Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.PART SECOND
The Church of Christ in Jerusalem; its development and guidance; its conflicts and victories, acts and sufferings. Acts 3-7
THE HEALING OF THE LAME MAN, AN APOSTOLICAL MIRACLE WROUGHT IN THE POWER OF JESUS CHRIST; ITS EFFECTS: FIRST, PETER’S TESTIMONY CONCERNING JESUS CHRIST, DELIVERED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE PEOPLE; SECONDLY, THE ARREST OF PETER AND JOHN; THEY ARE, HOWEVER, RELEASED, AFTER ENERGETICALLY VINDICATING THEMSELVES BEFORE THE GREAT COUNCIL. ALL THESE EVENTS TENDED TO ENCOURAGE, AND TO STRENGTHEN THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH; THE ONENESS OF SPIRIT AND THE BROTHERLY LOVE OF THE BELIEVERS
CHAPTER 3 AND CHAPTER 4
A.—THE MIRACULOUS HEALING OF A LAME MAN
1Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer,being the ninth hour. 2And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid [placed] daily at the gate of the temple which is called [the] Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3Who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked an alms1. 4And [But] Peter fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5And he gave heed unto them [looked on them intently], expecting to receive something of them. 6Then [But, δὲ] Peter said, Silver and gold have I none [not]; but such as [but what, δ̀ δὲ] I have [that, τοῦτό] give I thee; In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and2 walk. 7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted [raised] him3 up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones [ankles] received strength [became firm]. 8And he leaping up stood, and walked [could stand and walk], and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9Andall the people saw him walking and praising God: 10And they knew [recognized him, αὐτόν, δ̀τι οὗτος] that it was he which sat [was accustomed to sit] for alms at the Beautiful [beautiful] gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
ACTS 3:1. a. The narrative before us does not relate the historical facts according to their regular connection and sequence, nor are precise chronological statements of any kind furnished by it. We have, therefore, no means whatever for determining how soon after the day of Pentecost the present event occurred, although a considerable period of time probably intervened.—The narrative of the healing of the lame man, derives its importance chiefly from the circumstance that it exhibits an act of an apostle, performed in the power of Jesus (πράξεις τῶν ἀπ.), and also describes the powerful witness which, in the presence of the people and the Great Council, the apostles bore to Jesus, as the Saviour. With these statements, the additional facts that are presented, and that relate to the internal condition and external relations of the Church, are very appropriately connected.
b. Peter and John went up together.—The union of the believers is here exemplified in the intimate and continued association of these two apostles. Their course confirms the statement which is made in Acts 2:44 respecting the whole body of believers. We are likewise here reminded of the circumstance that Jesus sent forth his disciples “by two and two,” Mark 6:7. [See Luke 22:8; John 21:7, 20 ff.]. As on the day of Pentecost, all the apostles stood up, but Peter alone began to speak, so here, the two apostles are found together, but it is Peter who speaks and acts; John accompanies him, and stands at his side, engaged in silent meditation. His hour for action is yet to come.
c. Into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.—The general remark, in Acts 2:46, that it was the practice of all the believers to continue daily in the temple, is here illustrated by a special case. The two apostles proceeded from the city to the mount of the temple, which they ascended at the hour of prayer. Already Daniel (Acts 6:10) prayed thrice every day upon his knees (comp. Ps. 55:17); in the later age of the apostles, custom had firmly established the three hours of prayer, namely, the third hour of the day, in the morning [see above, 2:15]; the sixth, at noon; and the ninth, in the evening [10:3, below]. The first and third coincided with the hours in which the morning and the evening sacrifices were, respectively, offered. On the present occasion, the hour of evening prayer is to be understood, or our three o’clock in the afternoon. Both the place and the time of public worship under the old covenant were sacred in the eyes of the disciples, and both were observed by them with the utmost fidelity.
ACTS 3:2, 3. a. At the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful.—No other sources furnish us with any information respecting a gate of the temple bearing this name. Josephus describes a certain gate (J. War. v. 5, 3), called Nicanor’s Gate, and composed of Corinthian brass, which exceeded all the others in magnificence and value. Many interpreters suppose that this gate is meant; others are inclined to believe that another, called Susan, is intended; still others suggest a third [named Huldah; but not one of all these conjectures (see Meyer and de Wette, ad loc.) has met with general favor, “so that,” says Alford, “the matter must remain in uncertainty.”—TR.]
b. Lame from his mother’s womb.—The miracle wrought in his case was, therefore, the greater; and, as he was accustomed to present himself daily at the gate of the temple, and sit there, his lameness was widely known, Acts 3:10.
ACTS 3:4, 5. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him.—The apostle’s heart was, at the same time, deeply moved by the pitiable and helpless condition of the cripple, and he, together with John, gazed on the face of the latter, with all that sympathy which love teaches the heart to feel for Christ’s sake. His words: Look on us, were intended to aid the unfortunate man in collecting his thoughts, and in looking upward to the apostles with hope and confidence. And such, in truth, was the effect of those words, for he ἐπεῖχεν αὐτοῖς, i. e. oculis et animo defixus atque intentus erat in apostolos. (Strigel). He now confidently expected to receive a gift from these men. The earnest glances of each party produced, as well as bore witness to, a certain intenseness of feeling within them. These were the preparatory steps which each took in reference to the act.
ACTS 3:6, 7. Silver and gold have I none.—Even if the lame man looked up to them with more than ordinary confidence, he, nevertheless, expected to receive money. Peter extinguishes this hope, and yet does not dismiss him without a gift. When he pronounces those powerful words of authority and help, he bestows that which he has—a vital power, proceeding from Jesus Christ. He speaks and acts, not by virtue of any authority of his own, but in the power of Jesus; the lame man, on his part, is directed to rise up and walk in, and by, the power and grace of Jesus. But the object is attained only when an act co-operates with the word—the act of taking the man by the hand and raising him up, was also required. In that moment the crippled limbs were touched as if they had been subjected to an electric shock; they were strengthened and restored by the almighty power of God. The man leaps up with an elasticity hitherto unknown to himself; he can do that which he had never learned to do, from the time of his birth—he can stand, and he can walk; this is another aspect in which the miracle should be viewed.
