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17 For he was numbered with us, and 22 Beginning from the baptism of John, had obtained part of this ministry.
unto that same day that he was taken up 18 Now this man purchased a field with from us, must one be ordained to be a witthe reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, ness with us of his resurrection. he burst asunder in the midst, and all his 23 And they appointed two, Joseph called bowels gushed out.
Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and 19 And it was known unto all the dwell- | Matthias. ers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is 24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, that is to say, The field of blood.
shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, 25 That he may take part of this ministry 'Let his habitation be desolate, and let no and apostleship, from which Judas by transman dwell therein: and his "bishoprick let gression fell, that he might go to his another take.
place. 21 Wherefore of these men which have 26 And they gave forth their lots; and companied with us all the time that the Lord the lot fell upon Matthias ; and he was numJesus went in and out among us,
bered with the eleven apostles. 8 Matt. 27.7.
10 Psal. 109. 8. 1: Or, office, or, charge.
Psal. 69. 25.
Acts of the Apostles.—That the evangelist Luke was the writer of this fifth and last historical book of the New Testament is self-evident, and has never been disputed. The introductory note to his Gospel will, so far as it goes. serve as a general introduction to both books, which indeed may not improperly be considered as one book, divided into two parts. Thus. Professor Hug introduces his observations on the present book by observing, “The Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Luke constitute a whole, of which the latter is the first and the former the last part. In the Gospel he presents to us the history of Jesus, until his ascension ; in the Acts he again resumes the thread of the narrative, where he had dropped it in the first history. If we connect the beginning of the Acts with the end of the Gíspel. we evidently perceive that, in the latter, he postpones the circumstantial treatment of the ascension, to preserve it for the following work; and that he had already resolved upon the plan of its continuation in the Acts of the Apostles when he was finishing the Gospel." ("Introduction,' vol. ii. sect. 72.)
The history comprehends a period of about thirty years, commencing with the account of our Lord's ascension, and terminating with the second year of St. Paul's imprisonment at Rome. It does not however appear to have been by any means the intention of the evangelist to furnish a complete ecclesiastical history of the whole Christian church during this period : por even to give a full account of the proceedings of St. Paul, notwithstanding the very large proportion of the hook which is devoted to that subject. For while, on the one hand, he almost wholly omits what took place among the Jews after St. Paul's conversion, and does not in the slightest manner notice the spread of Christianity in the East and in Egypt, or even the establishment of a Christian church in imperial Rome ; on the other, he gives no information concerning
various particulars of Paul's history and labours, to which that apostle himself alludes in his Epistles. Had it been his object to furnish a general history of the church of Christ, from the time of the ascension to the date of the book, the acts and sufferings of the other apostles would surely have furnished ample and very interesting materials.
The real object of St. Luke appears to have been well distinguished by Michaelis:—“He seems to have had a twofold object in view ; namely,
“). To relate in what manner the gifts of the Holy Spirit were communicated on the day of Pentecost, and the subsequent miracles performed by the apostles, by which the truth of Christianity was confirmed. An authentic account of this matter was absolutely necessary, because Christ had so often assured his disciples that they should receive the Holy Spirit. Unbelievers, therefore, whether Jews or heathens, might have had objections to our religion, if it bad not been shown that Christ's declaration was really fulfilled.
“ 2. To deliver such accounts as proved the claim of the Gentiles to admission into the Church of Christ- a claim disputed by the Jews, especially at the time when St. Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles. And it was this very circumstance which excited the hatred of the Jews against St. Paul, and occasioned his imprisonment at Rome, with which St. Luke closes his history. Hence we see the reason why he relates (ch. viii.) the conversion of the Samaritans, and (ch. x. xi.) the story of Cornelius, whom St. Peter (to whose authority the adversaries of St. Paul had appealed in favour of circumcision-Gal. ii. 6-21) baptized, though he was not of the circumcision. Hence, also. St. Luke relates the determination of the first council at Jerusalem, relative to the Levitical law; and for the same reason, he is more diffuse in his account of St. Paul's conversion, and St. Paul's preaching the Gospel to the Geutiles, than on any other subject. It is true that the whole relation which St. Luke has given (ch. xii.) has no con.ection with the conversion of the Gentiles ; but during the period to which that chapter relates, St. Paul himself was present at Jerusalem, and it is probably for that reason that St. Luke has iutroduced it.”
