The gospel moves out from Antioch, 13:1-28:31

ii] The mission in Pisidian Antioch


The mission team leaves Cyprus and sails to Perga where John Mark decides to leave Paul and Barnabas and return to Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas continue on to Pisidian Antioch and on the Sabbath day they attend the local synagogue. Luke provides us with an extended example of Paul's gospel message for a congregation made up of Jews and God-fearers. The sermon is initially warmly received and even causes a stir in the wider community. On the following Sabbath day, a large crowd gathers to hear Paul speak, but the presence of Gentiles in the congregation stirs up the more conservative Jewish members. Opposition hardens, prompting the local authorities to eject Paul and Barnabas from town for disturbing the peace, but not before a number of Gentiles are converted, with the gospel message conveyed to the wider district.


The gospel of God's grace is first and foremost a personal message of salvation for his loyal children.


i] Context: See 13:1-12. As already noted, Luke partitions his Acts of the Apostles into two parts focused on two key personalities: Peter, apostle to the Jews, and Paul, apostle to the Gentiles. Early in the first part of his Acts, Luke records how Peter's ministry is authorised in both word and sign, and now in this chapter, he does the same with Paul. In the last episode, 13:1-12, we read about the sign, and now we read about the word. Luke provides us with a typical gospel sermon used by Paul when addressing Jews of the dispersion, as well as their associate God-fearers.


ii] Background:

iThe theological structure of the gospel; 3:11-26.

A summary of the gospel's structure is as follows:

i] Introduction;

ii] The time is fulfilled;

iii] The kingdom of God is at hand;

Blessing: now / not yet;

Cursing: now / not yet;

iv] Repent and believe the gospel.


Asia Minor


iii] Structure: The mission in Pisidian Antioch:

Setting, v13-15;

Paul's gospel sermon, v16-41:

Introduction, v16-22;

A recitation of the covenant prologue

The time is fulfilled, v23-25;

The promised messianic age is realised in Jesus.

The kingdom of God is at hand, v26-41;

Jesus lives (and therefore).

Blessings, v38-39:

"Forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you".

Cursings, v40-41.

Scoffers will perish.

Repent and believe - by implication, v24, 40-41, 43.

Some believe God's important news, v42-43;

"Continue in the grace of God."

Division sets in, v44-48;

Narrative conclusion, v49-52;

"The disciples were filled with joy"


iv] Interpretation:

Luke tells us that Paul now takes the lead with the statement "Paul and his companions"; it is no longer "Barnabas and Saul." The mission team leaves Cyprus and sails some 190 miles to Asia Minor, travelling inland to Perga where John Mark leaves the team. Luke doesn't tell us why he left, although we know that in later years his leaving will cause a split between Paul and Barnabas, cf., 15:36-41.

On leaving Perga, Paul and Barnabas travel through the Taurus Mountains to Pisidian Antioch. This was an important Roman colony in the province of Galatia and housed a large Jewish population. Following a pattern that Paul will use in the years to come, he, and the members of his mission team, attend the local synagogue for the Sabbath meeting. Paul's standing as a Rabbi is recognised by the elders and so he is invited to speak. The audience is made up of ethnic Jews, along with Gentiles who have made a commitment to the Jewish faith (God-fearers).

Given that his audience is made up of people committed to the scriptures, Paul introduces his gospel message with a recitation of the covenant prologue, a praeparatio evangelica, as Barrett calls it - "I am the Lord your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves", Ex.20:2. The story concerning the covenant made between God and the children of Abraham, is a story about the application of God's sovereign grace, a story about God's redemption of his adopted family, as well as the stranger within their gates. The story culminates in David and the hope of the realisation of the covenant in the day of the coming messiah.

With the recitation of the covenant prologue completed, Paul now gets to the gospel proper. First, he announces that the time is fulfilled, v23-25. The messiah has come to Israel, a redeeming saviour of the family of David. The prophet John has announced his coming, and has called on all Israel to repent before him, and express this outwardly in water baptism.

Having announced that the time is fulfilled, Paul moves to the second point of the gospel message, namely, the kingdom of God is at hand, v26-39. As revealed in the Scriptures, the messiah must suffer, and so Jesus was taken by his own and crucified, but God raised him from the dead. "He whom God raised up experienced no corruption. Therefore, let it be known that through this man forgiveness of sins is offered to you." Along with the good news, the promised blessings of the covenant, v38-39, Paul reminds his hearers of the bad news. The coming kingdom brings with it judgment, a day when scoffers will perish, v41.

Luke doesn't record Paul ending his evangelistic address with a call to repentance and faith, but it may be implied in the warnings in v40-41, as well as his reference to John the Baptist's prophetic call to repentance in v24. Luke tells us that many of the members of the church seek out Paul and Barnabas after the service, and it seems likely that this is where Paul calls for commitment. Luke's use the imperfect of the verb peiqw, "to persuade", and the present infinitive of prosmenw, "to commit", in v43, implies that Paul and Barnabas "continued to talk to them and to try to persuade them to commit themselves to the grace of God", Barclay. This assumes that the proV prefix to the verb menw, "to abide, continue, remain", gives some sense of movement toward the abiding. So, not as say the CEV, "begged them to remain faithful to God."

Paul and Barnabas are invited to return the following Sabbath to speak more on the subject, but unbelieving Jews, stirred up by an influx of Gentiles, seek to refute Paul's claims. The details offered by Luke serve to reveal a pattern in Paul's ministry. The rejection of the gospel by a Jewish community serves as a counterpoint for the extension of the gospel to Gentiles. Israel was to be a light to the Gentiles, but failed in this regard. The messiah, the Servant of the Lord, as corporate Israel, became that light, and his servants serve to reveal that light on his behalf, Isa.49:6.

Paul's opponents take matters further by orchestrating an official expulsion of the missionaries, but for Luke, this is anything but failure. Paul and Barnabas move on to Iconium to continue the work of the gospel, and the believers in Pisidian Antioch are left "filled with joy and the Holy Spirit", v52.


v] Homiletics: The Cooneyites

[Map] In our reading today, we are introduced to Paul's mission strategy of Jew first. On arriving at a new destination, Paul first presents himself at the local synagogue and preaches the gospel there - it's right and proper for the children of Abraham to hear the good news that God's covenant promises are now realised in Jesus. The proclamation of the gospel usually prompts division, with converted Jews coming together to form the nucleus of a local Christian church. This church then grows as the gospel is proclaimed to Gentiles beyond the local synagogue. The positive response by Gentiles to the gospel tends to prompt a reaction from conservative Jews, with Christian Jews inevitably expelled from the synagogue, so resulting in a separate church and synagogue within a local community.

As I was reading the lesson, I was reminded of the Cooneyites, a rather strange, but in some ways representing an Acts model of the Christian church, the church of the Way.


See background notes in Excursus, "The Cooneyites." Use these to present an overview of the movement. The image is of Edward Cooney (in the foreground) with George Scott and friends at Ingleburn N.S.W. Australia, 1954.


