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Acts 26:9-20

Context
26:9 Of course, 1  I myself was convinced 2  that it was necessary to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus the Nazarene. 26:10 And that is what I did in Jerusalem: Not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons by the authority I received 3  from the chief priests, but I also cast my vote 4  against them when they were sentenced to death. 5  26:11 I punished 6  them often in all the synagogues 7  and tried to force 8  them to blaspheme. Because I was so furiously enraged 9  at them, I went to persecute 10  them even in foreign cities.

26:12 “While doing this very thing, 11  as I was going 12  to Damascus with authority and complete power 13  from the chief priests, 26:13 about noon along the road, Your Majesty, 14  I saw a light from heaven, 15  brighter than the sun, shining everywhere around 16  me and those traveling with me. 26:14 When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, 17  ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself 18  by kicking against the goads.’ 19  26:15 So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord replied, 20  ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 26:16 But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance 21  as a servant and witness 22  to the things 23  you have seen 24  and to the things in which I will appear to you. 26:17 I will rescue 25  you from your own people 26  and from the Gentiles, to whom 27  I am sending you 26:18 to open their eyes so that they turn 28  from darkness to light and from the power 29  of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share 30  among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

26:19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, 31  I was not disobedient 32  to the heavenly 33  vision, 26:20 but I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, 34  and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, 35  performing deeds consistent with 36  repentance.

1 tn BDAG 737 s.v. οὖν 3 states, “It has been proposed that some traces of older Gk. usage in which οὖν is emphatic, = certainly, really, to be sure etc. (s. L-S-J-M s.v. 1) remain in the pap…and in the NT…indeed, of course Ac 26:9.”

2 tn Grk “I thought to myself.” BDAG 255 s.v. δοκέω 2.a has “ἔδοξα ἐμαυτῷ δεῖν πρᾶξαι = Lat. mihi videbar I was convinced that it was necessary to do Ac 26:9.”

3 tn Grk “by receiving authority.” The participle λαβών (labwn) has been taken instrumentally.

4 tn Grk “cast down a pebble against them.” L&N 30.103 states, “(an idiom, Grk ‘to bring a pebble against someone,’ a reference to a white or black pebble used in voting for or against someone) to make known one’s choice against someone – ‘to vote against.’ …‘when they were sentenced to death, I also voted against them’ Ac 26:10.”

5 tn Grk “when they were being executed”; but the context supports the sentencing rather than the execution itself (cf. L&N 30.103).

6 tn Grk “and punishing…I tried.” The participle τιμωρῶν (timwrwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. 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.

7 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:9.

8 tn The imperfect verb ἠνάγκαζον (hnankazon) has been translated as a conative imperfect (so BDAG 60 s.v. ἀναγκάζω 1, which has “ἠνάγκαζον βλασφημεῖν I tried to force them to blaspheme Ac 26:11”).

9 tn Or “was so insanely angry with them.” BDAG 322 s.v. ἐμμαίνομαι states, “to be filled with such anger that one appears to be mad, be enragedπερισσῶς ἐμμαινόμενος αὐτοῖς being furiously enraged at them Ac 26:11”; L&N 88.182 s.v. ἐμμαίνομαι, “to be so furiously angry with someone as to be almost out of one’s mind – ‘to be enraged, to be infuriated, to be insanely angry’ …‘I was so infuriated with them that I even went to foreign cities to persecute them’ Ac 26:11.”

10 tn Or “I pursued them even as far as foreign cities.”

11 tn Grk “in which [activity].” Due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started at the beginning of v. 12 in the translation. The referent of the relative pronoun (“which”) was specified as “this very thing” for clarity.

12 tn Grk “going.” The participle πορευόμενος (poreuomenos) has been taken temporally.

13 tn L&N 37.40 s.v. ἐπιτροπή states, “the full authority to carry out an assignment or commission – ‘authority, complete power.’ πορευόμενος εἰς τὴν Δαμασκὸν μετ᾿ ἐξουσίας καὶ ἐπιτροπῆς τῶν ἀρχιερέων ‘going to Damascus with authority and complete power from the high priests’ Ac 26:12. In Ac 26:12 the combination of ἐξουσία and ἐπιτροπή serves to reinforce the sense of complete authority.”