There is however another opinion, which Michaelis thinks not altogether improbable, and in which Professor Hug seems disposed to concur: this is, that Luke's intention in writing the Acts of the Apostles, was to record only those farts which he had either seen himself or heard from eye-witnesses.
The date at which this book was written may be determined with less uncertainty than that of the Gospels. Since the narrative does not conclude till St. Paul had been two years a prisoner at Rome, it could not have been written earlier than the year 63. That great apostle was put to death in the year 65 ; and as we may feel assured that Luke, his faithful follower, would have brought his history down to that event, had it taken place befire he wrote, we hare good reason to suppose that the book had been previously written. And, being written before Paul's martyrdom, we may safely conclude that he was cognizant of its contents.
We may suitably conclude this note with the following extracts from the section which Michaelis has deroted to “St. Luke's style, and his mode of narration :"* Though St. Luke has omitted many material parts of ecclesiastical history, in the first thirty years after the ascension, yet he is very circumstantial and perspicuous in those parts which he has related. At the same time he has nowhere exhausted his subject; for wherever he has occasion to introduce what he has related before, the relation is always accompanied by some new circumstances. Examples of this kind are the conversion of St. Paul and the baptism of Cornelius, which he himself relates first as an historian, and afterwards introduces in the speeches of St. Peter and St. Paul.... In general, St. Luke's style, in the Acts of the Apostles, is much purer than that of most other books of the New Testament, especially in the speeches delivered by St. Paul at Athens and before the Roman governors, which contain passages superior to any thing even in the Epistle to the Hebrews, though the language of this Epistle is preferable, in other respects, to that of any other book of the New Testament. But the Acts of the Apostles are by no means free from Hebraisms; and even in the purest parts, which are the speeches of St. Paul, we still find the language of a native Jew." ("Introduction to the New Testament,' vol. iii., pt. i., ch. vi., sect. 3.)
Verse 1. " Theophilus.”—This is the same person to whom St. Luke also addresses his Gospel, and whom he there styles xqatirtos, “ excellent.” Concerning this person there has been no small amount of discussion and conjecture. It was an old opinion-easily shown to be untenable, and now generally exploded-that " Theophilus” was a feigned name, to be taken according to its signification (" friend of God"), as comprehending and describing all Christians; to whom, therefore, St. Luke's books are to be understood as addressed.
But, believing Theophilus to have been an individual, and probably one converted by St. Luke, it still remains most difficult to determine who or what he may have been. It is easier to narrow the ground of inquiry by showing what he probably was not, than to attempt to indicate precisely what he was. From the title xpatirtos being given to him, it has been very generally inferred that he was a person of high, and probably of official, rank. It is elsewhere in the present book (ch. xxiii. 26, xxiv. 3) applied as a title of respect to the Roman governor of a province, just as we apply the title “excellency” to similar personages ; and from this some have inferred that Theophilus was also a Roman governor. But the title was also applied, in ancient inscriptions, to high-priests and priestesses, to the superintendents of holy edifices and spectacles, the overseers of the imperial revenues, and other persons of dignified station. If, therefore, the term be understood here as a title of respect to station, it by no means informs us what that station was ; nor indeed is it certain that Theophilus occupied any station of dignity ; for, as Dr. Bloomfield remarks, " A reference to title would be out of place here, and not agreeable to the manner of Scripture; and it is therefore at least probable that, as the same writer states, the sense may be that of our own word `excellent,' defined by Johnson as "said of a person of great virtue and worth.""
