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Acts 14:11-13

14:11 So when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted 1  in the Lycaonian language, 2  “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 3  14:12 They began to call 4  Barnabas Zeus 5  and Paul Hermes, 6  because he was the chief speaker. 14:13 The priest of the temple 7  of Zeus, 8  located just outside the city, brought bulls 9  and garlands 10  to the city gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifices to them. 11 

1 tn Grk “they lifted up their voice” (an idiom).

2 tn Grk “in Lycaonian, saying.” The word “language” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in English and has not been translated.

3 tn So BDAG 707 s.v. ὁμοιόω 1. However, L&N 64.4 takes the participle ὁμοιωθέντες (Jomoiwqente") as an adjectival participle modifying θεοί (qeoi): “the gods resembling men have come down to us.”

sn The gods have come down to us in human form. Greek culture spoke of “divine men.” In this region there was a story of Zeus and Hermes visiting the area (Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.611-725). The locals failed to acknowledge them, so judgment followed. The present crowd was determined not to make the mistake a second time.

4 tn The imperfect verb ἐκάλουν (ekaloun) has been translated as an ingressive imperfect.

5 sn Zeus was the chief Greek deity, worshiped throughout the Greco-Roman world (known to the Romans as Jupiter).

6 sn Hermes was a Greek god who (according to Greek mythology) was the messenger of the gods and the god of oratory (equivalent to the Roman god Mercury).

7 tn The words “the temple of” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. The translation “the priest of (the temple/shrine of) Zeus located before the city” is given for this phrase by BDAG 426 s.v. Ζεύς.

8 sn See the note on Zeus in the previous verse.

9 tn Or “oxen.”

10 tn Or “wreaths.”

sn Garlands were commonly wreaths of wool with leaves and flowers woven in, worn on a person’s head or woven around a staff. They were an important part of many rituals used to worship pagan gods. Although it was an erroneous reaction, the priest’s reaction shows how all acknowledged their power and access to God.

11 tn The words “to them” are not in the Greek text, but are clearly implied by the response of Paul and Barnabas in the following verse.

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