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Acts 21:20-21

Context
21:20 When they heard this, they praised 1  God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews 2  there are who have believed, and they are all ardent observers 3  of the law. 4  21:21 They have been informed about you – that you teach all the Jews now living 5  among the Gentiles to abandon 6  Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children 7  or live 8  according to our customs.

1 tn Or “glorified.”

2 tn Grk “how many thousands there are among the Jews.”

sn How many thousands of Jews. See Acts 2-5 for the accounts of their conversion, esp. 2:41 and 4:4. Estimates of the total number of Jews living in Jerusalem at the time range from 20,000 to 50,000.

3 tn Or “are all zealous for the law.” BDAG 427 s.v. ζηλωτής 1.a.β has “of thing…τοῦ νόμου an ardent observer of the law Ac 21:20.”

4 sn That is, the law of Moses. These Jewish Christians had remained close to their Jewish practices after becoming believers (1 Cor 7:18-19; Acts 16:3).

5 tn BDAG 511 s.v. κατά B.1.a has “τοὺς κ. τὰ ἔθνη ᾿Ιουδαίους the Judeans (dispersed) throughout the nations 21:21.” The Jews in view are not those in Palestine, but those who are scattered throughout the Gentile world.

6 tn Or “to forsake,” “to rebel against.” BDAG 120 s.v. ἀποστασία has “ἀποστασίαν διδάσκεις ἀπὸ Μωϋσέως you teach (Judeans) to abandon Moses Ac 21:21.”

sn The charge that Paul was teaching Jews in the Diaspora to abandon Moses was different from the issue faced in Acts 15, where the question was whether Gentiles needed to become like Jews first in order to become Christians. The issue also appears in Acts 24:5-6, 13-21; 25:8.

7 sn That is, not to circumcise their male children. Biblical references to circumcision always refer to male circumcision.

8 tn Grk “or walk.”



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