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Acts 5:36-39

Context
5:36 For some time ago 1  Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He 2  was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 3  5:37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, 4  and incited people to follow him in revolt. 5  He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. 5:38 So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with people, 6  it will come to nothing, 7  5:39 but if 8  it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found 9  fighting against God.” He convinced them, 10 

1 tn Grk “For before these days.”

2 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “he,” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point.

3 tn Grk “and they came to nothing.” Gamaliel’s argument is that these two insurrectionists were taken care of by natural events.

4 tn Or “registration.”

5 tn The verb ἀφίστημι (afisthmi) as a transitive means “cause to revolt” as used in Josephus, Ant. 8.7.5 (8.198), 20.5.2 (20.102); see BDAG 157 s.v. 1.

6 tn Here ἀνθρώπων (anqrwpwn) has been translated as a generic noun (“people”).

7 tn Or “it will be put to an end.”

8 tn This is expressed in a first class condition, in contrast to the condition in v. 38b, which is third class. As such, v. 39 is rhetorically presented as the more likely option.

9 tn According to L&N 39.32, the verb εὑρεθῆτε (Jeureqhte, an aorist passive subjunctive) may also be translated “find yourselves” – “lest you find yourselves fighting against God.” The Jewish leader Gamaliel is shown contemplating the other possible alternative about what is occurring.

10 tn Grk “They were convinced by him.” This passive construction was converted to an active one (“He convinced them”) in keeping with contemporary English style. The phrase “He convinced them” is traditionally placed in Acts 5:40 by most English translations; the standard Greek critical text (represented by NA27 and UBS4) places it at the end of v. 39.



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