ACTS 3:8–10. And entered with them into the temple.—He did not at once proceed to his home, but entered the sanctuary of God, in order to give thanks and praises, and to testify that he both recognized the goodness and wonderful work of God in Christ, and also accepted such mercy with thankfulness. He walked about [περιπατοῦντα] in the court of the temple, and leaped, as his very heart leaped for joy; his body and soul rejoiced in the living God, who had now endowed him with life and power.—All those who had assembled in the courts of the temple in order to pray, were witnesses of the miracle; they recognized in him, as he walked before them, the same man whom they had always found sitting at the same gate, as a helpless beggar. The circumstance created the most profound amazement among the spectators. [They were “exceedingly astonished and aghast,” as Dr. J. A. Alexander (Comm. ad loc.) quotes, apparently with approbation, from the Rhemish N. T.—Tr.]
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. The miracle was wrought in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, as the Messiah. All the wondrous works of the apostles and the other disciples of Jesus, proceeded from Him as their source, and promoted His honor, not that of any human being, even though he were a disciple of the Lord. Luke says, in Acts 2:43, very thoughtfully, that many wonders and signs were done διὰ τῶν ἀπστόλων, for they were performed, not by men, but by the Lord; men were simply his instruments. Such miracles are acts and operations of the exalted Lord, and thus demonstrate, as expressions of life and power, that He, the Crucified One, both lives, and also possesses all glory and power; they also furnish the evidence that he abides in true fellowship with his people, and acknowledges them when they confess him.
2. It is rarely the case, when we read of miracles wrought in the power of Christ, that the coöperation of the respective parties—of him who acts, and of him who receives—can be so distinctly observed, as in the present instance. We notice, first of all, the intent look of each party: Peter gazes on the lame man with deep sympathy, and his love is ready to help and to heal; when the lame man hears Peter’s words, he surveys the two apostles with an intentness that reveals all the confidence, the desire, the hope, of his soul. We perceive, in the next place, that both parties depend on Jesus with all the fulness and power of faith: Peter speaks and commands in the name of Jesus; the lame man submits to Jesus with all his soul, and awaits the promised help with lively hope. And, lastly, each party combines the powers of the body and the soul in one effort: Peter takes the man by the hand, and raises him up; the latter, wonderfully endowed with new power of the will, and new muscular strength, at once stands up. The name of Jesus, the Person of Jesus, his grace and divine power to heal, constitute, in their combination, a point of union for both parties: here, their souls meet together; here, the hand of one grasps the hand of the other; and here, they find the source of that bodily and spiritual power, which they, respectively, impart and receive. The more intimately they are united with Jesus, in faith, love, and cheerful hope, the more freely and fully they receive strength, help, and salvation.
3. It may be added, that the lame man, doubtless, not only received health and strength of body, and power to use his limbs, but also that his soul was awakened and won for Jesus Christ. Such a result may be inferred from the overflowing gratitude of his heart, which expressed itself aloud in the praise of God; it is, indeed, necessarily implied by the whole character of the miracle, as one which was wrought in consequence of a union with Jesus Christ, both bodily and spiritual, alike on the part of him who gave, and of him who received. Such a union with Jesus, in the case of the afflicted and then hopeful lame man, cannot well be psychologically conceived as having been transient in its nature; and, besides, to him who gratefully praises God, the promise of new mercies is given; Ps. 50:23.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
ACTS 3:1. Peter and John went up together into the temple.—These two disciples hence-forth often appear together. They did not precisely correspond to each other in nature and character; but, as one diamond polishes another, so each of these precious stones may have aided in imparting additional value to the other. (Rieger).—Union should exist among all men, but especially among those who are invested with the sacred office. (Starke).—Why should not those who adored the Saviour that had come into the world, enjoy the worship of the temple, which was a shadow of things to come? [Col. 3:17]. (Besser).—Fellowship with all believers is perfectly consistent with a still more intimate union of the members of a smaller circle.—The light in which the Christian views the order and arrangements of public worship: I. Not as a yoke of the law; II. Not as a meritorious work; but, III. As a good external discipline; and, IV. As means which God has graciously given us for growing in grace. (Lechler).—The Christian’s visit to the house of God, a free and joyful service; promoting, I. The honor of God; II. The edification of our neighbor; III. Our own growth in grace.
ACTS 3:2, 3. And a certain man, lame, etc.—The poor and miserable are commonly those in whose case the exceeding grace and power of the Saviour may be most distinctly revealed. (Ap. Past.).—It was not without a special object that the lame man begged at the gate of the temple; the law and the prophets appealed more forcibly to the heart there than elsewhere, and the heart and the hand were more prompt in giving. (Leonh. and Sp.).—This lame man is an image of our natural inability. We must be carried, as long as our feet are without strength. But he who lays us at the most beautiful gate of the temple, which is called Jesus Christ, has, in truth, carried us to the gate of life and of the power of God; we shall there be assuredly healed. (Gossner).—Those who have perfect limbs and senses, are in duty bound to be grateful to God, and to refrain from mocking and insulting the infirm. (Zeis.).—How bitter are the fruits of sin! From that source all our infirmities proceed, including those of the body. (Lindh.).—Like their Master, the servants of Jesus readily visit the poor and provide for the needy. But a faithful pastor is not satisfied, until those who have availed themselves of his personal aid and his office in relieving their temporal wants, have experienced the divine power of Jesus in relieving their spiritual wants. (Apost. Past.).
ACTS 3:4. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him.—That look certainly revealed love! O that we would always look on those who appeal to us for aid, instead of slightly glancing at them, and then looking hastily elsewhere! Then would our hearts be more deeply moved. The survey of such a countenance, or of such a disordered household, or of such a disturbed mind, wouldaffect our feelings. And the faint ray of light which may occasionally be discovered in such a haggard face, or the spark of the divine image which continues to gleam in such a corrupt heart, would fill us with joyful wonder, with new faith, new love, new hope.—Look on us—with confidence, with hope!—It is a tender and paternal address, when faithful pastors say to those who are poor and bind in the faith: “Look on us! We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you, in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” [2 Cor. 5:20]. (Ap. Past.).
ACTS 3:5. And he gave heed unto them, etc.—With what diligence and attention we listen, when we have reason to expect temporal aid! (Quesnel).—It is already a great blessing, when a pastor, by the power of the Spirit, has awakened an expectation in his hearers that they will “receive something;” they are then no longer dead, for their hearts begin to feel and to hunger. But let them not wait in vain. Alas! how often it may occur, that poor, awakened, and hungering souls, look on their teacher, hoping to receive something, and are sent empty away! (Ap. Past.).