I would hate to find myself in a church where some Cooneyite preachers have so convincingly preached the gospel that some of the keenest members leave and join with the preachers. I think I can feel how those conservative Jews felt in the face of the preaching of Paul, Jews faithful to their understanding of the Scriptures / Law, but abandoned by their fellow Jews who are now convinced that Jesus is the messiah. At the height of the Charismatic movement in 1980's ,a similar rift developed in mainline Christianity, a painful rift indeed.

I am reminded of how easy it is to become complacent, and lose our focus on Jesus. Ritual, form, doctrine, tradition, .......... all necessary elements for stability in church life, but all capable of blinding us to the gospel. May our own local version of the Way be true to Jesus and not carried away by the clutter of human frailty.

Text - 13:13

The mission in Pisidian Antioch, v13-52. i] Setting, v13-15. On leaving Cyprus, the missioners sail from Paphos to the coast of Pamphylia, up the Cestus river to Perga. At this point, John Mark leaves the mission team, but it is unclear whether Luke's use of the verb uJpostrefw, "to return", has negative connotations. In the LXX of Jer.46:5 it is used of turning away from a situation out of cowardice, or fear.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

anacqenteV (anagw) aor. pas. part. "sailed" - having raised sail = having set sail. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "On setting sail from Paphos."

apo "from" - from [paphos]. Expressing separation, "away from."

oiJ "-" - the ones [around paul]. The article serves as a nominalizer, turning the prepositional phrase "around Paul" into a substantive, subject of the verb "to come"; "Paul and his companions came to Perga."

thV PamfuliaV (a) gen. "in Phamphylia" - of pamphylia. The genitive is adjectival, descriptive, idiomatic / local; "Perga located in the region of Phamphylia."

apocwrhsaV (apocwrew) aor. part. "[John] left [them]" - [but/and, john mark] having departed from [from them, returned into jerusalem]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to return"; "left them and returned", ESV. The repetition of the prepositional prefix apo follows common practice.


The mission team then travels on to Antioch in the province of Phrygia, near Pisidia, and on the Sabbath day, they attend the local synagogue service.

dielqonteV (diercomai) aor. part. "[from Perga]" - [but/and] having passed through [from perga they came into antoich]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to come."

thn pisidian (a) "Pisidian [Antoich]" - the pisidia. The NIV follows the Western text which has the genitive thV PisidiaV, serving as an attributive genitive, but it is more likely an accusative, so standing in apposition to "Antioch", specifying something about the town, namely, it is the "Antioch which is near Pisidia."

th/ hJmera/ (a) dat. "on" - [and] in the day. The dative is adverbial, temporal, as NIV.

twn sabbatwn (on) gen. "Sabbath" - of the sabbath. The genitive is adjectival, descriptive, idiomatic / identification; "on the day known as the Sabbath."

eiselqonteV (eisercomai) aor. part. "they entered" - having entered [into the synagogue, they sat down]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to sit"; "they went into the synagogue and sat down", ESV.


In this verse, Luke provides a little glimpse of synagogue worship in the first century: a sermon delivered after the reading of the Law; the practice of inviting a visiting Rabi to deliver that word; the management of the synagogue by "elders" plural.

meta + acc. "after" - [but/and] after [the reading]. Adverbial use of the preposition, temporal.

tou nomou (oV) gen. "from the Law" - of the law [and the prophets]. The genitive is adjectival, possibly partitive, "when passages drawn from the book of the law and the writings of the prophets had been read out" (ablative, separation??), or verbal, objective, so Culy.

legonteV (legw) pres. part. "saying" - [the rulers of the synagogue sent toward them] saying. The NIV treats the participle as adverbial, modal, expressing the manner in which the word was sent, but it may also be viewed as attendant on the verb "to send"; "sent a message to them and said." In typical Semitic fashion it serves to introduce direct speech.

adelfoi (oV) voc. "brothers" - [men] brothers. Vocative, standing in apposition to "men".

ei + ind. "if [you have]" - if as is the case [there is certain in = among you a word of encouragement toward the people, then say = speak]. Introducing a first class conditional clause where the proposed condition is assumed to be true.

paraklysewV (iV ewV) gen. "[a word] of exhortation" - [a word] of encouragement. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, "an encouraging word"; "if you have anything to say that will help the people, please say it", CEV.


ii] Paul's gospel sermon, v16-41: a) Introduction, v16-22; If we assume that kai serves its usual coordinating function, then the congregation is made up of Jews and associate Gentiles who are committed to the Jewish faith ("the ones fearing God", possibly aligning with twn sebomenwn proshlutwn, "the worshipping proselytes", v43). It is unlikely that kai is epexegetic here, specifying what type of Jews made up the congregation in Pisidian Antioch.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative; "So, Paul stood up", ESV.

anastaV (anisthmi) aor. part. "standing up" - [paul] having arisen and having made a sign. This participle, as with "having made a sign", is attendant on the verb "to say"; "stood up, motioned with his hand and said."

th/ ceiri/ (oV) dat. "hand" - in the = his hand. The dative is instrumental, expressing means; "by / with his hand."

Israhlitai (hV ou) voc. "[fellow] Israelites" - [men] israelites. Vocative, standing in apposition to "men".

oiJ foboumenoi (fobew) pres. pas. part. "you Gentiles who worship [God]" - [and] the ones fearing [god, listen]. The participle serves as a substantive standing in apposition to "men".


The sermon proper. Luke is most likely providing us with a typical example of Paul's gospel message to Jews. In his recounting of the covenant prologue, Paul puts less stress on Moses than say Stephen does. His focus is more on God's redemptive purposes, the uJyow, "exalting" of his people, in the sense of activating his "saving intervention", Johnson, ie., "God took a special interest in our ancestors", Peterson D, cf., Ps.37:34. This intervention was meta bracionoV uJyhlou, "with an uplifted arm", ie., "with his mighty power he led them out of bondage", CEV.

tou laou (oV) gen. "[God] of the people" - [the god] of [this] people. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / subordination, "over this people", although Kellum suggests that it is relational.

Israhl "of Israel" - israel, [chose the fathers of us and the people he exalted]. Genitive proper, standing in apposition to "people".

en + dat. "during [their stay]" - in [the = their lodging]. Adverbial use of the preposition, temporal, as NIV.

Aiguptou (oV) gen. "Egypt" - [in land] of egypt. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / identification; "the land known as Egypt."

meta + gen. "with [mighty power]" - [and] with [an uplifted arm, he led out them out of it]. As Culy notes, the preposition my serve here to express association, but is possibly adverbial, modal, expressing the manner by which God led his people out of Egypt, ie., in a powerful way; "He led them out of there with mighty signs and wonders."


Paul's point is unclear due to a textual variant. Did God tropoforew, "put up with" Israel, or did he trofoforew, "cary, care for, nourish, feed" Israel? Barrett argues that Paul is not dealing with Israel's wayward conduct, but the blessings she has received as God's people, so etrofoforesen is likely original, contra Peterson D, Bock, .... This is in line with the covenant prologue / preamble, ie., the blessings God has bestowed on his people. "For some forty years he supported them in the desert", Barclay.

wJV "for about [forty years]" - [and] as [forty years time he fed them in the desert]. When used with amounts, this particle expresses approximation, as NIV.


Cf., Deuteronomy 7:1, Joshua 14:1.

kaqelwn (kaqairew) aor. part. "he overthrew" - [and] having taken down, destroyed [seven nations]. The participle is probably adverbial, temporal; "And after destroying seven nations", Moffatt.

Canaan gen. proper "[in] Canaan" - [in land] of canaan, [he gave as an inheritance]. The proper genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / identification; "the land known as Canaan."

autwn gen. pro. "their [inheritance]" - [the land] of them. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, "the land belonging to them."


The TH makes note of the temporal transitionals running through to v25; here in this verse, meta touta, "after these things." The dating is complicated by a number of variants, but presumably Luke intends the sojourn in Egypt, 400 years, the desert wanderings, 40 years, the inheritance division, 10 years.

wJV "all this took about" - as. Here expressing approximation, as NIV.

etesin (oV) dat. "years" - [four hundred and fifty] years. The dative is adverbial, temporal, presumably extent of time.

meta + acc. "after [this]" - after [these things]. Temporal use of the preposition.

eJwV + gen. "until the time" - [he gave judges] until [samuel the prophet]. Temporal use of the preposition expressing time up to.


The length of Saul's reign is open to some dispute, but at least Luke agrees with the Greek version of Josephus' history, The Antiquities. Note again that Luke's point is positive.

kakeiqen "and then" - and. Transitional conjunction, "and then."

autoiV dat. pro. "[he gave] them" - [they asked for a king and god gave saul] to them [the son of kis]. Dative of indirect object.

andra (hr roV) acc. "-" - a man. Accusative, standing in apposition to "Saul".

ek + gen. "of" - from. Expressing source / origin.

beniamin gen. proper "of Benjamin" - [tribe] of benjamin. The proper genitive would be adjectival, idiomatic / identification, "the tribe known as Benjamin."

eth (oV) acc. "[who ruled forty] years" - [forty] years. The accusative is adverbial, temporal, extent of time.


Saul is meqisthmi, usually understood as "removed", but Luke / Paul is avoiding a negative view of Israel's history, so possibly the sense is "changed" rather than "overturned". As for David, he is hgeiren, "raised up", to his position - the verb is used of Jesus' resurrection. The citation is mixed: Psalm 89:21a, 1Sam.13:14, Isa.44:28.

metasthsaV (meqisthmi) aor. part. "after removing [Saul]" - [and] having removed [him]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal, as NIV.

autoiV dat. pro. "their" - [he raised up david] to them. Dative of interest, advantage, "for them."

eiV + acc. "[king]" - into [a king]. A prepositional phrase formed by eiV sometimes functions instead of a double accusative construction / predicate modifier, such that it asserts a fact about the object "David"; "He let David rule in Saul's place."

w|/ dat. pro. "concerning him" - to whom [and = also]. The dative is adverbial, reference / respect, as NIV.

marturhsaV (marturew) aor. part. "[God] testified" - having given witness [said]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to say"; "of whom he testified and said", ESV.

tou Iessai (ai) gen. "[son] of Jesse" - [i found david the son] of jesse. The genitive is adjectival, relational.

kata + acc. "after [my own heart]" - according to [the heart of me]. Expressing a standard, "in accordance with."

mou gen. pro. "I [want him to do]" - [who will do all the will] of me. The genitive is adjectival, treated as either possessive, expressing the possession of a derivative characteristic, "who will obey all my will", Moffatt, or verbal, subjective, as NIV.


b) The time is fulfilled, v23-25. Without spelling it out, Paul draws on 2Samuel 7:12; "I will raise up your offspring after you who shall come forth from your body, and will establish his kingdom forever." This promise is realised in Jesus whom God raised up (hgeiren) / brought (hgagen) for/to Israel for salvation (swthria) / a saviour (swthra). The point is clear enough, irrespective of the variants on offer.

apo + gen. "from" - from [the seed]. Expressing source / origin

toutou gen. pro. "this" - of this one, [god]. The genitive is adjectival, possessive. The position of this pronoun at the commencement of the Greek sentence is emphatic; "It is one of this man's descendants ....", Barclay.

Ihsoun (ouV ou) acc. "Jesus" - [raised up / brought salvation / a saviour,] jesus, [to israel]. Accusative, standing in apposition to "salvation / a saviour." The dative "to Israel", serves as a dative of indirect object / interest, advantage.

kat (kata) + acc. "as [he promised]" - according to [promise]. Expressing a standard; "in accord with his covenant promises."


Before the bringing / raising up of Jesus, John the baptist prokhrussw, "preached beforehand", "a baptism of repentance." The "baptism" in mind is obviously water immersion / dunking / splashing, while the genitive metanoiaV, "of baptism", is adjectival, descriptive, idiomatic / identification, eg., "a baptism which outwardly signifies the act of repentance (turning to God for mercy)", cf., Lk.3:3 which adds the purpose, namely, "for the forgiveness of sin," This is one of those descriptive phrases imbedded in Luke's mind, and in the mind of first century believers, which doesn't need to be unpacked (although we do wish he had taken the time to unpack it for us!!!!). Culy notes Wallace who goes for a very general "baptism that is somehow related to repentance", but this seems too vague. Barrett notes that John's ministry focused on "a proclamation of a baptism ... described as a baptism of repentance, that is, a baptism whose distinguishing feature was that it was accompanied by, and was an outward sign of, repentance"; "a ritual washing as a visible sign of repentance in preparation for the Messiah's coming holy kingdom", Osborne. "Preaching baptism" is a strange concept in itself, but obviously it encapsulates the idea that John came calling on Israel to repent and for them to express that outwardly in water baptism; put simply, "repent and be baptised."

pro "before" - before [the face = presence = person]. Temporal use of the preposition; "before in time."

thV eisodou (oV) gen. "the coming" - of the entrance, coming [of him]. The genitive is adjectival, descriptive, idiomatic / temporal, limiting the prepositional phrase "before the face"; "before the = his appearance which occured at the time of his coming." The phrase is an awkward one, but it simply "refers to the entrance of Jesus upon his public ministry", Barrett, cf., 1Thess.1:9, 2:1..

prokhruxantoV (prokhrussw) gen. aor. part. "[John] preached" - [john] having preached beforehand. The genitive participle, with its genitive subject "John", forms a genitive absolute construction, temporal, serving to designate a time signature as to when God raised / brought a saviour to Israel; "God has brought to Israel a saviour, Jesus, ...... while / at the time when John preached, before his (saviour, Jesus) coming, ....."

metanoiaV (a) gen. "repentance" - [a baptism] of repentance. The genitive is adjectival, as noted above; "John proclaimed to the whole people, in anticipation of Jesus' coming, a baptism which was to flow from repentance", Cassirer.

tw/ law/ (oV) dat. "to [all] the people" - to [all] the people [of israel]. Dative of indirect object. The genitive proper "of Israel", would be classified as adjectival, descriptive, idiomatic / identification, "the people known as Israel."


