Josep Rius-Camps - Jenny Read-Heimerdinger, «The Variant Readings of the Western Text of the Acts of the Aspostles (XXV) (Acts 18:24–19:40).», Vol. 26 (2013) 127-163
In the text of Acts according to Codex Bezae, a fourth and final part of the book begins at 18.24. It is Paul’s ultimate goal of Rome that separates it from the earlier missionary phases and confers unity on the remainder of the book. In this opening section (Section I), his activity will be centred for three years in Ephesus, the main city of Asia, where he will meet with some success despite hostility from some of the Jews. In his dealings with the Gentiles, opposition will also be encountered because of the threat posed by his teachings to the trade of the city. The Bezan narrator indicates plainly that Paul’s travel to Ephesus should have been the initial stage of his journey to the imperial capital. Additional references in Codex Bezae to the directions given to Paul by the Holy Spirit make clear that his visit had been prepared for by the work of Apollos; however, it was contrary to his own intentions, which were rather to go back to Jerusalem. The struggle against the divine leading is seen as Paul terminates his stay in Asia once he has carefully prepared for his return to Jerusalem.
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The Variant Readings of the Western Text of the Acts of the Apostles 145
a Jewish High Priest in Ephesus; 3) the name Sceva, by which no Jewish
High Priest was known.
D05 presents the new characters simply as the sons of a priest called
Sceva – their number is not given, their father is not described as a High
Priest, nor is he Jewish. The absence of the article corresponds to the
salience of these characters, underlined by καί before their mention. They
are said to have wanted to do the same thing as the itinerant exorcists,
by which it can be seen that the introductory relative ἐν οἷϛ should not
be taken as a masculine pronoun to mean ‘among whom’, but rather as
a neuter with the meaning ‘in this situation’ (in quo, d; cf. Lk. 12:1; Acts
24:18 vl; 26:12 [on which see Zerwick and Grosvenor, Analysis, p. 444];
see also B-A-G, ὅϛ 11c: ‘connects with the situation described in what
precedes under which circumstances = under these circumstances, in the
situation created by what precedes’).
The sons of Sceva in the D05 text, then, are by no means necessarily
Jewish. The narrator adds the comment that they were accustomed to
exorcising people with evil spirits (an unnecessary comment if these men
belonged to the Jewish exorcists), before going on to describe how they
acted on one particular occasion when they went into the house of the
demon-possessed man where the Jewish exorcists (of v. 14) had gone. The
presence of the first group in the scene accounts for the article in the
phrase πρὸϛ τὸν δαιμονιζόμενον and the use of ἀμφοτέρων at 19:16 as a
reference to both the Jewish exorcists and the sons of Sceva.
The wording of the command of the sons of Sceva is similar, but not
identical, to that cited with reference to the Jewish exorcists. Here, the verb
παραγγέλλω is used, which requires the dependent infinitive, ἐξελθεῖν.
In the original hand of D05, the place of this infinitive before the verb
of the subordinate relative clause κηρύσσει, is odd, which explains the
correction made by the Bezan corrector as well as other manuscripts.
However, in view of the interruption of the evil spirit in D05 (see next
variant below, 19:15), it is possible to take the infinitive ἐξελθεῖν as refer-
ring to the preaching of Paul and so dependent, in emphatic position, on
the verb κηρύσσει; in this case, the sons of Sceva were interrupted before
they completed their command because they were issuing it indirectly
and without authority, wasting time in a circumlocution.
19:15 ἀποκριθὲν δὲ (+ ποτέ 614. 1505. 1611. 2412. 2495 syh) ... εἶπεν B P38.74
אrell || τότε ἀπεκρίθη ... (+ καὶ DD) εἶπεν D*, tunc respondens ... dixit d.
The narrative of B03 continues from the statement that (among) the
Jewish exorcists imitating Paul were seven sons of Sceva, by moving di-
rectly to the response of the evil spirit. The obvious difficulty with this
text is that although a particular occasion is supposed by this verse and