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Κατήντησεν δὲ καὶ εἰς Δέρβην καὶ εἰς Λύστραν. καὶ ἰδοὺ, μαθητής τις ἦν ἐκεῖ, ὀνόματι Τιμόθεος, υἱὸς γυναικὸς Ἰουδαίας πιστῆς, πατρὸς δὲ Ἕλληνος,
ὃς ἐμαρτυρεῖτο ὑπὸ τῶν ἐν Λύστροις καὶ Ἰκονίῳ ἀδελφῶν.
τοῦτον ἠθέλησεν ὁ Παῦλος σὺν αὐτῷ ἐξελθεῖν, καὶ λαβὼν, περιέτεμεν αὐτὸν διὰ τοὺς Ἰουδαίους τοὺς ὄντας ἐν τοῖς τόποις ἐκείνοις· ᾔδεισαν γὰρ ἅπαντες ὅτι Ἕλλην ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ὑπῆρχεν.
Ὡς δὲ διεπορεύοντο τὰς πόλεις, παρεδίδοσαν αὐτοῖς φυλάσσειν τὰ δόγματα τὰ κεκριμένα ὑπὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ πρεσβυτέρων τῶν ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις.
Αἱ μὲν οὖν ἐκκλησίαι ἐστερεοῦντο τῇ πίστει, καὶ ἐπερίσσευον τῷ ἀριθμῷ καθ’ ἡμέραν.
Διῆλθον δὲ τὴν Φρυγίαν καὶ Γαλατικὴν χώραν, κωλυθέντες ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος λαλῆσαι τὸν λόγον ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ,
ἐλθόντες δὲ κατὰ τὴν Μυσίαν, ἐπείραζον εἰς τὴν Βιθυνίαν πορευθῆναι· καὶ οὐκ εἴασεν αὐτοὺς τὸ Πνεῦμα Ἰησοῦ·
παρελθόντες δὲ τὴν Μυσίαν, κατέβησαν εἰς Τρῳάδα.
Acts 16:9 Καὶ ὅραμα διὰ [τῆς] νυκτὸς τῷ Παύλῳ ὤφθη· ἀνὴρ Μακεδών τις ἦν ἑστὼς καὶ παρακαλῶν αὐτὸν καὶ λέγων, Διαβὰς εἰς Μακεδονίαν, βοήθησον ἡμῖν.
Acts 16:10 ὡς δὲ τὸ ὅραμα εἶδεν, εὐθέως ἐζητήσαμεν ἐξελθεῖν εἰς Μακεδονίαν, συμβιβάζοντες ὅτι προσκέκληται ἡμᾶς ὁ Θεὸς εὐαγγελίσασθαι αὐτούς.
Acts 16:11 Ἀναχθέντες δὲ ἀπὸ Τρῳάδος, εὐθυδρομήσαμεν εἰς Σαμοθρᾴκην, τῇ δὲ ἐπιούσῃ, εἰς Νέαν Πόλιν,
Acts 16:12 κἀκεῖθεν εἰς Φιλίππους, ἥτις ἐστὶν πρώτη τῆς μερίδος Μακεδονίας πόλις, κολωνία. Ἦμεν δὲ ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ πόλει διατρίβοντες ἡμέρας τινάς.
Acts 16:13 Τῇ τε ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων, ἐξήλθομεν ἔξω τῆς πύλης, παρὰ ποταμὸν, οὗ ἐνομίζομεν προσευχὴν εἶναι. καὶ καθίσαντες, ἐλαλοῦμεν ταῖς συνελθούσαις γυναιξίν.
Acts 16:14 Καί τις γυνὴ ὀνόματι Λυδία, πορφυρόπωλις πόλεως Θυατείρων, σεβομένη τὸν Θεόν, ἤκουεν, ἧς ὁ Κύριος διήνοιξεν τὴν καρδίαν προσέχειν τοῖς λαλουμένοις ὑπὸ ‹τοῦ› Παύλου.
Acts 16:15 ὡς δὲ ἐβαπτίσθη, καὶ ὁ οἶκος αὐτῆς, παρεκάλεσεν, λέγουσα, Εἰ κεκρίκατέ με πιστὴν τῷ Κυρίῳ εἶναι, εἰσελθόντες εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου, μένετε. καὶ παρεβιάσατο ἡμᾶς.
