And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was on them all.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)With great power gave the apostles witness.—The Greek verb implies the idea of paying or rendering what was due, as in Matthew 22:11. They were doing that which they were bound to do.
Great grace was upon them.—The words may stand parallel with Luke 2:40 as meaning that the grace of God was bestowed upon the disciples in full measure, or with Acts 2:47 as stating that the favour of the people towards them still continued. There are no sufficient data for deciding the question, and it must be left open. The English versions all give “grace,” as if accepting the highest meaning, as do most commentators.Acts 1:8. The word "power" here denotes "efficacy," and means that they had "ability" given them to bear witness of the resurrection of the Saviour. it refers, therefore, I rather to their preaching than to their miracles.
Gave the apostles witness - The apostles bore testimony to.
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus - This was the main point to be established. If it proved that the Lord Jesus came to life again after having been put to death, it established all that he taught, and was a demonstration that he was sent from God. They exerted, therefore, all their powers to prove this, and their success was such as might have been expected. Multitudes were converted to the Christian faith.
And great grace ... - The word "grace" means "favor." See the notes on John 1:16. The expression here may mean either that the favor of God was remarkably shown to them, or that they had great favor in the sight of the people. It does not refer, as the expression now does commonly, to the internal blessings of religion on a man's own soul, to their personal advancement in the Christian graces, but to the favor or success that attended their preaching. The meaning probably is, that the "favor" of the "people" toward them was great, or that great success attended their ministry among them. Thus, the same word grace (Greek) is used in Acts 2:47. If this is its meaning, then here is an instance of the power of the testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus to impress the minds of people. But this is not all, nor probably is it the main idea. It is that their union, their benevolence their liberality in supplying the needs of the needy, was a means of opening the hearts of the people, and of winning them to the Saviour. If we wish to incline others to our opinions, nothing is better adapted to it than to show them kindness, and even to minister to their temporal needs.
Benevolence toward them softens the heart, and inclines them to listen to us. It disarms their prejudices, and disposes them to the exercise of the mild and amiable feelings of religion. Hence, our Saviour was engaged in healing the diseases and supplying the needs of the people. He drew around him the poor, the needy, and the diseased, and supplied their necessities, and thus prepared them to receive his message of truth. Thus, God is love, and is constantly doing good, that his goodness may lead people to repentance, Romans 2:4. And hence, no persons have better opportunities to spread the true sentiments of religion, or are clothed with higher responsibilites, than those who have it in their power to do good, or than those who are habitually engaged in bestowing favors. Thus, physicians have access to the hearts of people which other persons have not. Thus, parents have an easy access to the minds of children. for they are constantly doing them good. And thus Sunday-school teachers, whose whole work is a work of benevolence, have direct and most efficient access to the hearts of the children committed to their care.
great grace was upon them all—The grace of God copiously rested on the whole community.With great power; by sundry miracles which they wrought, as also by their boldness with which they spake; it being no small wonder to see and hear such illiterate men testifying the truths of the gospel amidst so many learned rabbins.
The resurrection was the greatest point in controversy, which being granted, all things concerning Christ and the gospel could not be denied; and therefore here it is especially mentioned.
Great grace; favour and acceptation; men could not but think well of their doctrine and ways, whom they saw so innocent and holy, meek and good; especially God’s grace was manifest in their words and actions.
gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; which they were chosen to be witnesses, and were eyewitnesses of; and which is a fundamental article of the Gospel, and was what the Sadducees were particularly disturbed at, and on account of which they forbade them to preach any more in Christ's name.
And great grace was upon them all; not only upon the apostles and ministers, but upon the whole church: and which may be understood either of the large gifts of the Spirit of God, which were poured out upon them, and plentifully bestowed on them; or of the gracious protection of God over them, preserving them from the rage and malice of men; or of that grace and favour which they had among thee people in common; or of that charity, liberality and beneficence, which were among them, which sense is confirmed by what follows; though it may be all these senses may be taken in.And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 4:33. And with this unity of love in the bosom of the church, how effective was the testimony of the apostles, and the divine grace, which was imparted to all the members of the church!
