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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

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Commentary on Acts

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

27.1–10 .

1–2 (Mk 15.1; Lk 23.1; Jn 18.28–32):

Pilate's involvement. The Roman governor came from Caesarea to Jerusalem at Passover. *

3–10 (Acts 1.16–20):

Judas's death. A scene unique to Matthew, Judas's death evokes the suicide of Ahithophel, who betrayed David (2 Sam 17 ). According to Acts, Judas dies a much less dignified death. In both accounts, the death is linked to the purchase of a field for the burial of foreigners.

9–10 :

See Zech 11.12–13; Jer 18.1–3; 32.6–15 .

1.1–26 :

Awaiting the promise.

1–11 :

The exaltation of Jesus.

1–5 :

These verses provide a resumption of the story as it ends in the first book of The Gospel according to Luke (see comments on Lk 1.1–4; 24.36–53 ) and anticipate the first episodes of Acts.

2 :

The apostles * whom he had chosen were specifically the twelve (Lk 6.13; 9.1; 22.30 ), now without Judas ( 1.16–17 ).

3 :

Luke 24 indicates that both physical signs and scriptural interpretation * are combined in these convincing proofs, entailing appearances and persuasive witness to the kingdom of God with Jesus attested as the messiah * of this dominion straight through Acts ( 28.31 ).

4 :

The promise of the Father was given at Pentecost * ( 2.1–47; see v. 33 ).

5 :

On the contrast between John's baptism * with water and the baptism with the Holy Spirit, see also Lk 3.16–17, 21–22; Acts 18.25; 19.2–6 ).

6 :

Israel hoped God would accomplish the restoration in accord with prophetic * promises (Isa 49.6; Jer 29.14 ).

7 :

The promised restoration is assumed, but the times or periods that the Father has set are not open to human knowledge, except that the kingdom is near (Mk 13.32; Lk 21.31 ).

8 :

This power is a sign of divine authority ( 4.7 ), the agency of the Holy Spirit, not the apostles themselves, but their office is that of witnesses to Jesus' resurrection ( 1.22 ). Jerusalem, all Judea and Samaria, are the geographic locations of the opening chapters. The ends of the earth are prophetic symbols of Israel's renewed divine calling (Isa 49.6 ).

9 :

The cloud is a sign of divine presence (Lk 9.34 ).

10 :

The two men are again heavenly witnesses (Lk 24.4 ).

11 :

In being taken up ( 1.22 ), Jesus accomplishes his “departure” (Lk 9.31 ) and is exalted by God to heavenly rule (Acts 7.56 ).

1.12–26 :

Restoring the twelve.

13 :

On the named apostles, * see also Lk 6.13–16 .

14 :

Luke again draws attention to the presence of the women at a critical occasion of God's action (Lk 8.1–3; 23.49; 23.5–10 ), specifically Jesus' mother Mary (Lk 1.35 ).

15–20 :

Peter again affirms that the scripture had to be fulfilled (Lk 24.25–26, 44–47 ), and his first speech in Acts is a scriptural testimony interpreting what has happened on the basis of Ps 69.25 ( 68.26 : LXX * ) and 109.8 (LXX 108).

16–18 :

On Judas' active conspiracy, see Lk 22.3–6, 47–48 . On his death, compare Mt 27.5 .

22 :

On the baptism * of John as Jesus' anointing * by God, see Lk 3.21–22; Acts 10.38 ). To be a witness to his resurrection (Gk., “martyr” * ) will bring suffering and death even to those who were not “eyewitnesses” from the beginning (Lk 1.1; Acts 7; 24.14–21 ).

23 :

Neither Joseph called Barsabbas nor Matthias is ever mentioned again in the New Testament.

26 :

Casting lots was a traditional Jewish practice for discerning God's choice (Lev 16.8; Num 26.55; 33.54; Josh 19 ). The eleven must be restored to twelve because of Israel's twelve tribes (Lk 5.13; 9.1; 22.30; Acts 26.7 ).

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