Paul / Luke carefully separates John's ministry from that of Jesus, emphasising John's difference in status.

wJV "as" - as. Temporal use of the conjunction; "Moreover, when John was nearing the end of his course", Cassirer.

ton dromon (oV) "work" - [john was fulfilling, completing] the race, course, [he was saying]. This noun, with its sporting associations, is often used metaphorically of an undertaking of some sort, here John's "mission", TEV.

tiv "What" - who, what, why. Although the Greek text reads as a question, a statement may be intended, given that accents are a later addition to the text, ie., ti instead of tiv. So possibly, "I am not (ouk eimi egw) whom you suppose me to be", Johnson.

einai (eimi) pres. inf. "I am" - [think me] to be, [i am not he]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what they may think John to be. The accusative subject of the infinitive is eme, "me".

alla "but" - but [behold, he comes after me]. Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction, "not ....., but ...."

twn podwn (ouV odoV) gen. "-" - [the sandals] of the feet [of whom]. The genitive is adjectival, limiting "sandals", possessive, although Culy suggests a genitive of separation; "I am not worthy to unfasten the shoes he wears", Cassirer. The genitive pronoun ou|, "of whom", is possessive.

lusai (luw) aor. inf. "to untie" - [i am not worthy] to untie. Culy, as with Rogers Gk., opts for an epexegetic infinitive, specifying what John is not worthy to do, although Kellum suggests a complementary infinitive completing the sense of the verb "to be worthy."


c) The kingdom of God is at hand, v26-39. Addressing his fellow Jews, Paul makes the point that oJ logoV thV swthriaV tauthV, "this word of salvation", "to/for you" (the NIV reads hJmin, "to us", but the variant uJmin, "to you" has equal weight). What logoV, "word", does Paul have in mind? The following sentence is introduced by a postpositive gar, "for", more likely indicating reason rather than cause, ie., epexegetic of "the word of salvation." If this is the case, then "the word" is the announcement that messiah is risen from the dead, with the hope of salvation fulfilled in him, ie., the gospel. It may be that "the word" is backward referencing, in which case, for the people of Israel, it refers to the realisation of the covenant promises in the coming of the messiah, ie., the gospel (Barrett suggests backward referencing to v23).

uiJoi (oV) voc. "children [of Abraham]" - [men, brothers,] sons. As with "brothers", vocative, standing in apposition to "men" - vocative of address.

genouV (oV) gen. "-" - of family [of abraham]. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / source, "children who originate from the family of Abraham", or partitive, "who are part of the family of Abraham."

oiJ .... foboumenoi (fobew) pres. mid. part. "[God]-fearing Gentiles" - [and] the ones [in = among you] fearing [god]. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative of address.

uJmin dat. pro. "it is to us" - to us [the word]. Dative of indirect object. Note that the position in the Gk. is emphatic, as expressed in the NIV.

thV swthriaV (a) gen. "of salvation" - of [this] salvation [was sent forth]. The genitive is adjectival, verbal, objective, "the message about salvation", or attributive, "the salvation message." The message being the gospel, kergma, sent out with divine authority for the purpose of salvation, in the terms of forgiveness of sin, v39 (justification???).


As noted above, the weight of the postpositive gar, "for", is unclear. The NIV treats it as a transitional connective of little weight, so also Barclay who opts for a new paragraph. Conzelmann, so Barrett, suggests that it servers to introduce "the ground on which the proclamation of salvation can now be made." If v26 introduces the heart of the gospel, "the kingdom of God is at hand", then Paul is telling his hearers that God has a message for them, a message which he now explains (gar), namely:

Although the anointed one of God, Jesus, was taken by wicked men and crucified, the simple fact is, you can't keep a good man down. He rose from the dead, as prophesied, and because he lives you can live also, forgiven of all your sins and declared eternally right in the presence of God. But hear this, if you don't take this message seriously, Beware!, v27-41.

The Greek sentence is somewhat complex. Luke presents us with two adverbial participial constructions linked by kai, both of which are causal; "because they were ignorant", and "because they condemned." Together they form a spiral argument: "they condemned because they were ignorant, and by condemning they fulfilled the very words they read every Sunday", Kellum.

oiJ ... katoikounteV (katoikew) pres. part. "the people [of Jerusalem]" - [for] the ones dwelling [in jerusalem]. The participle serves as a substantive, and with "the rulers" serves as the subject of the verb "to fulfil"; "the people of Jerusalem and their leaders ....... fulfilled the words of the prophets."

autwn gen. pro. "their [rulers]" - [and the rulers] of them. The genitive is adjectival, descriptive, idiomatic / subordination, "rulers over them."

agnohsanteV (agnoew) aor. part. "did not recognize [Jesus]" - not having known [this one]. The participle is adverbial, causal.

krinanteV (krinw) aor. part. "[yet] in condemning" - [and] having judged. The participle is adverbial, causal.

twn profhtwn (hV ou) gen. "[the words] of the prophets" - [they fulfilled the voices] of the prophets. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / source; "the words which were originally proclaimed by the prophets."

anaginwskomenaV (anaginwskw) pres. mid. part. "that are read" - being read. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "voices, words"; "The words of the prophets which are read every Sabbath", Moffatt.

kata + acc. "every [Sabbath]" - according to [every sabbath]. A distributive use of the preposition, as NIV.


euJronteV (euJriskw) aor. part. "though they found" - [and] having found. The participle is adverbial, best treated as concessive, as NIV.

qanatou (oV) gen. "for a death sentence" - [no reason, cause] of death. The genitive is adjectival, limiting "cause, reason". Kellum suggests a verbal, objective, classification, but descriptive (so Culy), idiomatic, may be a better; "although they found no charge which they could use to condemn him to death."

anaireqhnai (anairew) aor. pas. inf. "to have him executed" - [they asked pilate, him] to be killed. The infinitive introduces a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what they asked Pilate to do. The pronoun auton, "him", serves as the accusative subject of the infinitive.


Luke makes the point that the people of Jerusalem and their leaders fulfilled prophecy in their act of judicial murder. As for "they took him down", and "they laid him in a tomb", the sense is either, they caused this to happen, or possibly the third person plural serves here as a passive; "After Jesus had been put to death, he was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb", CEV.

wJV "when" - [but/and] as = when [they completed]. Temporal use of the conjunction serving to introduce a temporal clause.

ta ... gegrammena (grafw) perf. mid. part. "[all] that was written" - [all] having been written. If we read panta as the adjective "all", rather than the noun "everything", then the participle serves as a substantive, object of the verb "to complete."

peir + gen. "about" - about [him]. Expressing reference / respect, "about, concerning."

kaqelonteV (kaqairew) aor. part. "they took him down" - having taken him down [from the tree, they put him into a tomb]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to place."


