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Acts 17:26-31

Context
17:26 From one man 1  he made every nation of the human race 2  to inhabit the entire earth, 3  determining their set times 4  and the fixed limits of the places where they would live, 5  17:27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around 6  for him and find him, 7  though he is 8  not far from each one of us. 17:28 For in him we live and move about 9  and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ 10  17:29 So since we are God’s offspring, we should not think the deity 11  is like gold or silver or stone, an image 12  made by human 13  skill 14  and imagination. 15  17:30 Therefore, although God has overlooked 16  such times of ignorance, 17  he now commands all people 18  everywhere to repent, 19  17:31 because he has set 20  a day on which he is going to judge the world 21  in righteousness, by a man whom he designated, 22  having provided proof to everyone by raising 23  him from the dead.”

1 sn The one man refers to Adam (the word “man” is understood).

2 tn Or “mankind.” BDAG 276 s.v. ἔθνος 1 has “every nation of humankind Ac 17:26.”

3 tn Grk “to live over all the face of the earth.”

4 tn BDAG 884-85 s.v. προστάσσω has “(οἱ) προστεταγμένοι καιροί (the) fixed times Ac 17:26” here, but since the following phrase is also translated “fixed limits,” this would seem redundant in English, so the word “set” has been used instead.

5 tn Grk “the boundaries of their habitation.” L&N 80.5 has “fixed limits of the places where they would live” for this phrase.

6 tn See BDAG 1097-98 s.v. ψηλαφάω, which lists “touch, handle” and “to feel around for, grope for” as possible meanings.

7 sn Perhaps grope around for him and find him. The pagans’ struggle to know God is the point here. Conscience alone is not good enough.

8 tn The participle ὑπάρχοντα (Juparconta) has been translated as a concessive adverbial participle.

9 tn According to L&N 15.1, “A strictly literal translation of κινέω in Ac 17:28 might imply merely moving from one place to another. The meaning, however, is generalized movement and activity; therefore, it may be possible to translate κινούμεθα as ‘we come and go’ or ‘we move about’’ or even ‘we do what we do.’”

10 sn This quotation is from Aratus (ca. 310-245 b.c.), Phaenomena 5. Paul asserted a general relationship and accountability to God for all humanity.

11 tn Or “the divine being.” BDAG 446 s.v. θεῖος 1.b has “divine being, divinity” here.

12 tn Or “a likeness.” Again idolatry is directly attacked as an affront to God and a devaluation of him.

13 tn Grk “by the skill and imagination of man,” but ἀνθρώπου (anqrwpou) has been translated as an attributive genitive.

14 tn Or “craftsmanship” (cf. BDAG 1001 s.v. τέχνη).

15 tn Or “thought.” BDAG 336 s.v. ἐνθύμησις has “thought, reflection, idea” as the category of meaning here, but in terms of creativity (as in the context) the imaginative faculty is in view.

16 tn Or “has deliberately paid no attention to.”

17 tn Or “times when people did not know.”

18 tn Here ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") has been translated as a generic noun (“people”).

19 sn He now commands all people everywhere to repent. God was now asking all mankind to turn to him. No nation or race was excluded.

20 tn Or “fixed.”

21 sn The world refers to the whole inhabited earth.

22 tn Or “appointed.” BDAG 723 s.v. ὁρίζω 2.b has “of persons appoint, designate, declare: God judges the world ἐν ἀνδρὶ ᾧ ὥρισεν through a man whom he has appointed Ac 17:31.”

sn A man whom he designated. Jesus is put in the position of eschatological judge. As judge of the living and the dead, he possesses divine authority (Acts 10:42).

23 tn The participle ἀναστήσας (anasthsa") indicates means here.



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