16:1 He also came to Derbe 1 and to Lystra. 2 A disciple 3 named Timothy was there, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, 4 but whose father was a Greek. 5 16:2 The brothers in Lystra 6 and Iconium 7 spoke well 8 of him. 9 16:3 Paul wanted Timothy 10 to accompany him, and he took 11 him and circumcised 12 him because of the Jews who were in those places, 13 for they all knew that his father was Greek. 14 16:4 As they went through the towns, 15 they passed on 16 the decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem 17 for the Gentile believers 18 to obey. 19 16:5 So the churches were being strengthened in the faith and were increasing in number every day. 20
16:6 They went through the region of Phrygia 21 and Galatia, 22 having been prevented 23 by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message 24 in the province of Asia. 25 16:7 When they came to 26 Mysia, 27 they attempted to go into Bithynia, 28 but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow 29 them to do this, 30 16:8 so they passed through 31 Mysia 32 and went down to Troas. 33 16:9 A 34 vision appeared to Paul during the night: A Macedonian man was standing there 35 urging him, 36 “Come over 37 to Macedonia 38 and help us!” 16:10 After Paul 39 saw the vision, we attempted 40 immediately to go over to Macedonia, 41 concluding that God had called 42 us to proclaim the good news to them.
16:11 We put out to sea 43 from Troas 44 and sailed a straight course 45 to Samothrace, 46 the next day to Neapolis, 47 16:12 and from there to Philippi, 48 which is a leading city of that district 49 of Macedonia, 50 a Roman colony. 51 We stayed in this city for some days. 16:13 On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate to the side of the river, where we thought there would be a place of prayer, and we sat down 52 and began to speak 53 to the women 54 who had assembled there. 55 16:14 A 56 woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth 57 from the city of Thyatira, 58 a God-fearing woman, listened to us. 59 The Lord opened her heart to respond 60 to what Paul was saying. 16:15 After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, 61 “If 62 you consider me to be a believer in the Lord, 63 come and stay in my house.” And she persuaded 64 us.
16:16 Now 65 as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who had a spirit that enabled her to foretell the future by supernatural means. 66 She 67 brought her owners 68 a great profit by fortune-telling. 69 16:17 She followed behind Paul and us and kept crying out, 70 “These men are servants 71 of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way 72 of salvation.” 73 16:18 She continued to do this for many days. But Paul became greatly annoyed, 74 and turned 75 and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ 76 to come out of her!” And it came out of her at once. 77 16:19 But when her owners 78 saw their hope of profit 79 was gone, they seized 80 Paul and Silas and dragged 81 them into the marketplace before the authorities. 16:20 When 82 they had brought them 83 before the magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion. 84 They are 85 Jews 16:21 and are advocating 86 customs that are not lawful for us to accept 87 or practice, 88 since we are 89 Romans.”
16:22 The crowd joined the attack 90 against them, and the magistrates tore the clothes 91 off Paul and Silas 92 and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 93 16:23 After they had beaten them severely, 94 they threw them into prison and commanded 95 the jailer to guard them securely. 16:24 Receiving such orders, he threw them in the inner cell 96 and fastened their feet in the stocks. 97
16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying 98 and singing hymns to God, 99 and the rest of 100 the prisoners were listening to them. 16:26 Suddenly a great earthquake occurred, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all the doors flew open, and the bonds 101 of all the prisoners came loose. 16:27 When the jailer woke up 102 and saw the doors of the prison standing open, 103 he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, 104 because he assumed 105 the prisoners had escaped. 16:28 But Paul called out loudly, 106 “Do not harm yourself, 107 for we are all here!” 16:29 Calling for lights, the jailer 108 rushed in and fell down 109 trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 16:30 Then he brought them outside 110 and asked, “Sirs, what must 111 I do to be saved?” 16:31 They replied, 112 “Believe 113 in the Lord Jesus 114 and you will be saved, you and your household.” 16:32 Then 115 they spoke the word of the Lord 116 to him, along with all those who were in his house. 16:33 At 117 that hour of the night he took them 118 and washed their wounds; 119 then 120 he and all his family 121 were baptized right away. 122 16:34 The jailer 123 brought them into his house and set food 124 before them, and he rejoiced greatly 125 that he had come to believe 126 in God, together with his entire household. 127 16:35 At daybreak 128 the magistrates 129 sent their police officers, 130 saying, “Release those men.” 16:36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, 131 “The magistrates have sent orders 132 to release you. So come out now and go in peace.” 133 16:37 But Paul said to the police officers, 134 “They had us beaten in public 135 without a proper trial 136 – even though we are Roman citizens 137 – and they threw us 138 in prison. And now they want to send us away 139 secretly? Absolutely not! They 140 themselves must come and escort us out!” 141 16:38 The police officers reported these words to the magistrates. They were frightened when they heard Paul and Silas 142 were Roman citizens 143 16:39 and came 144 and apologized to them. After 145 they brought them out, they asked them repeatedly 146 to leave the city. 16:40 When they came out of the prison, they entered Lydia’s house, and when they saw the brothers, they encouraged them and then 147 departed.