A statement "emphatic in its brevity and import", Kellum.

ek + gen. "from [the dead]" - [but/and, god raised him] from [dead]. Expressing source / origin.


The witnesses "guarantee the truth of the message", Bock.

epi acc. "for [many days]" - [who] upon [many days]. This preposition with an accusative noun and a quantitative modifier (here poluV, "many") forms a temporal construction expressing extent of time, as NIV; see Culy; "he appeared over the space of many days", Cassirer.

toiV sunanabasin (sunanabainw) dat. aor. part. "those who had travelled" - [appeared to] the ones having gone with = travelled with [him from galilee into jerusalem]. The participle serves as a substantive, dative of direct object of the passive form of the verb "to see", which takes the sense "to appear to." The double prefix verb "to go", which takes the sense "to travel with", takes a dative of direct object, here the pronoun autw/, "him".

autou gen. pro. "his [witnesses]" - [whoever = who now are witnesses] of him [toward the people]. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, indicating the possession of a derivative characteristic, in this case, Jesus' witnesses. Culy suggests that it is adverbial, reference / respect.


Paul and his mission team (hJmeiV, "we", emphatic by position) is in the business of communicating important news (euaggelizw, news which is uJmaV, "to you", Jews and Gentiles in the Diaspora) of the realisation of God's covenant promises made to the Patriarchs, namely that (oJti) God has fulfilled the covenant promises in the [life, death and] resurrection of Jesus, [God's anointed messiah] (hJmin, "for us", the descendants of the Patriarchs - hJmon, "for our children", is the stronger reading, but doesn't fit as well), v32-33.

uJmaV acc. pro. "[we tell] you [the good news]" - [and we are communicating, proclaiming the promise made by god toward the fathers] to you. This accusative pronoun is properly the dative of indirect object of the verb "to communicate important news", the direct object being "the promise", but it has been brought forward in position for emphasis and is therefore rendered as an accusative; see Culy.

genomenhn (ginomai) aor. part. "-" - having come. The participle serves as the accusative complement of the direct object "the promise", standing in a double accusative construction and asserting a fact about the object, namely that the covenant promises are now realised, "have come."


The covenant promises are realised / fulfilled in God "having raised up Jesus." The sense here is probably in line with the use of the verb in 5:30, of God's raising up of Jesus in like manner to his raising up of the prophets, ie., of Jesus' appointment / authorisation / setting apart for service, ...... as God's anointed one. This is confirmed by the quote from Psalm 2:7 - Jesus is God's anointed Son, messiah. Yet, this raising up is encapsulated in Jesus' actual raising up from the dead, never to be subject to decay, a raising up which both confirms / authenticates and facilitates his anointed task, v33-37 - Jesus' rising confirms his Sonship, and his rising enlivens us, Rom.6:4.

oJti "-" - that [these things god has fulfilled]. Here epexegetic, explaining further the realisation (the "having come") of the promise; "namely that" the promised blessings of the covenant made to the Patriarchs are now realised for the descendants in the raising up of Jesus.

toiV teknoiV (on) dat. "for us" - to = for the children of them, [to = for us]. Dative of interest, advantage. The dative pronoun hJmin, "to us", stands in apposition to "the children."

anasthsaV (anisthmi) aor. part. "by raising up [Jesus]" - having raised up [jesus]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as instrumental expressing means, as NIV.

wJV "as" - as [and = also it has been written in the second psalm]. The comparative is used here to introduce a quote from scripture - a typical formula introduction.

egw pro. "I [have become]" - [son of me you are, today] i [i bear = become father to you]. Emphatic by position and use.


The one who was raised up to serve was also raised up to give life.

oJti de "-" - but/and that [he raised him]. Again, oJti is epexegetic, with de transitional, indicating a development in the argument; "And with respect to the raising up of Jesus (ie., his anointing to the office of messiah), God actually raised him up from the dead ......."

ek + gen. "from" - from [the dead]. Expressing source, "from", or separation, "away from."

mellonta (mellw) pres. part. "-" - being about. The participial phrase "being about to return into corruption no longer" serves as the accusative complement of the direct object auton, "him", standing in a double accusative construction and asserting a fact about the object, namely, that "he will never be subjected to corruption", REB.

uJostrefein (upostrefw) pres. inf. "[be subject]" - to return [into decay]. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the participle "being about."

oJti "-" - [thus he said] that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of direct quote expressing what God said in the scriptures.

uJmin dat. pro. "you" - [i will give] to you. Dative of indirect object of the verb to give.

ta pista adj. "-" - [the holy, pure, righteous things] the faithful, trustworthy things. Heb. "mercies", "gracious promises", Zerwick = the promised covenant blessings. The adjective serves as a substantive, standing in apposition to "holy, pure."

Dauid gen. proper "[sure blessings] promised to David" - of david. The proper genitive would be adjectival, descriptive, idiomatic; "the blessings of the covenant which were promised to David."


The blessings of the covenant are encapsulated in the promise of life realised in David's seed, which proposition is supported by Psalm 16:10.

dioti kai "so [it is] also" - but/and and = also [in another he says]. Strong connective with an inferential tilt; "therefore also he says in another psalm."

idein (oJraw) aor. inf. "see [decay]" - [you will not give = permit the holy one of you] to see = experience [corruption, decay]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of cause expressing what God will not permit; "God will never let the body of his Holy One decay", CEV.

v36 - 37

The promise of life was obviously not realised in David himself since he experienced death's decay, but the one raised from the dead, Jesus, of the seed of David, he didn't experience death's decay, v36-37.

gar "now" = for. More reason than cause, explaining how the promise was realised; not in David, but in his seed.

men ..... de "- ... but" - on the one hand, [david ........ (v37)] but on the other hand, [the one whom god raised up did not see decay]. Forming an adversative comparative / contrastive construction.

idia/ dat. adj. "in his own" - in ones own [generation]. The dative is adverbial, temporal, "during his own age"; "When David was alive", CEV.

uJphrethsaV (uJphretew) aor. part. "had served" - having served. The participle is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of David's life while he was alive.

th/ ... boulh/ (h) dat. "[God's] purposes" - the will, counsel [of god, he fell asleep = died and he was put toward the fathers of him (buried) and he experienced decay, corruption]. Dative of direct object after the uJper prefix participle "having served, obeyed". The genitive tou qeou, "of God", is adjectival, possessive, indicating the possession of a derivative characteristic, or verbal, subjective, "the counsel dictated by God."


Good new blessings, v38-39. "Therefore, let it be known to you", gnwston oun estw uJmin (inferential = given that Jesus, the seed of David, lives), the promised blessings of the covenant are free to all. Paul / Luke specifies the blessing as "forgiveness of sins", which forgiveness is "proclaimed (offered) to you." He then goes on to explain the theological implication of this forgiveness.

uJmin dat. pro. "[I want] you [to know]" - [therefore, let it be known] to you. Dative of indirect object.

oJti "that" - that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what Paul want's known.

dia + gen. "through" - by means of [this one]. Instrumental, expressing agency; presumably related to what Jesus did, namely, his resurrection form the dead.

aJmartiwn (a) gen. "[forgiveness] of sins" - [forgiveness] of sins [ is proclaimed = offered]. The genitive is adjectival, usually treated as verbal, objective, where the genitive receives the action of the head noun; "release from your sins", Cassirer.

uJmin dat. pro. "to you" - to you. Dative of indirect object / interest, advantage, "for you."