ACTS 3:6. Silver and gold have I none.—This is apostolical—“as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” [2 Cor. 6:10]. Peter, although poor in gold, was richer than all the rich—richer than all who bear dazzling titles and receive large incomes. He possessed faith in the power of the name of Jesus Christ, and with this he accomplished far more than if Christ had assigned to him the revenue of a kingdom, or an ecclesiastical territory, as his wages. (Gossner).—That can scarcely be regarded as the real patrimony of Peter, and the apostolic see, which glitters with gold and silver. (Lindh.).—But such as I have give I thee.—This is the feeling of devout and faithful servants. He who had received two talents, could not, it is true, gain as largely as he who had received five; nevertheless he also could say: That which thou hast given me, I have faithfully employed. (Ap. Past.).—In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.—In this manner the despised and crucified Jesus of Nazareth is glorified among the sick, as he who heals alike the body and the soul.—Health is better than silver and gold, but the health of the soul is better than that of the body.—When God appears to refuse the objects which we desire, he gives us others that are better.—If God were inclined to bestow no better gifts for the promotion of our spiritual welfare, than those which we usually desire, we would never obtain his richest gifts. (Starke).—“Give to every man that asketh of thee.” [Luke 6:30].—“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another.” [1 Pet. 4:10].—“Freely ye have received, freely give.” [Matt. 10:8].—Jesus Christ, the Mediator, through whom all temporal and spiritual mercies are received.—Jesus acknowledges those who confess him.—The more intimate thy union with the Redeemer becomes, the more abundantly does he grant thee power to loose, to heal and to help.—A living communion with the living Saviour, sustains our spiritual life, and constitutes our highest blessedness. (Lech.).—Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, etc.—God be praised, that the evangelical church can still employ such language in our day. She is poor, it is true, with respect to secular power and temporal possessions; but that which she has, and which she gives to the soul that seeks salvation, is the blessed name of Jesus, His living word, His saving grace. And when we receive such gifts, we receive more than silver and gold. To the poor, the infirm, and the wretched, the words are still repeated: Rise up and walk!—Rise up from the dust, and walk in newness of life!
ACTS 3:7, 8. And he took him by the right hand, etc.—The seeking soul must be sustained not only by our words, but also by our acts, even as if we took it by the hand, and assisted it to walk. (Quesn.).—And lifted him up, etc.—How much more wonderful than the change produced in this lame man’s condition, is that change which God effects in the heart! But who gives heed to it? (Quesn.).—And entered with them into the temple, etc.—Many persons are restored to health, but all are not thankful for it; John 5:14. (Zeisius).—To offer thanks and praise to God, is a precious privilege.—It was a blessed and delightful visit to the house of worship for this man, who is now healed, and who could, with all his heart, repeat the Psalm of praise: “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” And it was as blessed and delightful for the apostles, who could bring such a companion with them to the presence of God. The most honorable escort which a servant of Christ can obtain, both here below, and on high, consists of those souls, whom he has been enabled by the grace of God to rescue from destruction. O God! how great will be the blessedness of him, who has guided even one soul to thee!
ACTS 3:9, 10. And all the people saw him, etc.—Let every word of the Church be an act, and let every act accord with the word of Jesus, and be done in his name; then will the Church, even in her weakness, stand forth in strength. (Rudelbach).—A servant of Christ will afford the world an opportunity not only to hear, but also to see, that which is instructive. The example of converted souls must give a visible form to that which the preached word has declared. The happy change wrought in new converts, will impress others seriously in proportion to its outward manifestations. Hence God here chose a cripple who was widely known, and still chooses at times a notoriously wicked man, in order to make manifest, as it were, in a tangible manner, the wonderful power of his grace in Christ Jesus. (Apost. Past.).—And they were filled with wonder and amazement.—It was the immediate design, and also the effect of miracles, when the Church was founded, to produce wonder and amazement, and attract the multitude. They were means which God employed for calling the people together, in order to hear the Gospel concerning Christ. (Apost. Past.).—God desires to have witnesses of his acts and wonderful works.—Is the proverbial phrase; Nil admirari, founded on sound and Christian principles?
ON THE WHOLE SECTION.
The grace of Christ revealed in our temporal afflictions: I. It denies inferior gifts which we desire; II. It bestows moreprecious gifts, which we do not expect; III. It opens an avenue to the most exalted blessings, which we do not deserve. (Florey).
In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk! For, I. It is high time to awake out of sleep [Rom. 13:11]; II. Christ himself grants the ability, through the Word and the Sacraments; III. By such a course alone will you be enabled to praise and thank God with confidence and joy. (Leonh. and Sp.).
The healing of the lame man, an illustration of our conversion: I. As he was lame from his birth, so we are, from our birth, the servants of sin; II. As he was carried to the gate of the temple, in order to receive alms, so we were carried unto Baptism, in order to receive celestial gifts; III. As he was healed through Peter’s word concerning Christ, so our conversion is a work of God, wrought through the word of the prophets and apostles; IV. As he walked and praised God, after he had been healed, so a genuine Christian walk, and the joyful praise of God cannot precede, but must follow after true conversion. (ib.).
The Gentiles, viewed as mendicants at the gate of the temple: I. Their condition; II. The duties which we owe them. (Langb.).
The liberal alms [which we receive]: I. The Lord’s invitation, addressed to the Christian: Ask what I shall give thee [1 Kings 3:4]; II. The happy experience of the Christian, that the Lord bestows exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think [Eph. 3:20]. (Lisco.).
The blessed visit to the temple: I. The two devout apostles, on their way to the temple—what thoughts do they suggest? II. The lame beggar at the gate of the temple—what “happened unto him?” Acts 3:10. III. The joyful sacrifice of praise—how shall we participate in it?
The detention on the way to the house of God, or, Decline no task which God proposes: I. The design of the apostles to remain together and alone, is hindered
the cripple lies before them; they desire to repose and pray, but, behold, they are required to work and act; but, II. It was a blessed detention; the sacrifice of prayer was afterwards offered the more joyfully, both by the apostles, whose first act, performed in the name of Christ, had been successful, and by the lame man, who had, through them, obtained health of body, and spiritual treasures.
The most valuable possessions of our evangelical Church: I. “Silver and gold have I none.” The Son of man, too, was poor, and, since the age of the apostles, the spiritual wealth of the Church has always been proportioned to her poverty with respect to temporal possessions; II. “But such as I have … walk;” consequently, the name of Jesus, the apostolic word, and the means of salvation through Jesus—such are, and ever will continue to be, the most valuable possessions of our Church.
