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Acts 4:6-22

Context
4:6 Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and others who were members of the high priest’s family. 1  4:7 After 2  making Peter and John 3  stand in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or by what name 4  did you do this?” 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, 5  replied, 6  “Rulers of the people and elders, 7  4:9 if 8  we are being examined 9  today for a good deed 10  done to a sick man – by what means this man was healed 11 4:10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ 12  the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands before you healthy. 4:11 This Jesus 13  is the stone that was rejected by you, 14  the builders, that has become the cornerstone. 15  4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people 16  by which we must 17  be saved.”

4:13 When they saw the boldness 18  of Peter and John, and discovered 19  that they were uneducated 20  and ordinary 21  men, they were amazed and recognized these men had been with Jesus. 4:14 And because they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against this. 22  4:15 But when they had ordered them to go outside the council, 23  they began to confer with one another, 4:16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For it is plain 24  to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable miraculous sign 25  has come about through them, 26  and we cannot deny it. 4:17 But to keep this matter from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more 27  to anyone in this name.” 4:18 And they called them in and ordered 28  them not to speak or teach at all in the name 29  of Jesus. 4:19 But Peter and John replied, 30  “Whether it is right before God to obey 31  you rather than God, you decide, 4:20 for it is impossible 32  for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” 4:21 After threatening them further, they released them, for they could not find how to punish them on account of the people, because they were all praising 33  God for what had happened. 4:22 For the man, on whom this miraculous sign 34  of healing had been performed, 35  was over forty years old.

1 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).

2 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.

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

4 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?

5 sn Filled with the Holy Spirit. The narrator’s remark about the Holy Spirit indicates that Peter speaks as directed by God and for God. This fulfills Luke 12:11-12 (1 Pet 3:15).

6 tn Grk “Spirit, said to them.”

7 tc The Western and Byzantine texts, as well as one or two Alexandrian witnesses, read τοῦ ᾿Ισραήλ (tou Israhl, “of Israel”) after πρεσβύτεροι (presbuteroi, “elders”; so D E Ψ 33 1739 Ï it), while most of the better witnesses, chiefly Alexandrian (Ì74 א A B 0165 1175 vg sa bo), lack this modifier. The longer reading was most likely added by scribes to give literary balance to the addressees in that “Rulers” already had an adjunct while “elders” was left absolute.

8 tn This clause is a first class condition. It assumes for the sake of argument that this is what they were being questioned about.

9 tn Or “questioned.” The Greek term ἀνακρίνω (anakrinw) points to an examination similar to a legal one.

10 tn Or “for an act of kindness.”

11 tn Or “delivered” (σέσωται [seswtai], from σώζω [swzw]). See 4:12.

12 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

13 tn Grk “This one”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 tn The word “you” is inserted into the quotation because Peter is making a direct application of Ps 118:22 to his hearers. Because it is not in the OT, it has been left as normal type (rather than bold italic). The remarks are like Acts 2:22-24 and 3:12-15.

15 sn A quotation from Ps 118:22 which combines the theme of rejection with the theme of God’s vindication/exaltation.

16 tn Here ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") has been translated as a generic noun (“people”).

17 sn Must be saved. The term used here (δεῖ, dei, “it is necessary”) reflects the necessity set up by God’s directive plan.

18 tn Or “courage.”

19 tn Or “and found out.”

20 sn Uneducated does not mean “illiterate,” that is, unable to read or write. Among Jews in NT times there was almost universal literacy, especially as the result of widespread synagogue schools. The term refers to the fact that Peter and John had no formal rabbinic training and thus, in the view of their accusers, were not qualified to expound the law or teach publicly. The objection is like Acts 2:7.

21 tn For the translation of ἰδιῶται (idiwtai) as “ordinary men” see L&N 27.26.

22 tn Or “nothing to say in opposition.”

23 tn Or “the Sanhedrin” (the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).

24 tn Or “evident.”

25 tn Here σημεῖον (shmeion) has been translated as “miraculous sign” rather than simply “sign” or “miracle” since both components appear to be present in the context. It is clear that the healing of the lame man was a miracle, but for the Sanhedrin it was the value of the miraculous healing as a sign that concerned them because it gave attestation to the message of Peter and John. The sign “speaks” as Peter claimed in 3:11-16.

26 tn Or “has been done by them.”

27 tn Or “speak no longer.”

28 tn Or “commanded.”

29 sn In the name of Jesus. Once again, the “name” reflects the person. The person of Jesus and his authority is the “troubling” topic that, as far as the Jewish leadership is concerned, needs controlling.

30 tn Grk “answered and said to them.”

31 tn Grk “hear,” but the idea of “hear and obey” or simply “obey” is frequently contained in the Greek verb ἀκούω (akouw; see L&N 36.14).

32 tn Grk “for we are not able not to speak about what we have seen and heard,” but the double negative, which cancels out in English, is emphatic in Greek. The force is captured somewhat by the English translation “it is impossible for us not to speak…” although this is slightly awkward.

33 tn Or “glorifying.”

34 tn Here σημεῖον (shmeion) has been translated as “miraculous sign” rather than simply “sign” or “miracle” since both components appear to be present in the context. See also the note on this word in v. 16.

35 tn Or “had been done.”



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