Sunday, July 30, 2017

Acts 7:59 - Did Stephen Call Upon God?

From time to time, Acts 7:59 is cited from the King James Version as proof that Jesus is God. The KJV reads:

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

The claim is made that Stephen called upon God, who is "Lord Jesus". Is this true? Note the following statments made by various scholars regarding "God" in Acts 7:59:

The word God is not found in any MS. or version, nor in any of the primitive fathers except Chrysostom. It is not genuine, and should not be inserted here: the whole sentence literally reads thus: And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! -- Adam Clarke.

The word God is not in the original, and should not have been in the translation. It is in none of the ancient mss. or versions. It should have been rendered, “They stoned Stephen, invoking, or calling upon, and saying, Lord Jesus,” etc. -- Albert Barnes.

There is no Ellipsis of the word God. See Revised Version. Stephen called upon and invoked the Lord. -- E. W. Bullinger.

The word God is not in the original, as its being printed in italics shows. -- Justin Edwards.

An unhappy supplement of our translators is the word “God” here; as if, while addressing the Son, he was really calling upon the Father. -- Jameison-Faussett-Brown.

The word God is not in the original. -- Joseph Benson.

In the original we have simply e? p??a???´ µe???, invoking or calling upon. The word to be supplied is evidently ‘the Lord,’ from the next clause, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ This is better than supplying ‘God,’ as in the English Version, which slightly confuses the reader. -- Philip Schaff.

Omit God. Lit. And were stoning Stephen as he was invoking and saying, Lord Jesus, give welcome unto my spirit. -- C. I. Scofield.

There is nothing for the word God in the original. -- Thomas Coke.

The Lord (in italics) for God (in italics), A.V. The A.V. is certainly not justified by the context, because the words which follow, "Lord Jesus," show to whom the invocation was made, even to him whom he saw standing at the right hand of God. -- Excell, Spence Jones and Maurice, The Pulpit Commentary.

God is not in the Greek. From the vision just described, and from the prayer which follows, it is evident that Jesus is meant. -- Marvin R. Vincent.

And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit - This is the literal translation of the words, the name of God not being in the original. -- John Wesley.

God—A word strangely inserted by the translators, and obscuring the fact that Stephen called upon Jesus. -- Daniel Whedon.

See these various commentators at:
http://www.studylight.org/desk/index.cgi?sr=1&search_form_type=general&q1=Acts+7%3A59&s=0&t1=en_web

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