The narrative of the apostles and the beggar, a guide to Christians in caring for the poor: I. The sentiments which naturally prompt us to care for the poor; (a) the love of God: the apostles were on their way to His temple; (b) the love of our neighbor: they look with sympathy on the beggar. (Here both of the apostles may be introduced
the tender feelings of John; the energetic action of Peter). II. The appropriate means employed in caring for the poor; these are not, preëminently, silver and gold; alms that are carelessly bestowed, cost little, and avail little; rather (a) personal and affectionate intercourse with the poor: Peter looked on him, and said: Look on us; (b) evangelical exhortations, counsel, and consolations, derived from the word of God: “Such as I have … walk.” III. The appropriate and encouraging results; (a) bodily relief: he was able to stand and to walk; (b) spiritual blessings; he praised God.
The first miracle of the apostles—a guide for the Christian Church in the faithful discharge of her duties; I. Her extensive field of labor—among those whom temporal, and those whom spiritual poverty oppresses; II. Her genuine animating principle—the love of God, and of our neighbor; III. Her inexhaustible spiritual treasure—the word of God with its vital power, and the Holy Ghost with his gracious gifts.
Acts 3:3.—λαβεῖν [of text. rec.], after ἐλεημ. is wanting, it is true, in some MSS. [D.] and versions, but is probably genuine, and, indeed, is often found as a pleonasm in combination with αἰτεῖν in classical Greek writers. [Found in A. B. C. E. Cod. Sin., and in Vulg. (ut acciperet), etc.: rejected by Meyer as a correction from Acts 3:5, but retained by Alf.; defended by de Wette; acknowledged and explained by WINER: Gram. N. T. § 65, 4, d.—TR.]
Acts 3:6.—ἔγειραι καὶ [text. rec. with C.]; these words are wanting in a few MSS. [B. D.], unquestionably also in the Codex Sinaiticus, but were probably omitted [by copyists] simply for the reason that, in Acts 3:7, Peter himself raised up the lame man. We have not sufficient grounds for regarding them as spurious. [Alford does not decide, “the authorities being so nearly divided,” but, like Lach., encloses them in the text in brackets.—TR.]
Acts 3:7.—αὐτόν after ἤγειρε is found, indeed, in various MSS. [A. B. C. Cod. Sin.], versions [Syr., etc.] and fathers [Cyp. etc.], but is, nevertheless, rather to be regarded as a later addition. Lachmann inserts the word. [In the Engl. vers., him is inserted in Italics, as having been supplied; it is omitted in D. E., etc., and regarded by Alf. as “an insertion to fill up the sense.”—TR.]
And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.B.—PETER’S TESTIMONY CONCERNING JESUS, DELIVERED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE PEOPLE
11And as the lame man which was healed4 held [But as the lame man held fast to] Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering [full of wonder]. 12And [But] when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel [Ye Israelitish men], why marvel ye at this [this man]? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness5 [godliness] we had made6 this man to walk? 13The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob7, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son [Servant] Jesus; whom ye 8 delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined [after he had decided] to let him go [release him]. 14But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15And killed the Prince [Author]9 of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof We are witnesses. 16And his name, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, [and] the faith which is [which wrought] by him hath given him this perfect soundness [this health] in the presence of you all. 17And now, brethren, I wot [know] that through [in] ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 18But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his [all the] prophets, that Christ [his Anointed]10 should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 19Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when [in order that] the times of refreshing shall [may] come from the presence [face] of the Lord; 20And he shall [And that he may] send Jesus Christ, which before was preached [the Messiah Jesus who was appointed]11 unto you; 21Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things [times wherein all things will be restored], which God hath spoken by the mouth of all12 [om. all] his holy prophets since the world began 13 [prophets from of old]. 22For Moses truly said Moses14 has said] unto the fathers 15 [om. unto the fathers], A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of [out of] your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall [will] say unto you. 23And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 24Yea, and [And] all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold16 of [om. of] these days. 25Ye are the17 children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 26Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus18, sent [his Servant, sent] him to bless you, in turning every one of you from his iniquities.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
ACTS 3:11. And as the lame man held [fast] to Peter and John.—Large numbers of persons, full of wonder, gathered around the two apostles, to whom the man that had been lame, continued to cling; Peter was both required and enabled by this circumstance, to deliver an address to the people. It induced him to explain the occurrence itself, and, in general to speak of Jesus. Luke employs the word ἀπεκρίνατο, as the address was virtually an answer to a question which the wondering glances and excited movements of the spectators seemed to direct to him. The precise locality of this assemblage of people and of the address, is indicated by Luke; it was Solomon’s porch in the court [called the great court, 2 Chron. 4:9; 6:13; WINER, Realw. art.TEMPLE]; this portico or colonnade was distinguished from the others by bearing Solomon’s name, inasmuch as it was a remnant of the original temple built by him; it had escaped the general destruction of the building which Nebuchadnezzar had ordered. The immediate cause, however, in consequence of which the people ran together unto the apostles, lay in the man himself; with a heart full of gratitude and devotion, he had attached himself to them, seized them by the hand, and held them fast; the latter is the clearly proved meaning of the phrase: κρατεῖν τιυα, while it can by no meansbe established on philological grounds that the phrase means: to hold to, to follow some one.
ACTS 3:12. a. Peter’s address consists of two parts:—1. Instructions concerning the Author and the purpose of the miracle, Acts 3:12–18; ‘it was not wrought by us, who are men, but by God; He purposed thereby to glorify his Servant Jesus, whom Israel had denied and killed, but whom God raised up.’ 2. An exhortation to repentance and conversion, in order that the sins of the Israelites might be forgiven, and that the blessing which all the promises had taught them to expect, might be imparted to them through Christ, Acts 3:19–26.
b. Why marvel ye at this?—Peter does not reprove the people simply for expressing great astonishment, but for assuming that the healing of the man had been an independent act of the apostles, performed solely by them. For the wondering and steady gaze (ἀτενίζετε) of the people, seemed to say: ‘What vast power resides in these men (ἰδία δύναμις)!’ Or—‘What holy men these must be, since God rewards them with such miraculous gifts!’ The latter thought would undoubtedly suggest that of “merit,” the word which Luther has employed in his version [for εὐσέβεια]. Peter, therefore, denies that he and John possessed either such a physical power as the people imagined, or such a meritorious ability of the soul.—The expression ὡς πεποιηκόσι τοῦ περιπατεῖν αὐτόν involves an inexact use of the genitive of the purpose [WINER: Gr. N. T., § 44, 4]; literally: “as if we had done aught so that he might walk.” [ἐπὶ τούτῳ rendered by L. in the version above, not as a neuter (this event), but as a masc. pron. (this man), with de Wette, Meyer, Alford, Hackett, etc.—Tr.]
