The meaning of Acts 13:48 got on the way with Elshaddai’s Luke slips in Predestination, and was followed by Bryan’s Acts 13:48 – Appointed or Disposed? Well, I just want to quote a few noteworthy commentators on Acts 13:48, from both the Arminian and Calvinistic camp.
An Arminian take on Acts 13:48: I. Howard Marshall, professor emeritus of NT exegesis at the University of Aberdeen, says:
The phrase [were ordained to eternal life] indicates that not all the Gentiles in the town believed the gospel. It could be taken in the sense that God had predestined certain of them to believe. But it could also refer to those who had already put their trust in God in accordance with the Old Testament revelation of his grace and were enrolled in his people, or perhaps it means that the Gentiles believed in virtue of the fact that God’s plan of salvation included them. (Acts, p. 231, emphasis added)
Notice that while professor Marshall admits a Reformed understanding of the verse, he leans more to the “disposed to eternal life” understanding of the perfect passive τεταγμένοι and therefore treating it not as a perfect passive but as a perfect middle.
Now here’s a Calvinist take on Acts 13:48: Darrell L. Bock, research professor of NT studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, adds:
Here it [τεταγμένοι] refers to God’s sovereign work over salvation, where God has assigned those who come to eternal life. The passive voice indicates that God does the assigning. It is as strong a passage on God’s sovereignty as anywhere in Luke-Acts and has OT and Jewish roots. (Acts, p. 465, emphasis added)
Notice that professor Bock treats the perfect passive τεταγμένοι as passive and not middle with the idea of “disposed to.”
So we’re right back where we started, unless…