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Acts 9:19-30

Context
9:19 and after taking some food, his strength returned.

For several days 1  he was with the disciples in Damascus, 9:20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, 2  saying, “This man is the Son of God.” 3  9:21 All 4  who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not 5  the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging 6  those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners 7  to the chief priests?” 9:22 But Saul became more and more capable, 8  and was causing consternation 9  among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving 10  that Jesus 11  is the Christ. 12 

Saul’s Escape from Damascus

9:23 Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted 13  together to kill him, 9:24 but Saul learned of their plot against him. 14  They were also watching 15  the city gates 16  day and night so that they could kill him. 9:25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening 17  in the wall by lowering him in a basket. 18 

Saul Returns to Jerusalem

9:26 When he arrived in Jerusalem, 19  he attempted to associate 20  with the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe 21  that he was a disciple. 9:27 But Barnabas took 22  Saul, 23  brought 24  him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, that 25  the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly 26  in the name of Jesus. 9:28 So he was staying with them, associating openly with them 27  in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 9:29 He was speaking and debating 28  with the Greek-speaking Jews, 29  but they were trying to kill him. 9:30 When the brothers found out about this, they brought him down to Caesarea 30  and sent him away to Tarsus.

1 tn Grk “It happened that for several days.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

2 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:9.

3 tn The ὅτι (Joti) is understood to introduce direct (“This man is the Son of God”) rather than indirect discourse (“that this man is the Son of God”) because the pronoun οὗτος (Jouto") combined with the present tense verb ἐστιν (estin) suggests the contents of what was proclaimed are a direct (albeit summarized) quotation.

sn This is the only use of the title Son of God in Acts. The book prefers to allow a variety of descriptions to present Jesus.

4 tn Grk “And all.” 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.

5 tn The Greek interrogative particle used in this verse (οὐχ, ouc) expects a positive reply. They all knew about Saul’s persecutions.

6 tn Normally, “destroying,” but compare 4 Macc 4:23; 11:4 and MM 529 s.v. πορθέω for examples from Koine papyri. See also BDAG 853 s.v. πορθέω.

7 tn Grk “bring them bound”; the translation “bring someone as prisoner” for δεδεμένον ἄγειν τινά (dedemenon agein tina) is given by BDAG 221 s.v. δέω 1.b.

8 tn Grk “was becoming stronger,” but this could be understood in a physical sense, while the text refers to Saul’s growing ability to demonstrate to fellow Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. The translation “to become capable” for ἐνδυναμόω (endunamow) is given in L&N 74.7, with this specific verse as an example.

9 tn Or “was confounding.” For the translation “to cause consternation” for συγχέω (suncew) see L&N 25.221.

10 tn Or “by showing for certain.”

11 tn Grk “that this one”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.” Note again the variation in the titles used.

sn See the note on Christ in 2:31.

13 sn Fitting the pattern emphasized earlier with Stephen and his speech in Acts 7, some Jews plotted to kill God’s messenger (cf. Luke 11:53-54).

14 tn The words “against him” are implied, as suggested by L&N 30.71.

15 tn Or “guarding.” This is a negative term in Luke-Acts (Luke 6:7; 14:1; 20:20).

16 tn The word πύλη (pulh) may refer to a house door or gate, or to the large gates used in a palace, temple, or city wall. Here the context clearly indicates a reference to the latter, so the translation “city gates” is used.

17 tn The opening in the wall is not specifically mentioned here, but the parallel account in 2 Cor 11:33 mentions a “window” or “opening” (θυρίς, quris) in the city wall through which Paul was lowered. One alternative to introducing mention of the opening is to translate Acts 9:25 “they let him down over the wall,” as suggested in L&N 7.61. This option is not employed by many translations, however, because for the English reader it creates an (apparent) contradiction between Acts 9:25 and 2 Cor 11:33. In reality the account here is simply more general, omitting the detail about the window.

18 tn On the term for “basket” used here, see BDAG 940 s.v. σπυρίς.

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

20 tn Or “join.”

21 tn The participle πιστεύοντες (pisteuonte") has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.

22 tn Grk “taking Saul, brought him.” The participle ἐπιλαβόμενος (epilabomeno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

23 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

24 tn Grk “and brought,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

25 tn Grk “and that,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

26 tn On this verb which is used 7 times in Acts, see BDAG 782 s.v. παρρησιάζομαι 1. See also v. 28.

27 tn Grk “he was with them going in and going out in Jerusalem.” The expression “going in and going out” is probably best taken as an idiom for association without hindrance. Some modern translations (NASB, NIV) translate the phrase “moving about freely in Jerusalem,” although the NRSV retains the literal “he went in and out among them in Jerusalem.”

28 tn Or “arguing.” BDAG 954 s.v. συζητέω 2 gives “dispute, debate, argueτινί ‘w. someone’” for συνεζήτει (sunezhtei).

29 tn Grk “the Hellenists,” but this descriptive term is largely unknown to the modern English reader. The translation “Greek-speaking Jews” attempts to convey something of who these were, but it was more than a matter of language spoken; it involved a degree of adoption of Greek culture as well.

30 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine, south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi). See the note on Caesarea in Acts 10:1.

map For location see Map2 C1; Map4 B3; Map5 F2; Map7 A1; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.



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