9:36 Now in Joppa 1 there was a disciple named Tabitha (which in translation means 2 Dorcas). 3 She was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity. 4
1 sn Joppa was a seaport on the Philistine coast, in the same location as modern Jaffa. “Though Joppa never became a major seaport, it was of some importance as a logistical base and an outlet to the Mediterranean” (A. F. Rainey, ISBE 2:1118-19).
2 tn Grk “which being translated is called.” In English this would normally be expressed “which is translated as” or “which in translation means.” The second option is given by L&N 33.145.
3 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. Dorcas is the Greek translation of the Aramaic name Tabitha. Dorcas in Greek means “gazelle” or “deer.”
4 tn Or “and helping the poor.” Grk “She was full of good deeds and acts of charity which she was continually doing.” Since it is somewhat redundant in English to say “she was full of good deeds…which she was continually doing,” the translation has been simplified to “she was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity.” The imperfect verb ἐποίει (epoiei) has been translated as a progressive imperfect (“was continually doing”).
5 tn In the Greek text this represents a continuation of the previous sentence. Because of the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences, a new sentence was begun here in the translation.
6 sn The description of Cornelius as a devout, God-fearing man probably means that he belonged to the category called “God-fearers,” Gentiles who worshiped the God of Israel and in many cases kept the Mosaic law, but did not take the final step of circumcision necessary to become a proselyte to Judaism. See further K. G. Kuhn, TDNT 6:732-34, 43-44, and Sir 11:17; 27:11; 39:27.
7 tn Or “gave many gifts to the poor.” This was known as “giving alms,” or acts of mercy (Sir 7:10; BDAG 315-16 s.v. ἐλεημοσύνη).
8 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Cornelius) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
9 tn Grk “said,” but in response to the angel’s address, “replied” is better English style.
10 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the angel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
11 tn Or “your gifts to the needy.”
12 sn The language used in the expression gone up as a memorial before God parallels what one would say of acceptable sacrifices (Ps 141:2; Sir 35:6; 50:16).