Acts 20:28 KJV (With Strong’s)

ho (Greek #3588)
the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom)
KJV usage: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
Pronounce: ho
Origin: ἡ (hay), and the neuter τό (to) in all their inflections
Take heed
prosecho (Greek #4337)
(figuratively) to hold the mind (3563 implied) towards, i.e. pay attention to, be cautious about, apply oneself to, adhere to
KJV usage: (give) attend(-ance, -ance at, -ance to, unto), beware, be given to, give (take) heed (to unto); have regard.
Pronounce: pros-ekh'-o
Origin: from 4314 and 2192
a therefore
oun (Greek #3767)
(adverbially) certainly, or (conjunctionally) accordingly
KJV usage: and (so, truly), but, now (then), so (likewise then), then, therefore, verily, wherefore.
Pronounce: oon
Origin: apparently a primary word
unto yourselves
heautou (Greek #1438)
him- (her-, it-, them-, also (in conjunction with the personal pronoun of the other persons) my-, thy-, our-, your-) self (selves), etc.
KJV usage: alone, her (own, -self), (he) himself, his (own), itself, one (to) another, our (thine) own(-selves), + that she had, their (own, own selves), (of) them(-selves), they, thyself, you, your (own, own conceits, own selves, -selves).
Pronounce: heh-ow-too'
Origin: from a reflexive pronoun otherwise obsolete and the genitive case (dative case or accusative case) of 846
, and
kai (Greek #2532)
and, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words
KJV usage: and, also, both, but, even, for, if, or, so, that, then, therefore, when, yet.
Pronounce: kahee
Origin: apparently, a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force
to all
pas (Greek #3956)
apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole
KJV usage: all (manner of, means), alway(-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no(-thing), X thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.
Pronounce: pas
Origin: including all the forms of declension
the flock
ho (Greek #3588)
the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom)
KJV usage: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
Pronounce: ho
Origin: ἡ (hay), and the neuter τό (to) in all their inflections
poimnion (Greek #4168)
a flock, i.e. (figuratively) group (of believers)
KJV usage: flock.
Pronounce: poym'-nee-on
Origin: neuter of a presumed derivative of 4167
, over
en (Greek #1722)
"in," at, (up-)on, by, etc.
KJV usage: about, after, against, + almost, X altogether, among, X as, at, before, between, (here-)by (+ all means), for (... sake of), + give self wholly to, (here-)in(-to, -wardly), X mightily, (because) of, (up-)on, (open-)ly, X outwardly, one, X quickly, X shortly, (speedi-)ly, X that, X there(-in, -on), through(-out), (un-)to(-ward), under, when, where(-with), while, with(-in). Often used in compounds, with substantially the same import; rarely with verbs of motion, and then not to indicate direction, except (elliptically) by a separate (and different) preposition.
Pronounce: en
Origin: a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest (intermediate between 1519 and 1537)
the which
hos (Greek #3739)
the relatively (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that
KJV usage: one, (an-, the) other, some, that, what, which, who(-m, -se), etc. See also 3757.
Pronounce: hos
Origin: ἥ (hay), and neuter ὅ (ho) probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article 3588)
the Holy
hagios (Greek #40)
sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated)
KJV usage: (most) holy (one, thing), saint.
Pronounce: hag'-ee-os
Origin: from ἅγος (an awful thing) (compare 53, 2282)
ho (Greek #3588)
the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom)
KJV usage: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
Pronounce: ho
Origin: ἡ (hay), and the neuter τό (to) in all their inflections
pneuma (Greek #4151)
a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy Spirit
KJV usage: ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind. Compare 5590.
Pronounce: pnyoo'-mah
Origin: from 4154
hath made
tithemi (Greek #5087)
θέω (theh'-o) (which is used only as alternate in certain tenses) to place (in the widest application, literally and figuratively; properly, in a passive or horizontal posture, and thus different from 2476, which properly denotes an upright and active position, while 2749 is properly reflexive and utterly prostrate)
KJV usage: + advise, appoint, bow, commit, conceive, give, X kneel down, lay (aside, down, up), make, ordain, purpose, put, set (forth), settle, sink down.
Pronounce: tith'-ay-mee
humas (Greek #5209)
you (as the objective of a verb or preposition)
KJV usage: ye, you (+ -ward), your (+ own).
Pronounce: hoo-mas'
Origin: accusative case of 5210
c overseers
episkopos (Greek #1985)
a superintendent, i.e. Christian officer in genitive case charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively)
KJV usage: bishop, overseer.
Pronounce: ep-is'-kop-os
Origin: from 1909 and 4649 (in the sense of 1983)
, to feed
poimaino (Greek #4165)
to tend as a shepherd of (figuratively, superviser)
KJV usage: feed (cattle), rule.
Pronounce: poy-mah'-ee-no
Origin: from 4166
the church
ho (Greek #3588)
the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom)
KJV usage: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
Pronounce: ho
Origin: ἡ (hay), and the neuter τό (to) in all their inflections
ekklesia (Greek #1577)
a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both)
KJV usage: assembly, church.
Pronounce: ek-klay-see'-ah
Origin: from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564
d of God
ho (Greek #3588)
the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom)
KJV usage: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
Pronounce: ho
Origin: ἡ (hay), and the neuter τό (to) in all their inflections
theos (Greek #2316)
a deity, especially (with 3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very
KJV usage: X exceeding, God, god(-ly, -ward).
Pronounce: theh'-os
Origin: of uncertain affinity
, which
hos (Greek #3739)
the relatively (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that
KJV usage: one, (an-, the) other, some, that, what, which, who(-m, -se), etc. See also 3757.
Pronounce: hos
Origin: ἥ (hay), and neuter ὅ (ho) probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article 3588)
he hath purchased
peripoieomai (Greek #4046)
to make around oneself, i.e. acquire (buy)
KJV usage: purchase.
Pronounce: per-ee-poy-eh'-om-ahee
Origin: middle voice from 4012 and 4160
e with
dia (Greek #1223)
through (in very wide applications, local, causal, or occasional)
KJV usage: after, always, among, at, to avoid, because of (that), briefly, by, for (cause) ... fore, from, in, by occasion of, of, by reason of, for sake, that, thereby, therefore, X though, through(-out), to, wherefore, with (-in). In composition it retains the same general importance.
Pronounce: dee-ah'
Origin: a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act
his own
idios (Greek #2398)
pertaining to self, i.e. one's own; by implication, private or separate
KJV usage: X his acquaintance, when they were alone, apart, aside, due, his (own, proper, several), home, (her, our, thine, your) own (business), private(-ly), proper, severally, their (own).
Pronounce: id'-ee-os
Origin: of uncertain affinity
haima (Greek #129)
blood, literally (of men or animals), figuratively (the juice of grapes) or specially (the atoning blood of Christ); by implication, bloodshed, also kindred
KJV usage: blood.
Pronounce: hah'-ee-mah
Origin: of uncertain derivation

