Acts 1:1-11

Acts 1:1-11
Ascension of the Lord ABC


In theA first book,B Theophilus,C I wrote about all that JesusD did and taughtE from the beginning 

Notes on verse 1

A {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
B “book” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
C “Theophilus” = Theophilus. 2x in NT. From theos (God, god) + philos (dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person). This is Theophilus, meaning “friend of God.”
D “Jesus” = iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
E “taught” = didasko. From dao (learn). This is to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge. In the New Testament, this is almost always used for teaching scripture.

until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructionsF through the HolyG SpiritH to the apostlesI whom he had chosen.J

Notes on verse 2

F “giving instructions” = entellomai. 15x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + tellomai (to accomplish); {related to telos (end, event, purpose, consummation)}. This is to charge or command – focuses on the final objective. So, this is looking at the final outcome of the command – how things will end up.
G “Holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
H “Spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
I “apostles” = apostolos. From apostello (to send, send away, send forth as a messenger, to commission); {from apo (from, away from) + stello (to set, arrange, prepare, provide for)}. This is a messenger – someone sent out on a mission as an envoy or delegate. It can also refer to someone set at liberty. Generally, this is a messenger who is meant to be a representative of the one who sent them. They are thus, set apart on a mission literally or figuratively.
J “chosen” = eklego. Related to “book” in v1. From ek (from, from out of) + lego (see note B above). This is to select or choose. It is making a person choice – a favorite.

3 After his sufferingK he presentedL himself alive to them by many convincing proofs,M appearingN to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdomO of God.P 

Notes on verse 3

K “suffering” = pascho. Akin to penthos (mourning, sorrow). This is to be acted on for good or ill. It is often used for negative treatment. Properly, it means feeling strong emotions – especially suffering. It can also be the ability to feel suffering.
L “presented” = paristemi. From para (from beside, by) + histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is literally to place by stand. It can mean to present, exhibit, appear, bring, stand by, or prove. It can also mean to be ready, to assist, to yield, or to commend.
M “convincing proofs” = tekmerion. 1x in NT. Perhaps from tekmar (mark, sign, goal, or limit). This is a sure sign or convincing proof.
N “appearing” = optanomai. 1x in NT. Related to horao (to see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience; to stare at, which implies clear discernment; by extension, attending to what was seen and learned; to see, often with a metaphorical sense, which can include inward spiritual seeing). This is to appear or be seen. It is looking at something with eyes open wide, as when one looks at a wonder.
O “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
P “God” = theos. Related to “Theophilos” in v1. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

While staying withQ them, he orderedR them not to leaveS Jerusalem,T but to waitU there for the promiseV of the Father.

Notes on verse 4a

Q “staying with” = sunalizo. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + halizo (to throng). This is to convene or assemble together. It can also mean to accumulate.
R “ordered” = paraggello. From para (from beside, by) + aggello (to announce, report) {from aggelos (angel, messenger – supernatural or human envoy of God); probably from ago (lead, bring, drive, carry, guide, go)}. This is to send a message, order, notify, command. It is a charge – a proper command as a military term that has followed proper channels. It can also mean to entreat solemnly.
S “leave” = chorizo. 13x in NT. From choris (apart from, separate from); from chora (space, land, region, fields, open area); from chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). Properly, this is to separate or create space. It can be literal as divide, depart, or withdraw. It can be figurative in reference to divorce.
T “Jerusalem” = hierosoluma. From Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound)}. This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
U “wait” = perimeno. 1x in NT. From peri (about, concerning, all around, encompassing) + meno (to stay, remain, wait, await, continue, abide, endure). This is to wait for or await. It is comprehensive, steady waiting no matter what obstacle one is met with. It implies enduring despite difficulty.
V “promise” = epaggelia. Related to “ordered” in v4. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + aggello (see note R above). This is a summons, promise, or message. It is a formal promise that is officially sanctioned. In the New Testament, this usually refers to a promise made in the Old Testament.

“This,” he said, “is what you have heardW from me; 5 for JohnX baptizedY with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Notes on verses 4b-5

W “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
X “John” = ioannes. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel); {from havah (to become); from hayah (to be, exist, happen)} + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John.
Y “baptized” = baptizo. From bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is to submerge, wash, or immerse. Used specially for baptism.

