Acts Week 8 4:32-37

Home » Blog » Acts Week 8 4:32-37

Acts Week 8 4:32-37

32Τοῦ δὲ πλήθους τῶν πιστευσάντων ἦν καρδία καὶ ψυχὴ μία , καὶ οὐδὲ εἷς τι τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτῷ ἔλεγεν ἴδιον εἶναι ἀλλʼ ἦν αὐτοῖς ἅπαντα κοινά.

Now the group of those who believe were in one heart and soul, and no one of anything what belonged to him said was his own but all (things) were in common

  • The opening two verses are almost identical with 2:43–44, only in reverse order. Together they characterize the community life as marked by four things: their unity in mind and heart (v. 32a), their sharing of their possessions (v. 32b), the power and witness of the apostles (v. 33a), and the grace of God, which rested upon them (v. 33b).[1]
  • The expression “one heart and soul” (kardia kai psychē mia) has been thought to echo Deut. 6:5, where the people of Israel are called to love God with all their heart (some manuscripts have dianoia, “understanding”) and all their soul and all their might (dynamis).[2]
  • The choice of word (company) reflects the growth in size of the Christian group.[3]
  • Of one heart and soul (καρδια και ψυχη μια [kardia kai psuchē mia]). It is not possible to make sharp distinction between heart and soul here (see Mark 12:30), only that there was harmony in thought and affection.[4]
  • Notice the masculine pronoun usage – women could not own property

 

33καὶ δυνάμει μεγάλῃ ἀπεδίδουν τὸ μαρτύριον οἱ ἀπόστολοι τῆς ἀναστάσεως τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ, χάρις τε μεγάλη ἦν ἐπὶ πάντας αὐτούς.

And (with) great power the apostles were giving testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on all of them

  • Meanwhile, the apostles, as those especially called to be witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus, continued their witness with great power despite the Jewish prohibition of their preaching.[5]
  • The power is that which is received via the Holy Spirit. Not by their own means
  • See 1 Cor 15 for the power of the witness of the resurrection
  • Remember, the arrest by the Sadducees was because of the resurrection(and that the Sadducees denied it)

 

34οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐνδεής τις ἦν ἐν αὐτοῖς· ὅσοι γὰρ κτήτορες χωρίων ἢ οἰκιῶν ὑπῆρχον, πωλοῦντες ἔφερον τὰς τιμὰς τῶν πιπρασκομένων

For there was not even anyone needy among them, because all those who were owners of plots of land or houses were selling them (and) bringing the proceeds of the things that were sold

  • The Old Testament promise to God’s people that there would not be any poor among them (Deut. 15:4) was brought to fulfillment in the church by the generosity of the better-off members.[6]
  • All information points to the fact that this giving was voluntary in nature
  • there is an echo of Deut. 15:4, where it is prophesied that there will be no poor when the Israelites are settled in the land[7]

 

35καὶ ἐτίθουν παρὰ τοὺς πόδας τῶν ἀποστόλων, διεδίδετο δὲ ἑκάστῳ καθότι ἄν τις χρείαν εἶχεν.

And placing them at the feet of the apostles, and it was being distributed to each as anyone had need

  • We now see incidentally why the preaching of the apostles was mentioned in verse 33. They also had the additional burden of dealing with the common fund of the church; and, while at first this may not have been too heavy a task, it was not long before new arrangements were needed (6:1–6).[8]
  • The Christians saw themselves as the people of God of the final times (cf. 2:17), they were experiencing God’s blessing (4:33), and they were striving to realize the ideal of a people of God with no poor among them.[9]

 

36Ἰωσὴφ δὲ ὁ ἐπικληθεὶς Βαρναβᾶς ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον υἱὸς παρακλήσεως, Λευίτης, Κύπριος τῷ γένει,

So Joseph who was called Barnabas from/by the apostles, which is translated son of encouragement a Levite of Cyprus by nationality

37ὑπάρχοντος αὐτῷ ἀγροῦ πωλήσας ἤνεγκεν τὸ χρῆμα καὶ ἔθηκεν πρὸς τοὺς πόδας τῶν ἀποστόλων.

A field that belonged to him (he) sold (and) brought the money and placed it from/to the feet of the apostles

  • Luke had a way of taking characters who played a major role later in the book and introducing them early, but only briefly and in passing, as is the case with Barnabas here. His name was Joseph, and he was given the nickname Barnabas by the apostles. This was not insignificant in itself because the granting of a nickname was often seen as a sign of respect. [10]
  • The example of generosity shown by Barnabas is singled out for special mention, possibly because it was an outstanding one, and certainly because Barnabas will appear later in the story as a Christian leader conspicuous for his sheer goodness (11:24). His original name was Joseph but he had been given a by-name by the apostles which presumably reflected his character.[11]
  • There is the ancient law that forbade Levites from owning land, Num 18:20 and Deut 10:9. Apparently this law has passed, see Jer 32:7(Jeremiah is of the Levitical line)

[1] Polhill, J. B. (1992). Acts (Vol. 26, p. 151). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[2] Marshall, I. H. (2007). Acts. In Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (p. 554). Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos.

[3] Marshall, I. H. (1980). Acts: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 5, p. 115). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[4] Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Ac 4:32). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

[5] Marshall, I. H. (1980). Acts: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 5, p. 115). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[6] Marshall, I. H. (1980). Acts: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 5, p. 115). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[7] Marshall, I. H. (2007). Acts. In Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (p. 554). Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos.

[8] Marshall, I. H. (1980). Acts: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 5, p. 116). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Polhill, J. B. (1992). Acts (Vol. 26, p. 152). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[10] Polhill, J. B. (1992). Acts (Vol. 26, p. 154). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[11] Marshall, I. H. (1980). Acts: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 5, p. 116). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

By |2018-07-29T04:37:20+00:00March 20th, 2018|Adult Sunday School|0 Comments

About the Author: