Jesus Ascends to Heaven
1 I wrotetn Or “produced,” Grk “made.” the formertn Or “first.” The translation “former” is preferred because “first” could imply to the modern English reader that the author means that his previous account was the first one to be written down. The Greek term πρῶτος (prwtos) does not necessarily mean “first” in an absolute sense, but can refer to the first in a set or series. That is what is intended here – the first account (known as the Gospel of Luke) as compared to the second one (known as Acts). account,tn The Greek word λόγος (logos) is sometimes translated “book” (NRSV, NIV) or “treatise” (KJV). A formal, systematic treatment of a subject is implied, but the word “book” may be too specific and slightly misleading to the modern reader, so “account” has been used.sn The former account refers to the Gospel of Luke, which was “volume one” of the two-volume work Luke-Acts. Theophilus,tn Grk “O Theophilus,” but the usage of the vocative in Acts with ὦ (w) is unemphatic, following more the classical idiom (see ExSyn 69). about all that Jesus began to do and teach
2 until the day he was taken up to heaven,tn The words “to heaven” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied from v. 11. Several modern translations (NIV, NRSV) supply the words “to heaven” after “taken up” to specify the destination explicitly mentioned later in 1:11. after he had given orderstn Or “commands.” Although some modern translations render ἐντειλάμενος (enteilameno") as “instructions” (NIV, NRSV), the word implies authority or official sanction (G. Schrenk, TDNT 2:545), so that a word like “orders” conveys the idea more effectively. The action of the temporal participle is antecedent (prior) to the action of the verb it modifies (“taken up”). bytn Or “through.” the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
3 To the same apostlestn Grk “to them”; the referent (the apostles) has been specified in the translation for clarity. also, after his suffering,sn After his suffering is a reference to Jesus’ crucifixion and the abuse which preceded it. he presented himself alive with many convincing proofs. He was seen by them over a forty-day periodtn Grk “during forty days.” The phrase “over a forty-day period” is used rather than “during forty days” because (as the other NT accounts of Jesus’ appearances make clear) Jesus was not continually visible to the apostles during the forty days, but appeared to them on various occasions. and spoke about matters concerning the kingdom of God.
4 While he was with them,tn Or “While he was assembling with them,” or “while he was sharing a meal with them.” There are three basic options for translating the verb συναλίζω (sunalizw): (1) “Eat (salt) with, share a meal with”; (2) “bring together, assemble”; (3) “spend the night with, stay with” (see BDAG 964 s.v.). The difficulty with the first option is that it does not fit the context, and this meaning is not found elsewhere. The second option is difficult because of the singular number and the present tense. The third option is based on a spelling variation of συναυλιζόμενος (sunaulizomeno"), which some minuscules actually read here. The difference in meaning between (2) and (3) is not great, but (3) seems to fit the context somewhat better here. he declared,tn Grk “ordered them”; the command “Do not leave” is not in Greek but is an indirect quotation in the original (see note at end of the verse for explanation). “Do not leave Jerusalem,map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. but wait theretn The word “there” is not in the Greek text (direct objects in Greek were frequently omitted when clear from the context). for what mytn Grk “the,” with the article used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215). Father promised,tn Grk “for the promise of the Father.” Jesus is referring to the promised gift of the Holy Spirit (see the following verse). which you heard about from me.tn Grk “While he was with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for ‘what my Father promised, which you heard about from me.’” This verse moves from indirect to direct discourse. This abrupt change is very awkward, so the entire quotation has been rendered as direct discourse in the translation.
5 Fortn In the Greek text v. 5 is a continuation of the previous sentence, which is long and complicated. In keeping with the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences, a new sentence was started here in the translation. John baptized with water, but youtn The pronoun is plural in Greek. will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 So when they had gathered together, they began to ask him,tn Grk “they began to ask him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. The imperfect tense of the Greek verb ἠρώτων (hrwtwn) has been translated as an ingressive imperfect. “Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He told them, “You are not permitted to knowtn Grk “It is not for you to know.” the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest partstn Or “to the ends.” of the earth.”
9 Aftertn Grk “And after.” 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. he had said this, while they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 Astn Grk “And as.” 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. they were still staring into the sky while he was going, suddenlytn Grk “behold.” two men in white clothing stood near them
11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand heretn The word “here” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader. looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaventc Codex Bezae (D) and several other witnesses lack the words εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν (ei" ton ouranon, “into heaven”) here, most likely by way of accidental deletion. In any event, it is hardly correct to suppose that the Western text has intentionally suppressed references to the ascension of Christ here, for the phrase is solidly attested in the final clause of the verse.tn Or “into the sky.” The Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” (vv. 10, 11a) or “heaven” (twice in v. 11b) depending on the context. will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.”