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Cross References

Acts 20:29• 29For *I* know this, that there will come in amongst you after my departure grievous wolves, not sparing the flock; (Acts 20:29)
Song of Sol. 1:7‑8• 7Tell me, thou whom my soul loveth, Where thou feedest thy flock, Where thou makest it to rest at noon; For why should I be as one veiled Beside the flocks of thy companions?
8If thou know not, thou fairest among women, Go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, And feed thy kids beside the shepherds' booths.
(Song of Sol. 1:7‑8)
Isa. 40:11• 11He will feed his flock like a shepherd: he will gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom; he will gently lead those that give suck. (Isa. 40:11)
Isa. 63:11• 11But he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people: Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? Where is he that put his holy Spirit within him, (Isa. 63:11)
Jer. 13:17,20• 17And if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because Jehovah's flock is gone into captivity.
20Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north. Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?
(Jer. 13:17,20)
Jer. 31:10• 10Hear the word of Jehovah, ye nations, and declare it to the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd his flock. (Jer. 31:10)
Ezek. 34:31• 31And ye, my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men: I am your God, saith the Lord Jehovah. (Ezek. 34:31)
Mic. 7:14• 14Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine inheritance, dwelling alone in the forest, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. (Mic. 7:14)
Luke 12:32• 32Fear not, little flock, for it has been the good pleasure of your Father to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
1 Peter 5:2‑3• 2shepherd the flock of God which is among you, exercising oversight, not by necessity, but willingly; not for base gain, but readily;
3not as lording it over your possessions, but being models for the flock.
(1 Peter 5:2‑3)
Acts 13:2• 2And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. (Acts 13:2)
Acts 14:23• 23And having chosen them elders in each assembly, having prayed with fastings, they committed them to the Lord, on whom they had believed. (Acts 14:23)
1 Cor. 12:8‑11,28‑31• 8For to one, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;
9and to a different one faith, in the power of the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healing in the power of the same Spirit;
10and to another operations of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; and to a different one kinds of tongues; and to another interpretation of tongues.
11But all these things operates the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each in particular according as he pleases.
28And God has set certain in the assembly: first, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers; then miraculous powers; then gifts of healings; helps; governments; kinds of tongues.
29Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all in possession of miraculous powers?
30have all gifts of healings? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31But desire earnestly the greater gifts, and yet shew I unto you a way of more surpassing excellence.
(1 Cor. 12:8‑11,28‑31)
1 Tim. 4:14• 14Be not negligent of the gift that is in thee, which has been given to thee through prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the elderhood. (1 Tim. 4:14)
to feed.
Psa. 78:70‑72• 70And he chose David his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:
71From following the suckling-ewes, he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.
72And he fed them according to the integrity of his heart, and led them by the skilfulness of his hands.
(Psa. 78:70‑72)
Prov. 10:21• 21The lips of a righteous man feed many; but fools die for want of understanding. (Prov. 10:21)
Isa. 40:11• 11He will feed his flock like a shepherd: he will gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom; he will gently lead those that give suck. (Isa. 40:11)
Jer. 3:15• 15And I will give you shepherds according to my heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jer. 3:15)
Ezek. 34:3• 3Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool; ye kill them that are fattened: but ye feed not the flock. (Ezek. 34:3)
Mic. 5:4• 4And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of Jehovah, in the majesty of the name of Jehovah his God. And they shall abide; for now shall he be great even unto the ends of the earth. (Mic. 5:4)
Mic. 7:14• 14Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine inheritance, dwelling alone in the forest, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. (Mic. 7:14)
Zech. 11:4• 4Thus saith Jehovah my God: Feed the flock of slaughter, (Zech. 11:4)
Matt. 2:6• 6And *thou* Bethlehem, land of Juda, art in no wise the least among the governors of Juda; for out of thee shall go forth a leader who shall shepherd my people Israel. (Matt. 2:6)
Matt. 2•  (Matt. 2)
John 21:15‑17• 15When therefore they had dined, Jesus says to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He says to him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I am attached to thee. He says to him, Feed my lambs.
16He says to him again a second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He says to him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I am attached to thee. He says to him, Shepherd my sheep.
17He says to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, art thou attached to me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, Art thou attached to me? and said to him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I am attached to thee. Jesus says to him, Feed my sheep.
(John 21:15‑17)
1 Peter 5:2‑3• 2shepherd the flock of God which is among you, exercising oversight, not by necessity, but willingly; not for base gain, but readily;
3not as lording it over your possessions, but being models for the flock.
(1 Peter 5:2‑3)
the church.
which he.
Psa. 74:2• 2Remember thine assembly, which thou hast purchased of old, which thou hast redeemed to be the portion of thine inheritance, this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt. (Psa. 74:2)
Isa. 53:10‑12• 10Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath subjected him to suffering. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see a seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand.
11He shall see of the fruit of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant instruct many in righteousness; and *he* shall bear their iniquities.
12Therefore will I assign him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong: because he hath poured out his soul unto death, and was reckoned with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
(Isa. 53:10‑12)
Eph. 1:7,14• 7in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of offences, according to the riches of his grace;
14who is the earnest of our inheritance to the redemption of the acquired possession to the praise of his glory.
(Eph. 1:7,14)
Col. 1:14• 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins; (Col. 1:14)
Heb. 9:12‑14• 12nor by blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, has entered in once for all into the holy of holies, having found an eternal redemption.
13For if the blood of goats and bulls, and a heifer's ashes sprinkling the defiled, sanctifies for the purity of the flesh,
14how much rather shall the blood of the Christ, who by the eternal Spirit offered himself spotless to God, purify your conscience from dead works to worship the living God?
(Heb. 9:12‑14)
1 Peter 1:18‑19• 18knowing that ye have been redeemed, not by corruptible things, as silver or gold, from your vain conversation handed down from your fathers,
19but by precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, the blood of Christ,
(1 Peter 1:18‑19)
1 Peter 2:9• 9But *ye* are a chosen race, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a possession, that ye might set forth the excellencies of him who has called you out of darkness to his wonderful light; (1 Peter 2:9)
Rev. 5:9• 9And they sing a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open its seals; because thou hast been slain, and hast redeemed to God, by thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, (Rev. 5:9)

J. N. Darby Translation

Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchasedb with the blood of his ownc.

