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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

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Commentary on Acts of the Apostles

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10, 1–48 :

The narrative centers on the conversion of Cornelius, a Gentile and a “God‐fearer” (see the note on 8, 26–40 ). Luke considers the event of great importance, as is evident from his long treatment of it. The incident is again related in 11, 1–18 where Peter is forced to justify his actions before the Jerusalem community and alluded to in 15, 7–11 where at the Jerusalem “Council” Peter supports Paul's missionary activity among the Gentiles. The narrative divides itself into a series of distinct episodes, concluding with Peter's presentation of the Christian kerygma ( 34–43 ) and a pentecostal experience undergone by Cornelius’ household preceding their reception of baptism ( 44–48 ).

10, 1 :

The Cohort called the Italica:this battalion was an auxiliary unit of archers formed originally in Italy but transferred to Syria shortly before A.D. 69.

10, 2 :

Used to give alms generously:like Tabitha ( 9, 36 ), Cornelius exemplifies the proper attitude toward wealth (see the note on 9, 36 ).

10, 3 :

About three o’clock:literally, “about the ninth hour.” See the note on 3, 1 .

10, 7 :

A devout soldier:by using this adjective, Luke probably intends to classify him as a “God‐fearer” (see the note on 8, 26–40 ).

10, 9–16 :

The vision is intended to prepare Peter to share the food of Cornelius’ household without qualms of conscience ( 48 ). The necessity of such instructions to Peter reveals that at first not even the apostles fully grasped the implications of Jesus’ teaching on the law. In Acts, the initial insight belongs to Stephen.

10, 9 :

At about noontime:literally, “about the sixth hour.”

10, 17–23 :

The arrival of the Gentile emissaries with their account of the angelic apparition illuminates Peter's vision: he is to be prepared to admit Gentiles, who were considered unclean like the animals of his vision, into the Christian community.

10, 24–27 :

So impressed is Cornelius with the apparition that he invites close personal friends to join him in his meeting with Peter. But his understanding of the person he is about to meet is not devoid of superstition, suggested by his falling down before him. For a similar experience of Paul and Barnabas, see 14, 11–18 .

10, 28 :

Peter now fully understands the meaning of his vision; see the note on 10, 17–23 .

10, 30 :

Four days ago:literally, “from the fourth day up to this hour.”

10, 34–43 :

Peter's speech to the household of Cornelius typifies early Christian preaching to Gentiles.

10, 34–35 :

The revelation of God's choice of Israel to be the people of God did not mean he withheld the divine favor from other people.

10, 36–43 :

These words are more directed to Luke's Christian readers than to the household of Cornelius, as indicated by the opening words, “You know.” They trace the continuity between the preaching and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth and the proclamation of Jesus by the early community. The emphasis on this divinely ordained continuity ( 41 ) is meant to assure Luke's readers of the fidelity of Christian tradition to the words and deeds of Jesus.

10, 36 :

To the Israelites:Luke, in the words of Peter, speaks of the prominent position occupied by Israel in the history of salvation.

10, 38 :

Jesus of Nazareth:God's revelation of his plan for the destiny of humanity through Israel culminated in Jesus of Nazareth. Consequently, the ministry of Jesus is an integral part of God's revelation. This viewpoint explains why the early Christian communities were interested in conserving the historical substance of the ministry of Jesus, a tradition leading to the production of the four gospels.

10, 39 :

We are witnesses:the apostolic testimony was not restricted to the resurrection of Jesus but also included his historical ministry. This witness, however, was theological in character; the Twelve, divinely mandated as prophets, were empowered to interpret his sayings and deeds in the light of his redemptive death and resurrection. The meaning of these words and deeds was to be made clear to the developing Christian community as the bearer of the word of salvation (cf 1, 21–26 ). Hanging him on a tree: see the note on 5, 30 .

10, 42 :

As judge of the living and the dead:the apostolic preaching to the Jews appealed to their messianic hope, while the preaching to Gentiles stressed the coming divine judgment; cf 1 Thes 1, 10 .

10, 44 :

Just as the Jewish Christians received the gift of the Spirit, so too do the Gentiles.

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