A Replacement for Judas is Chosen
12 Then they returned to Jerusalemmap For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. from the mountaintn Or “from the hill.” The Greek term ὄρος (oros) refers to a relatively high elevation of land in contrast with βουνός (bounos, “hill”). called the Mount of Olivessn The Mount of Olives is the traditional name for this mountain, also called Olivet. The Mount of Olives is really a ridge running north to south about 1.8 mi (3 km) long, east of Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley. Its central elevation is about 100 ft (30 m) higher than Jerusalem. It was named for the large number of olive trees which grew on it. (which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journeysn The phrase a Sabbath day’s journey refers to the distance the rabbis permitted a person to travel on the Sabbath without breaking the Sabbath, specified in tractate Sotah 5:3 of the Mishnah as 2,000 cubits (a cubit was about 18 inches). In this case the distance was about half a mile (1 km). away).
13 Whentn Grk “And when.” 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. they had entered Jerusalem,tn The word “Jerusalem” is not in the Greek text but is implied (direct objects were often omitted when clear from the context). they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Petersn In the various lists of the twelve, Peter (also called Simon) is always mentioned first (see also Matt 10:1-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16) and the first four are always the same, though not in the same order after Peter. and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James were there.tn The words “were there” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
14 All these continued together in prayer with one mind, together with the women, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.sn Jesus’ brothers are mentioned in Matt 13:55 and John 7:3.
15 In those daystn Grk “And in those days.” 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. Peter stood up among the believerstn Or “brethren” (but the term includes both male and female believers present in this gathering, as indicated by those named in vv. 13-14). (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty people) and said,
16 “Brothers,tn Grk “Men brothers.” In light of the compound phrase ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί (andre" adelfoi, “Men brothers”) Peter’s words are best understood as directly addressed to the males present, possibly referring specifically to the twelve (really ten at this point – eleven minus the speaker, Peter) mentioned by name in v. 13. the scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit foretold throughtn Grk “foretold by the mouth of.” David concerning Judas – who became the guide for those who arrested Jesus –
17 for he was counted as one of us and received a share in this ministry.”tn Or “and was chosen to have a share in this ministry.” The term λαγχάνω (lancanw) here and in 2 Pet 1:1 can be understood as referring to the process of divine choice and thus be translated, “was chosen to have.”
18 (Now this man Judastn The referent of “this man” (Judas) was specified in the translation for clarity. acquired a field with the reward of his unjust deed,tn Traditionally, “with the reward of his wickedness.” and falling headfirsttn Traditionally, “falling headlong.” he burst open in the middle and all his intestinestn Or “all his bowels.” gushed out.
19 Thistn Grk “And this.” 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. became known to all who lived in Jerusalem, so that in their own languagesn Their own language refers to Aramaic, the primary language spoken in Palestine in Jesus’ day. they called that fieldtn Grk “that field was called.” The passive voice has been converted to active in the translation in keeping with contemporary English style. Hakeldama, that is, “Field of Blood.”)
20 “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his house become deserted,tn Or “uninhabited” or “empty.” and let there be no one to live in it,’sn A quotation from Ps 69:25. and ‘Let another take his position of responsibility.’tn Or “Let another take his office.”sn A quotation from Ps 109:8.
21 Thus one of the mentn The Greek term here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which only exceptionally is used in a generic sense of both males and females. In this context, where a successor to Judas is being chosen, only men were under consideration in the original historical context. who have accompanied us during all the time the Lord Jesus associated withtn Grk “the Lord Jesus went in and out among us.” According to BDAG 294 s.v. εἰσέρχομαι 1.b.β, “ἐν παντὶ χρόνῳ ᾧ εἰσῆλθεν καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἐφ᾿ ἡμᾶς went in and out among us = associated with us Ac 1:21.” us,
22 beginning from his baptism by John until the day hetn Here the pronoun “he” refers to Jesus. was taken up from us – one of these must become a witness of his resurrection together with us.”
23 So theytc Codex Bezae (D) and other Western witnesses have “he proposed,” referring to Peter, thus emphasizing his role above the other apostles. The Western text displays a conscious pattern of elevating Peter in Acts, and thus the singular verb here is a palpably motivated reading. proposed two candidates:tn Grk “So they proposed two.” The word “candidates” was supplied in the text for clarity. Joseph called Barsabbas (also called Justus) and Matthias.
24 Then they prayed,tn Grk “And praying, they said.” 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. “Lord, you know the hearts of all. Show us which one of these two you have chosen
25 to assume the tasktn Grk “to take the place.” of this servicetn Or “of this ministry.” and apostleship from which Judas turned asidetn Or “the task of this service and apostleship which Judas ceased to perform.” to go to his own place.”sn To go to his own place. This may well be a euphemism for Judas’ judged fate. He separated himself from them, and thus separated he would remain.
26 Thentn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the continuity with the preceding verse. Greek style often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” but English style does not. they cast lots for them, and the one chosen was Matthias;tn Grk “and the lot fell on Matthias.” so he was counted with the eleven apostles.tn Or “he was counted as one of the apostles along with the eleven.”