JND Translation Notes

Middle voice; reflexive. see Note e, Heb. 1.3.
I am fully satisfied that this is the right translation of ver. 28. To make it a question of the divinity of Christ (which I hold to be of the foundation of Christianity) is absurd. It has been questioned whether "of his own" can be used thus absolutely in the singular. But we have it in John 15.19, and in the neuter singular for material things, Acts 4.32. The torturing of the passage by copyists arose, I believe, from not seeing, the real sense of it; a touching expression of the love of God.

W. Kelly Translation

Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock in which the Holy Ghost set you overseers to tend the assembly of God, which he purchased with his own blood1.

WK Translation Notes

heed ^: The copula οὖν ’therefore’ seems an early addition, but the best copies have it not. (Exp. of Acts, p.307)
in: The Authorized Version has gone a little beyond what the inspired word really says, ’Over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.’ It is rightly rendered in the Revised Version, ’in the which’. They were thus made to feel that they were in and of the flock of God like every other saint. (Exp. of Acts, p.308)
God: [With the American correctors of the RV, "the Lord" (with marg. Some ancient authorities, including the two oldest MSS., read God),] we cannot agree. It is a question of Scripture and spiritual judgment amidst the collision of witnesses. (Bible Treasury 14:351)
with His own blood [or, the blood of His own one]: ’With His own blood’ is beyond controversy a difficult expression, and especially in the best representation of the text, which deserves careful examination. It is not meant that there is the least cloud over the truth that He Who shed His blood for us was God. If the Savior here was not God, His purchase would have only a creature’s value, and must be wholly insufficient to acquire on God’s part the assembly as it was, yea, as it is. Being a divine person, His gaining it to Himself by blood has an infinite and eternal efficacy.
But the expression, as it stands in the Authorized and Revised Versions, is unexampled in scripture; and what is more, as already remarked, it is peculiarly embarrassing for the Christian scholar, because the form of it, now most approved on the best grounds, is extremely emphatic instead of being general. Indeed it would be easier to understand the sense as commonly understood, if the form had been, as in the vulgar reading, τοὺ ἰδίου αἶματος. The critical reading, though at first sight it may add to the difficulty, seems however the right one, τοῦ αἶματος τοὺ ἰδίου. But it is suggested that we should take τοῦ ἰδίου in government rather than in concord. The meaning that results from this would be ’the blood of His Own One’, i.e., of Christ, His Son, rather than ’His own blood’. This meaning, if certain, would make all plain.
It was in all probability the perplexity here felt which led some copyists in early days to substitute the church ’of the Lord’, for that ’of God’. But this reading, though externally well supported (A Cpm. D E, et al.), is at issue with New Testament usage, and is thus on the whole inferior to that of the common text, though as far as ’God’ goes no one need be surprised that Wetstein and Griesbach adopted it; but it is not so intelligible why Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles are not here found rather with Mill, Wolf, Bengel, Scholz, Alford (in all his editions since the first two), Wordsworth, Westcott and Hort, who hold to τοὺ θεοῦ. It is Alford’s mistake that Matthäi prefers the same; for in both his editions he follows his Moscow copies, and has the same conflate reading as the Complutensian, τοῦ κυρίοῦ καὶ θεοῦ (C3 H L P, some 110 or more cursives). Other varieties there are, scarce worth noticing on any ground, as, τοῦ κυρίου (3,95**), τοῦ θεου καὶ κυρίου (47). Some ancient versions represent τοῦ χριστοῦ, one old Latin ’Jesu Christi’, and the Georgian — τοῦ κυρίοὺ τοῦ θεου.
Dr. Scrivener therefore fairly enough says that our choice evidently lies between κυρίῦ and θεοῦ, though Patristic testimony may slightly incline to the latter, as he does himself. But why he should consider that the usus loquendi of the apostle, though incontrovertibly sustaining θεοῖ against κυρίυ, ’appears little relevant to the case of either’, is to my mind unintelligible. For the utmost that can be said for the immense weight on one side is that it may not have been impossible to have said the other in this sole instance. Scripture beyond doubt is larger than man’s mind; but assuredly he is rather bold or careless who could slight an expression invariably found for one never found elsewhere, and here easily understood to be a change in order to escape a sentiment extremely harsh and unexampled if taken as it commonly is.