Acts 16:16 Ἐγένετο δὲ, πορευομένων ἡμῶν εἰς τὴν προσευχὴν, παιδίσκην τινὰ, ἔχουσαν πνεῦμα Πύθωνα, ὑπαντῆσαι ἡμῖν, ἥτις ἐργασίαν πολλὴν παρεῖχεν τοῖς κυρίοις αὐτῆς μαντευομένη.
Acts 16:17 αὕτη, κατακολουθοῦσα τῷ Παύλῳ καὶ ἡμῖν, ἔκραζεν, λέγουσα, Οὗτοι οἱ ἄνθρωποι δοῦλοι τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ Ὑψίστου εἰσίν, οἵτινες καταγγέλλουσιν ὑμῖν ὁδὸν σωτηρίας.
Acts 16:18 Τοῦτο δὲ ἐποίει ἐπὶ πολλὰς ἡμέρας. διαπονηθεὶς δὲ Παῦλος, καὶ ἐπιστρέψας τῷ πνεύματι, εἶπεν, Παραγγέλλω σοι ἐν ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐξελθεῖν ἀπ’ αὐτῆς. καὶ ἐξῆλθεν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ.
Acts 16:19 Ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ κύριοι αὐτῆς ὅτι ἐξῆλθεν ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς ἐργασίας αὐτῶν, ἐπιλαβόμενοι τὸν Παῦλον καὶ τὸν Σιλᾶν, εἵλκυσαν εἰς τὴν ἀγορὰν ἐπὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας·
Acts 16:20 καὶ προσαγαγόντες αὐτοὺς τοῖς στρατηγοῖς, εἶπαν, Οὗτοι οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἐκταράσσουσιν ἡμῶν τὴν πόλιν, Ἰουδαῖοι ὑπάρχοντες,
Acts 16:21 καὶ καταγγέλλουσιν ἔθη, ἃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν ἡμῖν παραδέχεσθαι οὐδὲ ποιεῖν, Ῥωμαίοις οὖσιν.
Acts 16:22 Καὶ συνεπέστη ὁ ὄχλος κατ’ αὐτῶν, καὶ οἱ στρατηγοὶ περιρήξαντες αὐτῶν τὰ ἱμάτια, ἐκέλευον ῥαβδίζειν.
Acts 16:23 πολλάς τε* ἐπιθέντες αὐτοῖς πληγὰς, ἔβαλον εἰς φυλακήν, παραγγείλαντες τῷ δεσμοφύλακι ἀσφαλῶς τηρεῖν αὐτούς,
Acts 16:24 ὃς παραγγελίαν τοιαύτην λαβὼν, ἔβαλεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν ἐσωτέραν φυλακὴν, καὶ τοὺς πόδας ἠσφαλίσατο αὐτῶν εἰς τὸ ξύλον.
Κατὰ δὲ τὸ μεσονύκτιον, Παῦλος καὶ Σιλᾶς, προσευχόμενοι, ὕμνουν τὸν Θεόν. ἐπηκροῶντο δὲ αὐτῶν οἱ δέσμιοι.
Now at midnight, Paul and Silas, praying, were praising God and the inmates were listening closely to them.
Paraphrase: Paul and Silas, however, were not dismayed by this turn of events. Even in the middle of the night, they were praying to God and singing hymns to His praise. The other inmates overheard these prayers and praises and were paying careful attention to it.
ἐπακροάομαι = to listen attentively source
ἄφνω δὲ σεισμὸς ἐγένετο μέγας, ὥστε σαλευθῆναι τὰ θεμέλια τοῦ δεσμωτηρίου· ἠνεῴχθησαν δὲ παραχρῆμα αἱ θύραι πᾶσαι, καὶ πάντων, τὰ δεσμὰ ἀνέθη.
and suddenly a great earthquake took place so that the foundations of the prison to shake, and immediately all the doors were opened and all the chains let loose.
Paraphrase: Suddenly, a dreadful earthquake shook the prison. Even the very foundation of the prison shook with the result that all the doors of the prison burst open. For some strange reason, the handcuffs and leg irons which bound every inmate also fell to the floor and every inmate was able to move about freely.
For see ὥστε σαλευθῆναι see GGBB p592
Ἔξυπνος δὲ γενόμενος ὁ δεσμοφύλαξ, καὶ ἰδὼν ἀνεῳγμένας τὰς θύρας τῆς φυλακῆς, σπασάμενος τὴν μάχαιραν, ἤμελλεν ἑαυτὸν ἀναιρεῖν, νομίζων ἐκπεφευγέναι τοὺς δεσμίους.
and the prison-guard, being aroused from sleep and seeing the doors of the prison opened, grasping his sword, was about to kill himself supposing the inmates to have escaped.
