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Acts 14 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Paul and Barnabas at Iconium

14 The same thing happened in Iconium[a] when Paul and Barnabas[b] went into the Jewish synagogue[c] and spoke in such a way that a large group[d] of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the Jews who refused to believe[e] stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds[f] against the brothers. So they stayed there[g] for a considerable time, speaking out courageously for the Lord, who testified[h] to the message[i] of his grace, granting miraculous signs[j] and wonders to be performed through their hands. But the population[k] of the city was divided; some[l] sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. When both the Gentiles and the Jews (together with their rulers) made[m] an attempt to mistreat[n] them and stone them,[o] Paul and Barnabas[p] learned about it[q] and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra[r] and Derbe[s] and the surrounding region. There[t] they continued to proclaim[u] the good news.

Paul and Barnabas at Lystra

In[v] Lystra[w] sat a man who could not use his feet,[x] lame from birth,[y] who had never walked. This man was listening to Paul as he was speaking. When Paul[z] stared[aa] intently at him and saw he had faith to be healed, 10 he said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.”[ab] And the man[ac] leaped up and began walking.[ad] 11 So when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted[ae] in the Lycaonian language,[af] “The gods have come down to us in human form!”[ag] 12 They began to call[ah] Barnabas Zeus[ai] and Paul Hermes,[aj] because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of the temple[ak] of Zeus,[al] located just outside the city, brought bulls[am] and garlands[an] to the city gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifices to them.[ao] 14 But when the apostles[ap] Barnabas and Paul heard about[aq] it, they tore[ar] their clothes and rushed out[as] into the crowd, shouting,[at] 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We too are men, with human natures[au] just like you! We are proclaiming the good news to you, so that you should turn[av] from these worthless[aw] things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth,[ax] the sea, and everything that is in them. 16 In[ay] past[az] generations he allowed all the nations[ba] to go their own ways, 17 yet he did not leave himself without a witness by doing good,[bb] by giving you rain from heaven[bc] and fruitful seasons, satisfying you[bd] with food and your hearts with joy.”[be] 18 Even by saying[bf] these things, they scarcely persuaded[bg] the crowds not to offer sacrifice to them.

19 But Jews came from Antioch[bh] and Iconium,[bi] and after winning[bj] the crowds over, they stoned[bk] Paul and dragged him out of the city, presuming him to be dead. 20 But after the disciples had surrounded him, he got up and went back[bl] into the city. On[bm] the next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.[bn]

Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria

21 After they had proclaimed the good news in that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra,[bo] to Iconium,[bp] and to Antioch.[bq] 22 They strengthened[br] the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue[bs] in the faith, saying, “We must enter the kingdom of God[bt] through many persecutions.”[bu] 23 When they had appointed elders[bv] for them in the various churches,[bw] with prayer and fasting[bx] they entrusted them to the protection[by] of the Lord in whom they had believed. 24 Then they passed through[bz] Pisidia and came into Pamphylia,[ca] 25 and when they had spoken the word[cb] in Perga,[cc] they went down to Attalia.[cd] 26 From there they sailed back to Antioch,[ce] where they had been commended[cf] to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.[cg] 27 When they arrived and gathered the church together, they reported[ch] all the things God[ci] had done with them, and that he had opened a door[cj] of faith for the Gentiles. 28 So they spent[ck] considerable[cl] time with the disciples.


  1. Acts 14:1 sn Iconium. See the note in 13:51.
  2. Acts 14:1 tn Grk “they”; the referents (Paul and Barnabas) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
  3. Acts 14:1 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:9.
  4. Acts 14:1 tn Or “that a large crowd.”
  5. Acts 14:2 tn Or “who would not believe.”
  6. Acts 14:2 tn Or “embittered their minds” (Grk “their souls”). BDAG 502 s.v. κακόω 2 has “make angry, embitter τὰς ψυχάς τινων κατά τινος poison the minds of some persons against another Ac 14:2.”
  7. Acts 14:3 tn The word “there” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
  8. Acts 14:3 sn The Lord testified to the message by granting the signs described in the following clause.
  9. Acts 14:3 tn Grk “word.”
  10. Acts 14:3 tn Here the context indicates the miraculous nature of the signs mentioned.
  11. Acts 14:4 tn BDAG 825 s.v. πλῆθος 2.b.γ has this translation for πλῆθος (plēthos).
  12. Acts 14:4 tn These clauses are a good example of the contrastive μὲνδέ (mende) construction: Some “on the one hand” sided with the Jews, but some “on the other hand” sided with the apostles.
  13. Acts 14:5 tn Grk “So there came about an attempt” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  14. Acts 14:5 tn On this verb see BDAG 1022 s.v. ