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Acts 20:25-36

Context

20:25 “And now 1  I know that none 2  of you among whom I went around proclaiming the kingdom 3  will see me 4  again. 20:26 Therefore I declare 5  to you today that I am innocent 6  of the blood of you all. 7  20:27 For I did not hold back from 8  announcing 9  to you the whole purpose 10  of God. 20:28 Watch out for 11  yourselves and for all the flock of which 12  the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, 13  to shepherd the church of God 14  that he obtained 15  with the blood of his own Son. 16  20:29 I know that after I am gone 17  fierce wolves 18  will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 20:30 Even from among your own group 19  men 20  will arise, teaching perversions of the truth 21  to draw the disciples away after them. 20:31 Therefore be alert, 22  remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning 23  each one of you with tears. 20:32 And now I entrust 24  you to God and to the message 25  of his grace. This message 26  is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 20:33 I have desired 27  no one’s silver or gold or clothing. 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine 28  provided for my needs and the needs of those who were with me. 20:35 By all these things, 29  I have shown you that by working in this way we must help 30  the weak, 31  and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” 32 

20:36 When 33  he had said these things, he knelt down 34  with them all and prayed.

1 tn Grk “And now, behold.” Here ἰδού (idou) has not been translated.

2 tn Grk “all of you…will not see.” Greek handles its negation somewhat differently from English, and the translation follows English grammatical conventions.

3 sn Note how Paul’s usage of the expression proclaiming the kingdom is associated with (and intertwined with) his testifying to the good news of God’s grace in v. 24. For Paul the two concepts were interrelated.

4 tn Grk “will see my face” (an idiom for seeing someone in person).

5 tn Or “testify.”

6 tn Grk “clean, pure,” thus “guiltless” (BDAG 489 s.v. καθαρός 3.a).

sn I am innocent. Paul had a clear conscience, since he had faithfully carried out his responsibility of announcing to (the Ephesians) the whole purpose of God.

7 tn That is, “that if any of you should be lost, I am not responsible” (an idiom). According to L&N 33.223, the meaning of the phrase “that I am innocent of the blood of all of you” is “that if any of you should be lost, I am not responsible.” However, due to the length of this phrase and its familiarity to many modern English readers, the translation was kept closer to formal equivalence in this case. The word “you” is not in the Greek text, but is implied; Paul is addressing the Ephesian congregation (in the person of its elders) in both v. 25 and 27.

8 tn Or “did not avoid.” BDAG 1041 s.v. ὑποστέλλω 2.b has “shrink from, avoid implying fear…οὐ γὰρ ὑπεστειλάμην τοῦ μὴ ἀναγγεῖλαι I did not shrink from proclaiming Ac 20:27”; L&N 13.160 has “to hold oneself back from doing something, with the implication of some fearful concern – ‘to hold back from, to shrink from, to avoid’…‘for I have not held back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God’ Ac 20:27.”

9 tn Or “proclaiming,” “declaring.”

10 tn Or “plan.”

11 tn Or “Be on your guard for” (cf. v. 29). Paul completed his responsibility to the Ephesians with this warning.

12 tn Grk “in which.”

13 tn Or “guardians.” BDAG 379-80 s.v. ἐπίσκοπος 2 states, “The term was taken over in Christian communities in ref. to one who served as overseer or supervisor, with special interest in guarding the apostolic tradition…Ac 20:28.” This functional term describes the role of the elders (see v. 17). They were to guard and shepherd the congregation.

