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Acts 10:1--11:30

Context
Peter Visits Cornelius

10:1 Now there was a man in Caesarea 1  named Cornelius, a centurion 2  of what was known as the Italian Cohort. 3  10:2 He 4  was a devout, God-fearing man, 5  as was all his household; he did many acts of charity for the people 6  and prayed to God regularly. 10:3 About three o’clock one afternoon 7  he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God 8  who came in 9  and said to him, “Cornelius.” 10:4 Staring at him and becoming greatly afraid, Cornelius 10  replied, 11  “What is it, Lord?” The angel 12  said to him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity 13  have gone up as a memorial 14  before God. 10:5 Now 15  send men to Joppa 16  and summon a man named Simon, 17  who is called Peter. 10:6 This man is staying as a guest with a man named Simon, a tanner, 18  whose house is by the sea.” 10:7 When the angel who had spoken to him departed, Cornelius 19  called two of his personal servants 20  and a devout soldier from among those who served him, 21  10:8 and when he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.

10:9 About noon 22  the next day, while they were on their way and approaching 23  the city, Peter went up on the roof 24  to pray. 10:10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. 25  10:11 He 26  saw heaven 27  opened 28  and an object something like a large sheet 29  descending, 30  being let down to earth 31  by its four corners. 10:12 In it 32  were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 33  of the earth and wild birds. 34  10:13 Then 35  a voice said 36  to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 37  and eat!” 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!” 38  10:15 The voice 39  spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 40  ritually unclean!” 41  10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven. 42 

10:17 Now while Peter was puzzling over 43  what the vision he had seen could signify, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was 44  and approached 45  the gate. 10:18 They 46  called out to ask if Simon, known as Peter, 47  was staying there as a guest. 10:19 While Peter was still thinking seriously about 48  the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look! Three men are looking for you. 10:20 But get up, 49  go down, and accompany them without hesitation, 50  because I have sent them.” 10:21 So Peter went down 51  to the men and said, “Here I am, 52  the person you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 10:22 They said, “Cornelius the centurion, 53  a righteous 54  and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, 55  was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message 56  from you.” 10:23 So Peter 57  invited them in and entertained them as guests.

On the next day he got up and set out 58  with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa 59  accompanied him. 10:24 The following day 60  he entered Caesarea. 61  Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously 62  for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 10:25 So when 63  Peter came in, Cornelius met 64  him, fell 65  at his feet, and worshiped 66  him. 10:26 But Peter helped him up, 67  saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 68  10:27 Peter 69  continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 70  10:28 He said to them, “You know that 71  it is unlawful 72  for a Jew 73  to associate with or visit a Gentile, 74  yet God has shown me that I should call no person 75  defiled or ritually unclean. 76  10:29 Therefore when you sent for me, 77  I came without any objection. Now may I ask why 78  you sent for me?” 10:30 Cornelius 79  replied, 80  “Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock in the afternoon, 81  I was praying in my house, and suddenly 82  a man in shining clothing stood before me 10:31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity 83  have been remembered before God. 84  10:32 Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. This man is staying as a guest in the house of Simon the tanner, 85  by the sea.’ 10:33 Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. 86  So now we are all here in the presence of God 87  to listen 88  to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.” 89 

10:34 Then Peter started speaking: 90  “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 91  10:35 but in every nation 92  the person who fears him 93  and does what is right 94  is welcomed before him. 10:36 You know 95  the message 96  he sent to the people 97  of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace 98  through 99  Jesus Christ 100  (he is Lord 101  of all) – 10:37 you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 102  10:38 with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, 103  that 104  God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He 105  went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, 106  because God was with him. 107  10:39 We 108  are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea 109  and in Jerusalem. 110  They 111  killed him by hanging him on a tree, 112  10:40 but 113  God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 114  10:41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, 115  who ate and drank 116  with him after he rose from the dead. 10:42 He 117  commanded us to preach to the people and to warn 118  them 119  that he is the one 120  appointed 121  by God as judge 122  of the living and the dead. 10:43 About him all the prophets testify, 123  that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins 124  through his name.”

The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on 125  all those who heard the message. 126  10:45 The 127  circumcised believers 128  who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished 129  that 130  the gift of the Holy Spirit 131  had been poured out 132  even on the Gentiles, 10:46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising 133  God. Then Peter said, 10:47 “No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, 134  can he?” 135  10:48 So he gave orders to have them baptized 136  in the name of Jesus Christ. 137  Then they asked him to stay for several days.

