Acts 14

Paul and Barnabas at Iconium

The same thing happened in Iconium
Iconium. See the note in 13:51.
when Paul and Barnabas
Grk “they”; the referents (Paul and Barnabas) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
went into the Jewish synagogue
See the note on synagogue in 6:9.
and spoke in such a way that a large group
Or “that a large crowd.”
of both Jews and Greeks believed.
But the Jews who refused to believe
Or “who would not believe.”
stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds
Or “embittered their minds” (Grk “their souls”). BDAG 502 s.v. κακόω 2 has “make angry, embitter τὰς ψυχάς τινων κατά τινος poison the minds of some persons against another Ac 14:2.”
against the brothers.
So they stayed there
The word “there” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
for a considerable time, speaking out courageously for the Lord, who testified
The Lord testified to the message by granting the signs described in the following clause.
to the message
Grk “word.”
of his grace, granting miraculous signs
Here the context indicates the miraculous nature of the signs mentioned.
and wonders to be performed through their hands.
But the population
BDAG 825 s.v. πλῆθος 2.b.γ has this translation for πλῆθος (plēthos).
of the city was divided; some
These clauses are a good example of the contrastive μὲν…δέ (mende) construction: Some “on the one hand” sided with the Jews, but some “on the other hand” sided with the apostles.
sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.
When both the Gentiles and the Jews (together with their rulers) made
Grk “So there came about an attempt” 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.
an attempt to mistreat
On this verb see BDAG 1022 s.v. ὑβρίζω.
them and stone them,
The direct object “them” is repeated after both verbs in the translation for stylistic reasons, although it occurs only after λιθοβολῆσαι (liqobolēsai) in the Greek text.
Paul and Barnabas
Grk “they”; the referents (Paul and Barnabas) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
learned about it
Grk “learning about it, fled.” The participle συνιδόντες (sunidontes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. It could also be taken temporally (“when they learned about it”) as long as opening clause of v. 5 is not translated as a temporal clause too, which results in a redundancy.
and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra
Lystra was a city in Lycaonia about 18 mi (30 km) south of Iconium, a Roman colony that was not on the main roads of Lycaonia. Because of its relative isolation, its local character was able to be preserved.
and Derbe
Derbe was a city in Lycaonia about 35 mi (60 km) southeast of Lystra.
and the surrounding region.
Grk “region, and there.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, καί (kai) has not been translated and a new sentence begun in the translation.
they continued to proclaim
The periphrastic construction εὐαγγελιζόμενοι ἦσαν (euangelizomenoi ēsan) has been translated as a progressive imperfect.
the good news.