Paul / Luke goes on to explain the theological implication of the offer of forgiveness. Although it is true that the Mosaic Law / Sinai covenant guides the life of a child of God, providing mechanisms for forgiveness when the guide is contravened (many argue that there is no mechanism for the forgiveness of wilful sin, or even stronger, there is no mechanism for the forgiveness of sin at all), yet the law does not function to make righteous. It primarily serves to expose the unrighteous state of the faithful, and thus promote a reliance on divine mercy, ie., the law is not able to justify - make righteous (eg., it is impossible to obey the command "Thou shalt not covet", so also murder and adultery, cf., Matt.5:17-32). The business of gaining right-standing in the sight of God, of a cleansing for yesterday, today and tomorrow, depends on a divine initiative, not a human one, an initiative which is facilitated by faith in the faithfulness of God's messiah, Jesus.

As already noted, it is likely that this example of Paul's gospel preaching to Jews is highly condensed, and this is particularly evident when it comes to explaining the Pauline doctrine of justification by grace through faith. Note also that the NIV, as with most translations, heads v38b in the Gk. with the Gk. text of v39. Following the Gk. we have:

kai "-" - and. It does seem likely that this variant coordinating conjunction is epexegetic here, ie., it introduces an explanation of the forgiveness offered by the messiah, Jesus; "Let me explain." Unlike the forgiveness offered in the Sinai covenant where, at the moment a person has completed their offering, they walk out into a state of sin, the forgiveness offered by Jesus amounts to a divine pronouncement of eternal right-standing in the sight of God, dikaiwqhnai = "to be put right with God", TEV; "be acquitted", NAB (Barclay, Cassirer); "cleared of every charge", Goodspeed; "absolved", Moffatt, ...... and this for eternity. The RSV / NRSV, CEV, gets close to the full sense of this legal word with "set free", and this forever.

apo + gen. "from" - from [everything]. Expressing separation, "away from." Most translators take pantwn, "everything", to be "every sin", but theologically, what the Law was unable to do was remove the curse of disobedience, the stain of sin which can be traced all the way back to Adam and his disobedience. Undoing the curse, and replacing it with the blessing, is the business of messiah. "Let me explain, from the curse of the law ......""

w|n gen. pro. "-" - which. Genitive by attraction to pantwn, so Kellum. "From all things", apo pantwn, is fronted for emphasis. "Let me explain, from the curse of the law which ...." Possibly an ablative genitive expressing separation, so Culy, "from which."

dikaiwqhnai (dikaiow) aor. pas. inf. "justification" - [you are not able] to be justified. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to be able." "Let me explain, from the curse of the law [from] which you cannot be set free ....... "

en + dat. "-" - in = by means of [law of moses]. Instrumental, expressing means; "Let me explain, from the curse of the law which you cannot be set free by means of obedience to the law of Moses / Sinai covenant.

en + dat. "through him" - by means of [this one]. Instrumental, expressing means. "by him = Jesus."

oJ pisteuwn (pisteuw) pres. part. "[everyone] who believes" - [everyone] believing [is justified, set free]. If we take adjective paV, "all", as a substantive, "everyone", then the participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "everyone." "By means of him, everyone who believes is set free (dikaioutai). "My friends, Jesus offers you the forgiveness of sins, past, present and future. Let me explain this offer: it is not possible to be set free from the curse of the law by obedience to the law. Yet, if you put your trust in Jesus, the risen messiah, and his obedience on your behalf, then you are indeed set free."


Bad news cursings, v40-41. The coming kingdom is good news for those who repent and believe, but for those who don't, it's bad news. The bad news is that the day of judgment has arrived, a day when scoffers will perish. The text from a minor prophet serves as a warning to the hearer.

oun "-" - therefore. Inferential, drawing a logical conclusion; "Beware, therefore, lest ......", ESV.

to eirhmenon (legw) perf. mid. part. "what [the prophets] have said" - [be looking = beware that] the thing having been said. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the subjunctive verb "to come."

en + dat. "-" - by / in [the prophets]. The preposition is instrumental, expressing agency, or local, expressing space.

mh epelqh/ (epercomai) aor. subj. "does not happen to you" - may not be at hand = come upon you. Either a subjunctive of prohibition (cf., Wallace p477 for a more particular classification), "You must be very careful to see to it that what the prophet spoke about does not happen to you", Barclay, or serving to introduce a final clause expressing negated purpose, "in order that not", "Beware, then, lest you bring down upon yourselves the doom proclaimed by the prophets", REB.


Habakkuk 1:5. The prophet calls on the people Israel to note the rise of Babylon and recognise in it the impending judgment about to fall on Israel. The text serves to warn the hearer that "those who fail to heed the prophet's word are destroyed for their lack of faith", Bock.

oJti "for" - [look at = behold despisers = scoffers and marvel and hide] because [a work i am working]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the hearers should be shocked and begone (run off to hide and wither away).

en + dat. "in [your days]" - in [the days of you]. Temporal use of the preposition; "While you are still alive", TEV.

ean + subj. "if [someone told you]" - [a work which] if, as may be the case, [certain should tell you, then]. Introducing a third class conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true.

ou mh + subj. "never" - not not [may you believe]. Subjunctive of emphatic negation; "by no means may you believe."


iii] Some respond in faith to God's important news, v42-43. As noted above, the usual call to repentance and faith is missing from Paul's gospel sermon. We may assume that he made this call, or that the statement "he urged them to continue in the grace of God", v43, amounts to a call to repentance and faith. Either way, people do respond in faith, wanting to hear more the next Sabbath, with some even following after Paul and Barnabas (the verb akolouqew, "to follow", is often used of a commitment to discipleship). Yet, the wording implies that the majority of the congregation remains uncommitted, and that it is only some, after the service, who respond positively.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

exiontwn (exeimi) gen. pres. part. "as [Paul and Barnabas] were leaving" - [them] going out. The genitive participle and its genitive subject autwn, "them", forms a genitive absolute construction, temporal, as NIV. As Kellum notes, "them" must refer to Paul and Barnabas, because a genitive absolute takes a different subject to that of the main verb "they were begging", ie., the congregation.

lalhqhnai (lalew) aor. pas. inf. "[invited them] to speak further" - [they were begging these words] to be spoken [to them]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what they were begging Paul and Barnabas to do. The accusative subject of the infinitive is ta rJhmata tauta, "these words." The dative autoiV, "to them", serves as the indirect object of the passive infinitive "to be spoken."

eiV + acc. "on" - into [the next sabbath]. Temporal use of the preposition - we may have expected the use of en for this purpose. The temporal adverb metaxu, "meanwhile", is used as an attributive adjective limiting "Sabbath", and takes the sense "next", next in time; "on the following Sabbath", Cassirer.


