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Acts 8:5-8

Context
8:5 Philip went down to the main city of Samaria 1  and began proclaiming 2  the Christ 3  to them. 8:6 The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what Philip said, 4  as they heard and saw the miraculous signs 5  he was performing. 8:7 For unclean spirits, 6  crying with loud shrieks, were coming out of many who were possessed, 7  and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8:8 So there was 8  great joy 9  in that city.

1 tn The word “main” is supplied in the translation to clarify that “Samaria” is not the name of the city (at least in NT times). See both BDAG 912 s.v. Σαμάρεια, and L&N 93.568.

sn The main city of Samaria most likely refers to the principal city of Samaria, rebuilt by Herod the Great as Sebaste in honor of Augustus (J. Boehmer, “Studien zur Geographie Palästinas bes. im Neuen Testament,” ZNW 9 [1908]: 216-18; D. Gill and C. Gempf, eds., The Book of Acts in its Graeco-Roman Setting, 272). This is the best option if the article before “city” is taken as original. If the reading without the article is taken as original, then another city may be in view: Gitta, the hometown of Simon Magus according to Justin Martyr (cf. C. K. Barrett, Acts [ICC], 1:402-3; F. F. Bruce, Acts [NICNT], 165).

2 tn The imperfect ἐκήρυσσεν (ekhrussen) has been translated as an ingressive, since this is probably the first time such preaching took place.

3 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn See the note on Christ in 2:31.

4 tn Grk “to what was being said by Philip,” a passive construction that has been changed to active voice in the translation.

5 tn Here the following context indicates the miraculous nature of the signs mentioned. This term appears 13 times in Acts, but only twice more after Acts 8:13 (i.e., 14:3; 15:12).

6 sn The expression unclean spirits refers to evil supernatural spirits which were ceremonially unclean, and which caused the persons possessed by them to be ceremonially unclean.

7 tn Grk “For [in the case of] many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out, crying in a loud voice.”

8 tn Grk “and there came about,” but this is somewhat awkward in English.

9 sn Great joy. The reason for eschatological joy was that such events pointed to God’s decisive deliverance (Luke 7:22-23). Note how the acts of healing extend beyond the Twelve here.



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