13:38 Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one 1 forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 13:39 and by this one 2 everyone who believes is justified 3 from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify 4 you. 5 13:40 Watch out, 6 then, that what is spoken about by 7 the prophets does not happen to you:
For I am doing a work in your days,
a work you would never believe, even if someone tells you.’” 9
1 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.
2 sn This one refers here to Jesus.
3 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.
4 tn Or “could not free.”
5 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.
6 sn The speech closes with a warning, “Watch out,” that also stresses culpability.
7 tn Or “in.”
8 tn Or “and die!”
9 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.