It may not be without profit to conceive how the discovery of the Sinai MS., and a clearer knowledge, not only of the Vatican copy, but of other weighty authorities, must have modified, if not revolutionized, the judgment of Griesbach. ’Ex his omnibus luculenter apparet, pro lectione θεοῦ ne unicum quidem militare codicem, qui sive vetustate sive interna bonitate sua testis idonei et incorrupti laude ornari queat. Non reperitur, nisi in libris recentioribus iisdemque vel penitus contemnendis, vel misere, multis saltem in locis, interpolatis. Sed nec versionum auctoritate tueri se potest. Nulla enim translatio habet θεοῦ praeter Vulgatum recentiorem, (quam redarguunt antiquiores libri latini,) et Philoxenianam syriacam,...Tandem neque apud Patres certa lectionis istius vestigia deprehenduntur ante Epiphanium,... Quomodo igitur salvis critcae artis legibus lectio θεοῦ, utpote omni auctoritate justa destituta, defendi queat, equidem haud intelligo.’ (N. T. Gr. ed. sec. ii. 115, Halae Sax. et Lond. 1806). It is now certified, not by Birch only, who might have been more heeded, notwithstanding the silence of the collation for Bentley, but by the personal and expressly minute examination of Tregelles, who rather looked for an erasure, but found no sign of it in B, but θεοῦ, as also in א. Now no sober and intelligent mind can doubt that the weight of א and B is at least equal to A C D E.
Among the cursives, as usual, some may be of slight account, but others are really valuable and undeserving of so sweeping a censure. As to Versions, none can be produced of greater value than the Vulgate, and the most ancient and excellent copies, such as the Amiatine, Fuldensian, Demidovianus, Toletanus, et al., as well as the Clementine edition, have ‘Dei’. It is rather audacious to begin with Epiphanius among the Fathers in face of the well-known allusion of Ignatius (Πρὸς Ἐφεσιους ἰ.) which this verse alone can account for. Greek and Latin Fathers cite the common text, or refer freely to it (as Tertullian Ad Uxorem ii. 3, Clement Alex. ii. 3, 44) though no doubt there is a vacillation which answers to the various readings.
Griesbach also argues on the improbability that Athanasius could have read the text as it stands and deny as he does against Apollinarius that αἴμα θεοῦ occurs, ascribing such an expression to the Arians; indeed many besides Athanasius objected to such language. And it would have been truly impossible if διἄ τοῦ ἰδίου αἴματος had been the true reading. But it is not. The majority of later copies may support it, as they do the unquestionably wrong τοῦ κυρίοῦ καὶ θεου but all late critics agree to follow א A B C D E, et al.
It would appear then that the great champion of orthodoxy must have understood τοῦ ἰδίου to be expressive of Christ, as God’s ’own’ One. Otherwise the emphasis, if we take τοῆ ἰδίου in concord, renders the phrase so intolerable that nothing but necessity could justify it. Is there any such need? In other words, if the true text were διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἴατος, we must translate it as in the Authorized Version and all others which were based on that reading now recognized as incorrect; and we could then understand the phrase only as predicated of Him Who is God by what theologians call κοινωνία ἰδιωμάτων. And Meyer considers that the true reading was changed to the common but indirect one because τοῦ ἰδίον, as it ought to be, might be referred to Christ. Doederlein, Michaelis, and other moderns, when they so refer τοῦ ἰδίυ, may have had low thoughts of Christ; but certainly not such was Athanasius, who, it seems, must have so understood the passage. Can it be questioned that the emphatic contrastic force, if we take it as God’s own blood, brings the phrase under what he calls the τολμήματα αῶν Ἀρειανῶν?
