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Acts 12:25--13:2

Context

12:25 So Barnabas and Saul returned to 1  Jerusalem 2  when they had completed 3  their mission, 4  bringing along with them John Mark. 5 

The Church at Antioch Commissions Barnabas and Saul

13:1 Now there were these prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: 6  Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, 7  Lucius the Cyrenian, 8  Manaen (a close friend of Herod 9  the tetrarch 10  from childhood 11 ) and Saul. 13:2 While they were serving 12  the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart 13  for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

1 tc There are a number of variants at this point in the text: εἰς (eis, “to”) in א B Ï sams syhmg; ἀπό (apo, “from”) in D E Ψ 36 323 453 614 1175 al; ἐξ (ex, “from”) in Ì74 A 33 945 1739 al; ἐξ ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ εἰς ᾿Αντιόχειαν (ex Ierousalhm ei" Antioceian, “from Jerusalem to Antioch”) in {a few later manuscripts and part of the Itala}. A decision on this problem is very difficult, but for several reasons εἰς can be preferred. It is the most difficult reading by far in light of the context, since Paul and Barnabas were going to Jerusalem in 11:30. It is found in better witnesses, א and B being very strong evidence. The other readings, ἐξ and ἀπό, are different from εἰς yet bear essentially the same meaning as each other; this seems to suggest that scribes had problems with εἰς and tried to choose an acceptable revision. If εἰς is the earliest reading, ἀπό may be a clarification of ἐξ, and ἐξ could have arisen through confusion of letters. Or ἐξ and ἀπό could both have independently arisen from εἰς as a more acceptable preposition. Despite such arguments, however, the case for εἰς is not airtight: either ἐξ or ἀπό could be preferred on other lines of reasoning. The reading ἐξ enjoys the earliest support, and εἰς could have arisen through the same confusion of letters mentioned above. The immediate and wider context seems to mitigate against εἰς as the original reading: The aorist participle πληρώσαντες (plhrwsante", “when they had completed”) seems to signal the end of the mission to Jerusalem with the famine relief, so it would make sense in the context for the team to be coming from Jerusalem (to Antioch) rather than to Jerusalem, and 13:1 certainly presents the scene at Antioch. The later addition εἰς ᾿Αντιόχειαν after ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ in some mss seems to be a clarification in light of 13:1 (notice that some of the mss that read ἐξ add εἰς ᾿Αντιόχειαν [945 1739], and some that read ἀπό also add εἰς ᾿Αντιόχειαν [E 323 1175]). Thus, the idea of spatial separation from Jerusalem is strongly implied by the context. This problem is so difficult that some scholars resort to conjectural emendation to determine the original reading. All in all, the reading εἰς should be preferred as original, recognizing that there is a good measure of uncertainty with this solution. For additional discussion, see TCGNT 350-52.

2 sn That is, from Jerusalem to Antioch (see Acts 11:29-30).

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

3 tn Grk “fulfilled.”

4 tn Grk “ministry” or “service.”

5 tn Grk “John who was also called Mark.”

6 sn Antioch was a city in Syria (not Antioch in Pisidia).

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

7 sn Simeon may well have been from North Africa, since the Latin loanword Niger refers to someone as “dark-complexioned.”

8 sn The Cyrenian refers to a native of the city of Cyrene, on the coast of northern Africa west of Egypt.

9 sn Herod is generally taken as a reference to Herod Antipas, who governed Galilee from 4 b.c. to a.d. 39, who had John the Baptist beheaded, and who is mentioned a number of times in the gospels.

10 tn Or “the governor.”

sn A tetrarch was a ruler with rank and authority lower than a king, who ruled only with the approval of the Roman authorities. This was roughly equivalent to being governor of a region. Several times in the NT, Herod tetrarch of Galilee is called a king (Matt 14:9, Mark 6:14-29), reflecting popular usage.

11 tn Or “(a foster brother of Herod the tetrarch).” The meaning “close friend from childhood” is given by L&N 34.15, but the word can also mean “foster brother” (L&N 10.51). BDAG 976 s.v. σύντροφας states, “pert. to being brought up with someone, either as a foster-brother or as a companion/friend,” which covers both alternatives. Context does not given enough information to be certain which is the case here, although many modern translations prefer the meaning “close friend from childhood.”

12 tn This term is frequently used in the LXX of the service performed by priests and Levites in the tabernacle (Exod 28:35, 43; 29:30; 30:20; 35:19; 39:26; Num 1:50; 3:6, 31) and the temple (2 Chr 31:2; 35:3; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:17, and many more examples). According to BDAG 591 s.v. λειτουργέω 1.b it is used “of other expression of religious devotion.” Since the previous verse described the prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch, it is probable that the term here describes two of them (Barnabas and Saul) as they were serving in that capacity. Since they were not in Jerusalem where the temple was located, general religious service is referred to here.

13 tn Or “Appoint.”



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