Paraphrase: Now the Roman jailer on duty that night had been sleeping when the earthquake struck. Upon hearing the commotion, he leaped up and rushed to see what had happened to the prison. He gasped in horror when he saw the prison doors standing wide open. Immediately, he assumed that all the inmates had fled and proceeded to do the only thing left to him. He knew that Roman justice would show him no mercy. The jailer drew out his sword and prepared to die with honor.
ἐφώνησεν δὲ ὁ Παῦλος μεγάλῃ φωνῇ, λέγων, Μηδὲν πράξῃς σεαυτῷ κακόν· ἅπαντες γάρ ἐσμεν ἐνθάδε.
But Paul called with a loud voice saying, “Do not do evil to yourself for all are here!”
Paraphrase: “Stop!” yelled Paul when he saw what the jailer was about to do, “Don’t harm yourself! All of us are still here! None of us has fled!”
Αἰτήσας δὲ φῶτα, εἰσεπήδησεν, καὶ ἔντρομος γενόμενος, προσέπεσεν τῷ Παύλῳ καὶ τῷ Σιλᾷ.
and asking for light, he rushed in and being shaken, he fell before Paul and Silas.
Paraphrase: Then the jailer rushed into the prison to see if it was really true. He could hardly believe what Paul was saying; but after asking for a light and seeing for himself, he knew that it was indeed true. Not one of the inmates was missing. As the reality of this situation began to sink in, the jailer came to Paul and Silas, still trembling with fear, and fell at their feet…
καὶ προαγαγὼν αὐτοὺς ἔξω ἔφη, Κύριοι, τί με δεῖ ποιεῖν, ἵνα σωθῶ;
…and as he was leading them outside, he said, “Sirs, what is necessary for me to do, in order that I might be saved?”
Paraphrase: …and cried in despair, “Please sirs, tell me what I need to do in order that I might receive the salvation about which you have been teaching us?” While he was putting this question to Paul and Silas, he led them safely out of the prison.
Οἱ δὲ εἶπαν, Πίστευσον ἐπὶ τὸν Κύριον Ἰησοῦν, καὶ σωθήσῃ, σὺ καὶ ὁ οἶκός σου.
Then they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your house.”
Paraphrase: Then Paul and Silas joyfully announced to this man the way of salvation. “Surrender yourself completely to Jesus!” they told the jailer, “as the only One who can bring you salvation, and you will surely be saved. And this promise from God is not just for you but is also for your wife and children and the entire family.”
Keener notes that the job of prison guard was often given to retired soldiers; see his comments on Acts 16:23. Later, he notes that soldiers were not permitted to marry officially until they retired which would increase the possibility that there were younger children in his family; see comments on Acts 16:33–34.
In his book on justification, Owen gives a definition of faith by Mestrezat which is “the flight of a penitent sinner unto the mercy of God in Christ.” source Certainly, this definition captures the experience of the jailer. Bulliner writes that πιστεύω with the preposition εὶς implies moving in the direction of the object of faith or to give one’s self up to. source
καὶ ἐλάλησαν αὐτῷ τὸν λόγον τοῦ κυρίου, σὺν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ.
and they spoke to him the word of the Lord, with all who were in his house.
Paraphrase: After the jailer had recovered from his shock, he took Paul and Silas with him to his home. Here the jailer announced to his house what had happened and joyfully told them of the Savior He had come to embrace. The jailer gathered all his family, and they sat at Paul and Silas’ feet who then taught them the first principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
καὶ παραλαβὼν αὐτοὺς ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ τῆς νυκτὸς, ἔλουσεν ἀπὸ τῶν πληγῶν· καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη, αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ αὐτοῦ πάντες παραχρῆμα.
and taking them in that hour of the night, he washed out their wounds, and he was baptized, he and all his immediately.
Paraphrase: The jailer also took great care to see to it that the wounds which had been inflicted on Paul and Silas by their being whipped (Acts 16:22) were thoroughly washed and bandaged. Finally, Paul and Silas told the jailer that since he had come to believe in Jesus, he and his entire family ought to be baptized as Jesus had commanded. (Matt 28:19) To this, the jailer readily agreed and right then and there, Paul baptized the entire family.
