippa ( Act 26:26 ), as being the best acquainted with the circumstances, and, from his position, best qualified to judge of them. It may be, as Stier suggests, that if not open, yet practical Sadduceism had tainted the Herodian family. Paul knew, at all events, how generally the highly cultivated, and those in power and wealth, despised and thought ἄπιστον the doctrine of the resurrection.

εἰ ἐγείρει ] not, as commonly rendered, ‘ that God should raise the dead ’ (E. V.): but the question is far stronger than this, if the conjunction be taken in its literal meaning: why is it judged by you a thing past belief, if God raises the dead? i.e. ‘ if God, in His exercise of power, sees fit to raise the dead (the word implying that such a fact has veritably taken place), is it for you to refuse to believe it ?’ Compare the declaration of our Lord, Luke 16:31 ; οὐδ ʼ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ πεισθήσονται . We have many instances of this use of εἰ : Xen. Mem. i. 1. 13, ἐθαύμαζε δὲ εἰ μὴ φανερὸν αὐτοῖς ἐστίν : ib. 18, ὅσα δὲ πάντες ᾔδεσαν , θαυμαστὸν εἰ μὴ τούτων ἐνεθυμήθησαν : ib. i. 2. 13, ἐγὼ δ ʼ εἰ μέν τι κακὸν ἐκείνῳ τὴν πόλιν ἐποιησάτην οὐκ ἀπολογήσομαι : on which examples Hermann remarks, ad Viger. p. 504, “in his locis omnibus rem non dubiam et incertam indicat εἰ , sed plane certam et perspicuam.”

Verse 9

9. ] Henceforward he passes to his own history, how he once refused, like them, to believe in Jesus: and shews them both the process of his conversion, and the ministry with which he was entrusted to others.

μὲν οὖν , well then , resuming the character described Acts 26:4-5 .

Verses 10-11

10, 11. ] This is the διωγμὸς μέγας of ch. Acts 8:1 . We are surprised here by the unexpected word ἁγίων , which it might have been thought he would have rather in this presence avoided. But, as Stier remarks, it belongs to the more confident tone of this speech, which he delivers, not as a prisoner defending himself , but as one being heard before those who were his audience, not his Judges . κατήνεγκα ψῆφον can hardly be taken figuratively , as many Commentators, trying to escape from the inference that the νεανίας Saul was a member of the Sanhedrim; but must be understood as testifying to this very fact , however strange it may seem. He can hardly have been less than thirty when sent on his errand of persecution to Damascus. The genitive is supposed by Elsner and Kypke to be dependent on κατήνεγκα ; but this is harsh, and it is better to take (as most Commentators, and Meyer, and De W.) it as absolute, and κατήνεγκα as local , ‘ detuli sententiam :’ when their deaths were being compassed, I gave in my vote (scil, against them, as in ref.). On the fact, cf. συνευδοκῶν τῇ ἀναιρέσει αὐτοῦ , ch. Acts 8:1 .

Verse 11

11. τιμωρῶν ] viz. by scourging ; compare Matthew 10:17 . ἠνάγκαζον does not imply that any did blaspheme (Christ: so Pliny, Ep. n. 97, speaks of ordering the Bithynian Christians ‘ maledicere Christo ,’ and adds, ‘quorum nihil cogi posse dicuntur qui sunt revera Christiani’): the imperf. only relates the attempt . The persecuting the Christians even to foreign cities, forms the transition to the narrative following.

Verse 12

12. ἐν οἷς ] In which things (being engaged) .

Verse 13

13. ] See notes on ch. Acts 9:3-8 , where I have treated of the discrepancies, real or only apparent, between the three accounts of Saul’s conversion. See also ch. Acts 22:6-10 .

Verse 14

14. τῇ Ἑβρ . διαλ . ] These words are expressed here only. In ch. 9 (see note) we have the fact remarkably preserved by the Hebrew form Σαούλ ; in ch. 22 he was speaking in Hebrew (Syro-Chald.), and the notice was not required. (Beware again of the supposed emphatic με of Wordsworth.)

