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Acts 11:19-27

Context
Activity in the Church at Antioch

11:19 Now those who had been scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen 1  went as far as 2  Phoenicia, 3  Cyprus, 4  and Antioch, 5  speaking the message 6  to no one but Jews. 11:20 But there were some men from Cyprus 7  and Cyrene 8  among them who came 9  to Antioch 10  and began to speak to the Greeks 11  too, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus. 11:21 The 12  hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed 13  turned 14  to the Lord. 11:22 A report 15  about them came to the attention 16  of the church in Jerusalem, 17  and they sent Barnabas 18  to Antioch. 19  11:23 When 20  he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain true 21  to the Lord with devoted hearts, 22  11:24 because he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and a significant number of people 23  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. 24  So 25  for a whole year Barnabas and Saul 26  met with the church and taught a significant number of people. 27  Now it was in Antioch 28  that the disciples were first called Christians. 29 

Famine Relief for Judea

11:27 At that time 30  some 31  prophets 32  came down 33  from Jerusalem 34  to Antioch. 35 

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

2 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.

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

4 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.

5 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.

6 tn Grk “word.”

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

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

9 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.

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

11 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.

12 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.

13 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”).

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

15 tn Grk “Word.”

16 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.

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

18 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.

19 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.

20 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.

21 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).

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

23 tn Grk “a significant crowd.”

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

25 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.

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

27 tn Grk “a significant crowd.”

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

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

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

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

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

33 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).

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

35 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



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