13:43 When the meeting of the synagogue 1 had broken up, 2 many of the Jews and God-fearing proselytes 3 followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and were persuading 4 them 5 to continue 6 in the grace of God.
13:46 Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, 7 “It was necessary to speak the word of God 8 to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy 9 of eternal life, we 10 are turning to the Gentiles. 11
3 tn Normally the phrase σεβόμενοι τὸν θεόν (sebomenoi ton qeon) refers to Gentiles (“God-fearers”) who believed in God, attended the synagogue, and followed the Mosaic law to some extent, but stopped short of undergoing circumcision. BDAG 918 s.v. σέβω 1.b lists in this category references in Acts 16:14; 18:7; with σεβόμενοι alone, Acts 13:50; 17:4, 17; the phrase is also found in Josephus, Ant. 14.7.2 (14.110). Unique to this particular verse is the combination σεβόμενοι προσηλύτων (sebomenoi proshlutwn). Later rabbinic discussion suggests that to be regarded as a proper proselyte, a Gentile male had to submit to circumcision. If that is the case here, these Gentiles in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch should be regarded as full proselytes who had converted completely to Judaism and undergone circumcision. It is probably more likely, however, that προσηλύτων is used here in a somewhat looser sense (note the use of σεβομένας [sebomena"] alone to refer to women in Acts 13:50) and that these Gentiles were still in the category commonly called “God-fearers” without being full, technical proselytes to Judaism. See further K. G. Kuhn, TDNT 6:732-34, 743-44. Regardless, the point is that many Gentiles, as well as Jews, came to faith.
4 tn This is the meaning given for ἔπειθον (epeiqon) in this verse by BDAG 791 s.v. πείθω 1.b.
5 tn Grk “who, as they were speaking with them, were persuading them.”
6 tn The verb προμένειν (promenein) is similar in force to the use of μένω (menw, “to reside/remain”) in the Gospel and Epistles of John.
7 tn Grk “Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out courageously and said.” The redundancy is removed in the translation and the verb “replied” is used in keeping with the logical sequence of events. The theme of boldness reappears: Acts 4:24-30; 9:27-28.
8 tn Grk “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken.” For smoothness and simplicity of English style, the passive construction has been converted to active voice in the translation.
9 tn Or “and consider yourselves unworthy.”
10 tn Grk “behold, we.” In this context ἰδού (idou) is not easily translated into English.
11 sn This turning to the Gentiles would be a shocking rebuke to 1st century Jews who thought they alone were the recipients of the promise.