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Acts 10:44-48

Context
The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on 1  all those who heard the message. 2  10:45 The 3  circumcised believers 4  who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished 5  that 6  the gift of the Holy Spirit 7  had been poured out 8  even on the Gentiles, 10:46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising 9  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, 10  can he?” 11  10:48 So he gave orders to have them baptized 12  in the name of Jesus Christ. 13  Then they asked him to stay for several days.

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

2 tn Or “word.”

3 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.

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

5 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.

6 tn Or “because.”

7 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.

8 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.

9 tn Or “extolling,” “magnifying.”

10 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]”).

11 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.

12 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.

13 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.



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