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Acts 13:29-41

Context
13:29 When they had accomplished 1  everything that was written 2  about him, they took him down 3  from the cross 4  and placed him 5  in a tomb. 13:30 But God raised 6  him from the dead, 13:31 and 7  for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied 8  him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These 9  are now his witnesses to the people. 13:32 And we proclaim to you the good news about the promise to our ancestors, 10  13:33 that this promise 11  God has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising 12  Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; 13  today I have fathered you.’ 14  13:34 But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus 15  from the dead, never 16  again to be 17  in a state of decay, God 18  has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you 19  the holy and trustworthy promises 20  made to David.’ 21  13:35 Therefore he also says in another psalm, 22 You will not permit your Holy One 23  to experience 24  decay.’ 25  13:36 For David, after he had served 26  God’s purpose in his own generation, died, 27  was buried with his ancestors, 28  and experienced 29  decay, 13:37 but the one 30  whom God raised up did not experience 31  decay. 13:38 Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one 32  forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 13:39 and by this one 33  everyone who believes is justified 34  from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify 35  you. 36  13:40 Watch out, 37  then, that what is spoken about by 38  the prophets does not happen to you:

13:41Look, you scoffers; be amazed and perish! 39 

For I am doing a work in your days,

a work you would never believe, even if someone tells you.’” 40 

1 tn Or “carried out.”

2 sn That is, everything that was written in OT scripture.

3 tn Grk “taking him down from the cross, they placed him.” The participle καθελόντες (kaqelonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

4 tn Grk “tree,” but frequently figurative for a cross. The allusion is to Deut 21:23. See Acts 5:30; 10:39.

5 tn The word “him” 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.

6 sn See the note on the phrase “raised up” in v. 22, which is the same Greek verb used here.

7 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun (“who”) was replaced by the conjunction “and” and the pronoun “he” at this point to improve the English style.

8 sn Those who had accompanied him refers to the disciples, who knew Jesus in ministry. Luke is aware of resurrection appearances in Galilee though he did not relate any of them in Luke 24.

9 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun (“who”) was replaced by the demonstrative pronoun “these” 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 and the awkwardness of two relative clauses (“who for many days appeared” and “who are now his witnesses”) following one another.

10 tn Or “to our forefathers”; Grk “the fathers.”

11 tn Grk “that this”; the referent (the promise mentioned in the previous verse) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn This promise refers to the promise of a Savior through the seed (descendants) of David that is proclaimed as fulfilled (Rom 1:1-7).

12 tn Or “by resurrecting.” The participle ἀναστήσας (anasthsa") is taken as instrumental here.

sn By raising (i.e., by resurrection) tells how this promise came to be realized, though again the wordplay also points to his presence in history through this event (see the note on “raised up” in v. 22).

13 sn You are my Son. The key to how the quotation is used is the naming of Jesus as “Son” to the Father. The language is that of kingship, as Ps 2 indicates. Here is the promise about what the ultimate Davidic heir would be.

14 tn Grk “I have begotten you.” The traditional translation for γεγέννηκα (gegennhka, “begotten”) is misleading to the modern English reader because it is no longer in common use. Today one speaks of “fathering” a child in much the same way speakers of English formerly spoke of “begetting a child.”

sn A quotation from Ps 2:7.

15 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

16 tn Although μηκέτι (mhketi) can mean “no longer” or “no more,” the latter is more appropriate here, since to translate “no longer” in this context could give the reader the impression that Jesus did experience decay before his resurrection. Since the phrase “no more again to be” is somewhat awkward in English, the simpler phrase “never again to be” was used instead.

17 tn The translation “to be in again” for ὑποστρέφω (Jupostrefw) is given in L&N 13.24.

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

19 tn The pronoun “you” is plural here. The promises of David are offered to the people.

