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Acts 8:9-24

Context

8:9 Now in that city was a man named Simon, who had been practicing magic 1  and amazing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. 8:10 All the people, 2  from the least to the greatest, paid close attention to him, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called ‘Great.’” 3  8:11 And they paid close attention to him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God 4  and the name of Jesus Christ, 5  they began to be baptized, 6  both men and women. 8:13 Even Simon himself believed, and after he was baptized, he stayed close to 7  Philip constantly, and when he saw the signs and great miracles that were occurring, he was amazed. 8 

8:14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem 9  heard that Samaria had accepted the word 10  of God, they sent 11  Peter and John to them. 8:15 These two 12  went down and prayed for them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 8:16 (For the Spirit 13  had not yet come upon 14  any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 15  8:17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on the Samaritans, 16  and they received the Holy Spirit. 17 

8:18 Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit 18  was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, offered them money, 8:19 saying, “Give me this power 19  too, so that everyone I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” 8:20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, 20  because you thought you could acquire 21  God’s gift with money! 8:21 You have no share or part 22  in this matter 23  because your heart is not right before God! 8:22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord 24  that he may perhaps forgive you for the intent of your heart. 25  8:23 For I see that you are bitterly envious 26  and in bondage to sin.” 8:24 But Simon replied, 27  “You pray to the Lord for me so that nothing of what you have said may happen to 28  me.”

1 tn On the idiom προϋπῆρχεν μαγεύων (prouphrcen mageuwn) meaning “had been practicing magic” see BDAG 889 s.v. προϋπάρχω.

2 tn Grk “all of them”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Or “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.” The translation “what is called the Great Power of God” is given by BDAG 263 s.v. δύναμις 5, but the repetition of the article before καλουμένη μεγάλη (kaloumenh megalh) suggests the translation “the power of God that is called ‘Great.’”

4 sn The kingdom of God is also what Jesus preached: Acts 1:3. The term reappears in 14:22; 19:8; 28:23, 31.

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

6 tn The imperfect verb ἐβαπτίζοντο (ebaptizonto) has been translated as an ingressive imperfect.

7 tn Or “he kept close company with.”

8 sn He was amazed. Now Simon, the one who amazed others, is himself amazed, showing the superiority of Philip’s connection to God. Christ is better than anything the culture has to offer.

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

10 tn Or “message.”

11 sn They sent. The Jerusalem church with the apostles was overseeing the expansion of the church, as the distribution of the Spirit indicates in vv. 15-17.

12 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the phrase “these two” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style.

13 tn Grk “For he”; the referent (the Spirit) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 tn Or “fallen on.”

15 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

16 tn Grk “on them”; the referent (the Samaritans) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 sn They received the Holy Spirit. It is likely this special distribution of the Spirit took place because a key ethnic boundary was being crossed. Here are some of “those far off” of Acts 2:38-40.

18 tc Most witnesses (Ì45,74 A* C D E Ψ 33 1739 Ï latt sy bo) here read “the Holy Spirit” (τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, to pneuma to {agion), while a few key mss have simply τὸ πνεῦμα (א Ac B sa mae). Although it is possible that some scribes omitted τὸ ἅγιον because of its perceived superfluity (note vv. 15, 17, 19), it is far more likely that others added the adjective out of pious motives.

19 tn Or “ability”; Grk “authority.”

20 tn Grk “May your silver together with you be sent into destruction.” This is a strong curse. The gifts of God are sovereignly bestowed and cannot be purchased.

21 tn Or “obtain.”

22 tn The translation “share or part” is given by L&N 63.13.

23 tn Since the semantic range for λόγος (logos) is so broad, a number of different translations could be given for the prepositional phrase here. Something along the lines of “in this thing” would work well, but is too colloquial for the present translation.

24 tn Or “and implore the Lord.”

25 tn Grk “that if possible the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.” The passive construction is somewhat awkward in contemporary English and has thus been converted to an active construction in the translation.

26 tn Grk “in the gall of bitterness,” an idiom meaning to be particularly envious or resentful of someone. In this case Simon was jealous of the apostles’ power to bestow the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, and wanted that power for himself. The literal phrase does not convey this to the modern reader, and in fact some modern translations have simply rendered the phrase as involving bitterness, which misses the point of the envy on Simon’s part. See L&N 88.166. The OT images come from Deut 29:17-18 and Isa 58:6.

27 tn Grk “Simon answered and said.”

sn Given that Simon does not follow Peter’s call for repentance, many interpreters read this reply as flippant rather than sincere. But the exact nature of Simon’s reply is not entirely clear.

28 tn Grk “may come upon.”



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