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Acts 9:20

Context
9:20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, 1  saying, “This man is the Son of God.” 2 

Acts 9:13-43

Context
9:13 But Ananias replied, 3  “Lord, I have heard from many people 4  about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, 9:14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison 5  all who call on your name!” 6  9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument 7  to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 8  9:16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 9  9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed 10  his hands on Saul 11  and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, 12  has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 13  9:18 Immediately 14  something like scales 15  fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He 16  got up and was baptized, 9:19 and after taking some food, his strength returned.

For several days 17  he was with the disciples in Damascus, 9:20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, 18  saying, “This man is the Son of God.” 19  9:21 All 20  who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not 21  the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging 22  those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners 23  to the chief priests?” 9:22 But Saul became more and more capable, 24  and was causing consternation 25  among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving 26  that Jesus 27  is the Christ. 28 

Saul’s Escape from Damascus

9:23 Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted 29  together to kill him, 9:24 but Saul learned of their plot against him. 30  They were also watching 31  the city gates 32  day and night so that they could kill him. 9:25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening 33  in the wall by lowering him in a basket. 34 

Saul Returns to Jerusalem

9:26 When he arrived in Jerusalem, 35  he attempted to associate 36  with the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe 37  that he was a disciple. 9:27 But Barnabas took 38  Saul, 39  brought 40  him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, that 41  the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly 42  in the name of Jesus. 9:28 So he was staying with them, associating openly with them 43  in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 9:29 He was speaking and debating 44  with the Greek-speaking Jews, 45  but they were trying to kill him. 9:30 When the brothers found out about this, they brought him down to Caesarea 46  and sent him away to Tarsus.

9:31 Then 47  the church throughout Judea, Galilee, 48  and Samaria experienced 49  peace and thus was strengthened. 50  Living 51  in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, the church 52  increased in numbers.

Peter Heals Aeneas

9:32 Now 53  as Peter was traveling around from place to place, 54  he also came down to the saints who lived in Lydda. 55  9:33 He found there a man named Aeneas who had been confined to a mattress for eight years because 56  he was paralyzed. 9:34 Peter 57  said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ 58  heals you. Get up and make your own bed!” 59  And immediately he got up. 9:35 All 60  those who lived in Lydda 61  and Sharon 62  saw him, and they 63  turned 64  to the Lord.

Peter Raises Dorcas

9:36 Now in Joppa 65  there was a disciple named Tabitha (which in translation means 66  Dorcas). 67  She was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity. 68  9:37 At that time 69  she became sick 70  and died. When they had washed 71  her body, 72  they placed it in an upstairs room. 9:38 Because Lydda 73  was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Come to us without delay.” 74  9:39 So Peter got up and went with them, and 75  when he arrived 76  they brought him to the upper room. All 77  the widows stood beside him, crying and showing him 78  the tunics 79  and other clothing 80  Dorcas used to make 81  while she was with them. 9:40 But Peter sent them all outside, 82  knelt down, 83  and prayed. Turning 84  to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 85  9:41 He gave 86  her his hand and helped her get up. Then he called 87  the saints and widows and presented her alive. 9:42 This became known throughout all 88  Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 89  9:43 So 90  Peter 91  stayed many days in Joppa with a man named 92  Simon, a tanner. 93 

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

2 tn The ὅτι (Joti) is understood to introduce direct (“This man is the Son of God”) rather than indirect discourse (“that this man is the Son of God”) because the pronoun οὗτος (Jouto") combined with the present tense verb ἐστιν (estin) suggests the contents of what was proclaimed are a direct (albeit summarized) quotation.

sn This is the only use of the title Son of God in Acts. The book prefers to allow a variety of descriptions to present Jesus.

3 sn Ananias replied. Past events might have suggested to Ananias that this was not good counsel, but like Peter in Acts 10, Ananias’ intuitions were wrong.

4 tn The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.

5 tn Grk “to bind.”

6 sn The expression “those who call on your name” is a frequent description of believers (Acts 2:21; 1 Cor 1:2; Rom 10:13).

7 tn Or “tool.”

8 tn Grk “the sons of Israel.” In Acts, Paul is a minister to all nations, including Israel (Rom 1:16-17).