It’s striking how little time elapsed between the jailer’s coming to faith and his baptism. It does not appear that Paul was one to delay baptism. As soon as anyone professed faith in Jesus, he was baptized. The combination of ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ τῆς νυκτὸς and παραχρῆμα emphasizes this.
ἀναγαγών τε αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν οἶκον, παρέθηκεν τράπεζαν, καὶ ἠγαλλιάσατο πανοικεὶ, πεπιστευκὼς τῷ Θεῷ.
Leading them also to his house, he set a table and rejoiced with the entire house having believed in God.
Paraphrase: Also upon reaching his house, the jailer moved quickly to prepare a meal for Paul and Silas. God had sent an earthquake to open the prison but that was nothing compared to the earthquake that had come in the jailer’s family. Since the jailor had come to faith in Christ, he was brimming over with joy. What a sight it was to see the jailer worshipping and praising God because of his newfound faith. The entire family also joined their father and rejoiced at having found refuge under the wings of the mighty God of Jacob. (Ruth 2:12)
It’s also noteworthy how much this narrative centers on the jailer’s family. Every verse has made this point:
- v31 – you and your household;
- v32 – together with all who were in his house;
- v33 – he and all his;
- v34 – having believed in God with his whole household.
Some would say that this is because all the members of the jailer’s family believed the gospel along with him. Others would see this as evidence of Paul’s thinking and acting in a covenantal way. Paul would have seen the entire family as bound up with the head of the family, sometimes called “corporate personality.” The significance of these verses for our practice of baptism is considered here. Scott points out the subtle difference in meaning between the jailer and his entire family believed and the jailer believed with his entire family.
The difference between “X and his whole household believed” and “X believed with his whole household” may seem slight at first, but it is highly significant. The former statement declares that each member of the household was a believer, but the latter one does not. The word “with” indicates that each member of the household was associated with the head of the house as he professed his faith, so that the household could be received together into the community of faith by baptism, but it does not specify the manner in which each member was associated with him as he embraced the Christian faith. Adults and older children would no doubt have joined with him in making a profession of faith. Younger children and infants, if any, would have joined with their believing parents in a largely or even completely passive manner, just by being brought along with them as their children. An infant’s status as the child of a believer would have constituted sufficient association with the head of the house who believed (cf 1Cor 7:14). Since infants could have been among those who were associated with the Philippian jailer and Crispus as they believed, they could also have been baptized in household baptisms. Acts 16:34 and 18:8, then, imply that baptism was available to the infant children of believers, and not (as the NIV implies) that it was precluded by the requirement of individual faith. By simplifying and supposedly clarifying these passages, the NIV has inadvertently changed their teaching on the scope of baptism. Scott, “Dynamic Equivalence and Some Theological Problems in the NIV,” Westminster Theological Journal 48, no. 2 (1986): 353.
Ἡμέρας δὲ γενομένης, ἀπέστειλαν οἱ στρατηγοὶ τοὺς ῥαβδούχους, λέγοντες, Ἀπόλυσον τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐκείνους.
Ἀπήγγειλεν δὲ ὁ δεσμοφύλαξ τοὺς λόγους τούτους πρὸς τὸν Παῦλον ὅτι· Ἀπέσταλκαν οἱ στρατηγοὶ, ἵνα ἀπολυθῆτε. νῦν οὖν ἐξελθόντες, πορεύεσθε ἐν εἰρήνῃ.
Ὁ δὲ Παῦλος ἔφη πρὸς αὐτούς, Δείραντες ἡμᾶς δημοσίᾳ, ἀκατακρίτους ἀνθρώπους, Ῥωμαίους ὑπάρχοντας, ἔβαλαν εἰς φυλακήν, καὶ νῦν λάθρᾳ ἡμᾶς ἐκβάλλουσιν; οὐ γάρ! ἀλλὰ, ἐλθόντες αὐτοὶ, ἡμᾶς ἐξαγαγέτωσαν.
Ἀπήγγειλαν δὲ τοῖς στρατηγοῖς οἱ ῥαβδοῦχοι τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα. ἐφοβήθησαν δὲ, ἀκούσαντες ὅτι Ῥωμαῖοί εἰσιν.
καὶ ἐλθόντες, παρεκάλεσαν αὐτούς, καὶ ἐξαγαγόντες, ἠρώτων ἀπελθεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως.
ἐξελθόντες δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς φυλακῆς, εἰσῆλθον πρὸς τὴν Λυδίαν· καὶ ἰδόντες, παρεκάλεσαν τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς καὶ ἐξῆλθαν.