Michaelis, who has devoted a section to the subject, thinks there is great probability in the opinion of Theodore Hase, that this Theophilus was the same as the person of that name whom Josephus mentions as one of the sons of the high-priest Annas, who attained the high-priesthood. He was made high-priest, in place of his own brother Jonathan, by the Roman governor Vitellius, and held the office till Herod Agrippa became king of Judea. He may have been alive, though he had long ceased to be high-priest, when St. Luke wrote. The only reason we can find for the alleged probability of the identity, is the very impotent one that the annals of the first century take notice of no other Theophilus than this high-priest ; to whom “ excellent” might also certainly be applied, in virtue of the office he had held. But, instead of believing that this son of Annas was the Theophilus of Luke, the observations which Luke frequently makes, for the sake of being intelligible to his reader, seem to evince that the latter was not even a native of Palestine. In speaking of Capernaum, he finds it necessary to acquaint him that it is a city of Galilee (Luke iv. 31): he adds the same information concerning Nazareth and Arimathea (ch. i. 26, xxiii. 51). When he mentions the country of the Gadarenes, he is obliged to specify diffusely its situation (ch. viii. 26). He describes the situation of the Mount of Olives, and its distance from Jerusalem (Acts i. 12); and he determines, by stadia, the distance of Emmaus from the capital (Luke xxiv. 3).
Pursuing the same line of argument, it is shown by Professor Hug (* Introduction,' vol. ii. sect. 34), from Acts xxvii. 8. 12, that Theophilus was no Cretan: neither was he an Athenian, or one living in the neighbourhood, for to none such would it have been necessary to explain by an observation (Acts xvii. 21) the characteristic trait of this nation. The text, Acts xvi. 12, also precludes us from considering him a Macedonian. A native of Antioch (which seems to have been Luke's own native place) could hardly have been so ignorant of the geography of Palestine, which was pear. That he was an Alexandrian, as he is made by Bar Bahul, a Syrian lexicographer of the tenth century (quoted by Castell in his · Lexicon Heptaglotton,' p. 3859), is a more recent pretence, which is entirely subverted by the old Alexandrian teachers not appropriating this reputation to their church. Even Origen professes to know no more than that Luke wrote for the Gentiles.
Another opinion which makes Theophilus a person residing in Rome or Italy, was stated by the Alexandrian patriarch, Eutychius, whose testimony is, however, too remote from the time to be any way decisive. “There are nevertheless," says Hug, “some grounds for it. For we see, that Luke makes it his business to instruct his Theophilus, by means of explanations, respecting the places, with which he thought him unacquainted. He pursues the same method in relating the voyage of the Apostle to Rome, and assists his account by descriptions (Acts xxvii. 8, 12, 16). But as soon as he approaches towards Sicily and Italy (xxviii. 12, 13, 15), he puts down all the places as though they were known to him, e.g. Syracuse, Rhegium, Puteoli, (on the name of which Josephus was obliged to make comments for Greek or Oriental readers,) and even still less things, such as Tres Tabernæ, Via Appia, etc.”
We believe it is impossible to arrive at a more distinct conclusion, than that Theophilus was an enquiring convert to Christianity, probably a native of Italy, but certainly not of Palestine, nor probably, of any of the other places which the above considerations would seem to exclude.
