7:38 This is the man who was in the congregation 1 in the wilderness 2 with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors, 3 and he 4 received living oracles 5 to give to you. 6 7:39 Our 7 ancestors 8 were unwilling to obey 9 him, but pushed him aside 10 and turned back to Egypt in their hearts,
1 tn This term, ἐκκλησία (ekklhsia), is a secular use of the term that came to mean “church” in the epistles. Here a reference to an assembly is all that is intended.
2 tn Or “desert.”
3 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
4 tn Grk “fathers, who.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “he” and a new clause introduced by “and” was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style.
5 tn Or “messages.” This is an allusion to the law given to Moses.
6 tc ‡ The first person pronoun ἡμῖν (Jhmin, “to us”) is read by A C D E Ψ 33 1739 Ï lat sy, while the second person pronoun ὑμῖν (Jumin, “to you”) is read by Ì74 א B 36 453 al co. The second person pronoun thus has significantly better external support. As well, ὑμῖν is a harder reading in this context, both because it is surrounded by first person pronouns and because Stephen perhaps “does not wish to disassociate himself from those who received God’s revelation in the past, but only from those who misinterpreted and disobeyed that revelation” (TCGNT 307). At the same time, Stephen does associate himself to some degree with his disobedient ancestors in v. 39, suggesting that the decisive break does not really come until v. 51 (where both his present audience and their ancestors are viewed as rebellious). Thus, both externally and internally ὑμῖν is the preferred reading.
7 tn Grk “whom our.” The continuation of the sentence as a relative clause is awkward in English, so a new sentence was started in the translation at this point.
8 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
9 sn To obey. Again the theme of the speech is noted. The nation disobeyed the way of God and opted for Egypt over the promised land.