Slew and Hanged on a Tree

Acts 5:30

By Martin A. Shue

Posted by Meeskhak 4/10/01 at AV 1611 God's word - EZ Board  

I seek a perfect Bible, too. I heard the KJV was it, but my copy says at Acts 5:30: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree."

This contradicts the Gospels, which say Christ suffered and died on the Cross.

I believe the Gospels. Besides, my NKJV eliminates the contradiction by translating Acts 5:30 this way: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree." Here the NKJV follows the original Greek.

Do you think Christ was killed and then hung lifeless on the Cross? I hope not. Why not give the NKJV a chance? Like the KJV, it has faults, but not in the same places. So, used together, the NKJV, KJV, and other reliable translations help us get the true sense of passages.

"Therefore as St. Augustine saith, as variety of translations is profitable for the finding out of the meaning of the Scriptures, so diversity of meaning and sense in the margin, where the text is not so clear, must needs do good, yea, is necessary as we are persuaded ..." (The [KJV] Translators to the Reader).

How blessed we are to have good translations and helps! We do well to use them.


  Posted by Martin Shue 4/14/01 at AV 1611 God's word - EZ Board    


Hello meeskhak,

I seek a perfect Bible, too. I heard the KJV was it, but my copy says at Acts 5:30: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree."

I am glad to hear that you "seek a perfect Bible". Most on this board are nothing but critics of EVERY Bible extant. They are not looking for a "perfect Bible" but rather are looking to convince everyone else that there is not and never will be a "perfect Bible". So, if you are truly seeking for a "perfect Bible" I will be glad to present to you the Authorized Version, which God has seen fit to give us and to use greatly since its publication. I must wonder, however, if you are truly seeking for a "perfect Bible" or just trying to demonstrate to us that the AV is not it. You say that the AV is not "perfect" because it has, what you term, a "contradiction" in Acts 5:30. Then you say that the NKJV "eliminates the contradiction". So, are we to believe that the NKJV is "perfect" since it "eliminates the contradiction"? Not hardly, because you go on to inform us that "Like the KJV, it [the NKJV] has faults". Naturally, if the NKJV "has faults" it can't measure up to a "perfect Bible" can it? Well, I say that the AV IS a "perfect Bible". And until I am convinced otherwise (by solid evidence) I will continue to believe this. Which brings me to your concern regarding Acts 5:30.

This verse is certainly not new to those of us that have been studying this subject any length of time. It is of interest, though, since this is one of those rare verses where we are not dealing with a variant created by the Alexandrian MSS. All Greek texts read the same way at this verse. So what we really have before us is a matter of translation and not, as you suggested, a case where the AV doesn't follow "the original Greek". (I would question this statement but that is a matter for another discussion all together!). The AV does follow "the original Greek" and gives a perfectly acceptable translation of the phrase.

It appears that you have erred just as James White has regarding this verse. It is kind of ironic that both you and Mr. White strongly object to the AV's "and" but you have little or no problem with the insertion of "by" in the modern versions. As a matter of fact the NIV, NASV, RSV, NRSV, CEV, TEV, NLT, NET (which oddly enough inserts 'and' and 'by'), etc. etc. ALL insert the little word "by". However, this is okay with you but the AV is "Clearly, error in Acts 5:30" due to the "and". We proceed anyway.

Again, much like Mr. White you have erred because you have misread the text of the AV. It is even quite remarkable that you both write nearly the same exact words. Have a look: Mr. White writes, "The NKJV corrects the problem seen in the KJV rendering. Peter did not say that the Jews had slain Jesus and then hung him on a tree. Instead they put the Lord to death by hanging Him upon the tree (The King James Only Controversy, pp. 225-226)." In your post you write, "my NKJV eliminates the contradiction....Do you think Christ was killed and then hung lifeless on the Cross?" Do you see yours and Mr. White's error? You, Mr. White and nearly everyone else that reads this verse makes the same mistake. Instead of reading the text for what it actually says YOU read into it YOUR thoughts trying to make it say something that it clearly doesn't say. In his blindness White even says, "Peter did not say that the Jews had slain Jesus and then hung him on a tree". Though he is trying to make a point AGAINST the reading of the AV he is actually making a point FOR the AV. Even though you and White can't see it you are both misreading the verse. White is right, Peter did not say "whom ye slew and THEN hanged on a tree". But if you look closely both you and White write "Christ was killed and THEN hung lifeless on the Cross". This is not what the verse says is it meeskhak?

The fact of the matter is that "and" is a conjunction and does not refer to a time frame nor does it refer to a particular sequence of events. On the other hand what you and Mr. White read into the verse (e.g. and THEN) changes the verse and DOES refer to a time frame. Again, this is where you err. Peter was not rehearsing the order of events but rather he was simply joining two thoughts together by the conjunction "and". This is such elementary English I am surprised that neither Mr. White, who professes to be "Scholar in Residence in the College of Christian Studies, Grand Canyon University", nor you understands this. The funny thing about this is that my 8 yr. old son is learning this very thing in his English studies. Just for fun I asked him for an example----this is out of his English book (Daily Guided Teaching and Review for 2nd and 3rd Grades):
Day 16
4) The dish is red.
    The dish is cracked.

He would then be expected to make a sentence like "The dish is red and cracked".

This is precisely what Peter is doing in Acts 5:30. Instead of making two long sentences he plainly states "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." (Note the absence of "then"). He is joining two thoughts (e.g. ye slew Jesus; ye hanged Jesus on a tree). This very same manner of construction can be found in 1 Sam. 17:50-51. I will not take time to explain it but you can look at it for yourself.

So the error is not with the AV but with your preconceived thoughts of what you think the text is saying.

Additionally, the verse has some strong support from other translations--

Tyndale rendered it "whom ye slewe and hanged on tre"

Cranmer (Great Bible)- "whom ye slew, and hanged on tre."

Geneva - "whome ye slewe, and hanged on tree"

Luther translated it "welchen ihr erwurgt habt und an das Holz gehangt" (und='and')

Noah Webster, who would easily be classifed as an expert in the English language and its usage, leaves this verse as it is found in the AV. Though Webster made other changes in his 1833 edition it is clear that he understood precisely what this verse was saying because he left it unaltered.

I have tried to answer your objection to Acts 5:30 as well as I could; however, if you still have questions I will be glad to discuss this or any other verse with you. I firmly believe that if you will look at the facts and remain reasonable you will conclude as I, and many others on this board, have that the Authorized Version is that "perfect Bible" that you are searching for.

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.
1 Peter 1:25