Acts 14:12
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.

King James Bible
And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.

American Standard Version
And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury, because he was the chief speaker.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they called Barnabas, Jupiter: but Paul, Mercury; because he was chief speaker.

English Revised Version
And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury, because he was the chief speaker.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they called Barnabas, Jupiter, and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.

Weymouth New Testament
They called Barnabas 'Zeus,' and Paul, as being the principal speaker, 'Hermes.'

Acts 14:12 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercury

The Greek names of these deities were Zeus and Hermes. As the herald of the gods, Mercury is the god of skill in the use of speech and of eloquence in general, for the heralds are the public speakers in the assemblies and on other occasions. Hence he is sent on messages where persuasion or argument are required, as to Calypso to secure the release of Ulysses from Ogygia ("Odyssey," i., 84:); and to Priam to warn him of danger and to escort him to the Grecian fleet ("Iliad," xxiv., 390). Horace addresses him as the "eloquent" grandson of Atlas, who artfully formed by oratory the savage manners of a primitive race ("Odes," i., 10). Hence the tongues of sacrificial animals were offered to him. As the god of ready and artful speech, his office naturally extended to business negotiations. He was the god of prudence and skill in all the relations of social intercourse, and the patron of business and gain. A merchant-guild at Rome was established under his protection. And as, from its nature, commerce is prone to degenerate into fraud, so he appears as the god of thievery, exhibiting cunning, fraud, and perjury. "He represents, so to speak, the utilitarian side of the human mind....In the limitation of his faculties and powers, in the low standard of his moral habits, in the abundant activity of his appetites, in his indifference, his ease, his good-nature, in the full-blown exhibition of what Christian theology would call conformity to the world, he is, as strictly as the nature of the case admits, a product of the invention of man. He is the god of intercourse on earth" (Gladstone, "Homer and the Homeric Age").

The chief speaker (ὁ ἡγούμενος τοῦ λόγου)

Lit., the leader in discourse. Barnabas was called Jupiter, possibly because his personal appearance was more imposing than Paul's (see 2 Corinthians 10:1, 2 Corinthians 10:10), and also because Jupiter and Mercury were commonly represented as companions in their visits to earth.

Acts 14:12 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Jupiter.

Acts 19:35 And when the town cleark had appeased the people, he said, You men of Ephesus...

Cross References
Acts 14:11
And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"

Acts 14:13
And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds.

Acts 19:35
And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, "Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky?

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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