σκληρ . σοι πρ . κ . λ . ] This is found here only; in ch. 9 the words are spurious, having been inserted from this place. The metaphor is derived from oxen at plough or drawing a burden, who, on being pricked with the goad, kick against it, and so cause it to pierce deeper. (See Schol. on Pind. I. c. below.) It is a Greek, and not (apparently) a Hebrew proverb; but this is no reason why it should not be used in Hebrew, just as it is in Latin. Instances of its use are Pind. Pyth. ii. 173: χρὴ δὲ πρὸς θεὸν οὐκ ἐρίζειν … φέρειν δ ʼ ἐλαφρῶς ἐπαυχένιον λαβόντα ζυγὸν ἀρήγει . ποτὶ κέντρον δέ τοι λακτιζέμεν τελέθει ὀλισθηρὸς οἶμος . Æschyl. Agam. 1633: πρὸς κέντρα μὴ λάκτιζε , μὴ πήσας μογῇς . Eurip. Bacch. 791: θυμούμενος πρὸς κέντρα λακτίζοιμι , θνητὸς ὢν θεῷ . See also Æsch. Prom. 323, and other examples in Wetst.; Plautus (Truc. iv. 2. 59); and Terence, Phorm. i. 2. 27: ‘Nam quæ inscitia est advorsum stimulum calces?’

Verses 15-18

15 18. ] There can be no question that Paul here condenses into one, various sayings of our Lord to him at different times, in visions , see ch. Acts 22:18-21 ; and by Ananias , ch. Acts 9:15 ; see also ch. Acts 22:15-16 . Nor can this, on the strictest view, be considered any deviation from truth. It is what all must more or less do who are abridging a narrative, or giving the general sense of things said at various times. There were reasons for its being minute and particular in the details of his conversion ; that once related, the commission which he thereupon received is not followed into its details, but summed up as committed to him by the Lord himself . It would be not only irreverent, but false, to imagine that he put his own thoughts into the mouth of our Lord; but I do not see, with Stier, the necessity of maintaining that all these words were actually spoken to him at some time by the Lord. The message delivered by Ananias certainly furnished some of them; and the unmistakeable utterings of God’s Spirit ( τὸ πνεῦμα Ἰησοῦ , ch. Act 16:7 ) which supernaturally led him, may have furnished more, all within the limits of truth.

Verse 16

16. ] εἰς τοῦτο refers to what follows, προχειρ . &c., γάρ gives the reason for ἀνάστηθι , &c. (Meyer.)

προχειρ .] See reff.

μάρτυρα ὧν τε εἶδες ] Stier remarks, that Paul was the witness of the glory of Christ : whereas Peter, the first of the former twelve, describes himself ( 1Pe 5:1 ) as ‘a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.’ So true it was that this ἔκτρωμα among the Apostles, became, by divine grace, more than they all ( 1Co 15:8-10 ). The expression ὑπηρέτην ὧν εἶδες may be compared with ὑπηρέται τοῦ λόγου , which Luke calls the αὐτόπται , Luke 1:2 .

ὧν τε ὀφθήσομαί σοι ] (1) ὀφθ . must be passive , not (as Bornemann, Winer (not in edn. 6, § 39. 3, remark 1), Wahl, al.) causative (‘videre faciam’), but as E. V., I will appear unto thee . (2) the gen. is exactly paralleled (Meyer) by Soph. Œd. Tyr. 788, ὧν μὲν ἱκόμην = τούτων (rather ἐκείνων ) δι ʼ ἃ ἱκόμην . So here ὧν = τούτων ( ἐκείνων ) δι ʼ ἃ ὀφθ ., the things in (or on account of) which I will appear to thee . That such visions did take place, we know, from ch. Acts 18:9 ; Acts 22:18 ; Acts 23:11 ; 2 Corinthians 12:1 ; Galatians 1:12 .

Verse 17

17. ἐξαιρούμενός σε ] delivering thee from , as E. V.: not, as Kuin., al., and Conyb., ‘ choosing thee out of :’ see reff.

τοῦ λαοῦ ] as elsewhere, the Jewish people . ‘Hic armatur contra omnes metus qui eum manebant, et simul præparatur ad crucis tolerantiam.’ Calvin.

εἰς οὕς ] to both , the people, and the Gentiles; not the Gentiles only.

Verse 18

18. τοῦ ἐπιστ . ] not, as Beza, and E. V., ‘ to turn them :’ but, that they may turn ; see ἐπιστρέφειν , Acts 26:20 .

The general reference of οὕς becomes tacitly modified (not expressly, speaking as he was to the Jew Agrippa) by the expression σκότος and ἐξουσία τοῦ σατανᾶ , both, in the common language of the Jews, applicable only to the Gentiles. But in reality, and in Paul’s mind, they had their sense as applied to Jews, who were in spiritual darkness and under Satan’s power, however little they thought it. See Colossians 1:13 .

