Acts 3:12-19

Acts 3:12-19
Eastertide B21


12 When PeterA sawB it, he addressed the people,C

Notes on verse 12a

A “Peter” = Petros. Related to petra (large rock that is connected and or projecting like a rock, ledge, or cliff; can also be cave or stony ground). This is Peter, a stone, pebble, or boulder.
B “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
C “people” = laos. This is the people or crowd – often used for the chosen people. This is where the word “laity” comes from.

“YouD Israelites,E why do you wonderF at this, or why do you stareG at us,

Notes on verse 12b

D {untranslated} = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.
E “Israelites” = Israelites. 9x in NT. From Israel (Israel, the people an land); 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. This is Israelite in a literal or figurative sense.
F “wonder” = thaumazo. From thauma (a wonder or marvel; used abstractly for wonderment or amazement; something that evokes emotional astonishment); may be from theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); 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 marvel, wonder, or admire. To be amazed out of one’s senses or be awestruck. Being astonished and starting to contemplate what was beheld. This root is where the word “theatre” comes from.
G “stare” = 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.

as though by our ownH powerI or pietyJ we had madeK him walk?L 

Notes on verse 12c

H “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).
I “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.
J “piety” = eusebeia. 15x in NT– 1x in Acts, 8x in 1 Timothy, 1x in 2 Timothy, 1x in Titus, and 4x in 2 Peter. From eusebes (pious, devout, respectful); {from eu (good, well, well done) + sebomai (to worship, revere, adore, hold in high regard or in awe; veneration shown by a devout one)}. This is piety, devotion – showing reverence.
K “made” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
L “walk” = peripateo. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + pateo (to read, trample on; to trample literally or figuratively); {from patos (trodden) OR from paio (to strike, smite, sting; a hit like a single blow)}. This is to walk. Going from Hebrew figurative language, to walk referred to how you conducted your life, how you chose to live. This word is most literally walking around. Figuratively, it is living, behaving, following, how you occupy yourself. This is where “peripatetic” comes from.

13 The GodM of Abraham,N the God of Isaac,O and the God of Jacob,P

Notes on verse 13a

M “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
N “Abraham” = Abraam. From Hebrew Abraham (exalted father); from the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (father literal or figurative) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abraham, father of many nations or father of a multitude.
O “Isaac” = Isaak. From Hebrew yitschaq (Isaac, “he laughs”); from tsachaq (to laugh, mock, play, make sport; this is laughing out loud whether in joy or in a scornful way). Isaac, meaning “he laughs.”
P “Jacob” = Iakob. From Hebrew Yaaqov (Jacob); from the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is James, meaning heel grabber or usurper.

the God of our ancestorsQ has glorifiedR his servantS Jesus,T

Notes on verse 13b

Q “ancestors” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
R “glorified” = doxazo. From doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); from dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is to render or hold something as glorious, to glorify, honor, magnify, or celebrate. This is ascribing weight to something by recognizing its true value or essence.
S “servant” = pais. Perhaps related to “walk” in v12. Perhaps from paio (see note L above). This is child, youth, servant, or slave.
T “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.

whom youU handed overV and rejectedW in the presenceX of Pilate,Y though he had decidedZ to releaseAA him. 

Notes on verse 13c

U {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
V “handed over” = paradidomi. From para (from beside, by) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement.
W “rejected” = arneomai. From a (not) + rheo (say, speak of). This is to deny, disown, refuse, repudiate someone or a previously held belief, to contradict.
X “presence” = prosospon. Perhaps related to “saw” in v12. From pros (at, towards, with) + ops (eye, face) {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (see note B above)}. This is the face, surface, or front. It can imply presence more generally.
Y “Pilate” = Pilatos. From Latin Pilatus (may mean one who has skill with a javelin); perhaps from pilum (javelin) OR perhaps from pileus (a soft cap made of felt that was brimless and was associated with people who were freedmen). This is Pilate. See
Z “decided” = krino. To judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue. This is judging whether it is done in court or in a private setting. Properly, it refers to 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. It can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging.
AA “release” = apoluo. From apo (from, away from) + luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld). This is letting go, setting free, or releasing. So, it can be to discharge, dismiss, divorce, pardon, or set at liberty.

14 But you rejected the HolyBB and Righteous OneCC and askedDD to have aEE murdererFF givenGG to you, 

Notes on verse 14

BB “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.
CC “Righteous One” = dikaios. From dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is correct, righteous, just, or a righteous person. It implies innocent or conforming to God’s standard of justice.
DD “asked” = aiteo. This is to ask, demand, beg, desire.
EE {untranslated} = aner. Same as {untranslated} in v12. See note D above.
FF “murderer” = phoneus. 7x in NT. From phonos (killing, murder, or slaughter; one of the crimes that Barabbas and Saul are accused of); from pheno (to slay). This is a murderer – a killing that is not justified and is done on purpose. It general refers to a criminal act.
GG “given” = charizomai. From charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to extend grace or favor, to grant forgiveness, to pardon or rescue.

