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Acts 1 The Passion Translation (TPT)

To Theophilus,[a] the lover of God.

I write to you again, my dear friend, to give you further details[b] about the life of our Lord Jesus and all the things that he did and taught.[c]

Just before he ascended into heaven, he left instructions[d] for the apostles he had chosen by the Holy Spirit.[e] After the sufferings of his cross, Jesus appeared alive many times[f] to these same apostles over a forty-day period.[g] Jesus proved to them with many convincing signs that he had been resurrected.[h]

During these encounters, he taught them the truths of God’s kingdom realm and shared meals with them.[i]

Jesus instructed them, “Don’t leave Jerusalem, but wait here until you receive the gift I told you about, the gift the Father has promised. For John baptized you in water, but in a few days from now you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit!”[j]

Every time they were gathered together, they asked Jesus, “Lord, is it the time now for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

He answered, “The Father is the one who sets the fixed dates and the times of their fulfillment. You are not permitted to know the timing of all that he has prepared by his own authority. But I promise you this—the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power.[k] And you will be my messengers[l] to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces[m]even to the remotest places on earth!”[n]

Right after he spoke those words, the disciples saw Jesus lifted into the sky and disappear into a cloud![o] 10 As they stared into the sky, watching Jesus ascend, two men in white robes suddenly appeared beside them. 11 They told the startled disciples, “Galileans, why are you staring up into the sky? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but he will come back the same way that you saw him ascend.”

A New Apostle Is Chosen

12 The disciples left the Mount of Olives and returned to Jerusalem, less than a mile away.[p] 13–14 Arriving there, they went into a large second-floor room to pray.[q] Those present were Peter, John, Jacob, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, Jacob (the son of Alpheus), Simon (the zealot), Judas (the son of Jacob), and a number of women, including Mary, Jesus’ mother. His brothers[r] were there as well. All of them were united in prayer, gripped with one passion,[s] interceding night and day.

15 During this time Peter stood up among the 120 believers who were gathered and said, 16 “Fellow believers,[t] the Scripture David prophesied by the Holy Spirit concerning Judas had to be fulfilled.[u] Judas betrayed our Lord Jesus and led the mob to the garden to arrest him. 17 He was one of us, and he was chosen to be an apostle just as we were.[v] 18 He earned the wages of his sin,[w] for he fell headfirst, and his belly split open, spilling his intestines on the ground. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem knows what happened to him. That’s why the field where he died is called in Aramaic[x] ‘Haqel Dama,’ that is, ‘The Bloody Field.’ 20 For it is written in the Psalms:

‘Let his house be deserted and become a wasteland.
    No one will live there.’[y]

And also:

‘Let another take his ministry.’[z]

21 “So then, we must choose his replacement from among those who have been with us from the very beginning,[aa] 22 from John’s baptism until Jesus’ ascension. And, like us, he must be a witness of his resurrection.”

23 They proposed two candidates: Joseph, who is also called Barsabbas the Just, and Matthias.[ab] 24 They all prayed, “Lord Yahweh,[ac] you know the heart of every man.[ad] Please give us clear revelation to know which of these two men you have chosen 25 to be an apostle and take Judas’ place because he renounced his apostleship to go where he belonged.”[ae] 26 They cast lots[af] and determined that Matthias was the Lord’s choice, so he was added to the eleven apostles.


