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17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and "his "bishoprick let
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
8 Matt. 27.7.
Psal. 69. 25.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
10 Psal. 109. 8. Or, office, or, charge.
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.-That the evangelist Luke was the writer of this fifth and last historical book of the New Testament is self-evident, and has never been disputed. The introductory note to his Gospel will, so far as it goes. serve as a general introduction to both books, which indeed may not improperly be considered as one book, divided into two parts. Thus. Professor Hug introduces his observations on the present book by observing, "The Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Luke constitute a whole, of which the latter is the first and the former the last part. In the Gospel he presents to us the history of Jesus. until his ascension; in the Acts he again resumes the thread of the narrative, where he had dropped it in the first history. If we connect the beginning of the Acts with the end of the Gospel, we evidently perceive that, in the latter, he postpones the circumstantial treatment of the ascension, to preserve it for the following work; and that he had already resolved upon the plan of its continuation in the Acts of the Apostles when he was finishing the Gospel." (Introduction,' vol. ii. sect. 72.)
The history comprehends a period of about thirty years, commencing with the account of our Lord's ascension, and terminating with the second year of St. Paul's imprisonment at Rome. It does not however appear to have been by any means the intention of the evangelist to furnish a complete ecclesiastical history of the whole Christian church during this period: nor even to give a full account of the proceedings of St. Paul, notwithstanding the very large proportion of the book which is devoted to that subject. For while, on the one hand, he almost wholly omits what took place among the Jews after St. Paul's conversion, and does not in the slightest manner notice the spread of Christianity in the East and in Egypt, or even the establishment of a Christian church in imperial Rome; on the other. he gives no information concerning various particulars of Paul's history and labours, to which that apostle himself alludes in his Epistles. Had it been his object to furnish a general history of the church of Christ, from the time of the ascension to the date of the book, the acts and sufferings of the other apostles would surely have furnished ample and very interesting materials.
The real object of St. Luke appears to have been well distinguished by Michaelis:-"He seems to have had a twofold object in view; namely,
"1. To relate in what manner the gifts of the Holy Spirit were communicated on the day of Pentecost, and the subsequent miracles performed by the apostles, by which the truth of Christianity was confirmed. An authentic account of this matter was absolutely necessary, because Christ had so often assured his disciples that they should receive the Holy Spirit. Unbelievers, therefore, whether Jews or heathens, might have had objections to our religion, if it had not been shown that Christ's declaration was really fulfilled.
2. To deliver such accounts as proved the claim of the Gentiles to admission into the Church of Christ—a claim disputed by the Jews, especially at the time when St. Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles. And it was this very circumstance which excited the hatred of the Jews against St. Paul, and occasioned his imprisonment at Rome, with which St. Luke closes his history. Hence we see the reason why he relates (ch. viii.) the conversion of the Samaritans, and (ch. x. xi.) the story of Cornelius, whom St. Peter (to whose authority the adversaries of St. Paul had appealed in favour of circumcision-Gal. ii. 6-21) baptized, though he was not of the circumcision. Hence, also, St. Luke relates the determination of the first council at Jerusalem, relative to the Levitical law; and the same reason, he is more diffuse in his account of St. Paul's conversion, and St. Paul's preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, than on any other subject. It is true that the whole relation which St. Luke has given (ch. xii.) has no con..ection with the conversion of the Gentiles; but during the period to which that chapter relates, St. Paul himself was present at Jerusalem, and it is probably for that reason that St. Luke has introduced it."
There is however another opinion, which Michaelis thinks not altogether improbable, and in which Professor Hug seems disposed to concur: this is, that Luke's intention in writing the Acts of the Apostles, was to record only those facts which he had either seen himself or heard from eye-witnesses.
The date at which this book was written may be determined with less uncertainty than that of the Gospels. Since the narrative does not conclude till St. Paul had been two years a prisoner at Rome, it could not have been written earlier than the year 63. That great apostle was put to death in the year 65; and as we may feel assured that Luke, his faithful follower, would have brought his history down to that event, had it taken place before he wrote, we have good reason to suppose that the book had been previously written. And, being written before Paul's martyrdom, we may safely conclude that he was cognizant of its contents.
