16:3 Paul wanted Timothy 1 to accompany him, and he took 2 him and circumcised 3 him because of the Jews who were in those places, 4 for they all knew that his father was Greek. 5 16:4 As they went through the towns, 6 they passed on 7 the decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem 8 for the Gentile believers 9 to obey. 10
1 tn Grk “this one”; the referent (Timothy) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
2 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).
3 tn The verb περιέτεμεν (perietemen) here may be understood as causative (cf. ExSyn 411-12) if Paul did not personally perform the circumcision.
4 tn Or “who lived in the area.”
5 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.
6 tn Or “cities.”
9 tn Grk “for them”; the referent (Gentile believers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
10 tn Or “observe” or “follow.”