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Acts 16:17-19 New English Translation (NET Bible)

17 She followed behind Paul and us and kept crying out,[a] “These men are servants[b] of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way[c] of salvation.”[d] 18 She continued to do this for many days. But Paul became greatly annoyed,[e] and turned[f] and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ[g] to come out of her!” And it came out of her at once.[h] 19 But when her owners[i] saw their hope of profit[j] was gone, they seized[k] Paul and Silas and dragged[l] them into the marketplace[m] before the authorities.


  1. Acts 16:17 tn Grk “crying out, saying”; the participle λέγουσα (legousa) is redundant in English and has not been translated. The imperfect verb ἔκραζεν (ekrazen) has been translated as a progressive imperfect.
  2. Acts 16:17 tn Grk “slaves.” See the note on the word “servants” in 2:18. The translation “servants” was used here because in this context there appears to be more emphasis on the activity of Paul and his companions (“proclaiming to you the way of salvation”) than on their status as “slaves of the Most High God.”
  3. Acts 16:17 tn Or “a way.” The grammar of this phrase is a bit ambiguous. The phrase in Greek is ὁδὸν σωτηρίας (hodon sōtērias). Neither the head noun nor the genitive noun has the article; this is in keeping with Apollonius’ Canon (see ExSyn 239-40). Since both nouns are anarthrous, this construction also fits Apollonius’ Corollary (see ExSyn 250-54); since the genitive noun is abstract it is most naturally qualitative, so the head noun could either be definite or indefinite without being unusual as far as the grammar is concerned. Luke’s usage of ὁδός elsewhere is indecisive as far as this passage is concerned. However, when one looks at the historical background it is clear that (1) the woman is shut up (via exorcism) not because her testimony is false but because of its source (analogous to Jesus’ treatment of demons perhaps), and (b) “the way” is a par excellence description of the new faith throughout Acts. It thus seems that at least in Luke’s presentation “the way of salvation” is the preferred translation.
  4. Acts 16:17 sn Proclaiming to you the way of salvation. The remarks were an ironic recognition of Paul’s authority, but he did not desire such a witness, possibly for fear of confusion. Her expression the Most High God might have been understood as Zeus by the audience.
  5. Acts 16:18 tn Grk “becoming greatly annoyed.” The participle διαπονηθείς (diaponētheis) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. The aorist has been translated as an ingressive aorist (entry into a state or condition). See BDAG 235 s.v. διαπονέομαι.
  6. Acts 16:18 tn Grk “and turning.” The participle ἐπιστρέψας (epistrepsas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
  7. Acts 16:18 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”
  8. Acts 16:18 tn BDAG 1102-3 s.v. ὥρα 2.c has “at that very time, at once, instantly” for the usage in this verse.
  9. Acts 16:19 tn Or “masters.”
  10. Acts 16:19 tn On this use of ἐργασία (ergasia), see BDAG 390 s.v. 4. It is often the case that destructive practices and commerce are closely tied together.
  11. Acts 16:19 tn Grk “was gone, seizing.” The participle ἐπιλαβόμενοι (epilabomenoi) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
  12. Acts 16:19 tn On the term ἕλκω (helkō) see BDAG 318 s.v. 1.
  13. Acts 16:19 sn The marketplace (Greek agora) was not only a place of trade and commerce in the first century Greco-Roman world. It was a place of discussion and dialogue (the “public square”), a place of judgment (courts held session there), a place for idle people and those seeking work, and a place for children to play.
New English Translation (NET)

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