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Acts 28

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Paul on Malta

28:1 After we had safely reached shore, 1  we learned that the island was called Malta. 2  28:2 The local inhabitants 3  showed us extraordinary 4  kindness, for they built a fire and welcomed us all because it had started to rain 5  and was cold. 28:3 When Paul had gathered a bundle of brushwood 6  and was putting it on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. 28:4 When the local people 7  saw the creature hanging from Paul’s 8  hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer! Although he has escaped from the sea, Justice herself 9  has not allowed him to live!” 10  28:5 However, 11  Paul 12  shook 13  the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. 28:6 But they were expecting that he was going to swell up 14  or suddenly drop dead. So after they had waited 15  a long time and had seen 16  nothing unusual happen 17  to him, they changed their minds 18  and said he was a god. 19 

28:7 Now in the region around that place 20  were fields belonging to the chief official 21  of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us hospitably as guests for three days. 28:8 The father 22  of Publius lay sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him 23  and after praying, placed 24  his hands on him and healed 25  him. 28:9 After this had happened, many of the people on the island who were sick 26  also came and were healed. 27  28:10 They also bestowed many honors, 28  and when we were preparing to sail, 29  they gave 30  us all the supplies we needed. 31 

Paul Finally Reaches Rome

28:11 After three months we put out to sea 32  in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island and had the “Heavenly Twins” 33  as its figurehead. 34  28:12 We put in 35  at Syracuse 36  and stayed there three days. 28:13 From there we cast off 37  and arrived at Rhegium, 38  and after one day a south wind sprang up 39  and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 40  28:14 There 41  we found 42  some brothers 43  and were invited to stay with them seven days. And in this way we came to Rome. 44  28:15 The brothers from there, 45  when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius 46  and Three Taverns 47  to meet us. When he saw them, 48  Paul thanked God and took courage. 28:16 When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live 49  by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.

Paul Addresses the Jewish Community in Rome

28:17 After three days 50  Paul 51  called the local Jewish leaders 52  together. When they had assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, 53  although I had done 54  nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, 55  from Jerusalem 56  I was handed over as a prisoner to the Romans. 57  28:18 When 58  they had heard my case, 59  they wanted to release me, 60  because there was no basis for a death sentence 61  against me. 28:19 But when the Jews objected, 62  I was forced to appeal to Caesar 63  – not that I had some charge to bring 64  against my own people. 65  28:20 So for this reason I have asked to see you and speak with you, for I am bound with this chain because of the hope of Israel.” 66  28:21 They replied, 67  “We have received no letters from Judea about you, nor have any of the brothers come from there 68  and reported or said anything bad about you. 28:22 But we would like to hear from you what you think, for regarding this sect we know 69  that people 70  everywhere speak against 71  it.”

28:23 They set 72  a day to meet with him, 73  and they came to him where he was staying 74  in even greater numbers. 75  From morning until evening he explained things 76  to them, 77  testifying 78  about the kingdom of God 79  and trying to convince 80  them about Jesus from both the law of Moses and the prophets. 28:24 Some were convinced 81  by what he said, 82  but others refused 83  to believe. 28:25 So they began to leave, 84  unable to agree among themselves, after Paul made one last statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly to your ancestors 85  through the prophet Isaiah 28:26 when he said,

Go to this people and say,

You will keep on hearing, 86  but will never understand,

and you will keep on looking, 87  but will never perceive.

28:27 For the heart of this people has become dull, 88 

and their ears are hard of hearing, 89 

and they have closed their eyes,

so that they would not see with their eyes

and hear with their ears

and understand with their heart

and turn, 90  and I would heal them.”’ 91 

28:28 “Therefore be advised 92  that this salvation from God 93  has been sent to the Gentiles; 94  they 95  will listen!”

28:29 [[EMPTY]] 96 

28:30 Paul 97  lived 98  there two whole years in his own rented quarters 99  and welcomed 100  all who came to him, 28:31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ 101  with complete boldness 102  and without restriction. 103 

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1 tn Grk “We having been brought safely through” [to land] (same verb as 27:44). The word “shore” is implied, and the slight variations in translation from 27:44 have been made to avoid redundancy in English. The participle διασωθέντες (diaswqente") has been taken temporally.

2 sn Malta is an island (known by the same name today) in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily. The ship had traveled 625 mi (1,000 km) in the storm.

map For location see JP4-A3.

3 tn Although this is literally βάρβαροι (barbaroi; “foreigners, barbarians”) used for non-Greek or non-Romans, as BDAG 166 s.v. βάρβαρος 2.b notes, “Of the inhabitants of Malta, who apparently spoke in their native language Ac 28:2, 4 (here β. certainly without derogatory tone…).”

