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Acts 4:31-37

Context
4:31 When 1  they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, 2  and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak 3  the word of God 4  courageously. 5 

Conditions Among the Early Believers

4:32 The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, 6  and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. 7  4:33 With 8  great power the apostles were giving testimony 9  to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. 4:34 For there was no one needy 10  among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling 11  them 12  and bringing the proceeds from the sales 4:35 and placing them at the apostles’ feet. The proceeds 13  were distributed to each, as anyone had need. 4:36 So Joseph, a Levite who was a native of Cyprus, called by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), 14  4:37 sold 15  a field 16  that belonged to him and brought the money 17  and placed it at the apostles’ feet.

1 tn Grk “And when.” 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.

2 sn The place where they were assembled…was shaken. This signifies that God is in their midst. See Acts 16:26; Exod 19:18; Ps 114:7; Isa 6:4.

3 tn The imperfect verb has been translated as an ingressive imperfect (“began to speak”). Logical sequencing suggests that their speaking began after they were filled with the Spirit. The prayer was answered immediately.

4 tn Or “speak God’s message.”

5 tn Or “with boldness.”

6 tn Grk “soul.”

7 tn Grk “but all things were to them in common.”

sn Everything was held in common. The remark is not a reflection of political philosophy, but of the extent of their spontaneous commitment to one another. Such a response does not have the function of a command, but is reflective of an attitude that Luke commends as evidence of their identification with one another.

8 tn Grk “And with.” 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.

9 tn Or “were witnessing.”

10 tn Or “poor.”

11 tn Grk “houses, selling them were bringing.” The participle πωλοῦντες (pwlounte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

12 tn The word “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

13 tn Grk “It” (or “They,” plural). The referent of the understood pronoun subject, the proceeds from the sales, of the verb διεδίδετο (diedideto) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. Note how the actions of Barnabas are in keeping with the meaning of his nickname. He stands in contrast to Ananias and Sapphira in 5:1-11.

15 tn Grk “selling a field that belonged to him, brought” The participle πωλήσας (pwlhsa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

16 tn Or “a farm.”

17 tn Normally a reference to actual coins (“currency”). See L&N 6.68.



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