τοῦ λαβ .] A third step : first the opening of the eyes next, the turning to God next, the receiving remission of sins and a place among the sanctified , see ch. Acts 20:32 .

This last reference determines πίστει τῇ εἰς ἐμέ to belong not to ἡγιασμένοις but to λαβεῖν .

Thus the great object of Paul’s preaching was to awaken and shew the necessity and efficacy of πίστις ἡ εἰς ἐμέ . And fully, long ere this, had he recognized and acted on this his great mission. The epistles to the Galatians and Romans are two noble monuments of the APOSTLE OF FAITH.

Verse 19

19. ἀπειθής ] See Isa 50:5 in LXX.

Verse 20

20. τοῖς ἐν Δαμ πρ . ] See ch. Acts 9:20 .

εἰς belongs to ἀπήγγελ . (De W.), not to τοῖς ( ἐν Δαμ .) as Meyer; see Luke 8:34 ; and on this sense of εἰς , note on Act 26:6 above.

Verse 22

22. ] The οὖν refers to the whole course of deliverances which he had had from God, not merely to the last. It serves to close the narrative, by shewing how it was that he was there that day, after such repeated persecutions, crowned by this last attempt to destroy him.

μαρτυρόμενος ] The mere love of paradox and difficulty, as it seems to me, has led De Wette and Meyer to prefer the ordinary reading - ρούμενος , although very weakly supported by MSS., and yielding hardly any appropriate sense. μαρτυρ ού μενος must be passive , and signify (see reff. below) ‘ testified to ,’ ‘ borne witness of :’ the datives μικρῷ and μεγάλῳ must be the agents, ‘ by small and great ’ (to which there is no objection grammatically, but every objection analogically, see ch. Acts 10:22 ; Acts 16:2 ; Acts 22:12 , in all which μαρτύρουμαι is followed by ὑπό ), and λέγων must be predicative, ‘ as saying :’ i.e., ‘ that I say .’ But this would be contrary to the fact: Paul was not thus borne witness of by all , but on the contrary accused of being a despiser of the law by a great majority of his own countrymen. There can, I think, be no question either critically or exegetically of the correctness of the other reading μαρτυρόμενος , bearing witness , as directly appropriate to the office to which Paul was appointed, that of a witness ( Act 26:16 ); and then μικρῷ τε καὶ μεγάλῳ , to small and great , so flat and meaningless on the other interpretation, admirably suits the occasion, standing as he was before an assembly of the greatest of the land.

Verse 23

23. εἰ ] not for ὅτι but just as in Acts 26:8 , if if at least : meaning, that the things following were patent facts to those who knew the prophets. See Hebrews 7:15 , where εἰ has the same sense.

παθητός ] not, as Beza, ‘ Christum fuisse passurum ’ (so E. V., ‘ should suffer ’): but as Vulg., ‘ si passibilis Christus .’ Paul does not refer to the prophetic announcement, or the historical reality, of the fact of Christ’s suffering, but to the idea of the Messiah as passible and suffering being in accordance with the testimony of the prophets. That the fact of His having suffered on the cross was in the Apostle’s mind, can hardly be doubted: but that the words do not assert it, is evident from the change of construction in the next clause, where the fact of the bringing life and immortality to light by the resurrection is spoken of, εἰ παθητὸς ὁ χρ ., εἰ μέλλει καταγγέλλειν . In Justin Martyr, Trypho c. 89, p. 187, the following words are put into the month of Trypho the Jew: παθητὸν τὸν χριστόν , ὅτι αἱ γραφαί κηρύσσουσι , φανερόν ἐστι . See also the same, Trypho c. 36, p. 133, and c. 76, p. 173.

πρῶτος ἐξ ἀναστάσεως = πρῶτος ἀναστάς , or πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν , Colossians 1:18 , but implying that this light, to be preached to the Jews ( ὁ λαός ) and Gentiles, must arise from the resurrection of the dead, and that Christ, the first ἐξ ἀναστάσεως , was to announce it. See Isaiah 42:6 ; Isaiah 49:6 ; Isaiah 60:1-3 ; Luke 2:32 ; ch. Acts 13:47 .