12. “ A sabbath day's journey." —A sabbath journey was the distance beyond which the “ traditions of the elders” made it unlawful for a Jew to travel on the sabbath day. The distance was two thousand cubits from any town or eity: and this seems to have been popularly calculated by paces; for in the various repetitions and explanations of this injunction, two thousand moderate paces are stated as equivalent to as many cubits. The Law has no direction on his subject ; but the regulation was not considered the less imperative on that account: and this indeed is one of a thousand examples in which the traditions of the elders were as carefully observed as the injunctions of the public Law. To walk more than two thousand cubits was a crime, punishable with stripes. It should be observed, however, hat the rule only applies to distances from a town, for whatever were the extent of a town, a person might walk to any listance within its limits without transgression. Thus in London (for the regulation is still rigidly enforced), Jews often zo a very considerable distance, on the sabbath day, to and from their synagogues,
them, Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that 1 The apostles, filled with the Holy Ghost, and dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, speaking divers languuges, are admired by some,
and hearken to my words: and derided by others. 14 Whom Peter disprov- 15 For these are not drunken, as ye sup. ing, and sheuing that the apostles spake by the pose, seeing it is but the third hour of the pouer of the Holy Ghost, that Jesus was risen from the dead, ascended into heaven, had
poured doun the same Holy Ghost, and was the Messias,
16 But this is that which was spoken by a mun known to them to be approved of God by the prophet Joel; his miracles, wonders, and signs, and not cruci- 17 •And it shall come to pass in the last fied without his determinate counsel and fore: days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit uere converted. 41 Who afterwards devoutly and upon all flesh: and your sons and your charitably converse together : the apostles work- daughters shall prophesy, and your young iny muny miracles, and God daily increasing his men shall see visions, and your old men Church.
shall dream dreams : And when the day of Pentecost was fully 18 And on my servants and on my handcome, they were all with one accord in one maidens I will pour out in those days of my place.
Spirit ; and they shall prophesy: 2 And suddenly there came a sound from 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, filled all the house where they were sitting and fire, and
and fire, and vapour of smoke: 3 And there appeared unto them cloven 20 "The sun shall be turned into darktongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each ness, and the moon into blood, before that of them.
great and notable day of the Lord come: 4 And they were all filled with the Holy 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoGhost, and began to speak with other ever shall call on the name of the Lord shall tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. be saved.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jews, devoiit men, out of every nation under Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God heaven.
among you by miracles and wonders and 6 Now 'when this was noised abroad, the signs, which God did by him in the midst of multitude came together, and were con- you, as ye yourselves also know: founded, because that every man heard them 23 Him, being delivered by the determispeak in his own language.
nate counsel and foreknowledge of God, se 7 And they were all amazed and mar- have taken, and by wicked hands have cruvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are cified and slain : not all these which speak Galilæans?
24 Whom God hath raised up, having 8 And how hear we every man in our loosed the pains of death: because it was own tongue, wherein we were born?
not possible that he should be holden of it. 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, 25 For David speaketh concerning him, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in 'I foresaw the Lord always before my face, Judæa, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and for he is on my right hand, that I should Asia,
not be moved : 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, 26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
flesh shall rest in hope: 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul speak in our tongues the wonderful works in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy of God.
One to see corruption. 12 And they were all amazed, and were
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways in doubt, saying one to another, What of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with meaneth this?
thy countenance. 13 Others mocking said, These men are
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak full of new wine.
unto you *of the patriarch David, that he is 14 | But Peter, standing up with the both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto | with us unto this day. Or, troubled in mind.
6 Psal. 16. S.
81 Kings 2. 10.
1 Gr. when this voice was made.
4 Joel 2. 31.
8 Isa. 44.3. Joel 2. 23. 1 Or, I may.
5 Rom. 10. 13.
30 Therefore being a prophet, 'and know- sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the ing that God had sworn with an oath to him, | Holy Ghost. that of the fruit of his loins, according to 39 For the promise is unto you, and to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on your children, and to all that are afår off, his throne;
even as many as the Lord our God shall 31 He seeing this before spake of the re- call. surrection of Christ, that his soul was not 40 And with many other words did he left in hell, neither his flesh did see corrup- testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves tion.
from this untoward generation. 32 This Jesus hath God raised
where- 41 Then they that gladly received his of we all are witnesses.
word were baptized : and the same day there 33 Therefore being by the right hand of were added unto them about three thousand God exalted, and having received of the souls. Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he 42 And they continued stedfastly in the hath shed forth this, which ye now see and apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in hear.
breaking of bread, and in prayers. 34 For David is not ascended into the 43 And fear came upon every soul: and heavens : but he saith himself, "The Lord many wonders and signis were done by the said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right apostles. hand,
44 And all that believed were together, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. and had all things common;
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel 45 And sold their possessions and goods, know assuredly, that God hath made that and parted them to all men, as every man same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both had need. Lord and Christ.