Peter Defends His Actions to the Jerusalem Church

11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted 138  the word of God. 139  11:2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, 140  the circumcised believers 141  took issue with 142  him, 11:3 saying, “You went to 143  uncircumcised men and shared a meal with 144  them.” 11:4 But Peter began and explained it to them point by point, 145  saying, 11:5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, 146  an object something like a large sheet descending, 147  being let down from heaven 148  by its four corners, and it came to me. 11:6 As I stared 149  I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, 150  and wild birds. 151  11:7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; slaughter 152  and eat!’ 11:8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord, for nothing defiled or ritually unclean 153  has ever entered my mouth!’ 11:9 But the voice replied a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not consider 154  ritually unclean!’ 11:10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up to heaven again. 11:11 At that very moment, 155  three men sent to me from Caesarea 156  approached 157  the house where we were staying. 158  11:12 The Spirit told me to accompany them without hesitation. These six brothers 159  also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 11:13 He informed us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, 11:14 who will speak a message 160  to you by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 11:15 Then as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on 161  them just as he did 162  on us at the beginning. 163  11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, 164  as he used to say, 165  ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 166  11:17 Therefore if God 167  gave them the same gift 168  as he also gave us after believing 169  in the Lord Jesus Christ, 170  who was I to hinder 171  God?” 11:18 When they heard this, 172  they ceased their objections 173  and praised 174  God, saying, “So then, God has granted the repentance 175  that leads to life even to the Gentiles.” 176 

Activity in the Church at Antioch

11:19 Now those who had been scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen 177  went as far as 178  Phoenicia, 179  Cyprus, 180  and Antioch, 181  speaking the message 182  to no one but Jews. 11:20 But there were some men from Cyprus 183  and Cyrene 184  among them who came 185  to Antioch 186  and began to speak to the Greeks 187  too, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus. 11:21 The 188  hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed 189  turned 190  to the Lord. 11:22 A report 191  about them came to the attention 192  of the church in Jerusalem, 193  and they sent Barnabas 194  to Antioch. 195  11:23 When 196  he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain true 197  to the Lord with devoted hearts, 198  11:24 because he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and a significant number of people 199  were brought to the Lord. 11:25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to look for Saul, 11:26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. 200  So 201  for a whole year Barnabas and Saul 202  met with the church and taught a significant number of people. 203  Now it was in Antioch 204  that the disciples were first called Christians. 205 

Famine Relief for Judea

11:27 At that time 206  some 207  prophets 208  came down 209  from Jerusalem 210  to Antioch. 211  11:28 One of them, named Agabus, got up 212  and predicted 213  by the Spirit that a severe 214  famine 215  was about to come over the whole inhabited world. 216  (This 217  took place during the reign of Claudius.) 218  11:29 So the disciples, each in accordance with his financial ability, 219  decided 220  to send relief 221  to the brothers living in Judea. 11:30 They did so, 222  sending their financial aid 223  to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

1 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi). It was known as “Caesarea by the sea” (BDAG 499 s.v. Καισάρεια 2). Largely Gentile, it was a center of Roman administration and the location of many of Herod the Great’s building projects (Josephus, Ant. 15.9.6 [15.331-341]).

map For location see Map2 C1; Map4 B3; Map5 F2; Map7 A1; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 sn A centurion was a noncommissioned officer in the Roman army or one of the auxiliary territorial armies, commanding a centuria of (nominally) 100 men. The responsibilities of centurions were broadly similar to modern junior officers, but there was a wide gap in social status between them and officers, and relatively few were promoted beyond the rank of senior centurion. The Roman troops stationed in Judea were auxiliaries, who would normally be rewarded with Roman citizenship after 25 years of service. Some of the centurions may have served originally in the Roman legions (regular army) and thus gained their citizenship at enlistment. Others may have inherited it, like Paul.

3 sn A cohort was a Roman military unit of about 600 soldiers, one-tenth of a legion (BDAG 936 s.v. σπεῖρα). The Italian Cohort has been identified as cohors II Italica which is known to have been stationed in Syria in a.d. 88.

4 tn In the Greek text this represents a continuation of the previous sentence. Because of the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences, a new sentence was begun here in the translation.

5 sn The description of Cornelius as a devout, God-fearing man probably means that he belonged to the category called “God-fearers,” Gentiles who worshiped the God of Israel and in many cases kept the Mosaic law, but did not take the final step of circumcision necessary to become a proselyte to Judaism. See further K. G. Kuhn, TDNT 6:732-34, 43-44, and Sir 11:17; 27:11; 39:27.

6 tn Or “gave many gifts to the poor.” This was known as “giving alms,” or acts of mercy (Sir 7:10; BDAG 315-16 s.v. ἐλεημοσύνη).

7 tn Grk “at about the ninth hour of the day.” This would be the time for afternoon prayer.

8 tn Or “the angel of God.” Linguistically, “angel of God” is the same in both testaments (and thus, he is either “an angel of God” or “the angel of God” in both testaments). For arguments and implications, see ExSyn 252; M. J. Davidson, “Angels,” DJG, 9; W. G. MacDonald argues for “an angel” in both testaments: “Christology and ‘The Angel of the Lord’,” Current Issues in Biblical and Patristic Interpretation, 324-35.

9 tn The participles εἰσελθόντα (eiselqonta) and εἰπόντα (eiponta) are accusative, and thus best taken as adjectival participles modifying ἄγγελον (angelon): “an angel who came in and said.”

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

11 tn Grk “said,” but in response to the angel’s address, “replied” is better English style.

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

13 tn Or “your gifts to the needy.”

14 sn The language used in the expression gone up as a memorial before God parallels what one would say of acceptable sacrifices (Ps 141:2; Sir 35:6; 50:16).

15 tn Grk “And now.” 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.

16 sn Joppa was a seaport on the Philistine coast, in the same location as modern Jaffa.

17 tn Grk “a certain Simon.”

18 tn Or “with a certain Simon Berseus.” Although most modern English translations treat βυρσεῖ (bursei) as Simon’s profession (“Simon the tanner”), it is possible that the word is actually Simon’s surname (“Simon Berseus” or “Simon Tanner”). BDAG 185 s.v. βυρσεύς regards it as a surname. See also MM 118.

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

20 tn Or “domestic servants.” The Greek word here is οἰκέτης (oiketh"), which technically refers to a member of the household, but usually means a household servant (slave) or personal servant rather than a field laborer.

21 tn The meaning of the genitive participle προσκαρτερούντων (proskarterountwn) could either be “a soldier from the ranks of those who served him” (referring to his entire command) or “a soldier from among his personal staff” (referring to a group of soldiers who were his personal attendants). The translation “from among those who served him” is general enough to cover either possibility.

22 tn Grk “about the sixth hour.”

23 tn The participles ὁδοιπορούντων (Jodoiporountwn, “while they were on their way”) and ἐγγιζόντων (engizontwn, “approaching”) have been translated as temporal participles.

24 sn Went up on the roof. Most of the roofs in the NT were flat roofs made of pounded dirt, sometimes mixed with lime or stones, supported by heavy wooden beams. They generally had an easy means of access, either a sturdy wooden ladder or stone stairway, sometimes on the outside of the house.

25 tn The traditional translation, “he fell into a trance,” is somewhat idiomatic; it is based on the textual variant ἐπέπεσεν (epepesen, “he fell”) found in the Byzantine text but almost certainly not original.

26 tn Grk “And he.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.

27 tn Or “the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).

28 tn On the heavens “opening,” see Matt 3:16; Luke 3:21; Rev 19:11 (cf. BDAG 84 s.v. ἀνοίγω 2). This is the language of a vision or a revelatory act of God.

29 tn Or “a large linen cloth” (the term was used for the sail of a ship; BDAG 693 s.v. ὀθόνη).

30 tn Or “coming down.”

31 tn Or “to the ground.”

32 tn Grk “in which.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “it,” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style.

33 tn Or “snakes.” Grk “creeping things.” According to L&N 4.51, in most biblical contexts the term (due to the influence of Hebrew classifications such as Gen 1:25-26, 30) included small four-footed animals like rats, mice, frogs, toads, salamanders, and lizards. In this context, however, where “creeping things” are contrasted with “four-footed animals,” the English word “reptiles,” which primarily but not exclusively designates snakes, is probably more appropriate. See also Gen 6:20, as well as the law making such creatures unclean food in Lev 11:2-47.

34 tn Grk “the birds of the sky” or “the birds of the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated either “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. The idiomatic expression “birds of the sky” refers to wild birds as opposed to domesticated fowl (cf. BDAG 809 s.v. πετεινόν).

35 tn Grk “And there came.” 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.

36 tn Grk “a voice to him”; the word “said” is not in the Greek text but is implied.

37 tn Or “kill.” Traditionally θῦσον (quson) is translated “kill,” but in the case of animals intended for food, “slaughter” is more appropriate.

38 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqarto") here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts.

sn Peter insisted he would not violate the law by eating anything defiled and ritually unclean. These food laws were one of the practices that distinguished Jews from their Gentile neighbors. The practice made table fellowship with Gentiles awkward. For an example of Jewish attitudes to this, see Dan 1:8-16; 1 Macc 1:41-64; Letter of Aristeas 142; Tacitus, History 5.5.

39 tn Grk “And the voice.” 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.

40 tn Or “declare.”

41 sn For the significance of this vision see Mark 7:14-23; Rom 14:14; Eph 2:11-22. God directed this change in practice.

42 tn Or “into the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).

43 tn Or “was greatly confused over.” The term means to be perplexed or at a loss (BDAG 235 s.v. διαπορέω).

44 tn Grk “having learned.” The participle διερωτήσαντες (dierwthsante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

45 tn BDAG 418 s.v. ἐφίστημι 1 has “ἐπί τι approach or stand by someth. (Sir 41:24) Ac 10:17.”

sn As Peter puzzled over the meaning of the vision, the messengers from Cornelius approached the gate. God’s direction here had a sense of explanatory timing.

46 tn Grk “and.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun by supplying the pronoun “they” as the subject of the following verb.

47 tn Grk “Simon, the one called Peter.” This qualification was necessary because the owner of the house was also named Simon (Acts 9:43).

48 tn The translation “think seriously about” for διενθυμέομαι (dienqumeomai) is given in L&N 30.2. Peter was “pondering” the vision (BDAG 244 s.v.).

49 tn Grk “But getting up, go down.” The participle ἀναστάς (anastas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

50 tn The term means “without doubting” or “without deliberation.” It is a term of conscience and discernment. In effect, Peter is to listen to them rather than hesitate (BDAG 231 s.v. διακρίνω 6).

51 tn Grk “Peter going down to the men, said.” The participle καταβάς (katabas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

52 tn Grk “Behold, it is I whom you seek,” or “Behold, I am the one you seek.” “Here I am” is used to translate ἰδοὺ ἐγώ εἰμι (idou egw eimi).

53 sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1.

54 tn Or “just.”

55 tn The phrase τοῦ ἔθνους τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων (tou eqnou" twn Ioudaiwn) is virtually a technical term for the Jewish nation (1 Macc 10:25; 11:30, 33; Josephus, Ant. 14.10.22 [14.248]). “All the Jewish people,” while another possible translation of the Greek phrase, does not convey the technical sense of a reference to the nation in English.

sn The long introduction of Cornelius by his messengers is an attempt to commend this Gentile to his Jewish counterpart, which would normally be important to do in the culture of the time.

56 tn Grk “hear words.”

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

sn When Peter entertained them as guests, he performed a culturally significant act denoting acceptance.

58 tn Or “went forth.”

59 sn Some of the brothers from Joppa. As v. 45 makes clear, there were Jewish Christians in this group of witnesses.

60 tn Grk “On the next day,” but since this phrase has already occurred in v. 23, it would be redundant in English to use it again here.

61 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi).

map For location see Map2 C1; Map4 B3; Map5 F2; Map7 A1; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

62 tn Normally προσδοκάω (prosdokaw) means “to wait with apprehension or anxiety for something,” often with the implication of impending danger or trouble (L&N 25.228), but in this context the anxiety Cornelius would have felt came from the importance of the forthcoming message as announced by the angel.

63 tn Grk “So it happened that when.” 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.

64 tn Grk “meeting him.” The participle συναντήσας (sunanthsa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

65 tn Grk “falling at his feet, worshiped.” The participle πεσών (peswn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

66 sn When Cornelius worshiped Peter, it showed his piety and his respect for Peter, but it was an act based on ignorance, as Peter’s remark in v. 26 indicates.

67 tn BDAG 271 s.v. ἐγείρω 3 has “raise, help to rise….Stretched out Ac 10:26.”

68 tn Although it is certainly true that Peter was a “man,” here ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") has been translated as “mere mortal” because the emphasis in context is not on Peter’s maleness, but his humanity. Contrary to what Cornelius thought, Peter was not a god or an angelic being, but a mere mortal.

69 tn Grk “And he”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 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.

70 tn Or “many people assembled.”

71 tn Here ὡς (Jws) is used like ὅτι (Joti) to introduce indirect discourse (cf. BDAG 1105 s.v. ὡς 5).

72 tn This term is used of wanton or callously lawless acts (BDAG 24 s.v. ἀθέμιτος).

73 tn Grk “a Jewish man” (ἀνδρὶ ᾿Ιουδαίῳ, andri Ioudaiw).

74 tn Grk “a foreigner,” but in this context, “a non-Jew,” that is, a Gentile. This term speaks of intimate association (BDAG 556 s.v. κολλάω 2.b.α). On this Jewish view, see John 18:28, where a visit to a Gentile residence makes a Jewish person unclean.

75 tn This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo").

76 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqartos) here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts.

sn God has shown me…unclean. Peter sees the significance of his vision as not about food, but about open fellowship between Jewish Christians and Gentiles.

77 tn Grk “Therefore when I was sent for.” The passive participle μεταπεμφθείς (metapemfqei") has been taken temporally and converted to an active construction which is less awkward in English.

78 tn Grk “ask for what reason.”

79 tn Grk “And Cornelius.” 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.

80 tn Grk “said.”

81 tn Grk “at the ninth hour.” Again, this is the hour of afternoon prayer.

82 tn Grk “and behold.” The interjection ἰδού (idou) is difficult at times to translate into English. Here it has been translated as “suddenly” to convey the force of Cornelius’ account of the angel’s appearance.

83 tn Or “your gifts to the needy.”

84 sn This statement is a paraphrase rather than an exact quotation of Acts 10:4.

85 tn Or “with a certain Simon Berseus.” Although most modern English translations treat βυρσεῖ (bursei) as Simon’s profession (“Simon the tanner”), it is possible that the word is actually Simon’s surname (“Simon Berseus” or “Simon Tanner”). BDAG 185 s.v. βυρσεύς regards it as a surname.

86 tn Grk “you have done well by coming.” The idiom καλῶς ποιεῖν (kalw" poiein) is translated “be kind enough to do someth.” by BDAG 505-6 s.v. καλῶς 4.a. The participle παραγενόμενος (paragenomeno") has been translated as an English infinitive due to the nature of the English idiom (“kind enough to” + infinitive).

