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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - ACTS 11

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    CHAPTER XI

    l. In Judaea (kata thn Ioudaian). More correctly, "throughout Judaea."

    2. They of the circumcision. See on ch. v. 45.

    3. Men uncircumcised (andrav akrobustian econtav). An indignant expression. See Eph. ii. 11.

    4. Began. Graphically indicating the solemn purport of the speech (compare Luke xii. 1), perhaps, in connection with expounded, his beginning with the first circumstances and going through the whole list of incidents.

    6. I considered. See on Matt. viii. 3; Luke xxii. 24, 27.

    12. Nothing doubting (mhden diakrinomenon). The Rev. renders making no distinction, taking the verb in its original sense, which is to separate or distinguish. The rendering seems rather strained, doubting being a common rendering in the New Testament and giving a perfectly good sense here. See Matt. xxi. 21; Mark xi. 23, and note on Jas. i. 6. It was natural that Peter should hesitate.

    The six brethren. The men of Joppa who had gone with Peter to Cornelius, and had accompanied him also to Jerusalem, either as witnesses for him or for their own vindication, since they had committed the same offense.

    13. An angel. It has the definite article: "the angel," mentioned in ch. 10.

    17. Forasmuch as (ei). Better, as Rev., if.

    The like (ishn). Lit., equal; making them, equally with us, recipients of the Holy Spirit.

    19. They which were scattered abroad (oi diasparentev). On the technical expression, the dispersion, see on 1 Pet. i. 1. Not so used here.

    20. The Greeks (%Ellhnav). Some, however, read 'Ellhnistav, the Grecian Jews. See on ch. vi. 1. The express object of the narrative has been to describe the admission of Gentiles into the church. There would have been nothing remarkable in these men preaching to Hellenists who had long before been received into the church, and formed a large part of the church at Jerusalem. It is better to follow the rendering of A.V. and Rev., though the other reading has the stronger MS. evidence. Note, also, the contrast with the statement in ver. 19, to the Jews only. There is no contrast between Jews and Hellenists, since Hellenists are included in the general term Jews.

    23. Purpose (proqesei). Originally, placing in public; setting before. Hence of the shew-bread, the loaves set forth before the Lord (see on Mark ii. 26). Something set before one as an object of attainment: a purpose.

    24. Good (agaqov). More than strictly upright. Compare Rom. v. 7, where it is distinguished from dikaiov, just or righteous. "His benevolence effectually prevented him censuring anything that might be new or strange in these preachers to the Gentiles, and caused him to rejoice in their success" (Gloag).

    25. To seek (anazhthsai). Strictly, like our "hunt up" (ana).

    26. Were called Christians (crhmatisai Cristianouv). The former of these two words, rendered were called, meant, originally, to transact business, to have dealings with; thence, in the course of business, to give audience to, to answer, from which comes its use to denote the responses of an oracle; a divine advice or warning. See Acts x. 22; and compare Matt. ii. 12; Heb. xi. 7. Later, it acquires the meaning to bear a name; to be called, with the implication of a name used in the ordinary transactions and intercourse of men; the name under which one passes. 18 This process of transition appears in the practice of naming men according to their occupations, as, in English, "John the Smith," "Philip the Armorer;" a practice which is the origin of many familiar family names, such as Butler, Carpenter, Smith, Cooper. Compare in New Testament Alexander the coppersmith (2 Tim. iv. 14); Matthew the publican (Matt. x. 3); Luke the physician (Col. iv. 14); Erastus the chamberlain (Rom. xvi. 23); Rahab the harlot (Heb. xi. 31). In the same line is the use of the word calling, to denote one's business. The meaning of the word in this passage is illustrated by Rom. vii. 3. The disciples were called. They did not assume the name themselves. It occurs in only three passages in the New Testament: here; ch. xxvi. 28; and 1 Peter iv. 16; and only in the last-named passage is used by a Christian of a Christian. The name was evidently not given by the Jews of Antioch, to whom Christ was the interpretation of Messiah, and who would not have bestowed that name on those whom they despised as apostates. The Jews designated the Christians as Nazarenes (Acts xxiv. 5), a term of contempt, because it was a proverb that nothing good could come out of Nazareth (John i. 47). The name was probably not assumed by the disciples themselves; for they were in the habit of styling each other believers, disciples, saints, brethren, those of the way. It, doubtless, was bestowed by the Gentiles. Some suppose that it was applied as a term of ridicule, and cite the witty and sarcastic character of the people of Antioch, and their notoriety for inventing names of derision; but this is doubtful. The name may have been given simply as a distinctive title, naturally chosen from the recognized and avowed devotion of the disciples to Christ as their leader. The Antiochenes mistook the nature of the name, not understanding its use among the disciples as an official title - the Anointed - but using it as a personal name, which they converted into a party name.

    27. Prophets. See on Luke vii. 26.

    28. The world. See on Luke ii. 1.

    29. According to his ability (kaqwv huporeito tiv). Lit., according as any one of then was prospered. The verb is from euporov, easy to pass or travel through; and the idea of prosperity is therefore conveyed under the figure of an easy and favorable journey. The same idea appears in our farewell; fare meaning originaly to travel. Hence, to bid one farewell is to wish him a prosperous journey. Compare God-speed. So the idea here might be rendered, as each one fared well.

    To send relief (eiv diakonian pemyai). Lit., to send for ministry

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