Peter Spitaler, «Doubting in Acts 10:27?», Vol. 20 (2007) 81-93
The verb diakri/nomai occurs twice in the Acts of the Apostles. Many contemporary interpreters assert it means «hesitate/doubt» in 10:20 –a meaning of the middle and passive voices that, according to opinio communis, first surfaces in NT texts– and «contest/dispute» in 11:2, its classical/Hellenistic meaning. In this article, I first discuss and critique the criteria that guide scholars to render diakri/nomai in Acts 10:20 with a meaning that diverges from extra-biblical Greek meaning categories. Next, I investigate the verse within its immediate (10:9-20) and larger literary contexts (10:1-11:18) to show that interpretations of the phrase mhde\n diakrino/menoj that rely on a «NT meaning» of diakri/nomai (i.e., «doubting nothing») have no support in the text. Rather, the placement of Acts 10:20 within its literary context supports a rendering of diakri/nomai in accordance with classical/Hellenistic Greek conventions.