87 tn The translation “we are here in the presence of God” for ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ πάρεσμεν (enwpion tou qeou paresmen) is given by BDAG 773 s.v. πάρειμι 1.a.

88 tn Or “to hear everything.”

89 tn The words “to say to us” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Cornelius knows Peter is God’s representative, bringing God’s message.

90 tn Grk “Opening his mouth Peter said” (a Semitic idiom for beginning to speak in a somewhat formal manner). The participle ἀνοίξας (anoixa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

91 tn Grk “God is not one who is a respecter of persons,” that is, “God is not one to show partiality” (cf. BDAG 887 s.v. προσωπολήμπτης). L&N 88.239 translates this verse “I realize that God does not show favoritism (in dealing with people).” The underlying Hebrew idiom includes the personal element (“respecter of persons”) so the phrase “in dealing with people” is included in the present translation. It fits very well with the following context and serves to emphasize the relational component of God’s lack of partiality. The latter is a major theme in the NT: Rom 2:11; Eph 2:11-22; Col 3:25; Jas 2:1; 1 Pet 1:17. This was the lesson of Peter’s vision.

92 sn See Luke 24:47.

93 tn Or “shows reverence for him.”

94 tn Grk “works righteousness”; the translation “does what is right” for this phrase in this verse is given by L&N 25.85.

sn Note how faith and response are linked here by the phrase and does what is right.

95 tn The subject and verb (“you know”) do not actually occur until the following verse, but have been repeated here because of the requirements of English word order.

96 tn Grk “the word.”

97 tn Grk “to the sons.”

98 sn Peace is a key OT concept: Isa 52:7; Nah 1:15; also for Luke: Luke 1:79; 2:14; Acts 9:31. See also the similar phrase in Eph 2:17.

99 tn Or “by.”

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

101 sn He is Lord of all. Though a parenthetical remark, this is the theological key to the speech. Jesus is Lord of all, so the gospel can go to all. The rest of the speech proclaims Jesus’ authority.

102 tn Or “proclaimed.”

103 sn The somewhat awkward naming of Jesus as from Nazareth here is actually emphatic. He is the key subject of these key events.

104 tn Or “how.” The use of ὡς (Jws) as an equivalent to ὅτι (Joti) to introduce indirect or even direct discourse is well documented. BDAG 1105 s.v. ὡς 5 lists Acts 10:28 in this category.

105 tn Grk “power, who.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “he,” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek.

106 tn The translation “healing all who were oppressed by the devil” is given in L&N 22.22.

sn All who were oppressed by the devil. Note how healing is tied to the cosmic battle present in creation. Christ’s power overcomes the devil and his forces, which seek to destroy humanity.

107 sn See Acts 7:9.

108 tn Grk “And we.” 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.

109 tn Grk “the land of the Jews,” but this is similar to the phrase used as the name of the province of Judea in 1 Macc 8:3 (see BDAG 1093-94 s.v. χώρα 2.b).

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

111 tn Grk “in Jerusalem, whom they killed.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “him” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek.

112 tn Or “by crucifying him” (“hang on a tree” is by the time of the 1st century an idiom for crucifixion). The allusion is to the judgment against Jesus as a rebellious figure, appealing to the language of Deut 21:23. The Jewish leadership has badly “misjudged” Jesus.

113 tn The conjunction “but” is not in the Greek text, but the contrast is clearly implied in the context. This is technically asyndeton, or lack of a connective, in Greek.

114 tn Grk “and granted that he should become visible.” The literal Greek idiom is somewhat awkward in English. L&N 24.22 offers the translation “caused him to be seen” for this verse.

115 tn Or “the witnesses God had previously chosen.” See Acts 1:8.

116 sn Ate and drank. See Luke 24:35-49.

117 tn Grk “and he.” 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.

118 tn The verb διαμαρτύρομαι (diamarturomai) can mean “warn,” and such a meaning is highly probable in this context where a reference to the judgment of both the living and the dead is present. The more general meaning “to testify solemnly” does not capture this nuance.

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

120 tn Grk “that this one is the one,” but this is awkward in English and has been simplified to “that he is the one.”

121 tn Or “designated.” BDAG 723 s.v. ὁρίζω 2.b has “the one appointed by God as judge” for this phrase.

122 sn Jesus has divine authority as judge over the living and the dead: Acts 17:26-31; Rom 14:9; 1 Thess 5:9-10; 1 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5.

123 tn Or “All the prophets testify about him.” Although modern English translations tend to place “about him” after “testify” (so NIV, NRSV) the phrase “about him” has been left at the beginning of v. 43 for emphatic reasons.

124 sn Forgiveness of sins. See Luke 24:47; also Acts 14:23; 19:4; 9:42; 11:17; 16:31. The gospel is present in the prophetic promise, Rom 1:1-7. The message is in continuity with the ancient hope.

125 tn Or “came down on.” God now acted to confirm the point of Peter’s speech.

126 tn Or “word.”

127 tn Grk “And the.” 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.

128 tn Or “The Jewish Christians”; Grk “The believers from the circumcision.”

129 sn The Jewish Christians who were with Peter were greatly astonished because they thought the promise of the Spirit would be limited only to those of Israel. God’s plan was taking on fresh dimensions even as it was a reflection of what the prophets had promised.

130 tn Or “because.”

131 tn That is, the gift consisting of the Holy Spirit. Here τοῦ πνεύματος (tou pneumato") is a genitive of apposition; the gift consists of the Spirit.

132 sn The gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out. Compare the account in Acts 2, especially 2:33. Note also Joel 2:17-21 and Acts 11:15-18.

133 tn Or “extolling,” “magnifying.”

134 tn Grk “just as also we.” The auxiliary verb in English must be supplied. This could be either “have” (NIV, NRSV) or “did” (NASB). “Did” is preferred here because the comparison Peter is making concerns not just the fact of the present possession of the Spirit (“they received the Spirit we now possess”), but the manner in which the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house received the Spirit (“they received the Spirit in the same manner we did [on the day of Pentecost]”).

135 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative reply which is indicated in the translation by the ‘tag’ question, “can he?” The question is rhetorical. Peter was saying these Gentiles should be baptized since God had confirmed they were his.

136 tn The Greek construction (passive infinitive with accusative subject) could be translated either “he ordered them to be baptized” or “he ordered that they be baptized,” but the implication in English in either case is that Peter was giving orders to the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house, telling them to get baptized. It is much more likely in the context that Peter was ordering those Jewish Christians who accompanied him to baptize the new Gentile converts. They would doubtless have still had misgivings even after witnessing the outpouring of the Spirit and hearing the tongues. It took Peter’s apostolic authority (“ordered”) to convince them to perform the baptisms.

137 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.” Jesus’ right to judge as the provider of forgiveness is highlighted here.

138 tn See BDAG 221 s.v. δέχομαι 5 for this translation of ἐδέξαντο (edexanto) here.

139 tn Here the phrase “word of God” is another way to describe the gospel (note the preceding verb ἐδέξαντο, edexanto, “accepted”). The phrase could also be translated “the word [message] from God.”

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

141 tn Or “the Jewish Christians”; Grk “those of the circumcision.” Within the larger group of Christians were some whose loyalties ran along ethnic-religious lines.

142 tn Or “believers disputed with,” “believers criticized” (BDAG 231 s.v. διακρίνω 5.b).

143 tn Or “You were a guest in the home of” (according to L&N 23.12).

144 tn Or “and ate with.” It was table fellowship and the possibility of eating unclean food that disturbed them.

145 tn Or “to them in logical sequence,” “to them in order.” BDAG 490 s.v. καθεξῆς has “explain to someone point by point” for this phrase. This is the same term used in Luke 1:3.

146 tn This term describes a supernatural vision and reflects a clear distinction from something imagined (BDAG 718 s.v. ὅραμα 1). Peter repeated the story virtually word for word through v. 13. The repetition with this degree of detail shows the event’s importance.

147 tn Or “coming down.”

148 tn Or “the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).

149 tn Grk “Staring I looked into it.” The participle ἀτενίσας (atenisa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

150 tn Or “snakes.” Grk “creeping things.” According to L&N 4.51, in most biblical contexts the term (due to the influence of Hebrew classifications such as Gen 1:25-26, 30) included small four-footed animals like rats, mice, frogs, toads, salamanders, and lizards. In this context, however, where “creeping things” are contrasted with “four-footed animals,” the English word “reptiles,” which primarily but not exclusively designates snakes, is probably more appropriate.

151 tn Grk “the birds of the sky” or “the birds of the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated either “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. The idiomatic expression “birds of the sky” refers to wild birds as opposed to domesticated fowl (cf. BDAG 809 s.v. πετεινόν).

152 tn Or “kill.” Traditionally θῦσον (quson) is translated “kill,” but in the case of animals intended for food, “slaughter” is more appropriate.

153 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqartos) here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts. The sentiment Peter expressed is like Ezek 4:14.

154 tn Or “declare.” The wording matches Acts 10:15.

155 tn Grk “And behold.”

156 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi). See the note on Caesarea in Acts 10:1.

map For location see Map2 C1; Map4 B3; Map5 F2; Map7 A1; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

157 tn See BDAG 418 s.v. ἐφίστημι 1 for this meaning for ἐπέστησαν (epesthsan) here.

158 tn The word “staying” is not in the Greek text but is implied.

159 sn Six witnesses is three times more than what would normally be required. They could confirm the events were not misrepresented by Peter.

160 tn Grk “words” (ῥήματα, rJhmata), but in this context the overall message is meant rather than the individual words.

161 tn Or “came down on.”

162 tn The words “he did” are not in the Greek text but are implied. They form an ellipsis which must be supplied for the modern English reader. Some modern translations supply “it” rather than “he” because the gender of πνεῦμα (pneuma) in Greek is neuter, but there are sufficient NT contexts that use masculine pronouns to refer to the Spirit to justify the use of a masculine pronoun here in the translation.