4 tn BDAG 1019 s.v. τυγχάνω 2.d states, “δυνάμεις οὐ τὰς τυχούσας extraordinary miracles Ac 19:11. Cp. 28:2.”

5 tn Or “because it was about to rain.” BDAG 418 s.v. ἐφίστημι 4 states, “διὰ τ. ὑετὸν τὸν ἐφεστῶτα because it had begun to rain Ac 28:2…But the mng. here could also be because it threatened to rain (s. 6).”

6 tn Or “sticks.”

7 tn Although this is literally βάρβαροι (barbaroi; “foreigners, barbarians”) used for non-Greek or non-Romans, as BDAG 166 s.v. βάρβαρος 2.b notes, “Of the inhabitants of Malta, who apparently spoke in their native language Ac 28:2, 4 (here β. certainly without derogatory tone…).”

8 tn Grk “his”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn That is, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live. BDAG 250 s.v. δίκη 2 states, “Justice personified as a deity Ac 28:4”; L&N 12.27, “a goddess who personifies justice in seeking out and punishing the guilty – ‘the goddess Justice.’ ἡ δίκη ζῆν οὐκ εἴασεν ‘the goddess Justice would not let him live’ Ac 28:4.” Although a number of modern English translations have rendered δίκη (dikh) “justice,” preferring to use an abstraction, in the original setting it is almost certainly a reference to a pagan deity. In the translation, the noun “justice” was capitalized and the reflexive pronoun “herself” was supplied to make the personification clear. This was considered preferable to supplying a word like ‘goddess’ in connection with δίκη.

10 sn The entire scene is played out initially as a kind of oracle from the gods resulting in the judgment of a guilty person (Justice herself has not allowed him to live). Paul’s survival of this incident without ill effects thus spoke volumes about his innocence.

11 tn BDAG 737 s.v. οὖν 4 indicates the particle has an adversative sense here: “but, however.”

12 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

13 tn Grk “shaking the creature off…he suffered no harm.” The participle ἀποτινάξας (apotinaxa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

14 tn Or “going to burn with fever.” According to BDAG 814 s.v. πίμπρημι, either meaning (“swell up” or “burn with fever”) is possible for Acts 28:6.

15 tn The participle προσδοκώντων (prosdokwntwn) has been taken temporally.

16 tn The participle θεωρούντων (qewrountwn) has been taken temporally.

17 tn Grk “happening.” The participle γινόμενον (ginomenon) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

18 tn Grk “changing their minds.” The participle μεταβαλόμενοι (metabalomenoi) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

19 sn And said he was a god. The reaction is like Acts 14:11-19 where the crowd wanted to make Paul and Barnabas into gods. The providence of God had protected Paul again.

20 tn BDAG 798 s.v. περί 2.a.γ states, “of nearby places…τὰ περὶ τὸν τὸπον the region around the place Ac 28:7.” The presence of ἐκεῖνον (ekeinon) results in the translation “that place.”

21 tn That is, the chief Roman official. Several inscriptions have confirmed the use of πρῶτος (prwtos) as an administrative title used on the island of Malta for the highest Roman official. See further BDAG 852 s.v. Πόπλιος.

22 tn Grk “It happened that the father.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

23 tn Grk “to whom Paul going in.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) was replaced by a personal pronoun (“him”) and a new sentence begun here in the translation. The participle εἰσελθών (eiselqwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

24 tn The participle ἐπιθείς (epiqeis) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

25 sn And healed him. Here are healings like Luke 9:40; 10:30; 13:13; Acts 16:23.

26 tn BDAG 142 s.v. ἀσθένεια 1 states, “ἔχειν ἀ. be ill Ac 28:9.”

27 sn Many…also came and were healed. Again, here is irony. Paul, though imprisoned, “frees” others of their diseases.

28 tn Or “they also honored us greatly”; Grk “they also honored us with many honors” (an idiom).

29 tn BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4, “as a nautical t.t. (. τὴν ναῦν put a ship to sea), mid. or pass. ἀνάγεσθαι to begin to go by boat, put out to sea.” In this case the simpler English “sail” is more appropriate. The English participle “preparing” has also been supplied, since the provisioning of the ship would take place some time before the actual departure.

30 tn BDAG 384 s.v. ἐπιτίθημι 1.b has “give τινί τι someth. to someoneἀναγομένοις τὰ πρὸς τὰς χρείας when we sailed they gave us what we needed Ac 28:10.”

31 sn They gave us all the supplies we needed. What they had lost in the storm and shipwreck was now replaced. Luke describes these pagans very positively.

