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Acts 10:17-28

Context

10:17 Now while Peter was puzzling over 1  what the vision he had seen could signify, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was 2  and approached 3  the gate. 10:18 They 4  called out to ask if Simon, known as Peter, 5  was staying there as a guest. 10:19 While Peter was still thinking seriously about 6  the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look! Three men are looking for you. 10:20 But get up, 7  go down, and accompany them without hesitation, 8  because I have sent them.” 10:21 So Peter went down 9  to the men and said, “Here I am, 10  the person you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 10:22 They said, “Cornelius the centurion, 11  a righteous 12  and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, 13  was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message 14  from you.” 10:23 So Peter 15  invited them in and entertained them as guests.

On the next day he got up and set out 16  with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa 17  accompanied him. 10:24 The following day 18  he entered Caesarea. 19  Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously 20  for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 10:25 So when 21  Peter came in, Cornelius met 22  him, fell 23  at his feet, and worshiped 24  him. 10:26 But Peter helped him up, 25  saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 26  10:27 Peter 27  continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 28  10:28 He said to them, “You know that 29  it is unlawful 30  for a Jew 31  to associate with or visit a Gentile, 32  yet God has shown me that I should call no person 33  defiled or ritually unclean. 34 

1 tn Or “was greatly confused over.” The term means to be perplexed or at a loss (BDAG 235 s.v. διαπορέω).

2 tn Grk “having learned.” The participle διερωτήσαντες (dierwthsante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

3 tn BDAG 418 s.v. ἐφίστημι 1 has “ἐπί τι approach or stand by someth. (Sir 41:24) Ac 10:17.”

sn As Peter puzzled over the meaning of the vision, the messengers from Cornelius approached the gate. God’s direction here had a sense of explanatory timing.

4 tn Grk “and.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun by supplying the pronoun “they” as the subject of the following verb.

5 tn Grk “Simon, the one called Peter.” This qualification was necessary because the owner of the house was also named Simon (Acts 9:43).

6 tn The translation “think seriously about” for διενθυμέομαι (dienqumeomai) is given in L&N 30.2. Peter was “pondering” the vision (BDAG 244 s.v.).

7 tn Grk “But getting up, go down.” The participle ἀναστάς (anastas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

8 tn The term means “without doubting” or “without deliberation.” It is a term of conscience and discernment. In effect, Peter is to listen to them rather than hesitate (BDAG 231 s.v. διακρίνω 6).

9 tn Grk “Peter going down to the men, said.” The participle καταβάς (katabas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

10 tn Grk “Behold, it is I whom you seek,” or “Behold, I am the one you seek.” “Here I am” is used to translate ἰδοὺ ἐγώ εἰμι (idou egw eimi).

11 sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1.

12 tn Or “just.”

13 tn The phrase τοῦ ἔθνους τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων (tou eqnou" twn Ioudaiwn) is virtually a technical term for the Jewish nation (1 Macc 10:25; 11:30, 33; Josephus, Ant. 14.10.22 [14.248]). “All the Jewish people,” while another possible translation of the Greek phrase, does not convey the technical sense of a reference to the nation in English.

sn The long introduction of Cornelius by his messengers is an attempt to commend this Gentile to his Jewish counterpart, which would normally be important to do in the culture of the time.

14 tn Grk “hear words.”

15 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn When Peter entertained them as guests, he performed a culturally significant act denoting acceptance.

16 tn Or “went forth.”

17 sn Some of the brothers from Joppa. As v. 45 makes clear, there were Jewish Christians in this group of witnesses.

18 tn Grk “On the next day,” but since this phrase has already occurred in v. 23, it would be redundant in English to use it again here.

19 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi).

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

20 tn Normally προσδοκάω (prosdokaw) means “to wait with apprehension or anxiety for something,” often with the implication of impending danger or trouble (L&N 25.228), but in this context the anxiety Cornelius would have felt came from the importance of the forthcoming message as announced by the angel.

21 tn Grk “So it happened that when.” 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.

22 tn Grk “meeting him.” The participle συναντήσας (sunanthsa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

23 tn Grk “falling at his feet, worshiped.” The participle πεσών (peswn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

24 sn When Cornelius worshiped Peter, it showed his piety and his respect for Peter, but it was an act based on ignorance, as Peter’s remark in v. 26 indicates.

25 tn BDAG 271 s.v. ἐγείρω 3 has “raise, help to rise….Stretched out Ac 10:26.”

26 tn Although it is certainly true that Peter was a “man,” here ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") has been translated as “mere mortal” because the emphasis in context is not on Peter’s maleness, but his humanity. Contrary to what Cornelius thought, Peter was not a god or an angelic being, but a mere mortal.

27 tn Grk “And he”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 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.

28 tn Or “many people assembled.”

29 tn Here ὡς (Jws) is used like ὅτι (Joti) to introduce indirect discourse (cf. BDAG 1105 s.v. ὡς 5).

30 tn This term is used of wanton or callously lawless acts (BDAG 24 s.v. ἀθέμιτος).

31 tn Grk “a Jewish man” (ἀνδρὶ ᾿Ιουδαίῳ, andri Ioudaiw).

32 tn Grk “a foreigner,” but in this context, “a non-Jew,” that is, a Gentile. This term speaks of intimate association (BDAG 556 s.v. κολλάω 2.b.α). On this Jewish view, see John 18:28, where a visit to a Gentile residence makes a Jewish person unclean.

33 tn This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo").

34 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqartos) here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts.

sn God has shown me…unclean. Peter sees the significance of his vision as not about food, but about open fellowship between Jewish Christians and Gentiles.



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