10:11 He 1 saw heaven 2 opened 3 and an object something like a large sheet 4 descending, 5 being let down to earth 6 by its four corners. 10:12 In it 7 were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 8 of the earth and wild birds. 9 10:13 Then 10 a voice said 11 to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 12 and eat!” 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!” 13 10:15 The voice 14 spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 15 ritually unclean!” 16 10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven. 17
1 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 is begun.
2 tn Or “the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).
4 tn Or “a large linen cloth” (the term was used for the sail of a ship; BDAG 693 s.v. ὀθόνη).
5 tn Or “coming down.”
6 tn Or “to the ground.”
7 tn Grk “in which.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “it,” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style.
8 tn Or “snakes.” Grk “creeping things.” According to L&N 4.51, in most biblical contexts the term (due to the influence of Hebrew classifications such as Gen 1:25-26, 30) included small four-footed animals like rats, mice, frogs, toads, salamanders, and lizards. In this context, however, where “creeping things” are contrasted with “four-footed animals,” the English word “reptiles,” which primarily but not exclusively designates snakes, is probably more appropriate. See also Gen 6:20, as well as the law making such creatures unclean food in Lev 11:2-47.
9 tn Grk “the birds of the sky” or “the birds of the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated either “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. The idiomatic expression “birds of the sky” refers to wild birds as opposed to domesticated fowl (cf. BDAG 809 s.v. πετεινόν).
10 tn Grk “And there came.” 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.
11 tn Grk “a voice to him”; the word “said” is not in the Greek text but is implied.
12 tn Or “kill.” Traditionally θῦσον (quson) is translated “kill,” but in the case of animals intended for food, “slaughter” is more appropriate.
13 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqarto") here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts.
sn Peter insisted he would not violate the law by eating anything defiled and ritually unclean. These food laws were one of the practices that distinguished Jews from their Gentile neighbors. The practice made table fellowship with Gentiles awkward. For an example of Jewish attitudes to this, see Dan 1:8-16; 1 Macc 1:41-64; Letter of Aristeas 142; Tacitus, History 5.5.
14 tn Grk “And the voice.” 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 Or “declare.”
17 tn Or “into the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).