It is easy to ask for justification by Greek usage. This is exactly what from the nature of the case could hardly be; for in all the New Testament, as there is no other instance of a noun followed by τοῦ ἰδίου, there is no distinct matter for comparison. But it is to be noticed that, where Christ goes before, what follows is διά τοῦ ἰδίου αίματος (Heb. 9:12; 13:12). It is reasonable therefore to infer that, as the emphatic contrast would be dogmatically extravagant, the rendering most entitled to our acceptance is ’through the blood of His own One’. Dr. Hort indeed suggests ’through the blood that was His own, i.e., as being His Son’s’ (The N.T. in Greek, ii. 99). It may be doubted whether this will commend itself more than Mr. Darby’s.
The general truth is untouched. The question is how best to solve the very real difficulty. The suggested version seems less objectionable than Dr. Hort’s conjecture at the close of his note, that υἰοῦ, may have dropped out of the τοῦ ἰδίου at some very early transcription affecting all existing documents. Conjectural emendation in N.T. scripture has never approached a proof of its need or value in a solitary example. He Who gave us His word has watched over it; and we need not distrust Him here. (G. C. Knapp, (N.T. Gr. ii. 647, 8, ed. 4th, London, 1824) hazards another guess. ’Primitively perhaps it was thus written—the church, which He purchased with the blood of His own [namely, Son], Rom. 8:3, 32. Luke elsewhere always speaks simply of the church. Those who referred "purchased" to Christ, substituted, from Heb. 13:12, διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἲματος’. But leaving out his conjecture, he leans to this version, which he preferred to the usual one.)
The reasoning of Bp. Middleton (Greek Article, Rose’s Ed., 291-5) is founded on the erroneous vulgar text, and directed mainly against Mr. G. Wakefield, whose version and notes are here, as ever, devoted to the confirmation of his heterodox views. But Michaelis was not so ignorant as to translate the common text as the Bp. says he did; nor ought a writer on the Greek article to have overlooked an emphasis in the repeated article, as compared with the ordinary form, which would be hard indeed to predicate of God as such, when the unemphatic only is appllied to Christ’s own blood. It is to be doubted therefore whether Bp. Middleton, or those who cite him in this connection did really comprehend or see the true conditions of the question. For on the one hand the common deduction involves us in thoughts and expressions wholly foreign to scripture; on the other hand, if the Greek can honestly mean by the blood of His own One, the balance of truth is at once restored, and the utmost that can be alleged against the contraction is that its seeming ambiguity might be supposed improbable for the apostle’s mouth. That it is sound Greek to express this meaning will scarcely be disputed save by prejudiced persons who do not sufficiently bear in mind the graver objections to the other version. (See also J.N.D.’s footnote to the passage in his New Translation (1884).)
Returning then from the consideration of the passage, one may conclude that the Text. Rec. is right in reading church or assembly ’of God’, but wrong in following that form of expression at the close of the verse which would compel us to translate, contrary to all the phraseology of scripture elsewhere, ’through His own blood’. The reading of all critics with adequate information and judgment might, and ordinarily would, bear the same meaning with the force of a contrasting emphasis, which is never used even of our Lord; if said of God, it is wholly unaccountable. It seems that this moral improbability made Athanasius deny the phrase (found in Ignatius, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian) to be in scripture; which nevertheless has it, and has it in the most pointed form, if we are bound to διὰ τοῦ αἲματος τοῦ ἰδίου as scholars usually do, without speaking of the Oriental Versions, which cut the knot by giving ’the Lord’, ’the Lord and God’, and ’Christ’. But it seems only prejudice to deny that τοῦ ἰδίου may be as legitimately in regimen as in concord: if in regimen, the sense would be ’of His own One’, and the difficulty of the right text is at an end. In this case the apostle employs unusually touching terms to enforce on the elders to shepherd the assembly of God, which He acquired to Himself through the blood of His own One, special personality being merged in a purchase so beyond measure dear and precious. That the Saviour is the Son of the Father from everlasting to everlasting is certain to the believer; but the Book of the Acts habitually presents the truth from a broader point of view with which the apostolic charge would here coalesce. (Exp. of Acts, p.309-313)