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Acts 19:18-19

Context
19:18 Many of those who had believed came forward, 1  confessing and making their deeds known. 2  19:19 Large numbers 3  of those who had practiced magic 4  collected their books 5  and burned them up in the presence of everyone. 6  When 7  the value of the books was added up, it was found to total fifty thousand silver coins. 8 

1 tn Grk “came”; the word “forward” is supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning and to conform to the contemporary English idiom.

2 tn Or “confessing and disclosing their deeds.” BDAG 59 s.v. ἀναγγέλλω 2 has “W. ἐξομολογεῖσθαι: . τὰς πράξεις αὐτο'ν make their deeds known Ac 19:18.”

sn Making their deeds known. Ephesus was a major pagan religious center with much syncretistic “magical” practice. Coming to Jesus changed the lives and attitudes of these believers, creating a social impact.

3 tn BDAG 472 s.v. ἱκανός 4.a has “many, quite a few” for ἱκανοί (Jikanoi) in this verse.

4 tn On this term see BDAG 800 s.v. περίεργος 2.

5 tn Or “scrolls.”

6 tn Or “burned them up publicly.” L&N 14.66 has “‘they brought their books together and burned them up in the presence of everyone’ Ac 19:19.”

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

8 tn Or “fifty thousand silver drachmas” (about $10,000 US dollars). BDAG 128 s.v. ἀργύριον 2.c states, “ἀργυρίου μυριάδας πέντε 50,000 (Attic silver) drachmas Ac 19:19.” Another way to express the value would be in sheep: One drachma could buy one sheep. So this many drachmas could purchase a huge flock of sheep. A drachma also equals a denarius, or a day’s wage for the average worker. So this amount would be equal to 50,000 work days or in excess of 8,300 weeks of labor (the weeks are calculated at six working days because of the Jewish cultural context). The impact of Christianity on the Ephesian economy was considerable (note in regard to this the concerns expressed in 19:26-27).



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