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Acts 8

1 Now Saul was approving to his execution. So in that day [a] great persecution came to pass upon the assembly1 in Jerusalem; now all scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria except the apostles. 2 So devout men buried Stephen and did great lamentation upon him. 3 But Saul was damaging the assembly1, proceeding [house] by house, and dragging both men and women he was delivering them up to prison.

4 Now indeed therefore, having scattered, they went [about] good-newsing the word. 5 Now Phillip, having gone down to the city of Samaria, was proclaiming to them the Christ. 6 Now the crowd heeded the [thing] said by Phillip with one purpose when they heard and saw the signs which he did. 7 For many of those having unclean spirits, crying out with [a] great voice, they were coming out, and many disabled and lame were healed. 8 So great joy came [about] in that city. 9 Now there was living in the city a certain man, Simon by name, practicing-magic2 and amazing the nation of Samaria, some saying him to be great, 10 whom all heeded from small to great saying: This is the power of God [who is] called great. 11 So they heeded him because of their being amazed by his magic for some time. 12 Now when they believed by Phillip good-newsing concerning the kingdom of God and [concerning] the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were being baptized. 13 Now Simon himself also believed, and having been baptized, was attaching [himself] to Phillip, and beholding the signs and great powers coming to pass he was amazed. 14 Now the apostles in Jerusalem having heard that Samaria received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15 who having come down, they prayed concerning them in order that they receive [the] Holy Spirit. 16 For [the spirit] was not yet fallen upon any of them, but they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they were placing their hands upon them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. 18 Now Simon having seen that through the placing on of the hands of the apostles is the spirit given, he brought to them money, 19 saying: Give to me also this authority in order that to whom I place on my hands he be receiving [the] Holy Spirit. 20 But Peter said to him: Your silver might be with you to destruction, because [of your] having thought the gift of God to be acquired through money. 21 There is not part nor portion to you in this word, for your heart is not upright3 in the eyes of God. 22 Repent therefore from this your evil, and request of the Lord if perhaps the thought [of your] heart will be forgiven. 23 For I see you being to [the] gall of bitterness and [the] bond of injustice. 24 But Simon answering said: You request in my behalf to the Lord, in order that nothing come to pass upon me of which you spoke. 25 Indeed therefore witnessing and speaking the word of God they were returning to Jerusalem, and many towns of the Samaritans were good-newsed.

26 Now [an] angel of [the] Lord spoke to Phillip saying: Arise and be going south upon the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. [now] this is wilderness. 27 And having arisen he went. And behold an Ethiopian eunuch of the sovereign Candaces queen of Ethiopia, who was over all her treasury, whom she sent worshipping to Jerusalem. 28 Now he was returning, sitting on his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Now the spirit said to Phillip: Go and associate with this chariot. 30 Now having run up, Phillip heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said: Do you understand what you read? 31 And he said: But how might I be able unless someone guide me? And he called upon Phillip, having come up, to sit with him. 32 Now the portion of the scripture which he was reading was this4:

He was brought as [a] sheep to [the] slaughter,
And mute as [a] lamb before the shearers,
Thus does he not open his mouth.
33 His judgment was raised in humility.
Who will describe his generation?
Because his zoe-life5 is taken from the land.

34 So, answering the eunuch said to Phillip: I ask you concerning whom does the prophet say this? Concerning himself or concerning another? 35 So Phillip, having opened his mouth and beginning from this scripture, good-newsed to him Jesus. 36 Now as they were going down the road, they came upon some water, and the eunuch says: Behold water—what hinders me to be baptized? [ 37 Phillip said to him: If you believe from your whole heart, it is possible. And he answered: I believe the son of God to be Jesus Christ.]6 38 And he called the chariot to stand, and both went down to the water, both Phillip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, [the] spirit of the Lord snatched Phillip and the eunuch saw him no longer, for he went his way rejoicing. 40 But Phillip was found in Azotos, and going through he was good-newsing all the cities until he came to Caesarea.

1EKKLESIA (εκκλησια) from "called out". Appears 114 times in the N.T., but only in two places in the Gospels ( Matt.16:18 (twice) and Matt.18:17 (twice)). It's worth noting that when Jesus uses the term EKKLESIA, Christian community as we know it didn't yet exist—there were only the disciples. EKKLESIA is apparently different from 'synagogue' (SYNAGOGE (συναγωγη) which occurs 56 times in the N.T.) EKKLESIA is used in secular Greek literature of a popular assembly 'called to assemble', and also of those 'called' to a cult. EKKLESIA is used frequently in the N.T. outside of the Gospels to refer to Christian communities, but in Acts.7:38 it is used of the people of Israel led through the desert by Moses, and in Acts.19:32 ff. of a secular assembly. Thus, all told, the common translation of EKKLESIA as 'church' doesn't really reflect 1st century usage—it seems to mean more like 'a group of people assembled for some specific purpose'.

2MAGOS (μαγoς ) In the Greek world in general this word was used to mean: a member of the Persian priestly caste, or a possessor and user of supernatural knowledge and power (namely, a magician).

The LXX has the term only in Dan.2:2 for those who have magical and religious arts in Babylon.

In Matt. the reference seems to be to those who have special wisdom in reading the stars ( Matt.2:1, Matt.2:7, Matt.2:16) Astronomy and astrology were inseparable in that day, and represented a very advanced education. Babylonian mathematics in particular was surprisingly advanced: they had calculated the value of sqrt(2) to 6 significant digits(!), and were able to solve quadratic and cubic equations. In Acts.13:6 and Acts.13:8 MAGOS is parallel to PSEUDOPROPHETES (`pseudo-prophets'), and seems to be a reference to a house philosopher, who is possibly tempted to use the name of God magically.

The verb form, MAGEUO `to perform magic' (μαγευω) only occurs in


(This footnote lists every appearance of MAGOS and MAGEUO).

3or "straight"


5from ZOE "ZOH-ay" (ζωη)—Life 'collectively', interdependent, interconnected. Although it means 'life' in the conventional sense (for example: Matt.9:18, Matt.27:63, Luke.2:36, Acts.25:24, Rom.7:2, 2Cor.1:8, 1Thes.4:17, 1Tim.5:10, Rev.19:20), Jesus uses ZOE exclusively of 'life eternal' (with the possible exceptions of Luke.15:13, Luke.16:25). The other N.T. writers use ZOE in both senses—temporal and eternal, generally clear from the context. The Father is the 'zoe-living God' (see Matt.16:16). The Septuagint (LXX) in Gen.2:7 has "...[God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of zoe-life, and the man became a zoe-living psyche-life" (and see 1Cor.15:45); and Gen.3:20 (LXX) "And Adam called his wife's name ZOE, because she was the mother of all zoe-living." Contrast PSYCHE (ψυχη): an individual manifestation of life/consciousness. See John.12:25 where both ZOE and PSYCHE occur. Greek also has the word BIOS (βιoς ) for 'life' in the sense of biological processes.

6include vs. 37: few; omit vs. 37: p45,74ℵB K vg