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Acts 4:3-7

Context
4:3 So 1  they seized 2  them and put them in jail 3  until the next day (for it was already evening). 4:4 But many of those who had listened to 4  the message 5  believed, and the number of the men 6  came to about five thousand.

4:5 On the next day, 7  their rulers, elders, and experts in the law 8  came together 9  in Jerusalem. 10  4:6 Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and others who were members of the high priest’s family. 11  4:7 After 12  making Peter and John 13  stand in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or by what name 14  did you do this?”

1 tn Grk “And” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the logical sequence of events.

2 tn Or “they arrested”; Grk “they laid hands on.”

3 tn Or “prison,” “custody.”

4 tn Or “had heard.”

5 tn Or “word.”

6 tn In the historical setting it is likely that only men are referred to here. The Greek term ἀνήρ (anhr) usually refers to males or husbands rather than people in general. Thus to translate “of the people” would give a false impression of the number, since any women and children were apparently not included in the count.

7 tn Grk “It happened that on the next day.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

8 tn Or “and scribes.” The traditional rendering of γραμματεύς (grammateu") as “scribe” does not communicate much to the modern English reader, for whom the term might mean “professional copyist,” if it means anything at all. The people referred to here were recognized experts in the law of Moses and in traditional laws and regulations. Thus “expert in the law” comes closer to the meaning for the modern reader.

sn Experts in the law would have been mostly like the Pharisees in approach. Thus various sects of Judaism were coming together against Jesus.

9 tn Or “law assembled,” “law met together.”

10 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

11 sn The high priest’s family. This family controlled the high priesthood as far back as a.d. 6. Annas, Caiaphas, and Alexander were all high priests at one time (though Alexander held that office after this event).

12 tn Grk “And after.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new sentence is begun in the translation at the beginning of v. 7.

13 tn Grk “making them”; the referents (Peter and John) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 sn By what name. The issue of the “name” comes up again here. This question, meaning “by whose authority,” surfaces an old dispute (see Luke 20:1-8). Who speaks for God about the ancient faith?



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