[16:1] 5 sn His father was a Greek. Timothy was the offspring of a mixed marriage between a Jewish woman (see 2 Tim 1:5) and a Gentile man. On mixed marriages in Judaism, see Neh 13:23-27; Ezra 9:1-10:44; Mal 2:10-16; Jub. 30:7-17; m. Qiddushin 3.12; m. Yevamot 7.5.
[16:2] 9 tn Grk “who was well spoken of by the brothers in Lystra and Iconium.” Because of the awkwardness in English of having two relative clauses follow one another (“who was a believer…who was well spoken of”) and the awkwardness of the passive verb (“was well spoken of”), the relative pronoun at the beginning of 16:2 (“who”) has been translated as a pronoun (“him”) and the construction converted from passive to active at the same time a new sentence was started in the translation.
[16:3] 11 tn Grk “and taking him he circumcised him.” The participle λαβών (labwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Paul’s cultural sensitivity showed in his action here. He did not want Timothy’s lack of circumcision to become an issue (1 Cor 9:15-23).
[16:3] sn His father was Greek. Under Jewish law at least as early as the 2nd century, a person was considered Jewish if his or her mother was Jewish. It is not certain whether such a law was in effect in the 1st century, but even if it was, Timothy would not have been accepted as fully Jewish because he was not circumcised.
[16:6] 22 sn Galatia refers to either (1) the region of the old kingdom of Galatia in the central part of Asia Minor (North Galatia), or (2) the Roman province of Galatia, whose principal cities in the 1st century were Ancyra and Pisidian Antioch (South Galatia). The exact extent and meaning of this area has been a subject of considerable controversy in modern NT studies.
[16:6] 25 tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia, made up of about one-third of the west and southwest end of modern Asia Minor. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia.
[16:8] 31 tn Although the normal meaning for παρέρχομαι (parercomai) is “pass by, go by,” it would be difficult to get to Troas from where Paul and his companions were without going through rather than around Mysia. BDAG 776 s.v. παρέρχομαι 6 list some nonbiblical examples of the meaning “go through, pass through,” and give that meaning for the usage here.
[16:9] 34 tn Grk “And a.” 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.
[16:12] 49 tc ‡ Or perhaps, “a city in the first district” (there are a number of textual variants). L&N 1.85 follow the text of UBS4 and NA27 here: “In Ac 16:12…the Greek New Testament published by the United Bible Societies has adopted a conjectural emendation, since the more traditional text, πρώτη τῆς μερίδος, literally ‘first of the district,’ is not only misleading in meaning but does not reflect the historical fact that Philippi was a city in one of the four districts of Macedonia but was not a capital city.” The original text is probably πρώτη τῆς μερίδος (prwth th" merido", “first of that district”) as found in Ì74 א A C Ψ 33vid 36 81 323 945 1175 1891 pc. This has traditionally been translated to give the impression that Philippi was the capital city of the district, but it does not necessarily have to be translated this way. The translation of the article before μερίδος as “that” acknowledges that there were other districts in the province of Macedonia.
[16:14] 56 tn Grk “And a.” 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.
[16:14] 60 tn Although BDAG 880 s.v. προσέχω 2.b gives the meaning “pay attention to” here, this could be misunderstood by the modern English reader to mean merely listening intently. The following context, however, indicates that Lydia responded positively to Paul’s message, so the verb here was translated “to respond.”
[16:15] 63 tn Or “faithful to the Lord.” BDAG 821 s.v. πίστος 2 states concerning this verse, “Of one who confesses the Christian faith believing or a believer in the Lord, in Christ, in God πιστ. τῷ κυρίῳ Ac 16:15.” L&N 11.17 has “one who is included among the faithful followers of Christ – ‘believer, Christian, follower.’”
