Peter and John Heal a Lame Man at the Temple
1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the timetn Grk “hour.” for prayer,sn Going up to the temple at the time for prayer. The earliest Christians, being of Jewish roots, were still participating in the institutions of Judaism at this point. Their faith in Christ did not make them non-Jewish in their practices. at three o’clock in the afternoon.tn Grk “at the ninth hour.” This is calculated from sunrise (Josephus, Ant. 14.4.3 [14.65]; Dan 9:21).
2 And a man lametn Or “crippled.” from birthtn Grk “from his mother’s womb.” was being carried up, who was placed at the temple gate called “the Beautiful Gate” every daytn BDAG 437 s.v. ἡμέρα 2.c has “every day” for this phrase. so he could beg for moneytn Grk “alms.” The term “alms” is not in common use today, so what the man expected, “money,” is used in the translation instead. The idea is that of money given as a gift to someone who was poor. Giving alms was viewed as honorable in Judaism (Tob 1:3, 16; 12:8-9; m. Pe’ah 1:1). See also Luke 11:41; 12:33; Acts 9:36; 10:2, 4, 31; 24:17. from those going into the temple courts.tn Grk “the temple.” This is actually a reference to the courts surrounding the temple proper, and has been translated accordingly.sn Into the temple courts. The exact location of this incident is debated. The ‘Beautiful Gate’ referred either to the Nicanor Gate (which led from the Court of the Gentiles into the Court of Women) or the Shushan Gate at the eastern wall.
3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple courts,tn Grk “the temple.” This is actually a reference to the courts surrounding the temple proper, and has been translated accordingly.sn See the note on the phrase the temple courts in the previous verse. he asked them for money.tn Grk “alms.” See the note on the word “money” in the previous verse.
4 Peter looked directlytn Grk “Peter, looking directly at him, as did John, said.” The participle ἀτενίσας (atenisas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. at him (as did John) and said, “Look at us!”
5 So the lame mantn Grk “So he”; the referent (the lame man) has been specified in the translation for clarity. paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
6 But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold,tn Or “I have no money.” L&N 6.69 classifies the expression ἀργύριον καὶ χρυσίον (argurion kai crusion) as an idiom that is a generic expression for currency, thus “money.” but what I do have I give you. In the namesn In the name. Note the authority in the name of Jesus the Messiah. His presence and power are at work for the man. The reference to “the name” is not like a magical incantation, but is designed to indicate the agent who performs the healing. The theme is quite frequent in Acts (2:38 plus 21 other times). of Jesus Christtn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.” the Nazarene, stand up andtc The words “stand up and” (ἔγειρε καί, egeire kai) are not in a few mss (א B D sa), but are included in A C E Ψ 095 33 1739 Ï lat sy mae bo. The external testimony is thus fairly evenly divided, with few but important representatives of the Alexandrian and Western texttypes supporting the shorter reading. Internally, the words look like a standard scribal emendation, and may have been motivated by other healing passages where Jesus gave a similar double command (cf. Matt 9:5; Mark 2:9, [11]; Luke 5:23; [6:8]; John 5:8). On the other hand, there is some motivation for deleting ἔγειρε καί here, namely, unlike Jesus’ healing miracles, Peter raises (ἤγειρεν, hgeiren) the man to his feet (v. 7) rather than the man rising on his own. In light of the scribal tendency to harmonize, especially in immediate context, the longer reading is slightly preferred. walk!”
7 Thentn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then” to reflect the sequence of events. Petertn Grk “he”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity. took holdtn Grk “Peter taking hold of him…raised him up.” The participle πιάσας (piasas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. of him by the right hand and raised him up, and at once the man’stn Grk “his”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity. feet and ankles were made strong.sn At once the man’s feet and ankles were made strong. Note that despite the past lameness, the man is immediately able to walk. The restoration of his ability to walk pictures the presence of a renewed walk, a fresh start at life; this was far more than money would have given him.
8 Hetn Grk “And he.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun. jumped up,tn Grk “Jumping up, he stood.” The participle ἐξαλλόμενος (exallomeno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. It is possible that the paralyzed man actually jumped off the ground, but more probably this term simply refers to the speed with which he stood up. See L&N 15.240. stood and began walking around, and he entered the temple courtstn Grk “the temple.” This is actually a reference to the courts surrounding the temple proper, and has been translated accordingly. with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
9 Alltn Grk “And all.” 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 people saw him walking and praising God,
10 and they recognized him as the man who used to sit and ask for donationstn Grk “alms,” but this term is not in common use today, so the closest modern equivalent, “donations,” is used instead. The idea is that of a donation to charity. at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with astonishment and amazementsn Amazement is a frequent response to miracles of Jesus or the apostles. These took the ancients by as much surprise as they would people today. But in terms of response to what God is doing, amazement does not equal faith (Luke 4:36; 5:9, 26; 7:16). at what had happened to him.