Verse 24

24. ] The words ταῦτα ἀπολογουμένον must refer, on account of the present part., to the Iast words spoken by Paul: but it is not necessary to suppose that these only produced the effect described on Festus. Mr. Humphry remarks, “Festus was probably not so well acquainted as his predecessor (ch. Act 24:10 ) with the character of the nation over which he had recently been called to preside. Hence he avails himself of Agrippa’s assistance ( Act 25:26 ). Hence also he is unable to comprehend the earnestness of St. Paul, so unlike the indifference with which religious and moral subjects were regarded by the upper classes at Rome. His self-love suggests to him, that one who presents such a contrast to his own apathy, must be mad: the convenient hypothesis that much learning had produced this result, may have occurred to him on hearing Paul quote prophecies in proof of his assertions.”

μαίνῃ ] Thou art mad , not merely, ‘ thou ravest ,’ nor ‘ thou art an enthusiast :’ nor are the words spoken in jest (Olsh.), but in earnest ( θυμοῦ ἦν κ . ὀργῆς ἡ φωνή , Chrys.). Festus finds himself by this speech of Paul yet more bewildered than before (De W.).

τὰ πολλὰ γράμμ .] Meyer understands Festus to allude to the many rolls which Paul had with him in his imprisonment (we might compare τὰ βιβλία , μάλιστα τὰς μεμβράνας of 2Ti 4:13 ) and studied (so also Heinrichs and Kuinoel), but the ordinary interpretation, thy much learning , seems more natural, and so De W.

εἰς μ . περιτρέπει ] Is turning thy brain .

Verse 25

25. ] ἀλήθεια may be spoken warmly and enthusiastically , but cannot be predicated of a madman’s words : σωφροσύνη ) is directly opposed to μανία . So Xen. Mem. i. 16, recounting the subjects of Socrates’ discourses, τί δίκαιον , τί ἄδικον · τί σωφροσύνη , τί μανία · τί ἀνδρία , τί δειλία . The expression ἀληθείας &c. ῥήματα , though of course in sense = ῥήματα ἀληθῆ , &c., yet has a distinctive force of its own, and is never to be confounded with, or supposed to be put by a Hebraism for the other. Such forms occur in classic as well as Hellenistic writers, and indeed in all languages: the idea expressed by them being, the derivation of the quality predicated, from its source: so here, words (not merely true and sober, but) of truth and soberness , springing from, and indicative of, subjective truth and soberness.

Verse 26

26. ] Agrippa is doubly his witness, (1) as cognizant of the facts respecting Jesus, (2) as believing the prophets . This latter he does not only assert, but appeals to the faith of the king as a Jew for its establishment.

ἐν γωνίᾳ τοῦτο ] This , the act done to Jesus by the Jews, and its sequel, was not done in an obscure corner of Judæa, but in the metropolis, at a time of more than common publicity.

Verse 28

28. ἐν ὀλίγῳ ] These words of Agrippa have been very variously explained. (1) The rendering ‘ propemodum ,’ ‘ parum abest, quin ,’ (‘ almost ,’ E. V.,) adopted by Chrys., Beza, Grot., Valla, Luther, Piscator, Calov., &c. is inadmissible, for want of any example of ἐν ὀλίγῳ having this meaning, which would require ὀλίγου ( ὀλίγου μ ʼ ἀπωλέσας , Aristoph. Vesp. 829, and al.), or ὀλίγου δεῖ , or παρ ʼ ὀλίγον . (2) Calvin, Kuinoel, Schöttg., Olsh., Neander, take it for ἐν ὀλίγῳ χρόνῳ , which certainly is allowable, but does not correspond to μεγάλῳ below, nor, as I believe, does it come up to the general sense of the expression. (3) The phrase ἐν ὀλίγῳ occurs in Greek writers with various nouns understood according to the nature of the case, and sometimes it will bear any of several supplements with equal propriety. Thus in Demosth. p. 33. 18, ῥάδιον εἰς ταὐτὸ πάνθ ʼ ὅσα βούλεταί τις ἀθροίσαντα ἐν ὀλίγῳ , where Schaefer in his Index Græcitatis says, scil. χρόνῳ , aut χώρῳ , aut λόγῳ , aut πόνῳ . So also here we may understand λόγῳ or πόνῳ (or χρόνῳ ?) or still better as it seems to me, leave the ellipsis unsupplied (see Eph 3:3 ). We have a word in English which exactly expresses it, one which has fallen into disuse, but has no equivalent; lightly: i.e. with little pains, few words, small hesitation. Then next as to the reading , I have followed the most ancient MSS., in editing ποιῆσαι and not γενέσθαι . This being so, we have to choose between πείθεις of [152] [153] and πείθῃ of [154] . It is almost impossible to give any assignable meaning to the former; and I suspect it has come in by a confusion of the two readings. Whereas πείθῃ seems to take up the πείθομαι of Acts 26:26 . The received reading has probably found its way in from first imagining that πειθ - had to do with Paul’s persuading Agrippa , and then the ποιῆσαι having no sense, became conformed to the γενέσθαι in the Apostle’s speech below. And now, as to the sense of Agrippa’s saying . In determining this, enough attention has not been paid to two points: (1) the present tense , πείθῃ , thou art persuading thyself, art imagining; and (2) the use, in the mouth of a Jew , and that Jew a king , of the Gentile and offensive appellation χριστιανός . To my mind, the first of these considerations decides that Agrippa is characterizing no effect on himself , but what Paul was fancying in his mind, reckoning the πείθομαι which he had expressed above: the second , that he speaks of something not that he is likely to become , but that contrasts strangely with his present worldly position and intentions . I would therefore render the words thus: Lightly (with small trouble) art thou persuading thyself that thou canst make me a Christian: and understand them, in connexion with Paul’s having attempted to make Agrippa a witness on his side, ‘ l am not so easily to be made a Christian of, as thou supposest .’ Most of the ancient Commentators (especially as reading πείθεις ) take the words as implying some effect on Agrippa’s mind, and as spoken in earnest: but this I think is hardly possible, philologically or exegetically. I may add that the emphatic position of both ἐν ὀλίγῳ and χριστιανόν , before their respective verbs, strongly confirms the view taken above. I must again caution the reader against the mistake committed by Wordsworth, in supposing the enclitic με to be emphatic, which it cannot be, ἐμέ being required in such a case. Indeed, a more insignificant position than it here holds, next to the most emphatic word of the sentence, cannot be conceived.

