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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - ACTS 2

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    CHAPTER II

    1. Was fully come (sumplhrousqai). Used by Luke only. See on Luke ix. 51. Lit., as Rev., margin, was being fulfilled. The day, according to the Hebrew mode, is conceived as a measure to be filled up. So long as the day had not yet arrived, the measure was not full. The words denote in process of fulfillment.

    Pentecost. Meaning fiftieth; because occurring on the fiftieth day, calculated from the second day of unleavened bread. In the Old Testament it is called the feast of weeks, and the feast of harvest. Its primary object was to thank God for the blessings of harvest. See Deut. xvi. 10, 11.

    With one accord (omoqumadon). The best texts substitute oJmou, together. So Rev. 2. A sound (hcov). See on Luke iv. 37.

    Of a rushing mighty wind (feromenhv pnohv biaiav). Lit., of a mighty wind born along. Pnoh is a blowing, a blast. Only here and ch. xxvii. 25. Rev., as of the rushing of a mighty wind.

    The house. Not merely the room. Compare ch. i. 13.

    Were sitting. Awaiting the hour of prayer. See ver. 15.

    3. There appeared. See on Luke xxii. 43.

    Cloven tongues (diamerizomenai glwssai). Many prefer to render tongues distributing themselves, or being distributed among the disciples, instead of referring it to the cloven appearance of each tongue. Rev., tongues parting asunder.

    Like as of fire. Not consisting of fire, but resembling (wsei).

    It sat. Note the singular. One of these luminous appearances sat upon each.

    4. Began. Bringing into prominence the first impulse of the act. See on began, ch. i. 1.

    With other tongues (eteraiv glwssaiv). Strictly different, from their native tongues, and also different tongues spoken by the different apostles. See on Matt. vi. 24.

    Gave (ediou). A graphic imperfect; kept giving them the language and the appropriate words as the case required from time to time. It would seem that each apostle was speaking to a group, or to individuals. The general address to the multitude followed from the lips of Peter.

    Utterance (apofqeggesqai). Used only by Luke and in the Acts. Lit., to utter. A peculiar word, and purposely chosen to denote the clear, loud utterance under the miraculous impulse. It is used by later Greek writers of the utterances of oracles or seers. So in the Septuagint, of prophesying. See 1 Chron. xxv. 1; Deut. xxxii. 2; Zech. x. 2; Ezek. xiii. 19.

    5. Dwelling (katoikountev). Denoting an abiding; but here it must be taken in a wide sense, since among these are mentioned those whose permanent residence was in Mesopotamia, etc. See ver. 9.

    Devout. See on Luke ii. 25.

    6. When this was noised abroad (genomenhv de thv fwnhv teuthv). Wrong. Lit., And this sound having taken place. Rev., correctly, when this sound was heard. The sound of the rushing wind.

    Were confounded (sunecuqh). Lit., was poured together; so that confound (Latin, confundere) is the most literal rendering possible. Used only by Luke and in the Acts. Compare xix. 32; xxi. 31.

    Heard (hkouon). Imperfect, were hearing.

    Language (dialektw). Rather, dialect; since the foreigners present spoke, not only different languages, but different dialects of the same language. The Phrygians and Pamphylians, for instance, both spoke Greek, but in different idioms; the Parthians, Medes, and Elamites all spoke Persian, but in different provincial forms.

    7. Amazed and marvelled (existanto kai eqaumazon). The former word denotes the first overwhelming surprise. The verb is literally to put out of place; hence, out of one's senses. Compare Mark iii. 21: "He is beside himself." The latter word, marvelled, denotes the continuing wonder; meaning to regard with amazement, and with a suggestion of beginning to speculate on the matter.

    Galilaeans. Not regarded as a sect, for the name was not given to Christians until afterward; but with reference to their nationality. They used a peculiar dialect, which distinguished them from the inhabitants of Judaea. Compare Mark xiv. 70. They were blamed for neglecting the study of their language, and charged with errors in grammar and ridiculous mispronunciations.