Again, Luke refers to the members of the synagogue as both Jews and associate Gentiles, although this time he calls the associates "proselytes" rather than "God-fearers." They are probably the same group, "converts to Judaism", although Barrett and Marshall disagree. The phrase "continue in the grace of God" is unclear. We are best to follow Peterson D who argues that "the grace" is the important message concerning God's saving grace realised in the person of Jesus, and that the verb prosmenw, "to remain, continue", "implies that they had arrived at an apprehension of the grace of God through Paul's preaching and were to remain faithful to what they had heard", cf., 11:23, 14:22,

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

luqeishV (luw) gen. aor. pas. part. "when [the congregation] was dismissed" - [the synagogue] having been loosed = dissolved. The genitive participle, along with its genitive subject "the synagogue, gathering", forms a genitive absolute construction, temporal, as NIV.

twn Ioudaiwn (oV) gen. "[many] of the Jews" - [many] of the jews. As with "worshiping proselytes", the genitive is adjectival, partitive.

twn sebomenwn (sebw) gen. pres. mid. part. "[devout converts to Judaism]" - worshipping [proselytes]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "proselytes", the genitive being partitive.

tw/ Paulw/ (oV) dat. "Paul" - [followed] paul [and barnabas]. As with "Barnabas", dative of direct object after the verb "to follow after."

proslalounteV (proslalew) pres. part. "talked with [them]" - speaking toward = with [them were persuading them]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the imperfect verb "to persuade"; "spoke with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God." The imperfect verb epeiqon, "were persuading", is possibly voluntative, expressing attempted action; "were attempting to persuade them ......"; "to try to persuade them", Barclay.

prosmenein (prosmenw) pres. inf. "to continue in" - to abide, continue in / with. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul and Barnabas wanted the new converts to do.

th/ cariti (iV ewV) dat. "the grace" - the grace. Dative of direct object after the proV prefix verb "to continue with / in". BAGD opts for "in", dative of the thing continued in, but both senses are possible; "remain steadfast in their attitude towards God's gracious gift", Cassirer.

tou qeou (oV) gen. "of God" - of god. The genitive is adjectival, descriptive, probably idiomatic / source; "the grace that comes from God."


iv] Division sets in on the next Sabbath, v44-48. Luke seems to indicate that "it is the popular response to the apostles that sets up the jealous reaction of the Jews", Johnson.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

ercomenw/ (ercomai) pres. part. "[on the] next" - [in the] coming [sabbath]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "the Sabbath". The dative is adverbial, temporal, as NIV.

akousai (akouw) aor. inf. "to hear" - [almost all the city was gathered] to hear. The infinitive is adverbial, final, expressing purpose, "in order to hear."

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "of the Lord" - [the word] of the lord. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, identifying the possession of a derivative characteristic, "pertaining to the Lord" = "the Lord's / God's important message to humanity" = "the gospel", but Luke possibly intends source, "from the Lord." "On the next Saturday, half the town turned up to hear the gospel."


Some of the "Jews" (Ioudaioi is often used to refer to Jewish authorities, here possibly the leaders of the synagogue) antelegon, "contradict, argue against", "the things being spoken by Paul", ie., they contend with the gospel. Luke adds blasfhmounteV, "blaspheming", often translated as "reviling", ESV, "insulting", CEV, "abusive language", TNT, "covering him with abuse", Phillips, ....., the object of the abuse being Paul. Yet, it is more likely that Luke is making a theological point; by arguing against "the word of the Lord" they are blaspheming God; "the Jews ..... were full of indignation and began to argue blasphemously against all that Paul said", Knox.

idonteV (oJraw) aor. part. "When [the Jews] saw [the crowds]" - [but/and the jews] having seen [the crowd]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal, as NIV.

zhlou (oV) gen. "with jealousy" - [were filled] of jealousy. Genitive of direct object after the verb "to fill, complete"; "they became jealous", Kellum.

antelegon (antilegw) imperf. "they began to contradict" - [and] were contradicting, speaking against, objecting to. This imperfect verb is often treated as inceptive here, as NIV.

toiV ... laloumenoiV (lalew) pres. mid. part. "what [Paul] was saying" - the things being spoken [by paul]. The participle serves as a substantive, dative of direct object after the epi prefix verb "to speak against." The preposition uJpo + gen., "by [Paul]", is instrumental, expressing agency.

blasfhmounteV (blasfhmew) pres. part. "heaped abuse on him" - blaspheming. The participle is adverbial, probably modal, expressing the manner of the Jews' argument against Paul's message; it was a blasphemous argument in that it contradicted God's message of salvation for his people.


Being a gracious God, he honours his promise of salvation, made to the Patriarchs, by first offering it to their descendants. The offer is then extended to humanity at large ("the Gentiles" - presumably, irrespective of acceptance or rejection). Luke models his Acts of the Apostles on this divine plan, cf., Rom.2:9-10. Luke uses a rather strange turn of phrase for the Jews' rejection of the gospel - "you reject it ("push it aside", Bock) and judge yourselves not worthy of eternal life." It seems likely that kai, "and", is consecutive; they reject the gospel, and as a result / consequence, end up judging / condemning themselves as not being worthy of eternal life. By rejecting the gospel, a person seals their fate.

te "then" - but/and. Transitional, but reinforcing the link with the previous verse.

parrhsiasamenoi (parrhsiazomai) aor. part. "boldly" - having spoken boldly [paul and barnabas said]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to say", "Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said", although it is usually treated as adverbial, modal, expressing manner, as NIV; "Paul and Barnabas spoke out fearlessly", Moffatt.

lalhqhnai (lalew) aor. pas. inf. "[we had] to speak" - to be spoken [the word of god to you first was necessary]. The infinitive, and its object "the word of God to you first", serves as the subject of the impersonal verb, "it was necessary". The dative pronoun uJmin, "to you", serves as the indirect object of the infinitive, modified by the adverb "first". For "word of God", see "word of the Lord", v44. Luke usually uses dei, "it is necessary", for this construction. See plhrwqhnai, 1:16, for a note on the infinitive as the subject of an impersonal verb.

epeidh "since" - because [you reject it and judge yourselves]. Causal conjunction, serving to introduce a causal clause.

zwhV (h) gen. "of [eternal] life" - [and not worthy of, fit for eternal] life, [behold we are turning to the gentiles]. The genitive functions adjectivally, epexegetic, specifying what they are not worthy of. The adjective "worthy, fit", in a good sense, naturally takes a genitive, "specifying the thing which one is worthy", BAGD.


