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Acts 8:18-23

Context

8:18 Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit 1  was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, offered them money, 8:19 saying, “Give me this power 2  too, so that everyone I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” 8:20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, 3  because you thought you could acquire 4  God’s gift with money! 8:21 You have no share or part 5  in this matter 6  because your heart is not right before God! 8:22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord 7  that he may perhaps forgive you for the intent of your heart. 8  8:23 For I see that you are bitterly envious 9  and in bondage to sin.”

1 tc Most witnesses (Ì45,74 A* C D E Ψ 33 1739 Ï latt sy bo) here read “the Holy Spirit” (τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, to pneuma to {agion), while a few key mss have simply τὸ πνεῦμα (א Ac B sa mae). Although it is possible that some scribes omitted τὸ ἅγιον because of its perceived superfluity (note vv. 15, 17, 19), it is far more likely that others added the adjective out of pious motives.

2 tn Or “ability”; Grk “authority.”

3 tn Grk “May your silver together with you be sent into destruction.” This is a strong curse. The gifts of God are sovereignly bestowed and cannot be purchased.

4 tn Or “obtain.”

5 tn The translation “share or part” is given by L&N 63.13.

6 tn Since the semantic range for λόγος (logos) is so broad, a number of different translations could be given for the prepositional phrase here. Something along the lines of “in this thing” would work well, but is too colloquial for the present translation.

7 tn Or “and implore the Lord.”

8 tn Grk “that if possible the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.” The passive construction is somewhat awkward in contemporary English and has thus been converted to an active construction in the translation.

9 tn Grk “in the gall of bitterness,” an idiom meaning to be particularly envious or resentful of someone. In this case Simon was jealous of the apostles’ power to bestow the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, and wanted that power for himself. The literal phrase does not convey this to the modern reader, and in fact some modern translations have simply rendered the phrase as involving bitterness, which misses the point of the envy on Simon’s part. See L&N 88.166. The OT images come from Deut 29:17-18 and Isa 58:6.



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