Acts 17: 1-4, 10-12

Acts 17:1-4, 10-12
A Women’s Lectionary 26


After Paul and Silas had passed throughA AmphipolisB and Apollonia,C

Notes on verse 1a

A “passed through” = diodeuo. 2x in NT. From dia (through, for the sake of, across, thoroughly) + hodeuo (to travel or journey); {from hodos (way, road, path, journey)}. This is to travel through, go around, go on.
B “Amphipolis” = Amphipolis. 1x in NT. From the same as amphoteroi (both, all); {from ampho (around, both sides)} + polis (a city or its inhabitants; is a town of variable size, but one that has walls); probably from the same as polemos (war, quarrel, strife; battle, whether one time or on-going); {from pelomai (to bustle) or from polus (much, many, abundant)}. This is Amphipolis, a Macedonian city, which means “surrounded city” or “encircled city” as there is a river around it. See
C “Apollonia” = Apollonia. 1x in NT. From Apollon (the Greek god Apollo, who was god of “light, music, medicine, poetry, prophecy, dance, manly beauty”); possibly from Pre-Greek (to drive away) OR from Greek apollumi (to destroy) OR apolouon (washing) OR apoluon (delivering) OR haploun (simple) OR aeiballon (always shooting) OR a (not) + polus (parts). This is Apollonia. See

they cameD to Thessalonica,E where there was a synagogueF of the Jews.G 

Notes on verse 1b

D “came” = erchomai. This is to come or go.
E “Thessalonica” = Thessalonike. 5x in NT. Perhaps from thessalos (Thessalian); {from thessalia (Thessaly); from thessalos (Thessalus)} + nike (victory, conquest; figurative for what makes one successful)}. This is Thessalonica, a Macedonian city. Philip II named his daughter Thessalonica when he conquered Thessaly. Later, her husband renamed the city after her. The exact meaning of Thessaly is not known. See
F “synagogue” = sunagoge. From sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, go, drive). Literally, this is a bringing together, a place of assembly. The term can be used for the people or for the place where they assemble. It is also sometimes used of Christian churches in the New Testament. So, this is synagogue, assembly, congregation, or church. This is where the word “synagogue” comes from.
G “Jews” = Ioudaios. From Ioudas (Judah, Judas); 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 Jewish, a Jew, or Judea.

2 And PaulH went in,I as was his custom,J and on threeK sabbath daysL arguedM with them from the scriptures,N 

Notes on verse 2

H “Paul” = Paulos. From Latin Paulus (small, little). This is Paul or Paulos, meaning little.
I “went in” = eiserchomai. Related to “came” in v1. From eis (to, into, for, among) + erchomai (see note D above). This is to go in in a literal or figurative sense.
J “custom” = etho. 4x in NT– 1x of Pilate’s custom of releasing a prisoner for the crowd, 1x of Jesus’s custom of teaching the crowds, 2x of the custom of going to the synagogue. This is a custom, what is customary – doing something habitually.
K “three” = treis. This is three.
L “sabbath days” = sabbaton. From Hebrew shabbath (sabbath); from shabath (to rest, stop, repose, cease working; by implication, to celebrate). This is the sabbath. It can also be used as shorthand for a week i.e. the time between two sabbaths.
M “argued” = dialegomai. 13x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. This is to discuss, preach, reason, argue, address, lecture.
N “scriptures” = graphe. From grapho (to write). This is literally writing, a document. In the New Testament, this is always used for scripture.

3 explainingO and provingP that it was necessaryQ

Notes on verse 3a

O “explaining” = dianoigo. 8x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + anoigo (to open or open up in a literal or figurative sense; to speak freely); {from ana (up, back, again, among, between, anew) + oigo (to open)}. This is to open fully. It can mean to open the womb as a firstborn does or figuratively to explain or expound.
P “proving” = paratithemi. 19x in NT. From para (by, beside, in the presence of) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position). This is properly, to set beside or place before. So, it can mean to set or serve a meal, to deposit something with someone, to set forth an argument. It can also mean to entrust, commend, or tell a parable (as setting forth information).
Q “was necessary” = dei. From deo (to tie, bind, compel; declare unlawful). This is what is necessary or proper. It is what is needed or what one should do – a duty or something inevitable. This refers to something absolutely necessary.

for the MessiahR to sufferS and to riseT

Notes on verse 3b

R “Messiah” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
S “suffer” = 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.
T “rise” = anistemi. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (to make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand by, stand still, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is to raise up, rise, appear. It is to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect.

from the dead,U and saying, “This is the Messiah, JesusV whom I am proclaimingW to you.” 

Notes on verse 3c

U “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead or lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.
V “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.
W “proclaiming” = kataggello. Related to “synagogue” in v1. 18x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout, among, daily) + aggello (to announce, report) {from aggelos (angel, messenger – supernatural or human envoy of God); probably from ago (see note F above)}. This is to proclaim openly and confidently a very specific message. It can also be celebrate, preach, or teach.

