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Acts 16:20-21

Context
16:20 When 1  they had brought them 2  before the magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion. 3  They are 4  Jews 16:21 and are advocating 5  customs that are not lawful for us to accept 6  or practice, 7  since we are 8  Romans.”

Acts 17:6-7

Context
17:6 When they did not find them, they dragged 9  Jason and some of the brothers before the city officials, 10  screaming, “These people who have stirred up trouble 11  throughout the world 12  have come here too, 17:7 and 13  Jason has welcomed them as guests! They 14  are all acting against Caesar’s 15  decrees, saying there is another king named 16  Jesus!” 17 

Acts 18:13

Context
18:13 saying, “This man is persuading 18  people to worship God in a way contrary to 19  the law!”

1 tn Grk “And when.” 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.

2 tn Grk “having brought them.” The participle ἐπιλαβόμενοι (epilabomenoi) has been taken temporally. It is also possible in English to translate this participle as a finite verb: “they brought them before the magistrates and said.”

3 tn BDAG 309 s.v. ἐκταράσσω has “agitate, cause trouble to, throw into confusion” for the meaning of this verb.

4 tn Grk “being Jews, and they are proclaiming.” The participle ὑπάρχοντες (Juparconte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

5 tn Grk “proclaiming,” but in relation to customs, “advocating” is a closer approximation to the meaning.

6 tn Or “acknowledge.”

7 sn Customs that are not lawful for us to accept or practice. Ironically, the charges are similar to those made against Jesus in Luke 23:2, where Jews argued he was “twisting” their customs. The charge has three elements: (1) a racial element (Jewish); (2) a social element (unlawful); and (3) a traditional element (not their customs).

8 tn Grk “we being Romans.” The participle οὖσιν (ousin) has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.

9 tn See BDAG 977-78 s.v. σύρω on this verb. It was used in everyday speech of dragging in fish by a net, or dragging away someone’s (presumably) dead body (Paul in Acts 14:19).

10 tn L&N 37.93 defines πολιτάρχης (politarch") as “a public official responsible for administrative matters within a town or city and a member of the ruling council of such a political unit – ‘city official’” (see also BDAG 845 s.v.).

11 tn Or “rebellion.” BDAG 72 s.v. ἀναστατόω has “disturb, trouble, upset,” but in light of the references in the following verse to political insurrection, “stirred up rebellion” would also be appropriate.

12 tn Or “the empire.” This was a way of referring to the Roman empire (BDAG 699 s.v. οἰκουμένη 2.b).

sn Throughout the world. Note how some of those present had knowledge of what had happened elsewhere. Word about Paul and his companions and their message was spreading.

13 tn Grk “whom.” Because of the awkwardness in English of having two relative clauses follow one another (“who have stirred up trouble…whom Jason has welcomed”) the relative pronoun here (“whom”) has been replaced by the conjunction “and,” creating a clause that is grammatically coordinate but logically subordinate in the translation.

14 tn Grk “and they.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.

15 tn Or “the emperor’s” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).

16 tn The word “named” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied for clarity.

17 sn Acting…saying…Jesus. The charges are serious, involving sedition (Luke 23:2). If the political charges were true, Rome would have to react.

18 tn Or “inciting.”

19 tn Grk “worship God contrary to.” BDAG 758 s.v. παρά C.6 has “against, contrary to” for Acts 18:13. The words “in a way” are not in the Greek text, but are a necessary clarification to prevent the misunderstanding in the English translation that worshiping God was in itself contrary to the law. What is under dispute is the manner in which God was being worshiped, that is, whether Gentiles were being required to follow all aspects of the Mosaic law, including male circumcision. There is a hint of creating public chaos or disturbing Jewish custom here since Jews were the ones making the complaint. Luke often portrays the dispute between Christians and Jews as within Judaism.



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