ACTS 3:13, 14. a. The God of Abraham … hath glorified his Son [Servant] Jesus.—After the error has been exposed, the truth is set forth (as in 2:15 ff.): ‘Not we have wrought the miracle; its author is God, the covenantal God of our fathers, and, indeed, of the original founders of our nation.’—The apostle refers, at the same time, to the author of the miracle, and to its design and significance. It was the design of this miracle to glorify Jesus, to exhibit him in his δόξα, and to teach men to see and confess his dignity and the power of his higher life, attained through the resurrection and ascension, as well as to demonstrate that in him dwelt the fulness of vital and saving power, the gracious exercise of which was designed for the benefit of mankind.—But what is the meaning of παῖς θεοῦ when applied to Jesus? The earlier interpreters, without specially dwelling on the point, assumed that the term was equivalent to υἱός θεοῦ, with the single exception of Piscator, in the seventeenth century. Bengel explains the sense to be: Servant of God, as in Matt. 12:18. And since Nitzsch has published the results of his investigations (in Stud. u. Kr. 1828, p. 331 ff.), all the recent interpreters agree that παῖς θ.. means, not the Son, but the Servant of God. [So Olsh., Stier (in Red. d. Ap. ad loc. 2d ed.), Alford, Hackett, Robinson (in Lex. art.,παῖς, 2. c.), etc.; Alexander ascribes to the word a “dubious or double sense.”—TR.]. Indeed, the term παῖς is a standing predicate with Luke, being applied to Israel (Gosp. Acts 1:54), and to David (Acts 4:25, and Gosp. Acts 1:69). In the present passage, as well as in Acts 3:26, below, and in 4:27, 30, as also in Matt. 12:18, it corresponds to עֶבֶד יְהוָֹה in Isaiah [ch. 40–ch. 66].
b. But ye denied.—Peter speaks unreservedly and emphatically of the sin which his hearers had committed against Jesus, so that he might lead them to repentance. Ye have—he says—delivered up Jesus, denied him before Pilate, and even preferred, and interceded for a murderer, while ye killed Him. He shows that they advanced, step by step, in crime and guilt. He exhibits the sin of the people in a still stronger light, by means of antithetic propositions. He, first, contrasts Israel with Pilate, the pagan: the latter pronounced the sentence that Jesus should be released [Luke 23:16; John 19:4]; the people, on the contrary, denied Him—their Messiah. He then contrasts Jesus with Barabbas: the latter was a murderer; Jesus was not only innocent and holy, but even the Author and Giver of life; ‘yet you released the former, and killed Jesus.’
ACTS 3:15, 16. Peter here explains the manner in which God had glorified (Acts 3:13) his Servant Jesus: Whom God hath raised from the dead.—And, (he continues,) it is solely in the power of the name of Jesus, received in faith, that this man, once lame, has been made strong, and restored to health. We, the apostles, bear witness to that event—the raising up of Jesus; of the restoration of this man to health and strength, ye have yourselves all been eye-witnesses (ἀπέναντι πάντων ὑμῶν).
ACTS 3:17, 18.—And now, brethren.—After showing the necessity of a change of mind and feeling on the part of his hearers, the apostle testifies, that both repentance and forgiveness are possible, in reference, first, to the sinner, Acts 3:17, and, secondly, to God, Acts 3:18. However great the sin is, it may, nevertheless, be forgiven, since it was committed in ignorance, both by the people, and by their rulers. And the apostle makes this declaration in the most sincere love—a love already revealed in the appellation brethren, which he here employs; compare with it the more formal ἄνδρες Ἰσρ., in Acts 3:12.—In reference to God, the sin of Israel, consisting in the rejection and execution of the Messiah, may be forgiven in so far as it, at the same time, involved the fulfilment of the decree that the Messiah should suffer, which God had made from of old, and foretold through all the prophets.
ACTS 3:19–21. Repent ye therefore.—The apostle states the conclusion which is to be drawn from the words which he had pronounced, and, in a direct appeal to his hearers, calls on them to turn back and change their minds; at the same time, he not only represents the blotting out of their sins as the result of such repentance (ἐξαλειφθῆναι, applied [as in Col. 2:14] to a document that is obliterated), but he also opens a still wider view before them, and exhibits a time of refreshment and blessedness, for which, too, they may hope. Of that time God is the author and source (ἀπὸ προςώπου τοῦ κυρίου); it commences with the return of Christ, whom heaven receives during the interval, but whom God will send personally (ἀποστείλη, etc.); it consists ofall that which God had hitherto promised through the prophets (ἀποκαταστάσεως, etc.). In ὃν δεῖ οὐρανὸν δέξασθαι the subject [or acc. before the inf.] is not δν, but οὐρανὸν, i.e. heaven must receive him [as in the Engl. version], not, he must take possession of heaven (Luther), the latter not agreeing with the usus loquendi of δέχεσθαι. [On the contrary, Bengel (Gnomon) holds that ὃν is the subject, and translates: Who must, etc.; he terms the construction here preferred by Lechler, and by many others, a “violenta interpretatio,” since it implies that heaven is greater than Christ, and since it is hostile to the grandeur of Christ, who is “above all heavens,” Eph. 4:10, etc. So, also, Olsh. and Lange. Stier [Red. d. Ap. ad loc. 2d ed.) unequivocally adopts Bengel’s views, and rejects those which Lechler (whom he specially means) here prefers. Tyndale and Cranmer translated: who must receive heaven. (Alexander, ad loc.)—TR.]. According to the established usus loquendi of ἀποκατάστασις, it regularly denotes a restoration, or return of an earlier condition; see below, DOCTR. and ETHICAL. 6.) [“The before heaven—is supplied by the translators—without reason, etc.” (J. A. Alex.).—TR.]
ACTS 3:22–24. Moses said.—[Deut. 18:15, 18, 19, combined with Gen. 17:14]. The language in these verses is intended to develop more fully and to confirm all that Peter had intimated in Acts 3:21 concerning the word of prophecy. Moses—he says—has promised that a prophet shall come forth out of Israel, and has declared that they who do not unconditionally obey him, shall be cut off and destroyed; and the succeeding prophets, beginning with Samuel, have all uttered predictions respecting these times.
