16:1 He also came to Derbe 1 and to Lystra. 2 A disciple 3 named Timothy was there, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, 4 but whose father was a Greek. 5 16:2 The brothers in Lystra 6 and Iconium 7 spoke well 8 of him. 9 16:3 Paul wanted Timothy 10 to accompany him, and he took 11 him and circumcised 12 him because of the Jews who were in those places, 13 for they all knew that his father was Greek. 14
1 sn Derbe was a city in Lycaonia about 35 mi (60 km) southeast of Lystra. It was about 90 mi (145 km) from Tarsus.
2 sn Lystra was a city in Lycaonia about 25 mi (40 km) south of Iconium.
3 tn Grk “And behold, a disciple.” Here ἰδού (idou) has not been translated.
4 tn L&N 31.103 translates this phrase “the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer.”
5 sn His father was a Greek. Timothy was the offspring of a mixed marriage between a Jewish woman (see 2 Tim 1:5) and a Gentile man. On mixed marriages in Judaism, see Neh 13:23-27; Ezra 9:1-10:44; Mal 2:10-16; Jub. 30:7-17; m. Qiddushin 3.12; m. Yevamot 7.5.
6 sn Lystra was a city in Lycaonia about 25 mi (40 km) south of Iconium.
7 sn Iconium was a city in Lycaonia about 110 mi (175 km) east of Pisidian Antioch.
9 tn Grk “who was well spoken of by the brothers in Lystra and Iconium.” Because of the awkwardness in English of having two relative clauses follow one another (“who was a believer…who was well spoken of”) and the awkwardness of the passive verb (“was well spoken of”), the relative pronoun at the beginning of 16:2 (“who”) has been translated as a pronoun (“him”) and the construction converted from passive to active at the same time a new sentence was started in the translation.
10 tn Grk “this one”; the referent (Timothy) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
11 tn Grk “and taking him he circumcised him.” The participle λαβών (labwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Paul’s cultural sensitivity showed in his action here. He did not want Timothy’s lack of circumcision to become an issue (1 Cor 9:15-23).
12 tn The verb περιέτεμεν (perietemen) here may be understood as causative (cf. ExSyn 411-12) if Paul did not personally perform the circumcision.
13 tn Or “who lived in the area.”
14 tn The anarthrous predicate nominative has been translated as qualitative (“Greek”) rather than indefinite (“a Greek”).
sn His father was Greek. Under Jewish law at least as early as the 2nd century, a person was considered Jewish if his or her mother was Jewish. It is not certain whether such a law was in effect in the 1st century, but even if it was, Timothy would not have been accepted as fully Jewish because he was not circumcised.