Peter Addresses the Crowd
11 While the mantn Grk “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity. was hanging on to Peter and John, all the people, completely astounded, ran together to them in the covered walkwaytn Or “portico,” “colonnade”; Grk “stoa.” The translation “covered walkway” (a descriptive translation) was used here because the architectural term “portico” or “colonnade” is less familiar. However, the more technical term “portico” was retained in the actual name that follows. called Solomon’s Portico.sn Solomon’s Portico was a covered walkway formed by rows of columns supporting a roof and open on the inner side facing the center of the temple complex. It was located on the east side of the temple (Josephus, Ant. 15.11.3-5 [15.391-420], 20.9.7 [20.221]) and was a place of commerce and conversation.
12 When Peter saw this, he declared to the people, “Men of Israel,tn Or perhaps “People of Israel,” since this was taking place in Solomon’s Portico and women may have been present. The Greek ἄνδρες ᾿Ισραηλῖται (andre" Israhlitai) used in the plural would normally mean “men, gentlemen” (BDAG 79 s.v. ἀνήρ 1.a). why are you amazed at this? Whytn Grk “or why.” do you stare at us as if we had made this mantn Grk “him”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity. walk by our own power or piety?
13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,tc ‡ The repetition of ὁ θεός (Jo qeos, “God”) before the names of Isaac and Jacob is found in Ì74 א C (A D without article) 36 104 1175 pc lat. The omission of the second and third ὁ θεός is supported by B E Ψ 33 1739 Ï pc. The other time that Exod 3:6 is quoted in Acts (7:32) the best witnesses also lack the repeated ὁ θεός, but the three other times this OT passage is quoted in the NT the full form, with the thrice-mentioned θεός, is used (Matt 22:32; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37). Scribes would be prone to conform the wording here to the LXX; the longer reading is thus most likely not authentic. NA27 has the words in brackets, indicating doubts as to their authenticity. the God of our forefathers,tn Or “ancestors”; Grk “fathers.”sn The reference to the God of the patriarchs is a reminder that God is the God of the nation and of promises. The phrase God of our forefathers is from the Hebrew scriptures (Exod 3:6, 15-16; 4:5; see also the Jewish prayer known as “The Eighteen Benedictions”). Once again, event has led to explanation, or what is called the “sign and speech” pattern. has glorifiedsn Has glorified. Jesus is alive, raised and active, as the healing illustrates so dramatically how God honors him. his servantsn His servant. The term servant has messianic connotations given the context of the promise, the note of suffering, and the titles and functions noted in vv. 14-15. Jesus, whom you handed over and rejectedtn Or “denied,” “disowned.” in the presence of Pilate after he had decidedtn This genitive absolute construction could be understood as temporal (“when he had decided”) or concessive (“although he had decided”). to release him.
14 But you rejectedtn Or “denied,” “disowned.” the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a man who was a murderer be released to you.
15 You killedtn Or “You put to death.” the Originatortn Or “Founder,” “founding Leader.” of life, whom God raisedsn Whom God raised. God is the main actor here, as he testifies to Jesus and vindicates him. from the dead. To this fact we are witnesses!tn Grk “whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.” The two consecutive relative clauses make for awkward English style, so the second was begun as a new sentence with the words “to this fact” supplied in place of the Greek relative pronoun to make a complete sentence in English.sn We are witnesses. Note the two witnesses here, Peter and John (Acts 5:32; Heb 2:3-4).
16 And on the basis of faith in Jesus’tn Grk “in his name”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. name,sn Here is another example of appeal to the person by mentioning the name. See the note on the word name in 3:6. his very name has made this man – whom you see and know – strong. Thetn Grk “see and know, and the faith.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation and καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated. faith that is through Jesustn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.sn The faith that is through Jesus. Note how this verse explains how the claim to “faith in Jesus’ name” works and what it means. To appeal to the name is to point to the person. It is not clear that the man expressed faith before the miracle. This could well be a “grace-faith miracle” where God grants power through the apostles to picture how much a gift life is (Luke 17:11-19). Christology and grace are emphasized here. has given him this complete health in the presencetn Or “in full view.” of you all.