[16:16] 65 tn Grk “Now it happened that.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
[16:16] 66 tn Or “who had a spirit of divination”; Grk “who had a spirit of Python.” According to BDAG 896-97 s.v. πύθων, originally Πύθων (Puqwn) was the name of the serpent or dragon that guarded the Delphic oracle. According to Greek mythology, it lived at the foot of Mount Parnassus and was killed by Apollo. From this, the word came to designate a person who was thought to have a spirit of divination. Pagan generals, for example, might consult someone like this. So her presence here suggests a supernatural encounter involving Paul and her “spirit.” W. Foerster, TDNT 6:920, connects the term with ventriloquism but states: “We must assume, however, that for this girl, as for those mentioned by Origen…, the art of ventriloquism was inseparably connected with a (supposed or authentic) gift of soothsaying.” It should also be noted that if the girl in question here were only a ventriloquist, the exorcism performed by Paul in v. 18 would not have been effective.
[16:16] 67 tn Grk “who.” Because of the awkwardness in English of having two relative clauses follow one another (“who had a spirit…who brought her owners a great profit”) the relative pronoun here (“who”) has been translated as a pronoun (“she”) and a new sentence begun in the translation.
[16:17] 70 tn Grk “crying out, saying”; the participle λέγουσα (legousa) is redundant in English and has not been translated. The imperfect verb ἔκραζεν (ekrazen) has been translated as a progressive imperfect.
[16:17] 71 tn Grk “slaves.” See the note on the word “servants” in 2:18. The translation “servants” was used here because in this context there appears to be more emphasis on the activity of Paul and his companions (“proclaiming to you the way of salvation”) than on their status as “slaves of the Most High God.”
[16:17] 72 tn Or “a way.” The grammar of this phrase is a bit ambiguous. The phrase in Greek is ὁδὸν σωτηρίας (Jodon swthria"). Neither the head noun nor the genitive noun has the article; this is in keeping with Apollonius’ Canon (see ExSyn 239-40). Since both nouns are anarthrous, this construction also fits Apollonius’ Corollary (see ExSyn 250-54); since the genitive noun is abstract it is most naturally qualitative, so the head noun could either be definite or indefinite without being unusual as far as the grammar is concerned. Luke’s usage of ὁδός elsewhere is indecisive as far as this passage is concerned. However, when one looks at the historical background it is clear that (1) the woman is shut up (via exorcism) not because her testimony is false but because of its source (analogous to Jesus’ treatment of demons perhaps), and (b) “the way” is a par excellence description of the new faith throughout Acts. It thus seems that at least in Luke’s presentation “the way of salvation” is the preferred translation.
[16:17] 73 sn Proclaiming to you the way of salvation. The remarks were an ironic recognition of Paul’s authority, but he did not desire such a witness, possibly for fear of confusion. Her expression the Most High God might have been understood as Zeus by the audience.
[16:18] 74 tn Grk “becoming greatly annoyed.” The participle διαπονηθείς (diaponhqei") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. The aorist has been translated as an ingressive aorist (entry into a state or condition). See BDAG 235 s.v. διαπονέομαι.
[16:20] 82 tn 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.
[16:20] 83 tn Grk “having brought them.” The participle ἐπιλαβόμενοι (epilabomenoi) has been taken temporally. It is also possible in English to translate this participle as a finite verb: “they brought them before the magistrates and said.”
[16:21] 88 sn Customs that are not lawful for us to accept or practice. Ironically, the charges are similar to those made against Jesus in Luke 23:2, where Jews argued he was “twisting” their customs. The charge has three elements: (1) a racial element (Jewish); (2) a social element (unlawful); and (3) a traditional element (not their customs).
[16:22] 91 tn Grk “tearing the clothes off them, the magistrates ordered.” The participle περιρήξαντες (perirhxante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Although it may be possible to understand the aorist active participle περιρήξαντες in a causative sense (“the magistrates caused the clothes to be torn off Paul and Silas”) in the mob scene that was taking place, it is also possible that the magistrates themselves actively participated. This act was done to prepare them for a public flogging (2 Cor 11:25; 1 Thess 2:2).
[16:23] 94 tn Grk “Having inflicted many blows on them.” The participle ἐπιθέντες (epiqente") has been taken temporally. BDAG 384 s.v. ἐπιτίθημι 1.a.β has “inflict blows upon someone” for this expression, but in this context it is simpler to translate in English as “they had beaten them severely.”
