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Acts 20:28-32

Context
20:28 Watch out for 1  yourselves and for all the flock of which 2  the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, 3  to shepherd the church of God 4  that he obtained 5  with the blood of his own Son. 6  20:29 I know that after I am gone 7  fierce wolves 8  will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 20:30 Even from among your own group 9  men 10  will arise, teaching perversions of the truth 11  to draw the disciples away after them. 20:31 Therefore be alert, 12  remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning 13  each one of you with tears. 20:32 And now I entrust 14  you to God and to the message 15  of his grace. This message 16  is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

1 tn Or “Be on your guard for” (cf. v. 29). Paul completed his responsibility to the Ephesians with this warning.

2 tn Grk “in which.”

3 tn Or “guardians.” BDAG 379-80 s.v. ἐπίσκοπος 2 states, “The term was taken over in Christian communities in ref. to one who served as overseer or supervisor, with special interest in guarding the apostolic tradition…Ac 20:28.” This functional term describes the role of the elders (see v. 17). They were to guard and shepherd the congregation.

4 tc The reading “of God” (τοῦ θεοῦ, tou qeou) is found in א B 614 1175 1505 al vg sy; other witnesses have “of the Lord” (τοῦ κυρίου, tou kuriou) here (so Ì74 A C* D E Ψ 33 1739 al co), while the majority of the later minuscule mss conflate these two into “of the Lord and God” (τοῦ κυρίου καὶ [τοῦ] θεοῦ, tou kuriou kai [tou] qeou). Although the evidence is evenly balanced between the first two readings, τοῦ θεοῦ is decidedly superior on internal grounds. The final prepositional phrase of this verse, διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου (dia tou {aimato" tou idiou), could be rendered “through his own blood” or “through the blood of his own.” In the latter translation, the object that “own” modifies must be supplied (see tn below for discussion). But this would not be entirely clear to scribes; those who supposed that ἰδίου modified αἵματος would be prone to alter “God” to “Lord” to avoid the inference that God had blood. In a similar way, later scribes would be prone to conflate the two titles, thereby affirming the deity (with the construction τοῦ κυρίου καὶ θεοῦ following the Granville Sharp rule and referring to a single person [see ExSyn 272, 276-77, 290]) and substitutionary atonement of Christ. For these reasons, τοῦ θεοῦ best explains the rise of the other readings and should be considered authentic.

5 tn Or “acquired.”

6 tn Or “with his own blood”; Grk “with the blood of his own.” The genitive construction could be taken in two ways: (1) as an attributive genitive (second attributive position) meaning “his own blood”; or (2) as a possessive genitive, “with the blood of his own.” In this case the referent is the Son, and the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. See further C. F. DeVine, “The Blood of God,” CBQ 9 (1947): 381-408.

sn That he obtained with the blood of his own Son. This is one of only two explicit statements in Luke-Acts highlighting the substitutionary nature of Christ’s death (the other is in Luke 22:19).

7 tn Grk “after my departure.”

8 tn That is, people like fierce wolves. See BDAG 167-68 s.v. βαρύς 4 on the term translated “fierce.” The battle that will follow would be a savage one.

9 tn Grk “from among yourselves.”

10 tn The Greek term here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which only rarely is used in a generic sense to refer to both males and females. Since Paul is speaking to the Ephesian elders at this point and there is nothing in the context to suggest women were included in that group (“from among your own group”), it is most likely Paul was not predicting that these false teachers would include women.

11 tn Grk “speaking crooked things”; BDAG 237 s.v. διαστρέφω 2 has “λαλεῖν διεστραμμένα teach perversions (of the truth) Ac 20:30.”

sn These perversions of the truth refer to the kinds of threats that would undermine repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. v. 21). Instead these false teachers would arise from within the Ephesian congregation (cf. 1 John 2:18-19) and would seek to draw the disciples away after them.

12 tn Or “be watchful.”

13 tn Or “admonishing.”

14 tn Or “commend.” BDAG 772 s.v. παρατίθημι 3.b has “τινά τινι entrust someone to the care or protection of someone…Of divine protection παρέθεντο αὐτοὺς τῷ κυρίῳ Ac 14:23; cp. 20:32.”

15 tn Grk “word.”

16 tn Grk “the message of his grace, which.” The phrase τῷ δυναμένῳ οἰκοδομῆσαι… (tw dunamenw oikodomhsai…) refers to τῷ λόγω (tw logw), not τῆς χάριτος (ths caritos); in English it could refer to either “the message” or “grace,” but in Greek, because of agreement in gender, the referent can only be “the message.” To make this clear, a new sentence was begun in the translation and the referent “the message” was repeated at the beginning of this new sentence.



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