163 sn At the beginning is an allusion to Acts 2 and Pentecost. The beginning is a way to refer to the start of the period of the realization of Jesus’ promise in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8. Peter was arguing that God gave Gentiles the same benefits he gave the Jews at the start of their mission.

164 sn The word of the Lord is a technical expression in OT literature, often referring to a divine prophetic utterance (e.g., Gen 15:1, Isa 1:10, Jonah 1:1). In the NT it occurs 15 times: 3 times as ῥῆμα τοῦ κυρίου (rJhma tou kuriou; here and in Luke 22:61, 1 Pet 1:25) and 12 times as λόγος τοῦ κυρίου (logo" tou kuriou; Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 16:32; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess 1:8, 4:15; 2 Thess 3:1). As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said.

165 tn The imperfect verb ἔλεγεν (elegen) is taken as a customary imperfect.

166 sn John…Spirit. This remark repeats Acts 1:5.

167 tc Codex Bezae (D) and {a few other Western witnesses} here lack ὁ θεός (Jo qeo", “God”), perhaps because these scribes considered the Holy Spirit to be the gift of Christ rather than the gift of God; thus leaving the subject implicit would naturally draw the reader back to v. 16 to see the Lord Jesus as the bestower of the Spirit.

168 sn That is, the same gift of the Holy Spirit.

169 tn Or “gave us when we believed”; or “gave us after we believed”; or “gave us who believed”; or “gave them when they believed the same gift as he also gave us.” The aorist dative plural participle πιστεύσασιν (pisteusasin) can be understood in several different ways: (1) It could modify ἡμῖν (Jhmin, “us”) or αὐτοῖς (autois, “them”). Proximity (it immediately follows ἡμῖν) would suggest that it belongs with ἡμῖν, so the last option (“gave them when they believed the same gift he also gave us”) is less likely. (2) The participle could be either adverbial or adjectival, modifying ἡμῖν. This decision is primarily a contextual one. The point Peter made is not whether or not the Gentiles believed, since both groups (“us” and “they”) had believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. The point was whether or not the Gentiles received the Spirit when they believed, just as Jewish Christians had received the Spirit on the day of Pentecost when they believed. Translated as an adjectival participle, πιστεύσασιν only affirms the fact of belief, however, and raises somewhat of a theological problem if one realizes, “Would God have given the Gentiles the Spirit if they had not believed?” (In other words, belief in itself is a theological prerequisite for receiving the Spirit. As such, in the case of the Gentiles, it is assumed.) Thus in context it makes more sense to understand the participle πιστεύσασιν as adverbial, related to the time of belief in connection with the giving of the Spirit. (3) The participle πιστεύσασιν as a temporal participle can refer to action antecedent to the action of the main verb ἔδωκεν (edwken) or contemporaneous with it. Logically, at least, the gift of the Spirit followed belief in the case of the original Christians, who had believed before the day of Pentecost. In the case of Cornelius and his household, belief and the reception of the Spirit were virtually simultaneous. One can argue that Peter is “summarizing” the experience of Jewish Christians, and therefore the actions of belief and reception of the Spirit, while historically separate, have been “telescoped” into one (“gave them the same gift as he gave us when we believed”), but to be technically accurate the participle πιστεύσασιν should be translated “gave them the same gift as he also gave us after we believed.” A number of these problems can be avoided, however, by using a translation in English that maintains some of the ambiguity of the Greek original. Thus “if God gave them the same gift as he also gave us after believing” is used, where the phrase “after believing” can refer either to “them” or to “us,” or both.

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

171 tn Or “prevent,” “forbid” (BDAG 580 s.v. κωλύω 1.a). Peter’s point is that he will not stand in the way of God.

172 tn Grk “these things.”

173 tn Or “became silent,” but this would create an apparent contradiction with the subsequent action of praising God. The point, in context, is that they ceased objecting to what Peter had done.

174 tn Or “glorified.”

175 sn Here the summary phrase for responding to the gospel is the repentance that leads to life. Note how the presence of life is tied to the presence of the Spirit (cf. John 4:7-42; 7:37-39).

176 sn In the Greek text the phrase even to the Gentiles is in an emphatic position.

177 sn The phrase over Stephen means in connection with Stephen’s death. See Acts 8:1b-3.

178 tn Or “finally reached.” The translations “went as far as” and “finally reached” for διῆλθον (dihlqon) in this verse are given in L&N 15.17.

179 sn Phoenicia was an area along the Mediterranean coast north of Palestine.

180 tn Grk “and Cyprus,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

sn Cyprus was a large island in the Mediterranean off the south coast of Asia Minor.

181 sn Antioch was a city in Syria (not Antioch in Pisidia). This was probably the third largest city in the Greco-Roman world (Alexandria in Egypt was the second largest, and Rome the largest) and was the seat of government in Syria. Five miles away was a major temple to Artemis, Apollo, and Astarte, major pagan deities.

map For location see JP1 F2; JP2 F2; JP3 F2; JP4 F2.