[16:24] 97 tn L&N 6.21 has “stocks” for εἰς τὸ ξύλον (ei" to xulon) here, as does BDAG 685 s.v. ξύλον 2.b. However, it is also possible (as mentioned in L&N 18.12) that this does not mean “stocks” but a block of wood (a log or wooden column) in the prison to which prisoners’ feet were chained or tied. Such a possibility is suggested by v. 26, where the “bonds” (“chains”?) of the prisoners loosened.
[16:25] 99 sn Praying and singing hymns to God. Tertullian said, “The legs feel nothing in the stocks when the heart is in heaven” (To the Martyrs 2; cf. Rom 5:3; Jas 1:2; 1 Pet 5:6). The presence of God means the potential to be free (cf. v. 26).
[16:26] 101 tn Or perhaps, “chains.” The translation of τὰ δεσμά (ta desma) is to some extent affected by the understanding of ξύλον (xulon, “stocks”) in v. 24. It is possible (as mentioned in L&N 18.12) that this does not mean “stocks” but a block of wood (a log or wooden column) in the prison to which prisoners’ feet were chained or tied.
[16:27] 102 tn L&N 23.75 has “had awakened” here. It is more in keeping with contemporary English style, however, to keep the two verbal ideas parallel in terms of tense (“when the jailer woke up and saw”) although logically the second action is subsequent to the first.
[16:28] 106 tn Grk “But Paul called out with a loud voice, saying.” The dative phrase μεγάλῃ φωνῇ (megalh fwnh) has been simplified as an English adverb (“loudly”), and the participle λέγων (legwn) has not been translated since it is redundant in English.
[16:29] sn Fell down. The earthquake and the freeing of the prisoners showed that God’s power was present. Such power could only be recognized. The open doors opened the jailer’s heart.
[16:30] 110 tn Grk “And bringing them outside, he asked.” The participle προαγαγών (proagagwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun by supplying the conjunction “then” to indicate the logical sequence.
[16:31] 114 tc The majority of
[16:32] 115 tn Grk “And they.” 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.
[16:32] 116 sn The word of the Lord is a technical expression in OT literature, often referring to a divine prophetic utterance (e.g., Gen 15:1, Isa 1:10, Jonah 1:1). In the NT it occurs 15 times: 3 times as ῥῆμα τοῦ κυρίου (rJhma tou kuriou; Luke 22:61, Acts 11:16, 1 Pet 1:25) and 12 times as λόγος τοῦ κυρίου (logo" tou kuriou; here and in Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess 1:8, 4:15; 2 Thess 3:1). As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said.
[16:33] 117 tn Grk “And at.” 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.
[16:34] 124 tn Grk “placed [food] on the table” (a figurative expression). Since the actual word for food is not specified, it would also be possible to translate “set a meal before them,” but since this is taking place in the middle of the night, the preparations necessary for a full meal would probably not have been made. More likely Paul and Silas were given whatever was on hand that needed little or no preparation.
[16:34] 127 tn The phrase “together with his entire household” is placed at the end of the English sentence so that it refers to both the rejoicing and the belief. A formal equivalence translation would have “and he rejoiced greatly with his entire household that he had come to believe in God,” but the reference to the entire household being baptized in v. 33 presumes that all in the household believed.
[16:35] 129 tn On the term translated “magistrates,” see BDAG 947-48 s.v. στρατηγός 1. These city leaders were properly called duoviri, but were popularly known as praetors (στρατηγοί, strathgoi). They were the chief officials of Philippi. The text leaves the impression that they came to the decision to release Paul and Silas independently. God was at work everywhere.
[16:36] 131 tn The word “saying” is not in the Greek text, but is implied; it is necessary in English because the content of what the jailer said to Paul and Silas is not the exact message related to him by the police officers, but is a summary with his own additions.
[16:37] 141 sn They themselves must come and escort us out! Paul was asking for the injustice he and Silas suffered to be symbolically righted. It was a way of publicly taking their actions off the record and showing the apostles’ innocence, a major public statement. Note the apology given in v. 39.
[16:38] 143 sn Roman citizens. This fact was disturbing to the officials because due process was a right for a Roman citizen, well established in Roman law. To flog a Roman citizen was considered an abomination. Such punishment was reserved for noncitizens.