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Acts 16:1-6

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  16:2 The brothers in Lystra 6  and Iconium 7  spoke well 8  of him. 9  16:3 Paul wanted Timothy 10  to accompany him, and he took 11  him and circumcised 12  him because of the Jews who were in those places, 13  for they all knew that his father was Greek. 14  16:4 As they went through the towns, 15  they passed on 16  the decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem 17  for the Gentile believers 18  to obey. 19  16:5 So the churches were being strengthened in the faith and were increasing in number every day. 20 

Paul’s Vision of the Macedonian Man

16:6 They went through the region of Phrygia 21  and Galatia, 22  having been prevented 23  by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message 24  in the province of Asia. 25 

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

7 sn Iconium was a city in Lycaonia about 110 mi (175 km) east of Pisidian Antioch.

8 tn For this sense of μαρτυρέω (marturew), see BDAG 618 s.v. 2.b.

9 tn Grk “who was well spoken of by the brothers in Lystra and Iconium.” Because of the awkwardness in English of having two relative clauses follow one another (“who was a believer…who was well spoken of”) and the awkwardness of the passive verb (“was well spoken of”), the relative pronoun at the beginning of 16:2 (“who”) has been translated as a pronoun (“him”) and the construction converted from passive to active at the same time a new sentence was started in the translation.

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

11 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).

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

13 tn Or “who lived in the area.”

14 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.

15 tn Or “cities.”

16 tn BDAG 762-63 s.v. παραδίδωμι 3 has “they handed down to them the decisions to observe Ac 16:4.”

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

18 tn Grk “for them”; the referent (Gentile believers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

19 tn Or “observe” or “follow.”

20 tn BDAG 437 s.v. ἡμέρα 2.c has “every day” for this phrase.

21 sn Phrygia was a district in central Asia Minor west of Pisidia.

22 sn Galatia refers to either (1) the region of the old kingdom of Galatia in the central part of Asia Minor (North Galatia), or (2) the Roman province of Galatia, whose principal cities in the 1st century were Ancyra and Pisidian Antioch (South Galatia). The exact extent and meaning of this area has been a subject of considerable controversy in modern NT studies.

23 tn Or “forbidden.”

24 tn Or “word.”

25 tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia, made up of about one-third of the west and southwest end of modern Asia Minor. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia.

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