4

In Acts 15:20 there are four things a Gentile immediately shall stop do when entering discipleship.

1: Abstain from food polluted by idols.
2: Abstain from sexual immorality.
3: Abstain from meat of strangled animals.
4: Abstain from eating (consume) blood.

In Acts 15:19 BSB has a different wording "turning" then KJV's "turned".

Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: (Acts 15:19 KJV)

It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not cause trouble for the Gentiles who are turning to God. (Acts 15:19 Berean Study Bible)

Διὸ ἐγὼ κρίνω μὴ παρενοχλεῖν τοῖς ἀπὸ τῶν ἐθνῶν ἐπιστρέφουσιν ἐπὶ τὸν Θεόν.

ἐπιστρέφουσιν - are turning V-PPA-DMP (Verb - Present Particle Active - Dative Masculine Plural)

turned; past tense and turning; present tense, a smal change of tense and the implication is different.

What is right:

A: I have turned and keeps these four instructions, so to not be troubled.
Or
B: I am turning and keeps these four instructions, so to not be troubled.
Or
C: .........................?

4
  • If the verse meant 'those who have turned' [past tense] then how could it be made to apply to all Gentiles who had not yet turned in faith to Christ, but who would do so after that decree had been issued? The instruction was to apply to all Gentiles who had become Christians at that time, and to future converts. It is not a question of whether 'turning' is a process or not. The correctness of the KJV in addressing Gentiles who have turned does not preclude the instruction continuing to apply to future Gentile converts, surely? Or have I misunderstood your question?
    – Anne
    Jul 11 at 12:53
  • 1
    Modern English grammar is not the same as the Early Modern English grammar of 1611. If you parse the KJV sentence as containing the verb "to be" and the adjective "turned", it means exactly the same as the modern translation using the verb "to turn". A modernized version of the KJV grammar would be "... are being turned...".
    – alephzero
    Jul 11 at 16:10
  • @alephzero Thanks! That's sorrect see that in NKJV - Gentiles who are turning to God. Jul 12 at 7:27
  • @Anne the difference is "we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned" makes a end to what to do while " we should not cause trouble for the Gentiles who are turning" in the turning state you do these 4 command as to not be troubled. Jul 12 at 7:31
5

τοῖς ἀπὸ τῶν ἐθνῶν ἐπιστρέφουσιν ἐπὶ τὸν θεόν, (Acts 15:19, NA28)

The masculine dative plural article τοῖς goes with the present active participle ἐπιστρέφουσιν that is the object of μὴ παρενοχλεῖν, the infinitive to cause hardship. ἐπιστρέφουσιν is neither past tense or passive voice, so should not be translated turned.

The phrase can be translated:

those turning to God from the Gentiles, (keeping the participle in English)

those who turn to God from the Gentiles, (Greek participles often translated as a relative clause)

those from the Gentiles turning to God, (these two keep the word order but lose the connection of the article [translated as a pronoun] to the participle)

those from the Gentiles who turn to God,

those who are turning to God from the Gentiles, (these two translate the participle with a present paraphrastic)

those from the Gentiles who are turning to God.

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There is no question that ἐπιστρέφουσιν is a plural verb in the present continuous and thus must be translated, "[many] are turning".

The plural is the key because of who is addressed:

  • For a single individual, one must turn and served the Lord after which it is said that the person has turned - singular perfect tense.
  • For a large group (gentiles in this case) that is made up of individuals, the group as a whole is turning (one at a time) but the what is today a few, is a few more tomorrow, etc. Thus it is said of the group that they, "are turning".

Simple grammar actually.

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