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Full Version: "Romans" or "soldiers" in Act 23:10, 23, 31
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Great day Peshitta enthusiasts.  The Peshitta has a totally rare (and awkward) reading (or mistranslation?) in Acts 23:10, Acts 23:23, and Acts 23:31.  The Peshitta literally reads "Romans" in those verses, while all known Greek and Latin copies read "soldiers."

Isn't it awkward and redundant to read "Romans" in those passages, since everybody knows that the soldiers involved were Romans ?!?  Brooke Foss Westcott also uses this point to suggest that the Peshitta was "translated," stating the following.

"The Acts are more loosely translated (Wichelhaus, p. 86); but it is to be remembered that the text of the Acts presents more variations than any part of the New Testament. The Epistle to the Hebrews is probably the work  of a separate translator. (Wichelhaus, pp. 86 ff.)  4 That it was made at some place out of the Roman Empire is shewn in the translation of "stratiotai" by "Romans" in Acts xxiii. 23, 31. [Cf. Acts xxviii. 15: Appim Form.] But this is not the case in the Gospels, which, as I have conjectured, were translated earlier, and in Palestine. Cfi Wichelhaus, pp. 78 ff." (A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, 242).
(05-15-2020, 08:58 PM)Thomas Wrote: [ -> ]Isn't it awkward and redundant to read "Romans" in those passages, since everybody knows that the soldiers involved were Romans ?!?

Thomas --

No, IMHO, it is not awkward and redundant.   Acts is Radioactive.  I personally believe the subject matter of Acts is completely different from what is generally thought but I'm a Minority of One on this one.

"Romans" makes sense but you must ask a different Set of Questions to see why.

"I realize that sounds vague..."

Best,

CW
"Isn't it awkward and redundant to read "Romans" in those passages"
Not that I know of.
'Romans' there means 'soldiers.'  There's no redundancy in those 3 passages.
(06-10-2020, 11:43 PM)DavidFord Wrote: [ -> ]"Isn't it awkward and redundant to read "Romans" in those passages"
Not that I know of.
'Romans' there means 'soldiers.'  There's no redundancy in those 3 passages.

Thanks for the reply, but no, "Romans" doesn't mean "soldiers."  The Peshitta has another word for "soldiers," which is actually a loanword from Greek--אֵסטרַטִיָוטָא (estratiyuwta)--used 9 times in the book of Acts alone.  So I see no reason why you would claim that "Romans" means "soldiers."  Can you provide the slightest support for this notion?

In regards to my assertion that the Peshitta reading "Romans" was redundant, here is what I meant.

In Act 23:23, the chiliarch / commanding officer--obviously a Roman himself--is quoted as saying, "Go and prepare two hundred רֻהומָיֵא / στρατιώτας to go to Caesarea."  Does it make more sense for this to read "Romans" or "soldiers."  Why would the commander speak of his people as "Romans" instead of "soldiers"?