14 tc The reading “of God” (τοῦ θεοῦ, tou qeou) is found in א B 614 1175 1505 al vg sy; other witnesses have “of the Lord” (τοῦ κυρίου, tou kuriou) here (so Ì74 A C* D E Ψ 33 1739 al co), while the majority of the later minuscule mss conflate these two into “of the Lord and God” (τοῦ κυρίου καὶ [τοῦ] θεοῦ, tou kuriou kai [tou] qeou). Although the evidence is evenly balanced between the first two readings, τοῦ θεοῦ is decidedly superior on internal grounds. The final prepositional phrase of this verse, διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου (dia tou {aimato" tou idiou), could be rendered “through his own blood” or “through the blood of his own.” In the latter translation, the object that “own” modifies must be supplied (see tn below for discussion). But this would not be entirely clear to scribes; those who supposed that ἰδίου modified αἵματος would be prone to alter “God” to “Lord” to avoid the inference that God had blood. In a similar way, later scribes would be prone to conflate the two titles, thereby affirming the deity (with the construction τοῦ κυρίου καὶ θεοῦ following the Granville Sharp rule and referring to a single person [see ExSyn 272, 276-77, 290]) and substitutionary atonement of Christ. For these reasons, τοῦ θεοῦ best explains the rise of the other readings and should be considered authentic.

15 tn Or “acquired.”

16 tn Or “with his own blood”; Grk “with the blood of his own.” The genitive construction could be taken in two ways: (1) as an attributive genitive (second attributive position) meaning “his own blood”; or (2) as a possessive genitive, “with the blood of his own.” In this case the referent is the Son, and the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. See further C. F. DeVine, “The Blood of God,” CBQ 9 (1947): 381-408.

sn That he obtained with the blood of his own Son. This is one of only two explicit statements in Luke-Acts highlighting the substitutionary nature of Christ’s death (the other is in Luke 22:19).

17 tn Grk “after my departure.”

18 tn That is, people like fierce wolves. See BDAG 167-68 s.v. βαρύς 4 on the term translated “fierce.” The battle that will follow would be a savage one.

19 tn Grk “from among yourselves.”

20 tn The Greek term here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which only rarely is used in a generic sense to refer to both males and females. Since Paul is speaking to the Ephesian elders at this point and there is nothing in the context to suggest women were included in that group (“from among your own group”), it is most likely Paul was not predicting that these false teachers would include women.

21 tn Grk “speaking crooked things”; BDAG 237 s.v. διαστρέφω 2 has “λαλεῖν διεστραμμένα teach perversions (of the truth) Ac 20:30.”

sn These perversions of the truth refer to the kinds of threats that would undermine repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. v. 21). Instead these false teachers would arise from within the Ephesian congregation (cf. 1 John 2:18-19) and would seek to draw the disciples away after them.

22 tn Or “be watchful.”

23 tn Or “admonishing.”

24 tn Or “commend.” BDAG 772 s.v. παρατίθημι 3.b has “τινά τινι entrust someone to the care or protection of someone…Of divine protection παρέθεντο αὐτοὺς τῷ κυρίῳ Ac 14:23; cp. 20:32.”

25 tn Grk “word.”

26 tn Grk “the message of his grace, which.” The phrase τῷ δυναμένῳ οἰκοδομῆσαι… (tw dunamenw oikodomhsai…) refers to τῷ λόγω (tw logw), not τῆς χάριτος (ths caritos); in English it could refer to either “the message” or “grace,” but in Greek, because of agreement in gender, the referent can only be “the message.” To make this clear, a new sentence was begun in the translation and the referent “the message” was repeated at the beginning of this new sentence.

27 tn Traditionally, “coveted.” BDAG 371 s.v. ἐπιθυμέω 1 has “to have a strong desire to do or secure someth., desire, long for w. gen. of the thing desired…silver, gold, clothing Ac 20:33.” The traditional term “covet” is not in common usage and difficult for many modern English readers to understand. The statement affirms Paul’s integrity. He was not doing this for personal financial gain.

28 tn The words “of mine” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied to clarify whose hands Paul is referring to.

29 sn The expression By all these things means “In everything I did.”

30 tn Or “must assist.”

31 tn Or “the sick.” See Eph 4:28.

32 sn The saying is similar to Matt 10:8. Service and generosity should be abundant. Interestingly, these exact words are not found in the gospels. Paul must have known of this saying from some other source.

33 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.

34 tn Grk “kneeling down…he prayed.” The participle θείς (qeis) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.



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