17 And now, brothers, I know you acted in ignorance,sn The ignorance Peter mentions here does not excuse them from culpability. It was simply a way to say “you did not realize the great mistake you made.” as your rulers did too.
18 But the things God foretoldsn God foretold. Peter’s topic is the working out of God’s plan and promise through events the scriptures also note. long ago throughtn Grk “by the mouth of” (an idiom). all the prophets – that his Christtn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn See the note on Christ in 2:31. would suffer – he has fulfilled in this way.
19 Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out,
20 so that times of refreshingtn Or “relief.”sn Times of refreshing. The phrase implies relief from difficult, distressful or burdensome circumstances. It is generally regarded as a reference to the messianic age being ushered in. may come from the presence of the Lord,tn The words “so that…Lord” are traditionally placed in v. 19 by most English translations, but in the present translation the verse division follows the standard critical editions of the Greek text (NA27, UBS4). and so that he may send the Messiahtn Or “the Christ”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn He may send the Messiah appointed for you – that is, Jesus. The language points to the expectation of Jesus’ return to gather his people. It is a development of the question raised in Acts 1:6. appointedtn Or “designated in advance.” for you – that is, Jesus.
21 This onetn Grk “whom,” continuing the sentence from v. 20. heaven mustsn The term must used here (δεῖ, dei, “it is necessary”) is a key Lukan term to point to the plan of God and what must occur. receive until the time all things are restored,tn Grk “until the times of the restoration of all things.” Because of the awkward English style of the extended genitive construction, and because the following relative clause has as its referent the “time of restoration” rather than “all things,” the phrase was translated “until the time all things are restored.”sn The time all things are restored. What that restoration involves is already recorded in the scriptures of the nation of Israel. which God declaredtn Or “spoke.” from times long agotn Or “from all ages past.”sn From times long ago. Once again, God’s plan is emphasized. through his holy prophets.
22 Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must obeytn Grk “hear,” but the idea of “hear and obey” or simply “obey” is frequently contained in the Greek verb ἀκούω (akouw; see L&N 36.14) and the following context (v. 23) makes it clear that failure to “obey” the words of this “prophet like Moses” will result in complete destruction. him in everything he tells you.sn A quotation from Deut 18:15. By quoting Deut 18:15 Peter declared that Jesus was the eschatological “prophet like [Moses]” mentioned in that passage, who reveals the plan of God and the way of God.
23 Every persontn Grk “every soul” (here “soul” is an idiom for the whole person). who does not obey that prophet will be destroyed and thus removedtn Or “will be completely destroyed.” In Acts 3:23 the verb ἐξολεθρεύω (exoleqreuw) is translated “destroy and remove” by L&N 20.35. from the people.’sn A quotation from Deut 18:19, also Lev 23:29. The OT context of Lev 23:29 discusses what happened when one failed to honor atonement. One ignored the required sacrifice of God at one’s peril.
24 And all the prophets, from Samuel and those who followed him, have spoken about and announcedtn Or “proclaimed.”sn All the prophets…have spoken about and announced. What Peter preaches is rooted in basic biblical and Jewish hope as expressed in the OT scriptures. these days.
25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors,tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.” saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendantstn Or “in your offspring”; Grk “in your seed.”sn In your descendants (Grk “in your seed”). Seed has an important ambiguity in this verse. The blessing comes from the servant (v. 26), who in turn blesses the responsive children of the covenant as the scripture promised. Jesus is the seed who blesses the seed. all the nationstn Or “families.” The Greek word πατριά (patria) can indicate persons of succeeding generations who are related by birth (“lineage,” “family”) but it can also indicate a relatively large unit of people who make up a sociopolitical group and who share a presumed biological descent. In many contexts πατριά is very similar to ἔθνος (eqnos) and λαός (laos). In light of the context of the OT quotation, it is better to translate πατριά as “nations” here. of the earth will be blessed.’sn A quotation from Gen 22:18.
26 God raised uptn Grk “God raising up his servant, sent him.” The participle ἀναστήσας (anasthsa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Some translations (e.g., NIV, NRSV) render this participle as temporal (“when God raised up his servant”). his servant and sent him first to you, to bless you by turningsn The picture of turning is again seen as the appropriate response to the message. See v. 19 above. In v. 19 it was “turning to,” here it is “turning away from.” The direction of the two metaphors is important. each one of you from your iniquities.”tn For the translation of plural πονηρία (ponhria) as “iniquities,” see G. Harder, TDNT 6:565. The plural is important, since for Luke turning to Jesus means turning away from sins, not just the sin of rejecting Jesus.