15 and you killedHH the AuthorII of life,JJ whom God raisedKK from the dead.LL To this we are witnesses.MM 

Notes on verse 15

HH “killed” = apokteino. From apo (from, away from) + kteino (to kill). To put to death, kill, slay. Figuratively, this word can mean abolish, destroy, or extinguish.
II “Author” = archegos. 4x in NT. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power) + hegeomai (to think, suppose, have an opinion; to lead the way, what comes in front or first, initial thought, high esteem or authority; one who commands in an official capacity); {from ago (lead, bring, carry, drive, go)}. This is leader, founder, captain – someone who begins or pioneers a movement with followers.
JJ “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
KK “raised” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
LL “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead of lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.
MM “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.

16 And by faithNN in his name,OO his name itself has made this man strong,PP

Notes on verse 16a

NN “faith” = pistis. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is less about knowing, believing, and repeating a list of doctrines then it is about trusting God. Faith means listening to God and seeking to live a holy life even (and especially) when we don’t understand how everything works or fits together. Faith is about being faithful (trusting and doing) rather than being all knowing.
OO “name” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
PP “made…strong” = stereoo. 3x in NT. From stereos (hard, solid, steadfast, sure, stable; solid in a literal or figurative sense); perhaps from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm). This is to strengthen, make stable, establish, or confirm in a literal or figurative sense.

whom you seeQQ and know;RR and the faith that is through Jesus has givenSS him this perfect healthTT in the presence of all of you.

Notes on verse 16b

QQ “see” = theoreo. Perhaps related to “wonder” in v12. From theaomai (see note F above). This is gazing, beholding, experiencing, discerning. It is looking at something to analyze it and concentrate on what it means. This is the root of the word “theatre” in that people concentrate on the action of the play to understand its meaning.
RR “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
SS “given” = didomi. Related to “handed over” in v13. See note V above.
TT “perfect health” = holokleria. 1x in NT. From holokleros (complete, perfect, sound; a sound body i.e. health); {from holos (whole, complete, or entire; a state where every member is present and functioning in concert) + kleros (lot, portion, heritage; that share assigned to you; also a lot used to determine something by fate, chance, or divine will); {perhaps from klero (casting a lot) or from klao (to break in pieces as one breaks bread)}}. This is perfect, completeness, sound health, integrity.

17 “And now, friends,UU I know that you actedVV in ignorance,WW as did also your rulers.XX 

Notes on verse 17

UU “friends” = 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.
VV “acted” = prasso. This is to do or practice – something done on an on-going basis or by habit. It can also mean to accomplish, attend, or commit.
WW “ignorance” = agnoia. Perhaps related to “name” in v16. 4x in NT. From agnoeo (unaware not to know; sometimes willful ignorance, but other times simple not knowing); {from a (not) + noieo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect); from noos (mind); probably from the base as ginosko (see note OO above)}}. This is ignorance – sometimes willfully ignorant.
XX “rulers” = archon. Related to “Author” in v15. From archo (see note II above). This is ruler, leader, magistrate, official, prince, chief.

18 In this way God fulfilledYY what he had foretoldZZ throughAAA all the prophets,BBB that his MessiahCCC would suffer.DDD 

Notes on verse 18

YY “fulfilled” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
ZZ “foretold” = prokataggello. Related to “Author” in v15. 2x in NT. From pro (before, earlier, above) + kataggello (to proclaim openly and confidently a very specific message; to celebrate, preach, or teach); {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 II above)}}. This is to predict, foretell, announce previously, promise.
AAA {untranslated} = stoma. Perhaps from tomoteros (sharp, keener); from temno (to cut). This is mouth, speech, language, the tip of a sword, an opening in the ground.
BBB “prophets” = prophetes. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}. This is a prophet or poet – one who speaks with inspiration from God.
CCC “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.
DDD “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.

19 RepentEEE therefore, and turnFFF to God so that your sinsGGG may be wiped out,HHH

Notes on verse 18

EEE “repent” = metanoeo. Perhaps related to “name” in v16 & “ignorance” in v17. From meta (with, among, after, beyond) + noieo (see note WW above). This is to change how one thinks, to reconsider, to repent. It refers to a change of thinking, which means a change of purpose and behavior.
FFF “turn” = epistrepho. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + strepho (to turn, change, turn back, be converted; to turn around completely to take the opposite path or a completely different one); {from trope (turning, shifting, a revolution; figuratively, a variation); from trepo (to turn)}. This is to turn, return, or come again. It can also mean to revert. It is turning in a literal or figurative sense – also a moral turning.
GGG “sins” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (a part or share)}. Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.
HHH “wiped out” = exaleipho. 5x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + aleipho (to anoint as an act of homage, for healing, to celebrate a festival, to honor a guest, as anointing the dead); {from a (with, together with) + liparos (oil, fatty; figuratively, something rich or luxurious); {from lipos (fat, grease)}}. This is to wipe out, smear, remove, plaster, blot out (so, erase). Figuratively, it can also mean cancelling a duty or forgiving a sin.

Image credit: “Poenitentiam Agite” – Photo by Niall McAuley, 2009. Part of the baptistery window “By Earley and Company, Dublin, in St. Peter and Paul’s church, Athlone, completed in 1937.”

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