The story in Acts 16 of the demon-possessed slave girl is a curious story to me for many reasons.If it's better to break up my questions into several, I can do so; but for now I'd like to keep them as one since I suspect the answers will be related.Here is the story in Acts -18 (NIV): Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future.
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She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." She kept this up for many days.
Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her! Why is this spirit giving seemingly positive witness to Paul's claims?
If it is true testimony, why does Paul eventually get annoyed with the girl? Why didn't he perform the exorcism immediately upon encountering her?
It seems as though the testimony of a competitor would be the ultimate advertising.
(Imagine a picture of Bill Gates happily using an i Pad.) Something that Paul could not accept in her testimony of them was that she left out something very important—the definite article.
This is a time when the Greek leaving it out is important (unlike the last clause in John 1:1 where having the article on both nouns would hinder understanding and cause confusion).
Paul and the others had already established that their message of Christ's sacrifice was the way of salvation.
We may note that leaving out the definite article changed a sound, Biblical teaching to the heresy of pluralism, turning Jesus from the unique Son of God to one-among-many.
The NET Bible notes state that the grammar could allow either using "a" or providing a "the." They also state they prefer the definite article as Luke elsewhere refers to Christianity as "the way." However, I disagree for the same reason.
Whenever Luke refers to Christianity as "the way," he uses the article (see Acts 9:2, , 26, 19:9, 23, 22:4, , and 22.).
If Luke meant the girl was proclaiming that they were teaching "the way," he would have used the definite article.