32 tn BDAG 62 s.v. ἀνάγω 4, “as a nautical t.t. (. τὴν ναῦν put a ship to sea), mid. or pass. ἀνάγεσθαι to begin to go by boat, put out to sea.”

33 tn Or “the ‘Twin Gods’”; Grk “the Dioscuri” (a joint name for the pagan deities Castor and Pollux).

sn That had theHeavenly Twinsas its figurehead. The twin brothers Castor and Pollux, known collectively as the Dioscuri or ‘Heavenly Twins,’ were the twin sons of Zeus and Leda according to Greek mythology. The Alexandrian ship on which Paul and his companions sailed from Malta had a carved emblem or figurehead of these figures, and they would have been the patron deities of the vessel. Castor and Pollux were the “gods of navigation.” To see their stars was considered a good omen (Epictetus, Discourses 2.18.29; Lucian of Samosata, The Ship 9).

34 tn Or “as its emblem.”

35 tn Grk “And putting in.” The participle καταχθέντες (katacqente") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. On the meaning of the participle, BDAG 516 s.v. κατάγω states, “Hence the pass., in act. sense, of ships and seafarers put in εἴς τι at a harborεἰς Συρακούσας Ac 28:12.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

36 sn Syracuse was a city on the eastern coast of the island of Sicily. It was 75 mi (120 km) from Malta.

37 tc A few early mss (א* B Ψ [gig] {sa [bo]}) read περιελόντες (perielonte", “[From there we] cast off [and arrived at Rhegium]”; cf. Acts 27:40). The other major variant, περιελθόντες (perielqonte", “[we] sailed from place to place”), is found in Ì74 א2 A 066 1739 Ï lat sy. Although περιελόντες is minimally attested, it is found in the better witnesses. As well, it is a more difficult reading, for its meaning as a nautical term is uncertain, requiring something like “τὰς ἀγκύρας be supplied = ‘we weighed anchor’” (BDAG 799 s.v. περιαιρέω 1). It thus best explains the rise of the other readings.

38 sn Rhegium was a city on the southern tip of Italy. It was 80 mi (130 km) from Syracuse.

39 tn Grk “after one day, a south wind springing up, on the second day.” The genitive absolute construction with the participle ἐπιγενομένου (epigenomenou) has been translated as a clause with a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

40 sn Puteoli was a city on the western coast of Italy south of Rome. It was in the Bay of Naples some 220 mi (350 km) to the north of Rhegium. Here the voyage ended; the rest of the journey was by land.

41 tn Grk “where.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“where”) has been replaced with the demonstrative pronoun (“there”) and a new sentence begun here in the translation.

42 tn Grk “finding.” The participle εὑρόντες (Jeurontes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

43 sn That is, some fellow Christians.

44 map For location see JP4 A1.

45 sn Mention of Christian brothers from there (Rome) shows that God’s message had already spread as far as Italy and the capital of the empire.

46 sn The Forum of Appius was a small traveler’s stop on the Appian Way about 43 mi (71 km) south of Rome (BDAG 125 s.v. ᾿Αππίου φόρον). It was described by Horace as “crammed with boatmen and stingy tavernkeepers” (Satires 1.5.3).

47 sn Three Taverns was a stop on the Appian Way 33 mi (55 km) south of Rome.

48 tn Grk “whom, when he saw [them], Paul.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) was replaced by the personal pronoun (“them”) and a new sentence begun here in the translation.

49 tn Or “to stay.”

sn Allowed to live by himself. Paul continued to have a generous prison arrangement (cf. Acts 27:3).

50 tn Grk “It happened that after three days.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

51 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

52 tn L&N 33.309 has “‘after three days, he called the local Jewish leaders together’ Ac 28:17.”

53 tn Grk “Men brothers,” but this is both awkward and unnecessary in English.

54 tn The participle ποιήσας (poihsas) has been translated as a concessive adverbial participle.

55 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”

sn I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors. Once again Paul claimed to be faithful to the Jewish people and to the God of Israel.

56 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

57 tn Grk “into the hands of the Romans,” but this is redundant when παρεδόθην (paredoqhn) has been translated “handed over.”

58 tn Grk “who when.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“who”) has been replaced by the personal pronoun (“they”) and a new sentence begun at this point in the translation.

59 tn Or “had questioned me”; or “had examined me.” BDAG 66 s.v. ἀνακρίνω 2 states, “to conduct a judicial hearing, hear a case, question.”

60 sn They wanted to release me. See Acts 25:23-27.

61 tn Grk “no basis for death,” but in this context a sentence of death is clearly indicated.

