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'Uneducated', 'ignorant', or even 'illiterate'? Aspects and Background for an Understanding of Αγραμματοι (and Ιδιωται) in Acts 4:13

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers a consideration of what Acts 4:13 implied and discusses what information can be filtered out of the verse for the reader of today. The lack of knowledge of Greek among the ordinary rural population of Egypt was a consequence of the fact that the Greek and the Roman occupations had not led to any interest in assimilating the Egyptians or Graeco-Egyptians to Greek and Roman culture. The occupying parties had only one major aim: to exploit the resources of the country. 'Illiterate' may be accepted as the possible meaning of άγράμματος in Acts 4.13, provided that other meanings are not excluded by this. An interpretation of Acts 4:13 should always stick to the syntactic structure and take into account the manifold semantic nuances of words. Further, in Acts 4:13 nothing is said about rhetoric, social class or the like.

Keywords: άγράμματος; Acts 4:13; Graeco-Egyptians; Illiterate



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