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The Acts of the Apostles: Chapter 3

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3One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. 2And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. 3When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. 4Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, d Or Christ stand up and walk.” 7And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

11While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon's Portico, utterly astonished. 12When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, “You Israelites, a Gk Men, Israelites why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant b Or child Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus c Gk him has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

17“And now, friends, d Gk brothers I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah e Or his Christ would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, 20so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah f Or the Christ appointed for you, that is, Jesus, 21who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets. 22Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people d Gk brothers a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. 23And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out of the people.’ 24And all the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted these days. 25You are the descendants of the prophets and of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26When God raised up his servant, b Or child he sent him first to you, to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”


h Or Christ

a Gk Men, Israelites

b Or child

c Gk him

d Gk brothers

e Or his Christ

f Or the Christ

Text Commentary view alone

3.1–10 : Peter's healing miracle in the Temple.

An illustration of the apostles’ “wonders and signs” ( 2.43 ).

1 :

The apostles center their activity in the temple (see 2.46 ) and so imitate Jesus’ practice in Jerusalem (note the distinctive portrayal in Lk 20–21 ). John appears here and elsewhere with Peter but with no individualized role. Three o’clock in the afternoon, when sacrifice was offered with prayer (Ex 29.39; Lev 6.20 ; Josephus, Ant. 14.65 ).

2 :

The Beautiful Gate, perhaps the Nicanor Gate of Corinthian bronze on the east side of the Temple; see Josephus, War 5.201 .

6 :

The name is a key concept in Acts (v. 16; 2.21,38 ), as 4.7–12 will underline (see also 4.17,18,30; 10.43; 19.13 ).

3.11–26 : Peter's explanation.

In a second sermon Peter links Jesus with the patriarchs and Moses.

11 :

Solomon's Portico, a colonnade located by Josephus (War 5.185 ; Ant. 20.221 ) on the east side of the Temple.

13 :

The word servant recalls Isa 52.13 and the suffering servant of the Lord ( 4.27; 8.30–35 ). Roman responsibility for the death of Jesus is downplayed here as in Lk 23.4,14–16,20–25 ; contrast Acts 4.27 .

14 :

A murderer, Barabbas (Lk 23.18–19 ).

15 :

Author, the word can mean “pioneer” or “founder” (of a new city); in 5.31 it is “leader” (cf. Heb 2.10; 12.2 ). The testimony of the witnesses is again emphasized ( 1.22n. ).

16 :

Name, see v. 6n.

17 :

You acted in ignorance, an amelioration of the culpability emphasized in vv. 13–15 (see 4.10). Compare 14.16 and 17.30 .

18 :

The necessity that the Messiah would suffer was foretold, see Lk 24.25–27,46; Acts 17.2–3; 26.22–23 . Recall the “plan” of 2.23 .

19 :

Lk 3.3 .

22 :

7.37 . Jesus is successor of Moses (Deut 18.15 ) as well as David.

23 :

Deut 18.19; Lev 23.29 .

24 :

These days, i.e., the last days ( 2.17 ).

25 :

Gen 12.3; 18.18; 22.18 .

26 :

First to you, implying the later turn to the Gentiles.

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