Some of them were persuadedX and joinedY Paul and Silas,Z

Notes on verse 4a

X “were persuaded” = peitho. This is to have confidence, to urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust. It is the root from which the Greek word for faith is drawn (pistis).
Y “joined” = proskleroo. 1x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with, among) + kleroo (to assign a share, give an inheritance, allot); {from kleros (lot, portion, heritage; that share assigned to you; also a lot used to determine something by fate, chance, or divine will); probably from klao (to break in pieces as one breaks bread)}. This is to allot, join, associate with.
Z “Silas” = Silas. 13x in NT. From Aramaic She’ila (Silas; related to “Saul,” meaning “asked of the Lord”); {from shaal (to ask, borrow); related to Hebrew shaal (to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request; can also mean demand)} OR from Silouanos (Silvanus, meaning either “asked of the Lord” or “forest”); {from Latin Silvanus (Silvanus, god of forests, sylvan); {from silva (forest, grove); from Proto-Indo-European *sel- or *swell- (board, threshold)}. This is Silas, either a form of Saul, meaning “asked of the Lord,” or of Silvanus, meaning “forest.” See &

as did a greatAA manyBB of the devoutCC GreeksDD and not a fewEE of the leadingFF women.GG

Notes on verse 4b

AA “great” = polus. Related to “Amphipolis” in v1. See note B above.
BB “many” = plethos. From pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is fullness, multitude, great number.
CC “devout” = sebo. 10x in NT. This is to worship, revere, adore, be devout. Properly this is personally placing a high value on someone or something, showing respect.
DD “Greeks” = Hellen. From Hellas (Hellas, what Greeks called themselves); perhaps from helane (torch) OR from selene (moon). This is Greek, but was used for Gentiles, broader populations that spoke Greek and were a part of Greek culture regardless of their heritage. See
EE “few” = oligos. This is few or small – it can be a short time or extent, low light, amount, or worth.
FF “leading” = protos. From pro (before, first, in front of, earlier). This is what is first, which could be the most important, the first in order, the main one, the chief.
GG “women” = gune. Perhaps from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.

10 That veryHH night the believersII sent Paul and Silas offJJ to Beroea;KK and when they arrived,LL they wentMM to the Jewish synagogue. 

Notes on verse 10

HH “that very” = eutheos + dia. Eutheos is from euthus (immediately, upright, straight and not crooked); {perhaps from eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + tithemi (to place, lay, set, establish)}. This is directly, soon, at once.
II “believers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
JJ “sent…off” = ekpempo. 2x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + pempo (to send, put forth, or dispatch; often a temporary errand; sending someone with a focus on the place they departed from). This is to send out, send forth.
KK “Beroea” = Beroia. 2x in NT. Perhaps from peran (Peroea, “region beyond the coastline”); akin to pera (on the far side); perhaps from peiro (to pierce). This is Berea, a city in Macedonia.
LL “arrived” = paraginomai. Related to “women” in v4. From para (from beside, by) + ginomai (see note GG above). This is to arrive, appear, reach. It implies appearing publicly.
MM “went” = apeimi. 1x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + eimi (to go). This is to go form, depart.

11 These Jews were more receptiveNN than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomedOO the messagePP very eagerlyQQ

Notes on verse 11a

NN “more receptive” = eugenes. Related to “that very” in v10 & “women” in v4 & “arrived” in v10. 3x in NT.  From eu (see note HH above) + ginomai (see note GG above). This is noble or high status birth. It can literally refer to a higher rank or it can be used to speak of a noble nature, which is to say, generous.
OO “welcomed” = dechomai. This is to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome. It is to receive in a literal or figurative sense.
PP “message” = logos. Related to “argued” in v2. From lego (see note M above). 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.
QQ “very eagerly” = meta + pas + prothumia. Literally, “with all eagerness.” Pas is all or every. Prothumia is 5x in NT. From prothumos (willing, eager, ready, enthusiastic, free from resistance; predisposed, willing, or generous from one’s own impulse); {from pro (before, ahead, earlier than, above) + thumos (passion, actions that stem from passion or impulse; can be rage, indignation); {from thuo (to breathe violently, seethe, rage; properly, to rush as breathing heavy; so smoke as in offering an animal sacrifice by fire; by extension, killing or slaying in general)}}. This is eagerness, readiness – already inclined to do something, promptness.

and examinedRR the scriptures every daySS to see whether these things wereTT so. 

Notes on verse 11b

RR “examined” = anakrino. 16x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, among, anew) + krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging). 16x in NT. This is to scrutinize, examine, investigate, judge, or discern. Properly, it refers to very thorough investigation or careful study. It was used to talk about investigating crimes in the ancient world. It can also be used to talk about interrogation that uses torture.
SS “day” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.
TT “were” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.

12 ManyUU, VV of them therefore believed,WW

Notes on verse 12a

UU “many” = polus. Same as “great” in v4. See note AA above.
VV {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
WW “believed” = pisteuo. Related to “were persuaded” in v4. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (see note X above). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.

including not a few GreekXX women and menYY of high standing.ZZ

Notes on verse 12b

XX “Greek” = Hellenis. Related to “Greeks” in v4. 2x in NT. From Hellen (see note DD above). From Hellen (Greek; used for Gentiles, broader populations that spoke Greek and were a part of Greek culture regardless of their heritage); from Hellas (Hellas, what Greeks called themselves); perhaps from helane (torch) OR from selene (moon). This is a female Greek, i.e. a Gentile. See
YY “men” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.
ZZ “high standing” = euschemon. Related to “that very” in v10 & “more receptive” and “were” in v11. 5x in NT. From eu (see note HH above) + schema (figure, appearance, form – outer shape; figuratively, can be external condition); {from echo (see note TT above)}. This is presentable, seemly, prominent, noble, appropriate, desirable, well-formed.

Image credit: “The Solitude of Christ” by Alphonse Osbert, 1897.

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