[152] The CODEX VATICANUS, No. 1209 in the Vatican Library at Rome; and proved, by the old catalogues, to have been there from the foundation of the library in the 16th century. It was apparently, from internal evidence, copied in Egypt. It is on vellum, and contains the Old and New Testaments. In the latter, it is deficient from Heb 9:14 to the end of the Epistle; it does not contain the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon; nor the Apocalypse. An edition of this celebrated codex, undertaken as long ago as 1828 by Cardinal Angelo Mai, has since his death been published at Rome. The defects of this edition are such, that it can hardly be ranked higher in usefulness than a tolerably complete collation, entirely untrustworthy in those places where it differs from former collations in representing the MS. as agreeing with the received text. An 8vo edition of the N.T. portion, newly revised by Vercellone, was published at Rome in 1859 (referred to as ‘Verc’): and of course superseded the English reprint of the 1st edition. Even in this 2nd edition there were imperfections which rendered it necessary to have recourse to the MS. itself, and to the partial collations made in former times. These are (1) that of Bartolocci (under the name of Giulio de St. Anastasia), once librarian at the Vatican, made in 1669, and preserved in manuscript in the Imperial Library (MSS. Gr. Suppl. 53) at Paris (referred to as ‘Blc’); (2) that of Birch (‘Bch’), published in various readings to the Acts and Epistles, Copenhagen, 1798, Apocalypse, 1800, Gospels, 1801; (3) that made for the great Bentley (‘Btly’), by the Abbate Mico, published in Ford’s Appendix to Woide’s edition of the Codex Alexandrinus, 1799 (it was made on the margin of a copy of Cephalæus’ Greek Testament, Argentorati, 1524, still amongst Bentley’s books in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge); (4) notes of alterations by the original scribe and other correctors. These notes were procured for Bentley by the Abbé de Stosch, and were till lately supposed to be lost. They were made by the Abbate Rulotta (‘Rl’), and are preserved amongst Bentley’s papers in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge (B. 17. 20) 1 . The Codex has been occasionally consulted for the verification of certain readings by Tregelles, Tischendorf, and others. A list of readings examined at Rome by the present editor (Feb. 1861), and by the Rev. E. C. Cure, Fellow of Merton College, Oxford (April 1862), will be found at the end of these prolegomena. A description, with an engraving from a photograph of a portion of a page, is given in Burgon’s “Letters from Rome,” London 1861. This most important MS. was probably written in the fourth century (Hug, Tischendorf, al.).