    9. Parthians, Medes, and Elamites. Representing portions of the Persian empire.

    Judaea. The dialect of Galilee being different from that of Judaea. Asia. Not the Asiatic continent nor Asia Minor. In the time of the apostles the term was commonly understood of the proconsular province of Asia, principally of the kingdom of Pergamus left by Attalus III. to the Romans, and including Lydia, Mysia, Caria, and at times parts of Phrygia. The name Asia Minor did not come into use until the fourth century of our era.

    10. Egypt. Where the Jews were numerous. Two-fifths of the population of Alexandria were said to have been Jews.

    Cyrene. In Libya, west of Egypt.

    Strangers (epidhmountev). See on 1 Pet. i. 1. Rev., rightly, sojourners.

    11. Arabians. Whose country bordered on Judaea, and must have contained many Jews.

    Speak (lalountwn). Rev., rightly, gives the force of the participle, speaking.

    Wonderful works (megaleia). See on majesty, 2 Pet. i. 16. From megav, great. Rev., mighty works. Used by Luke only.

    12. Were in doubt (dihporoun). Used by Luke only. See on Luke ix. 7. Better, as Rev., perplexed.

    13. Others (eteroi). Of a different class. The first who commented on the wonder did so curiously, but with no prejudice. Those who now spoke did so in a hostile spirit. See on ver. 4.

    Mocking (diacleuazontev; so the best texts). From cleuh, a joke. Only here in New Testament.

    New wine (gleukouv). Lit., "sweet wine." Of course intoxicating.

    14. Standing up (staqeiv). See on Luke xviii. 11; xix. 9.

    Said (apefqegxato). See on ver. 4 Better, rev., spake forth. "This most solemn, earnest, yet sober speech" (Bengel).

    Hearken (enwtisasqe). Only here in New Testament. From ejn, in; and ouv, the ear. Rev., give ear.

    Words (rhmata). See on Luke i. 37.

    15. Third hour. Nine in the morning: the hour of morning prayer.

    Compare 1 Thess. v. 7.

    17. All flesh. Without distinction of age, sex, or condition.

    Visions (oraseiv). Waking visions.

    Dream dreams (enupnia enupniasqhsontai). The best texts read ejnupnioiv, with dreams. The verb occurs only here and Jude 8. The reference is to visions in sleep.

    19. I will shew (dwsw). Lit., I will give.

    Wonders (terata). Or portents. See on Matt. xi. 20.

    Signs. See on Matt. xi. 20.

    20. That great and notable day of the Lord come. The Rev. heightens the emphasis by following the Greek order, the day of the Lord, that great and notable day. Notable (epifanh) only here in New Testament. The kindred noun ejpifaneia, appearing (compare our word Epiphany), is often used of the second coming of the Lord. See 1 Tim. vi. 14; 2 Timothy iv. 1; Tit. ii. 13.

    22. Approved (apodedeigmenon). The verb means to point out or shew forth. Shewn to be that which he claimed to be.

    Miracles (dunamesi). Better, Rev., mighty works. Lit., powers. See on Matt. xi. 20.

    23. Being delivered (ekdoton). An adjective: given forth, betrayed.

    Ye have taken. The best texts omit.

    Wicked hands. The best texts read by the hand of lawless men.

    Crucified (prosphzantev). Only here in New Testament. The verb simply means to affix to or on anything. The idea of the cross is left to be supplied.

    Have slain (aneilete). See on Luke xxiii. 32. Rev., rendering the aorist more closely, did slay.

    24. Pains (wdinav). The meaning is disputed. Some claim that Peter followed the Septuagint mistranslation of Ps. xviii. 5, where the Hebrew word for snares is rendered by the word used here, pains; and that, therefore, it should be rendered snares of death; the figure being that of escape from the snare of a huntsman. Others suppose that death is represented in travail, the birth-pangs ceasing with the delivery; i.e., the resurrection. This seems to be far-fetched, though it is true that in classical Greek the word is used commonly of birth-throes. It is better, perhaps, on the whole, to take the expression in the sense of the A.V., and to make the pains of death stand for death generally.