182 tn Grk “word.”

183 sn Cyprus was a large island in the Mediterranean off the south coast of Asia Minor.

184 sn Cyrene was a city on the northern African coast west of Egypt.

185 tn Grk “among them, coming to Antioch began to speak.” The participle ἐλθόντες (elqonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

186 sn Antioch was a city in Syria (not Antioch in Pisidia). See the note in 11:19.

187 sn The statement that some men from Cyprus and Cyrene…began to speak to the Greeks shows that Peter’s experience of reaching out to the Gentiles was not unique.

188 tn Grk “And the.” 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.

189 tn The participle πιστεύσας (pisteusa") is articular and thus cannot be adverbial. It is adjectival, modifying ἀριθμός (ariqmo"), but has been translated into English as a relative clause (“who believed”).

190 sn Again, the expression turned is a summary term for responding to the gospel.

191 tn Grk “Word.”

192 tn Grk “was heard in the ears,” an idiom. L&N 24.67 states that the idiom means “to hear in secret” (which it certainly does in Matt 10:27), but secrecy does not seem to be part of the context here, and there is no particular reason to suggest the report was made in secret.

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

194 tc ‡ Most mss read the infinitive “to travel” after “Barnabas.” διελθεῖν (dielqein) is found before ἕως (Jews) in D E Ψ 33 Ï and some versional mss. It is lacking in Ì74 א A B 81 1739 pc and some versional mss. Although the infinitive with ἕως fits Lukan style, it has the appearance of a scribal clarification. The infinitive has the earmarks of a Western expansion on the text and thus is unlikely to be original. NA27 has the infinitive in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.

195 sn Antioch was a city in Syria (not Antioch in Pisidia). See the note in 11:19. Again the Jerusalem church exercised an oversight role.

196 tn Grk “Antioch, who when.” The relative pronoun was omitted and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek.

197 tn BDAG 883 s.v. προσμένω 1.a.β has “remain true to the Lord” for προσμένειν (prosmenein) in this verse.

sn He…encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord. The call to faithfulness is frequent in Acts (2:40; 14:22; 15:32; 16:39; 20:1-2).

198 tn Grk “with purpose of heart”; BDAG 869 s.v. πρόθεσις 2.a translates this phrase “purpose of heart, i.e. devotion” here.

199 tn Grk “a significant crowd.”

200 sn Antioch was a city in Syria (not Antioch in Pisidia). See the note in 11:19.

201 tn Grk “So it happened that” 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.

202 tn Grk “year they”; the referents (Barnabas and Saul) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

203 tn Grk “a significant crowd.”

204 sn Antioch was a city in Syria (not Antioch in Pisidia). See the note in 11:19.

205 sn The term Christians appears only here, in Acts 26:28, and 1 Pet 4:16 in the NT.

206 tn Grk “In these days,” but the dative generally indicates a specific time.

207 tn The word “some” is not in the Greek text, but is usually used in English when an unspecified number is mentioned.

208 sn Prophets are mentioned only here and in 13:1 and 21:10 in Acts.

209 sn Came down from Jerusalem. Antioch in Syria lies due north of Jerusalem. In Western languages it is common to speak of north as “up” and south as “down,” but the NT maintains the Hebrew idiom which speaks of any direction away from Jerusalem as down (since Mount Zion was thought of in terms of altitude).

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

211 sn Antioch was a city in Syria (not Antioch in Pisidia). See the note in 11:19.

map For location see JP1 F2; JP2 F2; JP3 F2; JP4 F2

212 tn Grk “getting up, predicted.” The participle ἀναστάς (anasta") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

213 tn Or “made clear”; Grk “indicated beforehand” (BDAG 920 s.v. σημαίνω 2).

214 tn Grk “great.”

215 sn This famine is one of the firmly fixed dates in Acts. It took place from a.d. 45-48. The events described in chap. 11 of Acts occurred during the early part of that period.

216 tn Or “whole Roman Empire.” While the word οἰκουμένη (oikoumenh) does occasionally refer specifically to the Roman Empire, BDAG 699 s.v. οἰκουνένη 2 does not list this passage (only Acts 24:5 and 17:6).

217 tn Grk “world, which.” The relative pronoun (“which”) was replaced by the demonstrative pronoun “this” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek.

218 sn This is best taken as a parenthetical note by the author. Claudius was the Roman emperor Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus, known as Claudius, who ruled from a.d. 41-54.

219 tn So BDAG 410 s.v. εὐπορέω.

220 tn Or “determined,” “resolved.”

221 tn Grk “to send [something] for a ministry,” but today it is common to speak of sending relief for victims of natural disasters.

sn The financial relief reflects the oneness of the church, meeting the needs of another (even racially distinct) community. Jerusalem, having ministered to them, now received ministry back. A later collection from Greece is noted in Rom 15:25-27, but it reflects the same spirit as this gift.

222 tn Grk “Judea, which they did.” The relative pronoun was omitted and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek.

223 tn The words “their financial aid” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.



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