9 tn Or “because of my name.” BDAG 1031 s.v. ὑπέρ 2 lists Acts 9:16 as an example of ὑπέρ (Juper) used to indicate “the moving cause or reason, because of, for the sake of, for.”

10 tn Grk “and placing his hands on Saul, he said.” The participle ἐπιθείς (epiqei") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. For the same reason καί (kai) has not been translated before the participle.

11 tn Grk “on him”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Grk “on the road in which you came,” but the relative clause makes for awkward English style, so it was translated as a temporal clause (“as you came here”).

13 sn Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Here someone who is not an apostle (Ananias) commissions another person with the Spirit.

14 tn Grk “And immediately.” 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.

15 tn The comparison to “scales” suggests a crusty covering which peeled away (cf. BDAG 592 s.v. λεπίς 2).

16 tn Grk “and he.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence was started, with “and” placed before the final element of the previous clause as required by English style.

17 tn Grk “It happened that for several days.” 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.

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

19 tn The ὅτι (Joti) is understood to introduce direct (“This man is the Son of God”) rather than indirect discourse (“that this man is the Son of God”) because the pronoun οὗτος (Jouto") combined with the present tense verb ἐστιν (estin) suggests the contents of what was proclaimed are a direct (albeit summarized) quotation.

sn This is the only use of the title Son of God in Acts. The book prefers to allow a variety of descriptions to present Jesus.

20 tn Grk “And all.” 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.

21 tn The Greek interrogative particle used in this verse (οὐχ, ouc) expects a positive reply. They all knew about Saul’s persecutions.

22 tn Normally, “destroying,” but compare 4 Macc 4:23; 11:4 and MM 529 s.v. πορθέω for examples from Koine papyri. See also BDAG 853 s.v. πορθέω.

23 tn Grk “bring them bound”; the translation “bring someone as prisoner” for δεδεμένον ἄγειν τινά (dedemenon agein tina) is given by BDAG 221 s.v. δέω 1.b.

24 tn Grk “was becoming stronger,” but this could be understood in a physical sense, while the text refers to Saul’s growing ability to demonstrate to fellow Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. The translation “to become capable” for ἐνδυναμόω (endunamow) is given in L&N 74.7, with this specific verse as an example.

25 tn Or “was confounding.” For the translation “to cause consternation” for συγχέω (suncew) see L&N 25.221.

26 tn Or “by showing for certain.”

27 tn Grk “that this one”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

28 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.” Note again the variation in the titles used.

sn See the note on Christ in 2:31.

29 sn Fitting the pattern emphasized earlier with Stephen and his speech in Acts 7, some Jews plotted to kill God’s messenger (cf. Luke 11:53-54).

30 tn The words “against him” are implied, as suggested by L&N 30.71.

31 tn Or “guarding.” This is a negative term in Luke-Acts (Luke 6:7; 14:1; 20:20).

32 tn The word πύλη (pulh) may refer to a house door or gate, or to the large gates used in a palace, temple, or city wall. Here the context clearly indicates a reference to the latter, so the translation “city gates” is used.

33 tn The opening in the wall is not specifically mentioned here, but the parallel account in 2 Cor 11:33 mentions a “window” or “opening” (θυρίς, quris) in the city wall through which Paul was lowered. One alternative to introducing mention of the opening is to translate Acts 9:25 “they let him down over the wall,” as suggested in L&N 7.61. This option is not employed by many translations, however, because for the English reader it creates an (apparent) contradiction between Acts 9:25 and 2 Cor 11:33. In reality the account here is simply more general, omitting the detail about the window.

34 tn On the term for “basket” used here, see BDAG 940 s.v. σπυρίς.

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

36 tn Or “join.”

37 tn The participle πιστεύοντες (pisteuonte") has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.

38 tn Grk “taking Saul, brought him.” The participle ἐπιλαβόμενος (epilabomeno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

39 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

40 tn Grk “and brought,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

41 tn Grk “and that,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

42 tn On this verb which is used 7 times in Acts, see BDAG 782 s.v. παρρησιάζομαι 1. See also v. 28.