We may suitably conclude this note with the following extracts from the section which Michaelis has devoted to "St. Luke's style, and his mode of narration: "
Though St. Luke has omitted many material parts of ecclesiastical history, in the first thirty years after the ascen
sion, yet he is very circumstantial and perspicuous in those parts which he has related. At the same time he has nowhere exhausted his subject; for wherever he has occasion to introduce what he has related before, the relation is always accompanied by some new circumstances. Examples of this kind are the conversion of St. Paul and the baptism of Cornelius, which he himself relates first as an historian, and afterwards introduces in the speeches of St. Peter and St. Paul....In general, St. Luke's style, in the Acts of the Apostles, is much purer than that of most other books of the New Testament, especially in the speeches delivered by St. Paul at Athens and before the Roman governors, which contain passages superior to any thing even in the Epistle to the Hebrews, though the language of this Epistle is preferable, in other respects, to that of any other book of the New Testament. But the Acts of the Apostles are by no means free from Hebraisms; and even in the purest parts, which are the speeches of St. Paul, we still find the language of a native Jew." (Introduction to the New Testament,' vol. iii., pt. i., ch. vi., sect. 3.)
Verse 1. "Theophilus."-This is the same person to whom St. Luke also addresses his Gospel, and whom he there styles ngariros, “excellent." Concerning this person there has been no small amount of discussion and conjecture. It was an old opinion-easily shown to be untenable, and now generally exploded-that "Theophilus" was a feigned name, to be taken according to its signification (“friend of God"), as comprehending and describing all Christians; to whom, therefore, St. Luke's books are to be understood as addressed.
But, believing Theophilus to have been an individual, and probably one converted by St. Luke, it still remains most difficult to determine who or what he may have been. It is easier to narrow the ground of inquiry by showing what he probably was not, than to attempt to indicate precisely what he was. From the title xgarros being given to him, it has been very generally inferred that he was a person of high, and probably of official, rank. It is elsewhere in the present book (ch. xxiii. 26, xxiv. 3) applied as a title of respect to the Roman governor of a province, just as we apply the title "excellency" to similar personages; and from this some have inferred that Theophilus was also a Roman governor. But the title was also applied, in ancient inscriptions, to high-priests and priestesses, to the superintendents of holy edifices and spectacles, the overseers of the imperial revenues, and other persons of dignified station. If, therefore, the term be understood here as a title of respect to station, it by no means informs us what that station was; nor indeed is it certain that Theophilus occupied any station of dignity; for, as Dr. Bloomfield remarks, "A reference to title would be out of place here, and not agreeable to the manner of Scripture; and it is therefore at least probable that, as the same writer states, the sense may be that of our own word 'excellent,' defined by Johnson as 'said of a person of great virtue and worth.'"
Michaelis, who has devoted a section to the subject, thinks there is great probability in the opinion of Theodore Hase, that this Theophilus was the same as the person of that name whom Josephus mentions as one of the sons of the high-priest Annas, who attained the high-priesthood. He was made high-priest, in place of his own brother Jonathan, by the Roman governor Vitellius, and held the office till Herod Agrippa became king of Judea. He may have been alive, though he had long ceased to be high-priest, when St. Luke wrote. The only reason we can find for the alleged probability of the identity, is the very impotent one that the annals of the first century take notice of no other Theophilus than this high-priest; to whom "excellent” might also certainly be applied, in virtue of the office he had held. But, instead of believing that this son of Annas was the Theophilus of Luke, the observations which Luke frequently makes, for the sake of being intelligible to his reader, seem to evince that the latter was not even a native of Palestine. In speaking of Capernaum, he finds it necessary to acquaint him that it is a city of Galilee (Luke iv. 31): he adds the same information concerning Nazareth and Arimathea (ch. i. 26, xxiii. 51). When he mentions the country of the Gadarenes, he is obliged to specify diffusely its situation (ch. viii. 26). He describes the situation of the Mount of Olives, and its distance from Jerusalem (Acts i. 12); and he determines, by stadia, the distance of Emmaus from the capital (Luke xxiv. 3).
Pursuing the same line of argument, it is shown by Professor Hug (Introduction,' vol. ii. sect. 34), from Acts xxvii. 8. 12, that Theophilus was no Cretan: neither was he an Athenian, or one living in the neighbourhood, for to none such would it have been necessary to explain by an observation (Acts xvii. 21) the characteristic trait of this nation. The text, Acts xvi. 12, also precludes us from considering him a Macedonian. A native of Antioch (which seems to have been Luke's own native place) could hardly have been so ignorant of the geography of Palestine, which was near. That he was an Alexandrian, as he is made by Bar Bahul, a Syrian lexicographer of the tenth century (quoted by Castell in his 'Lexicon Heptaglotton,' p. 3859), is a more recent pretence, which is entirely subverted by the old Álexandrian teachers not appropriating this reputation to their church. Even Origen professes to know no more than that Luke wrote for the Gentiles.