14 tn Grk “O King.”

15 tn Or “from the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).

16 tn The word “everywhere” has been supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning of περιλάμψαν (perilamyan). Otherwise the modern reader might think that each of the individuals were encircled by lights or halos. See also Acts 9:7; 22:6, 9.

17 tn Grk “in the Hebrew language.” See Acts 22:7 and 9:4.

18 tn Grk “It is hard for you.”

19 tn “Goads” are pointed sticks used to direct a draft animal (an idiom for stubborn resistance). See BDAG 539-40 s.v. κέντρον 2.

sn Sayings which contain the imagery used here (kicking against the goads) were also found in Greek writings; see Pindar, Pythians 2.94-96; Euripides, Bacchae 795.

20 tn Grk “said.”

21 tn L&N 30.89 has “‘to choose in advance, to select beforehand, to designate in advance.’”

22 sn As a servant and witness. The commission is similar to Acts 1:8 and Luke 1:2. Paul was now an “eyewitness” of the Lord.

23 tn BDAG 719 s.v. ὁράω A.1.b states, “W. attraction of the relative ὧν = τούτων ἅ Lk 9:36; Ac 22:15. The attraction may be due to colloq. breviloquence in μάρτυρα ὧν τε εἶδες με ὧν τε ὀφθήσομαί σοι a witness to the things in which you saw me and to those in which I shall appear to you Ac 26:16b.”

24 tc ‡ Some mss read “of the things in which you have seen me.” The accusative object με (me, “me”) is found after εἶδές (eide") in B C*vid 614 945 1175 1505 1739 1891 2464 pc sy sa; it is lacking in Ì74 א A C2 E Ψ 096 Ï latt bo. The external evidence is relatively evenly divided, though there is a slight preference for the omission. NA27 includes the word in brackets, indicating some doubt as to its authenticity.

25 tn Grk “rescuing.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the participle ἐξαιρούμενος (exairoumeno") has been translated as a finite verb and a new sentence started in the translation at the beginning of v. 17.

26 tn That is, from the Jewish people. Grk “the people”; the words “your own” have been supplied to clarify the meaning.

27 tn The antecedent of the relative pronoun is probably both the Jews (“your own people”) and the Gentiles, indicating the comprehensive commission Paul received.

28 sn To open their eyes so that they turn… Here is Luke’s most comprehensive report of Paul’s divine calling. His role was to call humanity to change their position before God and experience God’s forgiveness as a part of God’s family. The image of turning is a key one in the NT: Luke 1:79; Rom 2:19; 13:12; 2 Cor 4:6; 6:14; Eph 5:8; Col 1:12; 1 Thess 5:5. See also Luke 1:77-79; 3:3; 24:47.

29 tn BDAG 352-53 s.v. ἐξουσία 2 states, “Also of Satan’s power Ac 26:18.” It is also possible to translate this “the domain of Satan” (cf. BDAG 353 s.v. 6)

30 tn Or “and an inheritance.”

31 sn See the note on King Agrippa in 25:13.

32 sn I was not disobedient. Paul’s defense is that he merely obeyed the risen Jesus. He was arrested for obeying heavenly direction and preaching the opportunity to turn to God.

33 tn According to L&N 1.5, “In Ac 26:19 the adjective οὐράνιος could be interpreted as being related simply to the meaning of οὐρανόςa ‘sky,’ but it seems preferable to regard οὐράνιος in this context as meaning simply ‘from heaven’ or ‘heavenly.’”

34 tn BDAG 1093-94 s.v. χώρα 2.b states, “of the provincial name (1 Macc 8:3) ἡ χώρα τῆς ᾿Ιουδαίας Ac 26:20.”

35 sn That they should repent and turn to God. This is the shortest summary of Paul’s message that he preached.

36 tn BDAG 93 s.v. ἄξιος 1.b, “καρποὶ ἄ. τῆς μετανοίας fruits in keeping with your repentanceLk 3:8; Mt 3:8. For this . τῆς μετανοίας ἔργα Ac 26:20.” Note how Paul preached the gospel offer and the issue of response together, side by side.



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