62 tn That is, objected to my release.

63 tn Or “to the emperor” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).

64 tn BDAG 533 s.v. κατηγορέω 1 states, “nearly always as legal t.t.: bring charges in court.” L&N 33.427 states for κατηγορέω, “to bring serious charges or accusations against someone, with the possible connotation of a legal or court context – ‘to accuse, to bring charges.’”

65 tn Or “my own nation.”

66 sn The hope of Israel. A reference to Israel’s messianic hope. Paul’s preaching was in continuity with this Jewish hope (Acts 1:3; 8:12; 14:22; 19:8; 20:25).

67 tn Grk “they said to him.”

68 tn Or “arrived”; Grk “come” (“from there” is implied). Grk “coming.” The participle παραγενόμενος (paragenomeno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

69 tn Grk “regarding this sect it is known to us.” The passive construction “it is known to us” has been converted to an active one to simplify the translation.

70 tn Grk “that everywhere it is spoken against.” To simplify the translation the passive construction “it is spoken against” has been converted to an active one with the subject “people” supplied.

71 tn On the term translated “speak against,” see BDAG 89 s.v. ἀντιλέγω 1.

72 tn Grk “Having set.” The participle ταξάμενοι (taxamenoi) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

73 tn Grk “Having set a day with him”; the words “to meet” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

74 tn Or “came to him in his rented quarters.”

75 tn BDAG 848 s.v. πολύς 1.b.β.ב states, “(even) more πλείονες in even greater numbers Ac 28:23.”

76 tn The word “things” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

77 tn Grk “to whom he explained.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) has been replaced by the pronoun (“them”) and a new sentence begun at this point in the translation.

78 tn BDAG 233 s.v. διαμαρτύρομαι 1 has “to make a solemn declaration about the truth of someth. testify of, bear witness to (orig. under oath)…Gods kingdom 28:23.”

79 sn Testifying about the kingdom of God. The topic is important. Paul’s preaching was about the rule of God and his promise in Jesus. Paul’s text was the Jewish scriptures.

80 tn Or “persuade.”

81 tn Or “persuaded.”

82 tn Grk “by the things spoken.”

83 sn Some were convinced…but others refused to believe. Once again the gospel caused division among Jews, as in earlier chapters of Acts (13:46; 18:6).

84 tn The imperfect verb ἀπελύοντο (apeluonto) has been translated as an ingressive imperfect.

85 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”

86 tn Grk “you will hear with hearing” (an idiom).

87 tn Or “seeing”; Grk “you will look by looking” (an idiom).

88 tn Or “insensitive.”

sn The heart of this people has become dull. The charge from Isaiah is like Stephen’s against the Jews of Jerusalem (Acts 7:51-53). They were a hard-hearted and disobedient people.

89 tn Grk “they hear heavily with their ears” (an idiom for slow comprehension).

90 sn Note how the failure to respond to the message of the gospel is seen as a failure to turn.

91 sn A quotation from Isa 6:9-10.

92 tn Grk “Therefore let it be known to you.”

93 tn Or “of God.”

94 sn The term Gentiles is in emphatic position in the Greek text of this clause. Once again there is the pattern: Jewish rejection of the gospel leads to an emphasis on Gentile inclusion (Acts 13:44-47).

95 tn Grk “they also.”

96 tc Some later mss include 28:29: “When he had said these things, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.” Verse 29 is lacking in Ì74vid א A B E Ψ 048 33 81 1175 1739 2464 pc and a number of versions. They are included (with a few minor variations) in Ï it and some versions. This verse is almost certainly not a part of the original text of Acts, as it lacks the best credentials. The present translation follows NA27 in omitting the verse number, a procedure also followed by a number of other modern translations.

97 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

98 tn Or “stayed.”

99 tn Or perhaps, “two whole years at his own expense.” BDAG 654 s.v. μίσθωμα states, “the customary act. mng. ‘contract price, rent’…is not found in our lit. (Ac) and the pass. what is rented, a rented house is a mng. not found outside it (even Ammonius Gramm. [100 ad] p. 93 Valck. knows nothing of it. Hence the transl. at his own expense [NRSV] merits attention) ἐν ἰδίῳ μισθώματι in his own rented lodgings Ac 28:30 (for the idea cp. Jos., Ant. 18, 235).”

100 tn Or “and received.”

101 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

102 tn Or “openness.”

103 sn Proclaiming…with complete boldness and without restriction. Once again Paul’s imprisonment is on benevolent terms. The word of God is proclaimed triumphantly and boldly in Rome. Acts ends with this note: Despite all the attempts to stop it, the message goes forth.



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