43 tn Grk “he was with them going in and going out in Jerusalem.” The expression “going in and going out” is probably best taken as an idiom for association without hindrance. Some modern translations (NASB, NIV) translate the phrase “moving about freely in Jerusalem,” although the NRSV retains the literal “he went in and out among them in Jerusalem.”

44 tn Or “arguing.” BDAG 954 s.v. συζητέω 2 gives “dispute, debate, argueτινί ‘w. someone’” for συνεζήτει (sunezhtei).

45 tn Grk “the Hellenists,” but this descriptive term is largely unknown to the modern English reader. The translation “Greek-speaking Jews” attempts to convey something of who these were, but it was more than a matter of language spoken; it involved a degree of adoption of Greek culture as well.

46 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine, south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi). See the note on Caesarea in Acts 10:1.

map For location see Map2 C1; Map4 B3; Map5 F2; Map7 A1; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

47 tn Or “Therefore.” This verse is another summary text in Acts (cf. 2:41-47; 4:32-37; 5:12-16; 6:7).

48 tn Grk “and Galilee,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

49 tn Grk “had.”

50 tn Or “Built up.” The participle οἰκοδομουμένη (oikodomoumenh) has been translated as a participle of result related to εἶχεν (eicen). It could also be understood as adverbial to ἐπληθύνετο (eplhquneto): “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria experienced peace. Strengthened and living in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.” Although some scholars do not regard the participle of result as a legitimate category, it is actually fairly common (see ExSyn 637-39).

51 tn Grk “And living.” 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.

52 tn Grk “it”; the referent (the church) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

53 tn Grk “Now it happened that.” 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.

54 tn Grk “As Peter was going through all [the places],” which is somewhat awkward in English. The meaning is best expressed by a phrase like “going around from place to place” or “traveling around from place to place.”

55 sn Lydda was a city northwest of Jerusalem on the way to Joppa. It was about 10.5 miles (17 km) southeast of Joppa.

56 tn Since the participle κατακείμενον (katakeimenon), an adjectival participle modifying Αἰνέαν (Ainean), has been translated into English as a relative clause (“who had been confined to a mattress”), it would be awkward to follow with a second relative clause (Grk “who was paralyzed”). Furthermore, the relative pronoun here has virtually a causal force, giving the reason for confinement to the mattress, so it is best translated “because.”

57 tn Grk “And Peter.” 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.

58 tc ‡ Several variants occur at this juncture. Some of the earliest and best witnesses (Ì74 א B* C Ψ 33vid Didpt) read “Jesus Christ” (᾿Ιησοῦς Χριστός, Ihsou" Cristo"); others ([A] 36 1175 it) have “the Lord Jesus Christ” (ὁ κύριος ᾿Ιησοῦς Χριστός, Jo kurio" Ihsou" Cristo"); a few read simply ὁ Χριστός (614 1241 1505); the majority of mss (B2 E 1739 Ï Didpt) have “Jesus the Christ” ( ᾿Ιησοῦς ὁ Χριστός). Although the pedigree of this last reading is relatively weak, it draws strength from the fact that (a) the other readings are much more natural and thus more predictable, and (b) there are several variants for this text. It seems hardly likely that scribes would intentionally change a more common expression into a title that is used nowhere else in the NT (although 1 John 2:22; 5:1 come close with “Jesus is the Christ”), nor would they unintentionally change a frequently used designation into an unusual one. Thus, in spite of the external evidence (which is nevertheless sufficient to argue for authenticity), ᾿Ιησοῦς ὁ Χριστός is the reading that best explains the rise of the others.

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

59 tn The translation “make your own bed” for στρῶσον σεαυτῷ (strwson seautw) is given by BDAG 949 s.v. στρωννύω 1. Naturally this involves some adaptation, since a pallet or mat would not be ‘made up’ in the sense that a modern bed would be. The idea may be closer to “straighten” or “rearrange,” and the NIV’s “take care of your mat” attempts to reflect this, although this too probably conveys a slightly different idea to the modern English reader.

60 tn Grk “And all.” 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.

61 sn Lydda was a city northwest of Jerusalem on the way to Joppa.

62 sn Sharon refers to the plain of Sharon, a region along the coast of Palestine.