Paul and Barnabas at Lystra

Grk “And in.” 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.
Lystra was a city in Lycaonia about 18 mi (30 km) south of Iconium.
sat a man who could not use his feet,
Grk “powerless in his feet,” meaning he was unable to use his feet to walk.
lame from birth,
Grk “lame from his mother’s womb” (an idiom).
The description lame from birth makes clear how serious the condition was, and how real it was. This event is very similar to Acts 3:1–10, except here the lame man’s faith is clear from the start.
who had never walked.
This man was listening to Paul as he was speaking. When Paul
Grk “speaking, who.” The relative pronoun has been replaced by the noun “Paul,” and a new sentence begun in the translation because an English relative clause would be very awkward here.
Or “looked.”
intently at him and saw he had faith to be healed,
10 he said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.”
BDAG 722 s.v. ὀρθός 1.a has “stand upright on your feet.”
And the man
Grk “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
leaped up and began walking.
This verb is imperfect tense in contrast to the previous verb, which is aorist. It has been translated ingressively, since the start of a sequence is in view here.
11 So when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted
Grk “they lifted up their voice” (an idiom).
in the Lycaonian language,
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.
“The gods have come down to us in human form!”
So BDAG 707 s.v. ὁμοιόω 1. However, L&N 64.4 takes the participle ὁμοιωθέντες (homoiōthentes) as an adjectival participle modifying θεοί (qeoi): “the gods resembling men have come down to us.”
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.
12 They began to call
The imperfect verb ἐκάλουν (ekaloun) has been translated as an ingressive imperfect.
Barnabas Zeus
Zeus was the chief Greek deity, worshiped throughout the Greco-Roman world (known to the Romans as Jupiter).
and Paul Hermes,
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).
because he was the chief speaker.
13 The priest of the temple
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.
of Zeus,
See the note on Zeus in the previous verse.
located just outside the city, brought bulls
Or “oxen.”
and garlands
Or “wreaths.”
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.
to the city gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
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.
14 But when the apostles
The apostles Barnabas and Paul. This is one of only two places where Luke calls Paul an apostle, and the description here is shared with Barnabas. This is a nontechnical use here, referring to a commissioned messenger.
Barnabas and Paul heard about
The participle ἀκούσαντες (akousantes) is taken temporally.
it, they tore
Grk “tearing their clothes they rushed out.” The participle διαρρήξαντες (diarrēxantes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. This action is a Jewish response to blasphemy (m. Sanhedrin 7.5; Jdt 14:16–17).
their clothes and rushed out
So BDAG 307 s.v. ἐκπηδάω 1, “rush (lit. ‘leap’) out…εἰς τὸν ὄχλον into the crowd Ac 14:14.”
into the crowd, shouting,
Grk “shouting and saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes, in v. 15) has not been translated because it is redundant.
What follows is one of two speeches in Acts to a purely pagan audience (Acts 17 in Athens is the other). So Paul focused on God as Creator, a common link.
15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We too are men, with human natures
Grk “with the same kinds of feelings,” L&N 25.32. BDAG 706 s.v. ὁμοιοπαθής translates the phrase “with the same nature τινί as someone.” In the immediate context, the contrast is between human and divine nature, and the point is that Paul and Barnabas are mere mortals, not gods.
just like you! We are proclaiming the good news to you, so that you should turn
Grk “in order that you should turn,” with ἐπιστρέφειν (epistrefein) as an infinitive of purpose, but this is somewhat awkward contemporary English. To translate the infinitive construction “proclaim the good news, that you should turn,” which is much smoother English, could give the impression that the infinitive clause is actually the content of the good news, which it is not. The somewhat less formal “to get you to turn” would work, but might convey to some readers manipulativeness on the part of the apostles. Thus “proclaim the good news, so that you should turn,” is used, to convey that the purpose of the proclamation of good news is the response by the hearers. The emphasis here is like 1 Thess 1:9–10.
from these worthless
Or “useless,” “futile.” The reference is to idols and idolatry, worshiping the creation over the Creator (Rom 1:18–32). See also 1 Kgs 16:2, 13, 26; 2 Kgs 17:15; Jer 2:5; 8:19; 3 Macc 6:11.
things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth,
Grk “and the earth, and the sea,” but καί (kai) has not been translated before “the earth” and “the sea” since contemporary English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
the sea, and everything that is in them.
16 In
Grk “them, who in.” The relative pronoun (“who”) was replaced by the pronoun “he” (“In past generations he”) and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek and the awkwardness of two relative clauses (“who made the heaven” and “who in past generations”) following one another.
On this term see BDAG 780 s.v. παροίχομαι. The word is a NT hapax legomenon.
generations he allowed all the nations
Or “all the Gentiles” (in Greek the word for “nation” and “Gentile” is the same). The plural here alludes to the variety of false religions in the pagan world.
to go their own ways,
17 yet he did not leave himself without a witness by doing good,
The participle ἀγαθουργῶν (agaqourgōn) is regarded as indicating means here, parallel to the following participles διδούς (didous) and ἐμπιπλῶν (empiplōn). This is the easiest way to understand the Greek structure. Semantically, the first participle is a general statement, followed by two participles giving specific examples of doing good.
by giving you rain from heaven
Or “from the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).
and fruitful seasons, satisfying you
Grk “satisfying [filling] your hearts with food and joy.” This is an idiomatic expression; it strikes the English reader as strange to speak of “filling one’s heart with food.” Thus the additional direct object “you” has been supplied, separating the two expressions somewhat: “satisfying you with food and your hearts with joy.”
with food and your hearts with joy.”
God’s general sovereignty and gracious care in the creation are the way Paul introduces the theme of the goodness of God. He was trying to establish monotheism here. It is an OT theme (Gen 8:22; Ps 4:7; 145:15–16; 147:8–9; Isa 25:6; Jer 5:24) which also appears in the NT (Luke 12:22–34).
18 Even by saying
The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is regarded as indicating means.
these things, they scarcely persuaded
BDAG 524 s.v. καταπαύω 2.b gives both “restrain” and “dissuade someone fr. someth.,” but “they scarcely dissuaded the crowds from offering sacrifice,” while accurate, is less common in contemporary English than saying “they scarcely persuaded the crowds not to offer sacrifice.” Paganism is portrayed as a powerful reality that is hard to reverse.
the crowds not to offer sacrifice to them.