46 And they, continuing daily with one 37 | Now when they heard this, they accord in the temple, and breaking bread were pricked in their heart, and said unto from house to house, did eat their meat Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men with gladness and singleness of heart, and brethren, what shall we do?
47 Praising God, and having favour 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, with all the people. And the Lord added and be baptized every one of you in the to the Church daily such as should be name of Jesus Christ for the remission of saved.
Verse 1. “ The day of Pentecost.”—An account of the Feast of Pentecost has been given in the note to Deut. xvi. 10.
13. “ Full of new wine."— There could be no new wine, strictly speaking, at Pentecost. What we are to understand by yaxuxas, is sweet wine, that is, wine which had been so managed as to preserve its original sweetness, and which was highly intoxicating. It tasted like must ; and, as Plutarch informs us, it was preserved by being kept in a cool situation. It was highly esteemed by the ancients as a morning draught-a practice to which' Horace appears to refer :
“ Aufidius first, most injudicious, quaff’d
Strong wine and honey for his morning draught:
For smoother must will better cleanse the reins.”—Lib. ii. Sat. 4.-FRANCIS. As it is scarcely credible that any men should imagine, even as a calumny, that languages should be spoken through the influence of wine, it is very probable that, as Lightfoot conjectures, those who said this were not the foreign Jews themselves, but the native Jews, men of Judea, who, not understanding what the apostles spoke in other languages than their own, imagined that (as drunken men are wont to do) they only babbled some foolish and unintelligible gibberish.
15. " Seeing it is but the third hour."—We learn equally from Josephus and the Talmudists, that, at their festivals, the Jews seldom indulged either in eating or drinking till the sacrifices were offered and the oblations made: and as these were numerous on such occasions, a practical abstinence until about noon was the consequence. This perhaps gives greater force to St. Peter's reference to the time of the day, as rendering the calumny the more incredible.
and that thereby were fulfilled God's determinate 1 Peter preaching to the people that came to see a
counsel, and the Scriptures : 19 he exhorteth lame man restored to his feet, 12 professeth the
them by repentance and fuith to seek remission of cure not to have been wrought by his or John's
their sins, and salvation in the same Jesus. oun power, or holiness, but by God, and his Son Now Peter and John went up together into Jesus, and through faith in his name : 13 uithal reprehending them for crucifying Jesus. 17
the temple at the hour of prayer, being the Which because they did it through ignorance, ninth hour.
2 And a certain man lame from his mo. ran together unto them in the porch that is ther's womb was carried, whom they laid called Solomon's, greatly wondering. daily at the gate of the temple which is 12 And when Peter saw it, he answered called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why entered into the temple;
marvel ye at this ? or why look ye so ear3 Who seeing Peter and John about to nestly on us, as though by our own power go into the temple asked an alms.
or holiness we had made this man to walk ? 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon
him 13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, with John, said, Look on us.
and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath 5 And he gave heed unto them, expect- glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered ing to receive something of them.
up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have when he was determined to let him go. I none; but such as I have give I thee: In 14 'But ye denied the Holy One and the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise the Just, and desired a murderer to be up and walk.
granted unto you; 7 And he took him by the right hand,
15 And killed the Prince of life, whom and lifted him up: and immediately his feet God hath raised from the dead; whereof and ancle bones received strength.
we are witnesses. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, 16 And his name through faith in his and entered with them into the temple, name hath made this man strong, whom ye walking, and leaping, and praising God. see and know: yea, the faith which is by
9 And all the people saw him walking him hath given him this perfect soundness and praising God:
in the presence of you all. 10 And they knew that it was he which 17 And now, brethren, I wot that through sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers temple: and they were filled with wonder 18 But those things, which God before and amazement at that which had happened had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, unto him.
that Christ should suffer, he hath so ful11 And as the lame man which was filled. healed held Peter and John, all the people 19 | Repent ye therefore, and be con
"Matt, 87,20. ? Or, author,