Another opinion which makes Theophilus a person residing in Rome or Italy, was stated by the Alexandrian patriarch, Eutychius, whose testimony is, however, too remote from the time to be any way decisive. "There are nevertheless," says Hug, "some grounds for it. For we see, that Luke makes it his business to instruct his Theophilus, by means of explanations, respecting the places, with which he thought him unacquainted. He pursues the same method in relating the voyage of the Apostle to Rome, and assists his account by descriptions (Acts xxvii. 8, 12, 16). But as soon as he approaches towards Sicily and Italy (xxviii. 12, 13, 15), he puts down all the places as though they were known to him, e.g. Syracuse, Rhegium, Puteoli, (on the name of which Josephus was obliged to make comments for Greek or Oriental readers,) and even still less things, such as Tres Tabernæ, Via Appia, etc."
We believe it is impossible to arrive at a more distinct conclusion, than that Theophilus was an enquiring convert to Christianity, probably a native of Italy, but certainly not of Palestine, nor probably, of any of the other places which the above considerations would seem to exclude.
12. “A sabbath day's journey.”—A sabbath journey was the distance beyond which the "traditions of the elders " made it unlawful for a Jew to travel on the sabbath day. The distance was two thousand cubits from any town or city: and this seems to have been popularly calculated by paces; for in the various repetitions and explanations of this injunction, two thousand moderate paces are stated as equivalent to as many cubits. The Law has no direction on his subject; but the regulation was not considered the less imperative on that account: and this indeed is one of a thousand examples in which the traditions of the elders were as carefully observed as the injunctions of the public Law. To walk more than two thousand cubits was a crime, punishable with stripes. It should be observed, however, hat the rule only applies to distances from a town, for whatever were the extent of a town, a person might walk to any listance within its limits without transgression. Thus in London (for the regulation is still rigidly enforced), Jews often zo a very considerable distance, on the sabbath day, to and from their synagogues,
1 The apostles, filled with the Holy Ghost, and speaking divers languages, are admired by some, and derided by others. 14 Whom Peter disproving, and shewing that the apostles spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, that Jesus was risen from the dead, ascended into heaven, had poured down the same Holy Ghost, and was the Messias, a man known to them to be approved of God by his miracles, wonders, and signs, and not crucified without his determinate counsel and fore
knowledge: 37 he baptizeth a great number that
were converted. 41 Who afterwards devoutly and charitably converse together: the apostles working many miracles, and God daily increasing his Church.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now 'when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were 'confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judæa, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14¶But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto
them, Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
1 Gr. when this voice was made. 2 Or, troubled in mind.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men
shall dream dreams:
8 Isa. 44. 3. Joel 2. 23. 1 Or, I may.
4 Joel 2.31. 5 Rom. 10. 13. 81 Kings 2. 10.
Psal. 16 8.
1 Peter preaching to the people that came to see a Zame man restored to his feet, 12 professeth the cure not to have been wrought by his or John's own power, or holiness, but by God, and his Son Jesus, and through faith in his name: 13 withal reprehending them for crucifying Jesus. Which because they did it through ignorance,
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.
11 Psal. 110. 1. 1o Or, at home.
Verse 1. "The day of Pentecost."-An account of the Feast of Pentecost has been given in the note to Deut. xvi. 10.
13. "Full of new wine."-There could be no new wine, strictly speaking, at Pentecost. What we are to understand by yunos, is sweet wine, that is, wine which had been so managed as to preserve its original sweetness, and which was highly intoxicating. It tasted like must; and, as Plutarch informs us, it was preserved by being kept in a cool situation. It was highly esteemed by the ancients as a morning draught-a practice to which Horace appears to refer:
"Aufidius first, most injudicious, quaff'd
Strong wine and honey for his morning draught:
For smoother must will better cleanse the reins."-Lib. ii. Sat. 4.-FRANCIS.
As it is scarcely credible that any men should imagine, even as a calumny, that languages should be spoken through the influence of wine, it is very probable that, as Lightfoot conjectures, those who said this were not the foreign Jews themselves, but the native Jews, men of Judea, who, not understanding what the apostles spoke in other languages than their own, imagined that (as drunken men are wont to do) they only babbled some foolish and unintelligible gibberish.
15. "Seeing it is but the third hour."-We learn equally from Josephus and the Talmudists, that, at their festivals, the Jews seldom indulged either in eating or drinking till the sacrifices were offered and the oblations made: and as these were numerous on such occasions, a practical abstinence until about noon was the consequence. This perhaps gives greater force to St. Peter's reference to the time of the day, as rendering the calumny the more incredible.
and that thereby were fulfilled God's determinate counsel, and the Scriptures: 19 he exhorteth them by repentance and faith to seek remission of their sins, and salvation in the same Jesus.
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened
11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people
1 Matt, 27, 20.
ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
14 'But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
15 And killed the 'Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
19 Repent ye therefore, and be con