ACTS 3:25, 26. Ye are the children, etc.—Peter applies the whole to his own age and to the people before him, and presents two aspects of the case: first, the promise of the blessing [made to Abraham, Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; to Isaac, Gen. 26:4; to Jacob,. Gen. 28:14] belongs, as he declares, to his hearers; but, secondly, on the condition that they fulfil the duty imposed upon them, of repenting and turning to God.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. Those powers by which miracles were wrought, never resided inherently in any one of the children of God; here the apostles expressly guard their hearers against such a delusive thought; the exercise of such powers always depends on the might and free grace of God. The error which the apostles expose, is the assumption that the miracle proceeded originally either from a magic power (ἰδία δύναμις) or from moral merit (εὐσέβεια). If even the Redeemer ascribed to the Father the works which he did [“which the Father hath given me to finish,” John 5:36], the apostles, still more emphatically, ascribe their miracles to God the Father. But even as the miracles wrought by Jesus were designed to bear witness of him and glorify him (John 5:20, 36; Matt. 11:5), so all the deeds which his disciples performed by the grace and power of God, are designed to contribute to the honor of Christ, and to praise and magnify his name. (ὃ θεός—ἐδόξασε—Ἰησοῦν).
2. It is not simply an accommodation to the habits of thought and the mode of expression of Israel, when Peter says: “The God of our fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, hath glorified Jesus”; those words, much rather, express the truth, that the God of Abraham, etc., is likewise the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Or, in other words, it is the same God who revealed himself to the fathers, and who now reveals himself to us through the Son; the new covenant is founded on the old covenant, and the latter already points to Jesus Christ.
3. The phraseology, according to which Jesus appears as ὁ παῖς θεοῦ, (that is, not a Servant of God, but “the Servant of God,” Acts 3:13, 26, in a preëminent and special sense), alludes to the prophecies of the Old Testament, particularly to Isai. 41. ff., and expresses a conception which refers, directly, to the Work of Jesus Christ alone, and not to his Person. Jesus, namely, is He through whom God executes or accomplishes all that he has determined to do, and promised in his word; comp. Acts 3:21, 24, 26; the blessing which God had promised to Abraham, and, through him, to the human race, is realized and bestowed through Christ; all that God has ever promised through the prophets, is fulfilled in Christ. This is truly a lofty conception. It also undoubtedly assigns a high rank to the Person of Christ, although less directly, implying at least his intimate and peculiar union with God, even if not his deity.
4. With respect to the Person of Jesus, Peter describes Him as the Holy and Just One (Acts 3:14), that is, not merely guiltless, as contradistinguished from Barabbas, the criminal, but in a positive sense, perfectly holy and just, as well in relation to God (ἅγιος), as in relation to men (δίκαιος). And, doubtless, here, too, the definite article [τὸν ἅγιον, etc.] is of weight, and has even a doctrinal significance; for it indicates a certain peculiarity not elsewhere found, and exalts Jesus, in a moral and religious respect, above the whole human race. To this view the title admirably corresponds, which he receives in Acts 3:15, ὁ ἀρχηγὸς [“from ἀρχή and ἡγοῦμαι or ἄγω,” WAHL: Clavis.—TR.] τῆς ζωῆς; it contrasts him with the murderer, the man who deprived others of life; Jesus, on the contrary, is the Author of life, opens the way to life, and is the Leader of those who seek life (primarily, in consequence of his resurrection). We are, therefore, enabled to follow in the way in which he leads, inasmuch as he imparts eternal life and blessedness to those who believe in him; at the same time, he imparts, through faith in his name, a vital power to the body also, Acts 3:16.
5. Repentance, and conversion or turning from the evil way, are the indispensable conditions of salvation, that is, the conditions on which, first, (Acts 3:19), the sins committed, and the guilt contracted by us, are forgiven and blotted out, and, secondly, (Acts 3:20, 26) participation in the promised blessing and in the gracious gifts of God, is granted. The apostles by no means encourage the delusion that any one can acquire a claim to salvation by reason of his descent from the people of God, without being personally prepared for it, and without rendering to God the obedience of faith. Here, Peter demands, immediatelyafter having acknowledged his hearers to be children of the covenant or parties in it (Acts 3:25), that they should turn away from sin and be changed in mind and spirit, if they desire to receive the promised Abrahamic blessing which is now offered in Christ (Acts 3:26).—The application of these truths to Christendom is obvious.
6. The words of the apostle present a grand and comprehensive view of the counsels and acts of God, and of the course of divine revelation, from the beginning to the end. All the promises that God made to Abraham, all the words that he spoke by the mouth of Moses concerning a Prophet who was yet to come, and all the predictions of Samuel and the prophets who succeeded him, essentially refer to Christ as their central point—to his sufferings (Acts 3:18)—to the blessing, given through him, and embracing the world (Acts 3:25)—and to a future restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). Jesus Christ, the Servant of God, whom he sent (Acts 3:26), has come, has suffered (Acts 3:18), but is now invisible, since heaven received him, until God shall send him again, namely, until he comes the second time from heaven (Acts 3:20 ff.). This future is described (1) as καιροὶ ἀναψύξεως, seasons of refreshing (Acts 3:19), that is, as a time in which rest, peace and recreation will succeed the heat, the violence and the pressure of conflicts and sorrows. The same time is described (2) as ξρόνοι ἀποκαταστάσεως (Acts 3:21)—this latter, objectively; the former, subjectively [the latter, descriptive of the object; the former, referring to the subjects or persons affected by the object.—TR.]. The usus loquendi shows that these terms refer to a restoration. But what is it that shall be restored? Baumgarten [Die Apostelgeschichte] I. p. 80 replies: ‘Nothing else than the kingdom of Israel, the whole power and glory of the Israelitic kingdom.’ Such a mode of interpretation, however, does not deduce the main point from the text, but at once inserts it in the text. The words themselves do not suggest such a meaning, but convey one that is far more comprehensive, namely, the following: ‘All that God has spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets, shall be restored, and be placed in its original order, and in that condition which God designed and promised.’ It may be added that this restoration is not to be understood as being exclusively a return of a condition which had existed at a previous time, but rather as a renewal of all things, that will partly be restorative in its operation, but also, in part, far transcend all that had ever existed. And we are the more fully authorized to adopt this interpretation, as the view presented by the apostle does not embrace Israel alone, but comprehends all mankind, and is uncircumscribed; the blessing that was promised to Abraham, is to be imparted to all the nations of the earth, Acts 3:25. Even if he terms the Israelites the “children of the covenant”, he does not refer to any exclusive privileges, or to a monopoly or particularism, but only to priority in time. For Christ was sent, not to Israel only, but to Israel first, Acts 3:26. And this expression presupposes, and indirectly testifies that Christ and the blessing which is given in him, are appointed for the Gentiles also, although they occupy only the second place.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
ACTS 3:11. And as the lame man … held Peter and John.—The holy ties which unite awakened children of God and their spiritual fathers: by such ties, I. The awakened are strengthened; II. Their spiritual fathers are encouraged; III. The Church is edified; IV. The Lord is glorified.