The text is drawn from Isaiah 49:6, and refers to Israel's task of being a light to the Gentiles, in the sense of bringing salvation to humanity at large, a task realised / completed / fulfilled in Jesus (cf., Simeon's prophecy, Lk.2:32), and entrusted to his disciples, Acts 1:8, cf., 22:26. Luke's Acts of the Apostles records the realisation of this prophetic perspective.

ouJtwV gar "for this is what" - for thus. In this context gar expresses cause, explaining why Paul is now turning to the Gentiles, namely in fulfilment of scripture, while the demonstrative adverb ouJtwV expresses the manner of that fulfilment.

hJmin dat. pro. "us" - [the lord has commanded] to us. The verb "to command" naturally takes a dative of direct object, but here the pronoun serves as its indirect object, with the text from Isaiah the direct object.

eiV + acc. "-" - [i have appointed you] into [a light]. The preposition eiV, with the accusative noun fwV, "light", serves an adjectival function, modifying the predicate "you"; "I have appointed you as a light"

eqnwn (oV) gen. "for the Gentiles" - of the gentiles. The genitive is adjectival, usually treated as verbal, objective, as NIV.

tou + inf. "that [you may bring]" - of the [you as a light to be]. This construction, a genitive articular infinitive, may be either epexegetic, or final, expressing purpose. Purpose is likely here, "you to be" = "in order that / so that you may be." The accusative pronoun se, "you", serves as the subject of the infinitive.

eiV + acc. "-" - into. It seems likely that the construction se eiV parallels the first stanza of the quote, in which case fwV is assumed; "I have appointed you as a light, in order that you as a light may be = bring salvation until = up to the end of the earth."

eJwV + gen. "to" - [salvation] until = up to, as far as. Expressing extension up to, here of distance.

thV ghV (h) gen. "of the earth" - [the end] of the earth. The genitive is adjectival, epexegetic, specifying the "end", namely, "the earth."


Luke's "they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord" expresses conversion - a joyous acceptance of the gospel. The Jews rejected the word of God, whereas the Gentiles (obviously a representative number) accept God's offer of salvation in Jesus, "that is" (kai epexegetic here), "they believed" (episteusan). Luke specifies "they" with a headless relative clause introduced by o{soi, so serving as the subject of the verb "they believed"; "as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed."

The tension between human free will and divine sovereignty obviously doesn't phase Luke, so reminding us that truth is lateral, rather than linear - not one or the other, but both; we are free and God is sovereign. Peterson D calls this clause an "unqualified statement of absolute predestination - the eternal purpose of God, Calvin"; "as strong a passage on God's sovereignty as anywhere in Luke-Acts", Bock. The periphrastic construction h\san tetagmenoi, "had been appointed / assigned / destined / allotted [to eternal life]", implies that those who did not believe were appointed / assigned to death, so Barrett, ie., double predestination, an idea accepted within the Qumran community, but always a matter of debate. It is beyond dispute that God, in an act of his gracious sovereign will, has determined, even before the creation of this age, to gather a people to himself, a people "appointed / assigned / destined / allotted to eternal life." The issue that eludes us is whether God chooses the individual members for this elect community, or whether individuals choose to be members of it (or both???). If we stress the act of belief, then the sense of the verse is that many Gentiles, on hearing the gospel, joyously committed their life to Jesus, such that in their act of believing they showed themselves destined for eternal life.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative; "Now, when the Gentiles heard this ....."

akounta (akouw) pres. part. "when [the Gentiles] heard this" - [the gentile] hearing, [were rejoicing and were glorifying the word of the lord]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal, as NIV. The use of the imperfect for "rejoicing" and "glorifying" may indicate duration, although Culy notes that sometimes an imperfect is used to convey the onset of another event. For "word of the Lord" see tou kuriou, v44.

kai "and" - and. If we take "rejoicing" and "glorifying" as descriptive of conversion, then it seems best to understand kai here as epexegetic, introducing an explanation of what is going on, "that is, they believed."

o{soi pro. "all who" - as many as. Introducing a headless relative clause specifying those who believed.

tetagmenoi (tassw) perf. mid. part. "were appointed" - [were] had been appointed [to eternal life]. The participle, with the imperfect verb to be h]san, forms a periphrastic pluperfect construction, possibly used to emphasise durative aspect.


"Not only in the city itself, but throughout the surrounding countryside as well, those who believed the good news carried it to others", Bruce.

di (dia) + gen. "through [the whole region]" - [but/and, the word of the lord was being carried over, spreading] through [the whole land]. Spatial use of the preposition, expressing movement through place.


Johnson notes how the Jews' reaction to Paul and Barnabas aligns with that of the Sanhedrin's to the apostles, namely envy (5:17) and rage (5:33), here driven by jealousy, 13:45, and progressed in an underhanded and surreptitious manner ( parotrunw, "to incite, stir up, egg on").

sebomenaV (sebw) pres. mid. part. "God-fearing [women]" - [but/and the jews incited] the worshipping [women]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "women". Presumably referring to women who are God-fearers / proselytes (technically, two groups, but Luke seems to meld them into one), but they may be Jewish women of high standing, even just religious women; "respected women who were religious", CEV (the ladies of the local Women's guild are always a powerful group!).

taV euschmonaV adj. "of high standing" - the respectable, prominent, noble, rich. Serving as an attributive adjective, further limiting "women"; "The religious women who are of noble birth."

thV plewV (iV ewV) gen. "of the city" - [and first = prominent men] of the city. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.

epi + acc. "against" - [and they incited a persecution] upon = against [paul and barnabas]. Here expressing opposition.

apo + gen. "from [their region]" - [and they drove out them] from [the boarder of them]. Here expressing separation, "away from."


"Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from the feet in protest against them - a Jewish gesture of scorn and disassociation which was directed at the city's magistrates and the Jewish leaders. Then they went southeast on the Via Sebaste, heading for Iconium some eighty miles away", Longenecker.

oiJ de "so they" - but/and they. Transitional construction, indicating a change in subject from the Jews to Paul and Barnabas.

ektinaxamenoi (ektinassw) aor. mid. part. "shook off" - having shaken off [the dust]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to come, go"; "they shook of the dust ........ and went to Iconium."

twn podwn (oV) gen. "their feet" - of the feet. The genitive is adjectival, possibly possessive, as NIV, or idiomatic / source, "from their feet", ESV, or even something like "which was attached to their feet."

ep (epi) + acc. "as a warning to [them]" - upon = against [them]. Here expressing opposition. The gesture "signified the breaking off of all intercouse and was regarded as tantamount to calling a person a heathen", Bruce Gk. (Today the normal method of breaking off intercourse is by calling a person a racist; especially useful when your argument is floundering).


Luke identifies the new converts (maqhtai, "disciples" - unlikely to refer to Paul and Barnabas) as both genuine believers and foundational members of the Christian church in Pisidian Antioch, by describing them as joyful and filled with the Holy Spirit, and this within a context of persecution. For "filled with the Holy Spirit" see Excursus I. Paul will return later to further organise the church, 14:21-23.

te "and" - and. Variant de. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative, but maintaining a close link with preceding verse.

caraV (a) gen. "[were filled] with joy" - [the disciples were being filled] of joy [and holy spirit]. As with "Holy Spirit", the genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / content, "filled full of." "Brimming with joy and the Spirit of God."


Acts Introduction

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Exegetical Commentaries


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