63 tn Repetition of the pronoun “they” as subject of ἐπέστρεψαν (epestreyan) is not strictly necessary in English, but emphasizes slightly the resultative nature of the final clause: They turned to the Lord as a result of seeing Aeneas after he was healed.

64 sn They turned. To “turn” is a good summary term for the response to the gospel.

65 sn Joppa was a seaport on the Philistine coast, in the same location as modern Jaffa. “Though Joppa never became a major seaport, it was of some importance as a logistical base and an outlet to the Mediterranean” (A. F. Rainey, ISBE 2:1118-19).

66 tn Grk “which being translated is called.” In English this would normally be expressed “which is translated as” or “which in translation means.” The second option is given by L&N 33.145.

67 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. Dorcas is the Greek translation of the Aramaic name Tabitha. Dorcas in Greek means “gazelle” or “deer.”

68 tn Or “and helping the poor.” Grk “She was full of good deeds and acts of charity which she was continually doing.” Since it is somewhat redundant in English to say “she was full of good deeds…which she was continually doing,” the translation has been simplified to “she was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity.” The imperfect verb ἐποίει (epoiei) has been translated as a progressive imperfect (“was continually doing”).

69 tn Grk “It happened that in those days.” 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.

70 tn Grk “becoming sick, she died.” The participle ἀσθενήσασαν (asqenhsasan) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

71 tn The participle λούσαντες (lousante") is taken temporally.

72 tn Grk “washed her,” but the reference is to her corpse.

73 sn Lydda was a city northwest of Jerusalem on the way to Joppa.

74 tn Grk “Do not delay to come to us.” It is somewhat smoother to say in English, “Come to us without delay.”

75 tn Grk “who.” The relative clause makes for awkward English style here, so the following clause was made coordinate with the conjunction “and” supplied in place of the Greek relative pronoun.

76 tn The participle παραγενόμενον (paragenomenon) is taken temporally.

77 tn Grk “and all.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.

78 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

79 tn Or “shirts” (a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin). The name for this garment (χιτών, citwn) presents some difficulty in translation. Most modern readers would not understand what a ‘tunic’ was any more than they would be familiar with a ‘chiton.’ On the other hand attempts to find a modern equivalent are also a problem: “shirt” conveys the idea of a much shorter garment that covers only the upper body, and “undergarment” (given the styles of modern underwear) is more misleading still. “Tunic” was therefore employed, but with a note to explain its nature.

80 tn Grk “and garments,” referring here to other types of clothing besides the tunics just mentioned.

81 tn The verb ἐποίει (epoiei) has been translated as a customary imperfect.

82 tn Grk “Peter, sending them all outside, knelt down.” The participle ἐκβαλών (ekbalwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

83 tn Grk “and kneeling down,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more. Instead the “and” is placed before the verb προσηύξατο (proshuxato, “and prayed”). The participle θείς (qeis) is taken as a participle of attendant circumstance.

84 tn Grk “and turning.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.

85 sn She sat up. This event is told much like Luke 8:49-56 and Mark 5:35-43. Peter’s ministry mirrored that of Jesus.

86 tn Grk “Giving her his hand, he helped her.” The participle δούς (dous) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

87 tn Grk “Then calling the saints…he presented her.” The participle φωνήσας (fwnhsa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style; it could also be taken temporally (“After he called”).

88 tn Or “known all over.” BDAG 511 s.v. κατά A.1.c. has “became known throughout all Joppa” for γνωστὸν γενέσθαι καθ᾿ ὅλης ᾿Ιόππης (gnwston genesqai kaq{olh" Iopph").

89 sn This became known…many believed in the Lord. This is a “sign” miracle that pictures how the Lord can give life.

90 tn Grk “So it happened that.” 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.

91 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

92 tn Grk “with a certain Simon.”

93 tn Or “with a certain Simon Berseus.” Although most modern English translations treat βυρσεῖ (bursei) as Simon’s profession (“Simon the tanner”), it is possible that the word is actually Simon’s surname (“Simon Berseus” or “Simon Tanner”). BDAG 185 s.v. βυρσεύς regards it as a surname. See also MM 118.



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