15:7 After there had been much debate, 1 Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that some time ago 2 God chose 3 me to preach to the Gentiles so they would hear the message 4 of the gospel 5 and believe. 6 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, 7 has testified 8 to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9 15:9 and he made no distinction 10 between them and us, cleansing 11 their hearts by faith.
2 tn Or “long ago” (an idiom, literally “from ancient days”). According to L&N 67.26, “this reference to Peter having been chosen by God sometime before to bring the gospel to the Gentiles can hardly be regarded as a reference to ancient times, though some persons understand this to mean that God’s decision was made at the beginning of time. The usage of ἀφ᾿ ἡμερῶν ἀρχαίων is probably designed to emphasize the established nature of God’s decision for Peter to take the gospel to the Gentiles beginning with the centurion Cornelius. The fact that this was relatively early in the development of the church may also serve to explain the use of the idiom.”
3 sn God chose. The theme of God’s sovereign choice is an important point, because 1st century Jews believed Israel’s unique position and customs were a reflection of God’s choice.
4 tn Or “word.”
5 tn Or “of the good news.”
6 tn Grk “God chose among you from my mouth the Gentiles to hear the message of the gospel and to believe.” The sense of this sentence in Greek is difficult to render in English. The Greek verb ἐκλέγομαι (eklegomai, “choose”) normally takes a person or thing as a direct object; in this verse the verb has neither clearly stated. The translation understands the phrase “from my mouth,” referring to Peter, as a description of both who God chose and the task to be done. This coupled with the following statement about Gentiles hearing the message of the gospel leads to the more dynamic rendering in the translation.
7 sn The expression who knows the heart means “who knows what people think.”
8 tn Or “has borne witness.”
10 tn BDAG 231 s.v. διακρίνω 1.b lists this passage under the meaning “to conclude that there is a difference, make a distinction, differentiate.”
11 tn Or “purifying.”