[153] The CODEX SINAITICUS. Procured by Tischendorf, in 1859, from the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai. The Codex Frederico-Augustanus (now at Leipsic), obtained in 1844 from the same monastery, is a portion of the same copy of the Greek Bible, the 148 leaves of which, containing the entire New Testament, the Ep. of Barnabas, parts of Hermas, and 199 more leaves of the Septuagint, have now been edited by the discoverer. A magnificent edition prepared at the expense of the Emperor of Russia appeared in January, 1863, and a smaller edition containing the N.T. &c., has been published by Dr. Tischendorf. The MS. has four columns on a page, and has been altered by several different correctors, one or more of whom Tischendorf considers to have lived in the sixth century. The work of the original scribe has been examined, not only by Tischendorf, but by Tregelles and other competent judges, and is by them assigned to the fourth century . The internal character of the text agrees with the external, as the student may judge for himself from the readings given in the digest. The principal correctors as distinguished by Tischendorf are: A, of the same age with the MS. itself, probably the corrector who revised the book, before it left the hands of the scribe, denoted therefore by us א -corr 1 ; B (cited as א 2 ), who in the first page of Matt. began inserting breathings, accents, &c., but did not carry out his design, and touched only a few later passages; C a (cited as א 3a ) has corrected very largely throughout the book. Wherever in our digest a reading is cited as found in א 1 , it is to be understood, if no further statement is given, that C a altered it to that which is found in our text; C b (cited as א 3b ) lived about the same time as C a , i.e. some centuries later than the original scribe. These are all that we need notice here 6 .

[154] The MS. referred to by this symbol is that commonly called the Alexandrine, or CODEX ALEXANDRINUS. It once belonged to Cyrillus Lucaris, patriarch of Alexandria and then of Constantinople, who in the year 1628 presented it to our King Charles I. It is now in the British Museum. It is on parchment in four volumes, of which three contain the Old, and one the New Testament, with the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. This fourth volume is exhibited open in a glass case. It will be seen by the letters in the inner margin of this edition, that the first 24 chapters of Matthew are wanting in it, its first leaf commencing ὁ νυμφίος , ch. Matthew 25:6 : as also the leaves containing ἵνα , John 6:50 , to καὶ σύ , John 8:52 . It is generally agreed that it was written at Alexandria; it does not, however, in the Gospels , represent that commonly known as the Alexandrine text, but approaches much more nearly to the Constantinopolitan, or generally received text. The New Testament, according to its text, was edited, in uncial types cast to imitate those of the MS., by Woide, London, 1786, the Old Testament by Baber, London, 1819: and its N.T. text has now been edited in common type by Mr. B. H. Cowper, London, 1861. The date of this MS. has been variously assigned, but it is now pretty generally agreed to be the fifth century .

Verse 29

29. ] I could wish to God, that whether with ease or with difficulty (on my part), not only thou, but all who hear me today, might become such as I am, except only these bonds. He understands ἐν ὀλίγῳ just as Agrippa had used it, easily , ‘ with little trouble,’ ‘with slight exertion :’ and contrasts with it ἐν μεγάλῳ ( πολλῷ has been an alteration to suit the imagined supplement χρόνῳ ), with difficulty , ‘ with great trouble,’ ‘with much labour .’ Those interpreters who understand χρόνῳ above, render this ‘seu tempore exiguo opus fuerit, seu multo’ (Schött.); those who take ἐν ὀλ . for ‘ almost ,’ ‘non propemodum tantum, sed plane’ (Grot.): ‘ not only almost, but altogether ,’ E. V. In εὔχεσθαι θεῷ the dative implies the direction of the wish or request to God: so Æsch. Agam. 852, θεοῖσι πρῶτα δεξιώσομαι : Il. γ . 318, θεοῖσι δὲ χεῖρας ἀνέσχον , and freq. See examples in Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 86.

δεσμῶν ] He shews the chain, which being in ‘ custodia militaris ,’ he bore on his arm , to connect him with the soldier who had charge of him. [This exception may be regarded as a proof of the perfect courtesy of the great Apostle.]

Verse 31

31. πράσσει ] generally, of his life and habits. No definite act was alleged against him: and his apologetic speech was in fact a sample of the acts of which he was accused.

Verse 32

32. ] Agrippa in these words delivers his judgment as a Jew: ‘ For aught I see, as regards our belief and practices, he might have been set at liberty .’ But now he could not: ‘nam appellatione potestas judicis, a quo appellatum est, cessare incipit ad absolvendum non minus quam ad condemnandum. Crimina euim iutegra servanda sunt cognitioni snperioris.’ Grot.

Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Acts 26". Alford's Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hac/acts-26.html. 1863-1878.
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