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Acts 16:1

Context
Timothy Joins Paul and Silas

16:1 He also came to Derbe 1  and to Lystra. 2  A disciple 3  named Timothy was there, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, 4  but whose father was a Greek. 5 

Acts 16:3

Context
16:3 Paul wanted Timothy 6  to accompany him, and he took 7  him and circumcised 8  him because of the Jews who were in those places, 9  for they all knew that his father was Greek. 10 

1 sn Derbe was a city in Lycaonia about 35 mi (60 km) southeast of Lystra. It was about 90 mi (145 km) from Tarsus.

map For location see JP1 E2; JP2 E2; JP3 E2.

2 sn Lystra was a city in Lycaonia about 25 mi (40 km) south of Iconium.

map For location see JP1 E2; JP2 E2; JP3 E2.

3 tn Grk “And behold, a disciple.” Here ἰδού (idou) has not been translated.

4 tn L&N 31.103 translates this phrase “the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer.”

5 sn His father was a Greek. Timothy was the offspring of a mixed marriage between a Jewish woman (see 2 Tim 1:5) and a Gentile man. On mixed marriages in Judaism, see Neh 13:23-27; Ezra 9:1-10:44; Mal 2:10-16; Jub. 30:7-17; m. Qiddushin 3.12; m. Yevamot 7.5.

6 tn Grk “this one”; the referent (Timothy) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Grk “and taking him he circumcised him.” The participle λαβών (labwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Paul’s cultural sensitivity showed in his action here. He did not want Timothy’s lack of circumcision to become an issue (1 Cor 9:15-23).

8 tn The verb περιέτεμεν (perietemen) here may be understood as causative (cf. ExSyn 411-12) if Paul did not personally perform the circumcision.

9 tn Or “who lived in the area.”

10 tn The anarthrous predicate nominative has been translated as qualitative (“Greek”) rather than indefinite (“a Greek”).

sn His father was Greek. Under Jewish law at least as early as the 2nd century, a person was considered Jewish if his or her mother was Jewish. It is not certain whether such a law was in effect in the 1st century, but even if it was, Timothy would not have been accepted as fully Jewish because he was not circumcised.



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