  1. Acts 1:1 Some scholars believe that Theophilus could be a symbolic name and not necessarily one individual. This is most likely not written to one individual. When the meaning of his name is translated, the sentence reads, “I wrote to you before, O lover of God.” Both Luke and Acts were written to every lover of God.
  2. Acts 1:1 This account was written by Luke, the human author of the Gospel of Luke. The title Lord Jesus is found only in the Aramaic. The Greek is simply “Jesus.”
  3. Acts 1:1 Although Jesus’ work of redemption has been completed for us, there is still the unfinished work of preparing and beautifying his eternal partner, the bride of Christ. With gifts of power his church is continuing what Jesus began to do and teach through evangelism and discipleship. See Matt. 28:19-20; John 21:25; Eph. 4:11-13.
  4. Acts 1:2 Or “commands.”
  5. Acts 1:2 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek implies that the “instructions” (commands) he gave them were “by the Holy Spirit.”
  6. Acts 1:3 Jesus appeared to his followers at least eleven times and taught them the mysteries of God’s kingdom realm. See also Matt. 13:11.
  7. Acts 1:3 The number forty is significant, for it speaks of transformation and completeness through testing. Jesus was tempted for forty days, the deluge during Noah’s day lasted forty days and nights, Moses met with God for forty days on Sinai, Israel wandered for forty years, and Elijah fasted for forty days. Jesus spent forty days appearing to his disciples to teach them that a day of completeness and transformation had arrived. It took them forty days to comprehend that Christ’s kingdom was spiritual, not political.
  8. Acts 1:3 The world is still waiting to see “many convincing signs” from our lives signifying that we too have been raised from the dead. Spiritual fruit and spiritual power provide these signs.
  9. Acts 1:4 As translated from the Aramaic.
  10. Acts 1:5 The Aramaic implies that they would be the ones who would do the baptizing: “John baptized you in water, but you will baptize [others] in the Holy Spirit.”
  11. Acts 1:8 Or “You will seize power,” or “You will be seized with power.”
  12. Acts 1:8 Or “witnesses.” The Greek word can also be translated “martyrs.”
  13. Acts 1:8 Or “Samaria,” a term used for a distant province populated by another people group.
  14. Acts 1:8 See Matt. 24:14.
  15. Acts 1:9 Or “A cloud came under him and took him up from their sight.” The Aramaic is “A cloud accepted him and covered him from their eyes.” He did not start from a cloud and ascend to outer space. He started from their visible presence, and disappeared from view in a cloud, ascending by that means into heaven. And when he returns it will be a reverse order. We will see him appearing from out of a cloud and descending back into our visible presence where we can see him and be with him.
  16. Acts 1:12 The Aramaic is “seven stadia” (furlongs). A furlong is about one-eighth of a mile. The Greek uses a phrase not found in the Septuagint or elsewhere in the Greek New Testament or in any Greek literature: “of a Sabbath having away.” It is rendered in most modern translations “a Sabbath’s journey.”
  17. Acts 1:13 The Greek uses the definite article “the upstairs room.” This was where they had met before to have the Last Supper with Jesus. In Mark’s Gospel, after the disciples returned from witnessing the ascension, they preached, for Mark is the Gospel of ministry. In Luke, after Jesus’ ascension, they praised, and here in Acts they prayed.
  18. Acts 1:13 Or “siblings.” Jesus’ four brothers are named in Matt. 13:55 and Mark 6:3 as Jacob, Joses (or Joseph), Simon, and Judas. Even though John 7:5 records that early in Jesus’ ministry his own brothers did not believe in him, they obviously later repented and received the revelation of the resurrected Christ, their own brother, and believed in him.
  19. Acts 1:13 The Aramaic is “They prayed with one soul.”
  20. Acts 1:16 Or “brothers.”
  21. Acts 1:16 That is, replacing Judas with another to complete the Twelve. See v. 20.
  22. Acts 1:17 As translated from the Aramaic.
  23. Acts 1:18 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “He acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness.” Judas would have had no time between his betrayal and his suicide to purchase land. This plot of land was likely purchased by the Jewish authorities. They could not use the returned blood money for temple purposes, so instead they purchased a small burial plot for Judas.
  24. Acts 1:19 Or “in the language of the region.” The Greek text is clear that the Jews of Jesus’ day spoke Aramaic, the language that Jesus and his apostles taught in. The Greek text transliterates the name of the field into a Greek equivalent for a Greek audience.
  25. Acts 1:20 See Ps. 69:25.
  26. Acts 1:20 See Ps. 109:8.
  27. Acts 1:21 Or “that our Lord Jesus went in and out among us.”
  28. Acts 1:23 Barsabbas means “son of promise.” Matthias means “gift of YHWH.”
  29. Acts 1:24 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is simply “Lord.”
  30. Acts 1:24 The Greek is “Lord, you are the heart knower of all.”
  31. Acts 1:25 The Aramaic is “go to his place.” The Greek is “departed from this life,” a euphemism for death.
  32. Acts 1:26 This was similar to rolling dice. Casting lots is not mentioned again in the New Testament after the Holy Spirit was poured out. The Aramaic reads “They raised up a shaking-free and elevated Matthias,” which indicates they shook free from Judas’ claim to apostleship and appointed Matthias.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

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Acts 1 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk[c] from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters,[d] the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”

18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms:

“‘May his place be deserted;
    let there be no one to dwell in it,’[e]


“‘May another take his place of leadership.’[f]

21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.


  1. Acts 1:5 Or in
  2. Acts 1:5 Or in
  3. Acts 1:12 That is, about 5/8 mile or about 1 kilometer
  4. Acts 1:16 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 6:3; 11:29; 12:17; 16:40; 18:18, 27; 21:7, 17; 28:14, 15.
  5. Acts 1:20 Psalm 69:25
  6. Acts 1:20 Psalm 109:8
New International Version (NIV)

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