τῆς ἀναστ. τ. κυρ. Ἰησοῦ] This was continually the foundation of the whole apostolic preaching; comp. on Acts 1:22. They bore their witness to the resurrection of Christ, as a thing to which they were in duty bound. Hence the compound verb ἀπεδίδουν, which (see Wyttenbach, Bibl. crit. III. 2, p. 56 ff.) καθάπερ ἐγχειρισθέντας αὐτούς τι δείκνυσι καὶ ὡς περὶ ὀφλήματος λέγει αὐτό, Oecumenius. Comp. 4Ma 6:32; Dem. 234. 5. Observe, moreover, that here, where from Acts 4:32 onwards the internal condition of the church is described, the apostolic preaching within the church is denoted.
The χάρις μεγάλη is usually understood (according to Acts 2:47) of the favour of the people. Incorrectly, as οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐνδεής κ.τ.λ., Acts 4:34, would contain no logical assignation of a reason for this. It is the divine grace, which showed itself in them in a remarkable degree (1 Corinthians 15:10). So, correctly, Beza, Wetstein, de Wette, Baumgarten, Hackett.
ἦν ἐπὶ πάντ. αὐτ.] upon them all: of the direction in which the presence of grace was active. Comp. Luke 2:40.Acts 4:33. ἀπεδίδουν τὸ μαρτύριον, “gave the Apostles their witness,” R.V. See Acts 4:12. τὸ μαρτ., prop., “res quæ testimonio est,” but sometimes in N.T. pro μαρτυρία (Blass). ἀπεδ., however, implies paying or rendering what is due; it suggests that there is a claim in response to which something is given (Westcott on Hebrews 13:11); cf. Matthew 12:36, Luke 12:59; Luke 16:2; Luke 20:25, Romans 13:7, 1 Corinthians 7:3, etc. This was its first and strict significance in classical Greek, cf. also its use in LXX, frequently. The Apostles therefore bear their witness as a duty to which they were pledged, cf. Acts 1:8; Acts 1:22, Acts 4:20; καὶ ὡς περὶ ὀφλήματος λέγει αὐτό, Oecum.—δυνάμει μεγάλῃ: the words may include miraculous powers, as well as stedfast witness. But the τε must not, as Weiss maintains, be so taken as to indicate that χάρις μεγάλη was the result, as in Acts 2:47. For if we regard χάρις as referring to the favour of the people (as in the former narrative in ii.), the γάρ in Acts 4:34 seems to point to the love and liberality of the Christians as its cause. But many commentators prefer to take χάρις as in Acts 6:8 (and as in Luke 2:40, Hilgenfeld), of the grace of God, since here as there it is used absolutely, and Acts 4:34 would thus be a proof of the efficacy of this grace, cf. 2 Corinthians 9:14 χάρις, as Bengel maintains, may include grace, favour with God and man, as in our Lord Himself, Gratia Dei et favor populi.33. And with great power gave the apostles witness] [Better, their witness.] The Greek verb implies a great deal more than our English gave. It is the word so constantly used for paying a debt (Matthew 18:25; Luke 7:42), or rendering an account (Matthew 12:36; Hebrews 13:17). So that there is implied in it the sense of obligation under which the Apostles felt themselves to lie of declaring “the things which they saw and heard” (Acts 4:20).
and great grace was upon them all] i.e. like their Master, while experiencing the favour of God, they were also finding favour with men. Cp. Acts 5:13.Acts 4:33. Ἀπεδίδουν, the apostles gave or rendered) Being assured of the truth themselves, they tried to assure others of it.—οἱ ἀπόστολοι, the apostles) The giving testimony was peculiarly their province; for they had seen the facts. To them also was given an extraordinary measure of the Spirit: ch. Acts 5:12.—χάρις, grace) The grace of GOD and the favour of the people.
 The ἀπὸ implies, that they gave testimony as a thing that was due, as of a thing which, having received themselves, they gave in turn to others.—E. and T.Verse 33. - Their witness for witness, A.V. (τὸ μαρτύριον). Their witness. It was one of their chief functions as apostles to bear witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (see Acts 1:22, note). Great grace, etc. Some understand this of the singular favor with which the people regarded them. But it is better to take it of the grace of God which abounded towards them in spiritual gifts and abundant unction and rich blessing, crowning their labors with success.
Lit., gave back (ἀπό); as something which they were in duty bound to give.
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