    25. I foresaw (prowrwmhn). Not to see beforehand, but to see before one's self, as in Ps. xvi. 8.

    I should not be moved (mh saleuqw). Or be shaken. Generally so rendered in the New Testament. See Matt. xi. 7; xxiv. 29; Hebrews xii. 26, etc.

    26. Rejoiced (hgalliasato). Rev., was glad. See on 1 Pet. i. 6.

    Shall rest (kataskhnwsei). See on nests, Matt. viii. 20. Better, as Rev., dwell. Lit., dwell in a tent or tabernacle. Rendered lodge, Matthew viii. 32; Mark iv. 32; Luke viii. 19. It is a beautiful metaphor. My flesh shall encamp on hope; pitch its tent there to rest through the night of death, until the morning of resurrection.

    In hope (ep elpisi). Lit., on hope: resting on the hope of resurrection; his body being poetically conceived as hoping.

    27. Leave (egkataleiyeiv). Lit., leave behind.

    Suffer (dwseiv). Lit., give.

    29. Let me speak (exon eipein). Lit., it is permitted me. Rev., I may. It is allowable for him to speak, because the facts are notorious.

    Freely (meta parrhsiav). Lit., with freedom. The latter word from pan, all, and rJhsiv, speech; speaking everything, and therefore without reserve. The patriarch (patriarcou). From arcw, to begin, and patria, a pedigree. Applied to David as the father of the royal family from which the Messiah sprang. It is used in the New Testament of Abraham (Heb. vii. 4), and of the sons of Jacob (Acts vii. 8).

    He is dead and buried (eteleuthse kai etafh). Aorists, denoting what occurred at a definite past time. Rev., rightly, he both died and was buried. His sepulchre is with us. Or among us (en hmin). On Mount Zion, where most of the Jewish kings were interred in the same tomb.

    30. According to the flesh, he would raise up Christ. The best texts omit. Render as Rev., he would set one upon his throne.

    34. Is not ascended (ou anebh). Aorist, did not ascend.

    35. Thy footstool. A.V. omits of thy feet.

    36. Assuredly (asfalwv). From aj, not, and sfallw, to cause to fall. Hence, firmly, steadfastly.

    37. They were pricked (katenughsan). Only here in New Testament. The word does not occur in profane Greek. It is found in the Septuagint, as Gen. xxxiv. 7, of the grief of the sons of Jacob at the dishonor of Dinah. See, also, Psalms 109. (Sept. 108) xvi. "broken in heart." The kindred noun katanuxiv occurs Rom. xi. 8, in the sense of slumber (Rev., stupor). Compare Isa. xxix. 10. See, also, Psalms 60 (Sept. 59) iii. oinon katanuxewv, the wine of astonishment (Rev., wine of staggering). The radical idea of the word is given in the simple verb nussw, to prick with a sharp point. So Homer, of the puncture of a spear; of horses dinting the earth with their hoofs, etc. Here, therefore, of the sharp, painful emotion, the sting produced by Peter's words. Cicero, speaking of the oratory of Pericles, says that his speech left stings in the minds of his hearers ("De Oratore," iii., 34.

    38. Repent. See on Matt. iii. 2.

    In the name (epi tw onomati). Lit., upon the name. See on Matthew xxviii. 19.

    Remission. See on Luke iii. 3; Jas. v. 15.

    39. Afar off (eiv makran). Lit., unto a long way. Referring probably to the Gentiles, who are described by this phrase both in the Old and New Testaments. See Zech. vi. 15; Eph. ii. 11-13. Peter knew the fact that the Gentiles were to be received into the Church, but not the mode. He expected they would become Christians through the medium of the Jewish religion. It was already revealed in the Old Testament that they should be received, and Christ himself had commanded the apostles to preach to all nations.

    Shall call (proskaleshtai). Rev. gives the force of prov, to: "shall call unto him."