So when theyZ had come together, they askedAA him, “Lord,BB is this the timeCC when you will restoreDD the kingdom to Israel?”EE 

Notes on verse 6

Z {untranslated} = men. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note A above.
AA “asked” = erotao. From eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of). This is asking a question or making an earnest request. It is used between someone with whom the asker is close in some sense. So, they anticipate special consideration for their request.
BB “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
CC “time” = chronos. Time in the chronological sense, quantitative time or a duration of time.
DD “restore” = apokathistemi. Related to “presented” in v3. 8x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + kathistemi (to appint, set in order or set in place, constitute, give standing or authority, put in charge); {from kata (down, against, throughout, among) + histemi (see note L above)}. This is to restore something to its original place or status. It can be give back, set up again or, figuratively, to restore full freedom or liberty. This word can also be used of healing – restoring full health.
EE “Israel” = israel. From Hebrew Yisrael (God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring); {from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god)}. This is Israel the people and the land.

7 He replied, “It is not for you to knowFF the timesGG or periodsHH that the Father has set by his ownII authority.JJ 

Notes on verse 7

FF “know” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience
GG “times” = chronos. Same as “time” in v6. See note CC above.
HH “periods” = kairos. This is season, opportunity, occasion. The word chronos is used for chronological time. Kairos is used for spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time.
II “own” = idios. This is something that belongs to you or that is personal, private, apart. It indicates a stronger sense of possession than a simple possessive pronoun. This is where “idiot” comes from (denoting someone who hasn’t had formal training or education and so they rely on their own understanding).
JJ “authority” = exousia. From exesti (to be permitted or lawful); {from ek (out, out of) + eimi (to be, exist)}. This is power to act or weight. It especially denotes moral authority or influence. It can mean domain, liberty, freedom, capacity, mastery, right, force, or strength.

But you will receive powerKK when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnessesLL in Jerusalem, in all JudeaMM and Samaria,NN and to the endsOO of the earth.” 

Notes on verse 8

KK “power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
LL “witnesses” = martus. This is a witness whether having heard or seen something. It refers to a witness literally, judicially, or figuratively. By analogy, this is a martyr. This is also where the word “martyr” comes from.
MM “Judea” = ioudaia. From Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judea, which was a Roman province.
NN “Samaria” = samareia. 11x in NT. From Hebrew Shomron (capital of the northern kingdom of Israel); from shamar (to keep, watch, or preserve; to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something). This is Samaria, meaning watch station.
OO “ends” = eschatos. Related to eschaton (end, last); perhaps from echo (to have, possess, hold). This is last, end, extreme, final. It is often used to discuss the end times, prophecies of the future, and the afterlife. The branch of theology focusing on all these topics is called “eschatology.”

When he had said this, as they were watching,PP he was lifted up,QQ and a cloud tookRR him out of their sight. 

Notes on verse 9

PP “watching” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
QQ “lifted up” = epairo. 19x in NT. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is to lift up or raise in a literal or figurative sense. Figuratively, it could mean to exalt oneself.
RR “took” = hupolambano. Related to “taken up” in v2 & “receive” in v8. 5x in NT. From hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + lambano (active acceptance/taking of what is available or what has been offered; emphasizes the choice and action of the individual). This is to take up or bear up, to receive. It can also mean to welcome or entertain. Further, it can mean to take up discussion of a topic, to suppose, or imagine.

10 While he was goingSS and they were gazing upTT toward heaven,UU suddenlyVV two menWW in whiteXX robes stood byYY them. 

Notes on verse 10

SS “going” = poreuomai. From poros (ford, passageway). This is to go, travel, journey, or die. It refers to transporting things from one place to another and focuses on the personal significance of the destination.
TT “gazing up” = atenizo. 14x in NT. From a (has an intensive sense) + teino (to stretch, extend, strain). This is to gaze or look steadily at with one’s full attention and fascination.
UU “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
VV “suddenly” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
WW “men” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.
XX “white” = leukos. Related to luke (light). This is bright, white, or brilliant.
YY “stood by” = paristemi. Same as “presented” in v3. See note L above.

11 They said, “Men of Galilee,ZZ why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same wayAAA as you sawBBB him go into heaven.”

Notes on verse 11

ZZ “Galilee” = galilaios. 11x in NT. From galilaia (Galilee, the region and the sea); from Hebrew galil (cylinder, circuit, district); from galal (to roll in a literal or figurative sense, roll away, roll down, wallow, remove, trust). This is Galilean.
AAA “way” = tropos. 13x in NT. From the same as trope (turning, change, shifting); from trepo (to turn). This is turning and taking on a new direction or manner. It can refer to way, fashion, style, or character. This is where the word “trope” comes from.
BBB “saw” = theaomai. From thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance). This is to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit like a spectator. This is the root of the word “theatre.”

Image credit: Stained glass window of the ascension of Christ by Hans Lohbeck at the St. Martin’s parish church in Drove, Germany, 1964.

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