ACTS 3:12. Why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us?—A solemn question addressed to us by all the faithful servants of God, when we survey the wonderful works of God, for the purpose, 1. Of guarding us (a) against a mere carnal wonder at the external form of the events, and (b) against the error of estimating too highly the human agents, and their power and merit; 2. Of directing our attention to (a) the Lord, who alone doeth wonders (Acts 3:13, 15). (Admire Him, and do not idly wonder!); (b) ourselves, our guilt (Acts 3:13, 14), our duty (Acts 3:19), our salvation (Acts 3:20).—Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory! [Ps. 115:1]. Such is the confession of all true servants of God. (Starke).—Men seek after new wonders, and are amazed; they forget those that are old, and do not rightly apply them. See Ps. 106:21, 22. (Quesn.).—The works of God can be distinctly seen only in the light of his word.
ACTS 3:13. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is also the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: the light which this truth casts, 1. On the Old Covenant, as the type and foundation of the New; 2. On the New Covenant, as the development and fulfilment of the Old.
ACTS 3:13, 14. Ye denied Him! This sin is, since the resurrection of Jesus, the most heinous of all. (Apost. Past.).—Peter had himself previously denied the Lord Jesus; but when his Saviour had forgiven him this sin, he had great boldness in rebuking those who also committed it. Let faithful pastors bear this in mind. (ib.).
ACTS 3:15. Jesus, the Prince of life: as such, 1. Denied and slain by the world; 2. Raised up and glorified by God; 3. Declared and manifested in the Church.—“Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.” Gen. 1. 20. These words, in their deepest sense, were fulfilled in Jesus, the Crucified and Risen One. (Starke).—Men deal with the gifts and mercies which God bestows, as the Jews dealt with Christ; man can only destroy them; God alone can preserve or restore. (Quesn.).—Christ, the Holy One and the Just, in an absolute sense, not only, 1. As compared with Barabbas, the murderer, the representative of sinful men, but also, 2. In the presence of his God and Father.—Christ the Holy One, also the Prince of life.—Why do the apostles of the Lord so emphatically declare themselves to be the witnesses of his resurrection? (Schleiermacher: Easter sermon): 1. In reference to themselves; they are conscious of their human infirmity, and gratefully praise the goodness of their heavenly Father, who aids them in their weakness; 2. In reference to the Redeemer; his resurrection expresses the judgment of God respecting the death which he had suffered, and is the evidence of his eternal spiritual presence in the Church.
ACTS 3:16. Through faith, etc.—The faith that worketh miracles. The poet says: “A miracle—the fav’rite child of faith.” I. Faith performs the miracle (Peter and John); II. Faith experiences the miracle (the lame man, who is a believer, at least after the miracle is wrought, if not previously); III. Faith comprehends the miracle (the believing hearers).
ACTS 3:17. Through ignorance ye did it.—(Christ on the cross; “They know not what they do,” [Lu. 23:34]. Paul to Timothy: “I did it ignorantly” [1 Tim. 1:13]). I. To whom may such words be applied? Not t all! II. What is their purpose? Not to furnish grounds for justifying sinful acts.—Ignorance may lessen, but does not cancel guilt, since it may itself be the result of a guilty course of conduct. (Gerlach).
ACTS 3:19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.—These words, in which grace and pardon are offered to such great sinners, illustrate the importance of repentance in the most striking manner. History does not present a case in which pardon was offered under such circumstances; there can be no escape from ruin for those who do not now accept it. (Starke).—The apostle furnishes a noble model to those who desire to preach repentance in a truly apostolical manner. We may do injustice to the subject by saying either too little or too much. We are always inclined to proceed to extremes; hence, we either prematurely encourage men to hope for the forgiveness of their sins, or else, we demand, in too high a degree, the grace of holiness, before we give them an assurance of the pardon of their sins. The apostles teach us to observe a just medium. (Apost. Past.).—To repent or change the mind, and to be converted or turn to the way of peace, belong together, (ib.).—Behold how the Holy Spirit executes his fourfold office, in the discourse of Peter! The office, I. Of convincing of sin (Acts 3:13–15); II. Of instructing (Acts 3:13, 15, 16, 18, 21–25); III. Of exhorting (Acts 3:19); IV. Of consoling (Acts 3:20, 26).—How well the apostles understood the method of exercising, in the most emphatic manner, their power to forgive sins! How successfully they exercised it, when they called on men to repent! (K. H. Rieger).
The times of refreshing … from the presence of the Lord.—The times of refreshing experienced by the repentant and believing: I. In the external relations of life, after sore afflictions; II. In the inner life, after the godly sorrow of the soul; III. In eternity, after the toils of this life.—We suffer from a painful feeling of oppression, when we repent and behold the amount both of the evil which we have done, and of the good which we have left undone; but we revive when God reveals his mercy to us; Isai. 57:15–18.—When inward and outward temptations, like a scorching flame, threaten to consume us, the Lord appears, bringing relief to the soul; Gen. 18:1; Isai. 38:17.—At length an eternal time of refreshing will come, when we shall have intered that world, in which the heat can no longer consume us. Rev. 7:16, 17. (Starke).—All true refreshing, whether in this life, or in the eternal world, must come from the presence of the Lord. (ib.).
ACTS 3:21. The threefold restoration: I. It did occur, when the way of salvation, under the new covenant, was opened; II. It does occur, when we are converted; III. It will occur, in the consummation of the world. (A. F. Schmidt: Predigtstud.).
ACTS 3:22. Christ and Moses: the relation in which the latter stands to Christ, is like, I. That of prophecy to the fulfilment; II. That of the law to the Gospel; III. That of a servant to the son, [Hebr. 3:5, 6]. (Leonh. and Sp.).