20 tn Or “the trustworthy decrees made by God to David.” The phrase τὰ ὅσια Δαυὶδ τὰ πιστά (ta Josia Dauid ta pista) is “compressed,” that is, in a very compact or condensed form. It could be expanded in several different ways. BDAG 728 s.v. ὅσιος 3 understands it to refer to divine decrees: “I will grant you the sure decrees of God relating to David.” BDAG then states that this quotation from Isa 55:3 is intended to show that the following quotation from Ps 16:10 could not refer to David himself, but must refer to his messianic descendant (Jesus). L&N 33.290 render the phrase “I will give to you the divine promises made to David, promises that can be trusted,” although they also note that τὰ ὅσια in Acts 13:34 can mean “divine decrees” or “decrees made by God.” In contemporary English it is less awkward to translate πιστά as an adjective (“trustworthy”). The concept of “divine decrees,” not very understandable to the modern reader, has been replaced by “promises,” and since God is the implied speaker in the context, it is clear that these promises were made by God.

21 sn A quotation from Isa 55:3. The point of this citation is to make clear that the promise of a Davidic line and blessings are made to the people as well.

22 tn Grk “Therefore he also says in another”; the word “psalm” is not in the Greek text but is implied.

23 tn The Greek word translated “Holy One” here (ὅσιόν, {osion) is related to the use of ὅσια (Josia) in v. 34. The link is a wordplay. The Holy One, who does not die, brings the faithful holy blessings of promise to the people.

24 tn Grk “to see,” but the literal translation of the phrase “to see decay” could be misunderstood to mean simply “to look at decay,” while here “see decay” is really figurative for “experience decay.”

25 sn A quotation from Ps 16:10.

26 tn The participle ὑπηρετήσας (Juphrethsa") is taken temporally.

27 tn The verb κοιμάω (koimaw) literally means “sleep,” but it is often used in the Bible as a euphemism for the death of a believer.

28 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “was gathered to his fathers” (a Semitic idiom).

29 tn Grk “saw,” but the literal translation of the phrase “saw decay” could be misunderstood to mean simply “looked at decay,” while here “saw decay” is really figurative for “experienced decay.” This remark explains why David cannot fulfill the promise.

30 sn The one whom God raised up refers to Jesus.

31 tn Grk “see,” but the literal translation of the phrase “did not see decay” could be misunderstood to mean simply “did not look at decay,” while here “did not see decay” is really figurative for “did not experience decay.”

32 tn That is, Jesus. This pronoun is in emphatic position in the Greek text. Following this phrase in the Greek text is the pronoun ὑμῖν (Jumin, “to you”), so that the emphasis for the audience is that “through Jesus to you” these promises have come.

33 sn This one refers here to Jesus.

34 tn Or “is freed.” The translation of δικαιωθῆναι (dikaiwqhnai) and δικαιοῦται (dikaioutai) in Acts 13:38-39 is difficult. BDAG 249 s.v. δικαιόω 3 categorizes δικαιωθῆναι in 13:38 (Greek text) under the meaning “make free/pure” but categorizes δικαιοῦται in Acts 13:39 as “be found in the right, be free of charges” (BDAG 249 s.v. δικαιόω 2.b.β). In the interest of consistency both verbs are rendered as “justified” in this translation.

35 tn Or “could not free.”

36 tn Grk “from everything from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” The passive construction has been converted to an active one in the translation, with “by the law of Moses” becoming the subject of the final clause. The words “from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify you” are part of v. 38 in the Greek text, but due to English style and word order must be placed in v. 39 in the translation.

37 sn The speech closes with a warning, “Watch out,” that also stresses culpability.

38 tn Or “in.”

39 tn Or “and die!”

40 sn A quotation from Hab 1:5. The irony in the phrase even if someone tells you, of course, is that Paul has now told them. So the call in the warning is to believe or else face the peril of being scoffers whom God will judge. The parallel from Habakkuk is that the nation failed to see how Babylon’s rising to power meant perilous judgment for Israel.



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