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Acts 8:1-3

Context
8:1 And Saul agreed completely with killing 1  him.

Saul Begins to Persecute the Church

Now on that day a great 2  persecution began 3  against the church in Jerusalem, 4  and all 5  except the apostles were forced to scatter throughout the regions 6  of Judea and Samaria. 8:2 Some 7  devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation 8  over him. 9  8:3 But Saul was trying to destroy 10  the church; entering one house after another, he dragged off 11  both men and women and put them in prison. 12 

1 tn The term ἀναίρεσις (anairesi") can refer to murder (BDAG 64 s.v.; 2 Macc 5:13; Josephus, Ant. 5.2.12 [5.165]).

2 tn Or “severe.”

3 tn Grk “Now there happened on that day a great persecution.” It is less awkward to say in English “Now on that day a great persecution began.”

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

5 sn All. Given that the Jerusalem church is still active after this and that the Hellenists are the focus of Acts 6-8, it is possible to argue that only the Hellenistic Christians were forced to scatter.

6 tn Or “countryside.”

7 tn “Some” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.

8 sn Made loud lamentation. For someone who was stoned to death, lamentation was normally not allowed (m. Sanhedrin 6:6). The remark points to an unjust death.

9 tn Or “mourned greatly for him.”

10 tn Or “began to harm [the church] severely.” If the nuance of this verb is “destroy,” then the imperfect verb ἐλυμαίνετο (elumaineto) is best translated as a conative imperfect as in the translation above. If instead the verb is taken to mean “injure severely” (as L&N 20.24), it should be translated in context as an ingressive imperfect (“began to harm the church severely”). Either option does not significantly alter the overall meaning, since it is clear from the stated actions of Saul in the second half of the verse that he intended to destroy or ravage the church.

11 tn The participle σύρων (surwn) has been translated as an finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

12 tn BDAG 762 s.v. παραδίδωμι 1.b has “εἰς φυλακήν put in prison Ac 8:3.”



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