ACTS 3:22–24. Christ, a prophet; nevertheless, more than a prophet:I. He teaches the way of God in truth; yet he is himself the way to the Father; II. He prophesies: yet he is the great object and the end of all prophecy; III. He is anointed with the Holy Spirit; yet he himself sends the Spirit. (ib.)—The prophet of the new covenant: I. Who is he? II. What call did he receive? III. What duties do we owe to him? (Langb.).—Christ, the heart and life, I. Of the Scriptures; II. Of believers; III. Of the history of the world.—“All the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.” [2 Cor. 1:20].
ACTS 3:25, 26. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant! These are words that, I. Are full of promise; II. Impose a solemn responsibility.—In Acts 3:26, which recapitulates the prominent thoughts of the preceding discourse, Jesus appears as the true Isaac (the son of joy), the son of Abraham (the father of a multitude), who was himself the progenitor of the true Jacob = Israel (the struggling and conquering people of the Spirit). (Stier: Reden d. Ap.).
ON THE WHOLE SECTION.
The threefold witness which Peter bears of Christ: I. In him all the miracles of God are combined, Acts 3:12–17; II. In him all men can find salvation, Acts 3:18–21; III. In him all prophecy is fulfilled. (Lisco).
To the Lord alone be all the glory given! Peter unfolds and applies this thought, by directing attention, I. To his own and John’s powerlessness, Acts 3:11, 12; II. To the sin of his hearers and the whole people, Acts 3:13–17; III. To the glorious testimony which God bore to Christ, Acts 3:18–24; IV. To that great salvation which was offered in Christ to all the people, Acts 3:25, 26. [The fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament (Acts 3:18, 21, 22–24]: I. The mode; (a) sometimes delayed (2 Pet. 3:4, reasons); (b) often in an unexpected form (Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, John 1:45, 46); (c) always certain (divine attributes); II. The purpose; (a) to demonstrate the truth of revealed religion; (b) to confirm the faith and the hopes of the people of God; (c) to glorify God in Christ; III. Lessons; (a) teaching us—to adore God devoutly; (b) to study the prophetic word diligently; (c) to demonstrate the sincerity of our faith in God by our zeal in his service. —TR.]
Acts 3:11. The words τοῦ ἰαθἐντος χωλοῦ [of text. rec.; the authority not stated], were substituted in the text for αὐτοῦ, as an ecclesiastical lection [select portion of the Scripture] began at Acts 3:11. [So Meyer.—The words are omitted by A. B. C. E. and Cod. Sin., all of which read simply αὐτοῦ; Syr., Vulg., etc.—TR.]
Acts 3:12. a. In place of εὐσεβεία, several ancient versions read ἐξουσία, which seemed to derive support from δυνάμελ. [εὐσεβ., translated holiness in the Engl. Bible, is uniformly rendered godliness in the 14 other places in which it occurs in the N. T.—Tr.]
Acts 3:12. b. The reading ὡς ἡμῶν—πεποιηκότων instead of ὡς—πεποιηκόσι [of text. rec. with the other uncial MSS. and Cod Sin.] is but feebly supported by MSS., [by D.] and is apparently a correction intended to add strength to the original.
Acts 3:13. a. Some MSS. have ὁ θεὸς Ἀβρ. κ. θεὸς Ἰσ. καί θεὸς Ἰακ. [So Lachm. and Born, read, in accordance with A. C. D. Cod. Sin. Vulg., etc.; Alford adheres to the text. rec. with B. (e sil) E., and rejects the other reading as a later “correction to suit LXX. Exod. 3:6, and Matt. 22:32.”—TR.]
Acts 3:13. b. μέν [omitted, after ὑμεῖς in text. rec.] without a corresponding δὲ [Winer, § 63. 2. e], is sustained by important MSS. [by A. B. C. E. Cod. Sin.; Syr. Vulg. (quidem) etc.—TR.]
Acts 3:15. [For Prince, the margin (Engl. B.) offers Author, from (Rheims, 1580, and) the Vulg. (auctorem); the latter is preferred by Alexander, Hackett, Owen, etc.—TR.]
Acts 3:18. αὐτοῦ, (not αὑτοῦ), after Χριστόν, and not after τ. προφητῶν [as in text. rec.] is the reading which Bengel had already adopted, and which, more recently, Lachm. and Tisch. recognize, in accordance with important authorities. [B. C. D. E. Cod. Sin.; Vulg. etc. So also Alf.—TR.]
Acts 3:20. The reading προκεχειρισμένον is to be preferred to προκεκηρυγμένον [of the text. rec. with many minuscules]; the latter, the far more easy reading of the two, is not sustained by good authorities; προκεχειρισ. is adopted by Bengel, Griesb. and recent editors. [In accordance with A. B. C. D. E. Cod. Sin.—TR.]
Acts 3:21. a. τῶν, instead of πάντων of the t. rec. is adopted by Griesb., Lachm., [Alf.] etc., in accordance with weighty authorities [namely, A. B. C. D. and Cod. Sin. Vulg.—“πάντων, borrowed from Acts 3:24, was intended to add strength to the original.” (Meyer).—TR.]
Acts 3:21. b. The reading ἀπʼ αἰῶνος [of text. rec.] should be retained as genuine; it is wanting only in a few authorities. [Omitted in D., but found in A. B. C. E. Cod. Sin. Vulg., etc.—TR.]
Acts 3:22. a. μέν without γάρ is far better sustained than μὲν γάρ, although the latter undoubtedly corresponds to the logical connection. [μέν, alone, in A. B. C. D. E. Cod. Sin.—Alf reads: Μω. μὲν εἶπεν ὅτι.—TR.]
Acts 3:22. b. πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας, in some MSS. before, in others, after εἶπεν, is a later addition, and, in accordance with high authorities, is cancelled by Lachm. and Tisch. [and by Alf.; found in few MSS.; omitted by A. B. C. Cod. Sin. Vulg., etc.—TR.]
Acts 3:24. προκατήγγειλαν [of text. rec.] is an attempted correction of the simple form κατήγγειλαν; the latter is well sustained [by A. B. D. E. Cod. Sin., etc.—TR.]
Acts 3:25. The article is omitted before υἱοὶ in the text. rec. [with D.] but is sufficiently sustained. [By A. B. C. E. Cod. Sin.—TR.]
Acts 3:26. Ἰησοῦν after αὑτοῦ [of text. rec. with A. B.], is an addition, which is not sufficiently sustained in order to be admitted. [Omitted by C. D. E. Cod. Sin. Syr. Vulg., etc. Alf. says: “All such additions, if at all the subject of variations, are spurious.”—TR.]