19  But Jews came from Antioch
Antioch was a city in Pisidia about 90 mi (145 km) west northwest of Lystra.
and Iconium,
Iconium was a city in Lycaonia about 18 mi (30 km) north of Lystra. Note how Jews from other cities were chasing Paul (2 Cor 11:4–6; Gal 2:4–5; Acts 9:16).
and after winning
The participle πείσαντες (peisantes) is taken temporally (BDAG 791 s.v. πείθω 1.c).
the crowds over, they stoned
Grk “stoning Paul they dragged him.” The participle λιθάσαντες (lithasantes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
Paul and dragged him out of the city, presuming him to be dead.
20 But after the disciples had surrounded him, he got up and went back
Grk “and entered”; the word “back” is not in the Greek text but is implied.
into the city. On
Grk “And on.” 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.
the next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
Derbe was a city in Lycaonia about 35 mi (60 km) southeast of Lystra. This was the easternmost point of the journey.

Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria

21  After they had proclaimed the good news in that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra,
Lystra was a city in Lycaonia about 35 mi (60 km) northwest of Derbe.
to Iconium,
Iconium was a city in Lycaonia about 18 mi (30 km) north of Lystra.
and to Antioch.
Antioch was a city in Pisidia about 90 mi (145 km) west northwest of Lystra.
22 They strengthened
Grk “to Antioch, strengthening.” Due to the length of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences, a new sentence was started here. This participle (ἐπιστηρίζοντες, epistērizontes) and the following one (παρακαλοῦντες, parakalountes) have been translated as finite verbs connected by the coordinating conjunction “and.”
the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue
And encouraged them to continue. The exhortations are like those noted in Acts 11:23; 13:43. An example of such a speech is found in Acts 20:18–35. Christianity is now characterized as “the faith.”
in the faith, saying, “We must enter the kingdom
This reference to the kingdom of God clearly refers to its future arrival.
of God through many persecutions.”
Or “sufferings.”
23 When they had appointed elders
Appointed elders. See Acts 20:17.
for them in the various churches,
The preposition κατά (kata) is used here in a distributive sense; see BDAG 512 s.v. κατά B.1.d.
with prayer and fasting
Literally with a finite verb (προσευξάμενοι, proseuxamenoi) rather than a noun, “praying with fasting,” but the combination “prayer and fasting” is so familiar in English that it is preferable to use it here.
they entrusted them to the protection
BDAG 772 s.v. παρατίθημι 3.b has “entrust someone to the care or protection of someone” for this phrase. The reference to persecution or suffering in the context (v. 22) suggests “protection” is a better translation here. This looks at God’s ultimate care for the church.
of the Lord in whom they had believed.
24 Then they passed through
Grk “Then passing through Pisidia they came.” The participle διελθόντες (dielthontes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
Pisidia and came into Pamphylia,
Pamphylia was a province along the southern coast of Asia Minor.
25 and when they had spoken the word
Or “message.”
in Perga,
Perga was a city in Pamphylia near the southern coast of Asia Minor.
they went down to Attalia.
Attalia was a seaport in the province of Pamphylia on the southern coast of Asia Minor, about 12 mi (20 km) southwest of Perga.
26 From there they sailed back to Antioch,
Antioch was the city in Syria (not Antioch in Pisidia) from which Paul’s first missionary journey began (see Acts 13:1–4). That first missionary journey ends here, after covering some 1,400 mi (2,240 km).
where they had been commended
Or “committed.” BDAG 762 s.v. παραδίδωμι 2 gives “commended to the grace of God for the work 14:26” as the meaning for this phrase, although “give over” and “commit” are listed as alternative meanings for this category.
to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
BDAG 829 s.v. πληρόω 5 has “to bring to completion an activity in which one has been involved from its beginning, complete, finish” as meanings for this category. The ministry to which they were commissioned ends with a note of success.
27 When they arrived and gathered the church together, they reported
Or “announced.”
all the things God
Note that God is the subject of the activity. The outcome of this mission is seen as a confirmation of the mission to the Gentiles.
had done with them, and that he had opened a door
On the image of opening, or of the door, see 1 Cor 16:9; 2 Cor 2:12; Col 4:3.
of faith for the Gentiles.
28 So they spent
BDAG 238 s.v. διατρίβω gives the meaning as “spend” when followed by an accusative τὸν χρόνον (ton cronon) which is the case here.
Grk “no little (time)” (an idiom).
time with the disciples.

Copyright information for NETfull