    40. Other (eteroiv). And various.

    Did he testify (diemartureto). The preposition dia gives the force of solemnly, earnestly.

    Save yourselves (swqhte). More strictly, be ye saved.

    Untoward (skoliav). Lit., crooked. Toward in earlier English meant docile, apt. The opposite is froward (fromward). So Shakespeare:

    "'Tis a good hearing when children are toward, But a harsh hearing when women are froward." Taming of the Shrew, v., 2.

    "Spoken like a toward prince."

    3 Henry VI., ii., 2.

    Untoward, therefore, meant intractable, perverse. So Shakespeare:

    "What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave?" K. John, i., 1.

    "And if she be froward, Then hast thou taught Horensio to be untoward." Taming of the Shrew, iv., 5.

    Compare Deut. xxxii. 5.

    42. Continued steadfastly. See on ch. i. 14.

    Doctrine (didach). Better, teaching.

    Fellowship (koinwnia). From koinov, common. A relation between individuals which involves a common interest and a mutual, active participation in that interest and in each other. The word answers to the Latin communio, from communis, common. Hence, sometimes rendered communion, as 1 Cor. x. 16; 9 Corinthians xiii. 14. Fellowship is the most common rendering. Thus Philip. i. 5: "your fellowship in the gospel," signifying co-operation in the widest sense; participation in sympathy, suffering, and labor. Compare 1 John i. 3, 6, 7. Occasionally it is used to express the particular form which the spirit of fellowship assumes; as in Rom. xv. 26; Heb. xiii. 16, where it signifies the giving of alms, but always with an emphasis upon the principle of Christian fellowship which underlies the gift.

    Breaking (klasei). Used by Luke only, and only in the phrase breaking of bread. The kindred verb klazw or klaw, to break, occurs often, but, like the noun, only of breaking bread. Hence used to designate the celebration of the Lord's Supper.

    Prayers (proseucaiv). Always of prayer to God. Compare on dehseiv, prayers, Luke v. 33; and besought, Luke viii. 38.

    43. Fear (fobov). Not terror, but reverential awe: as Mark iv. 41; Luke vii. 16; 1 Pet. i. 17, etc.

    44. Common (koina). Compare fellowship, ver. 42.

    45. Possessions (kthmata). Landed property.

    Goods (uparxeiv). Possessions in general; movables.

    46. With one accord (omoqumadon). See on Matt. xviii. 19.

    From house to house (kat oikon). Better, as Rev., at home, contrasted with in the temple. Compare Philemon 2; Col. iv. 15; 1 Corinthians xvi. 19.

    Did eat their meat (metelambanon trofhv). Rev., take their food. Partake would be better, giving the force of meta, with. Note the imperfect: "continued to partake."

    Singleness (afelothti). Only here in New Testament. Derived from aj, not, and felleuv, stony ground. Hence of something simple or plain.

    47. Added (prosetiqei). Imperfect: kept adding.

    Such as should be saved (touv swzomenouv). Lit., as Rev., those that were being saved. The rendering of the A.V. would require the verb to be in the future, whereas it is the present participle. Compare 1 Corinthians i. 18. Salvation is a thing of the present, as well as of the past and future. The verb is used in all these senses in the New Testament. Thus, we were saved (not are, as A.V.), Rom. viii. 24; shall or shalt be saved, Romans x. 9, 13; ye are being saved, 1 Cor. xv. 2. "Godliness, righteousness, is life, is salvation. And it is hardly necessary to say that the divorce of morality and religion must be fostered and encouraged by failing to note this, and so laying the whole stress either on the past or on the future - on the first call, or on the final change. It is, therefore, important that the idea of salvation as a rescue from sin, through the knowledge of God in Christ, and therefore a progressive condition, a present state, should not be obscured, and we can but regret such a translation as Acts ii. 47, 'The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved,' where the Greek implies a different idea" (Lightfoot, "on a Fresh Revision of the New Testament").

    To the church. See on Matt. xvi. 18.

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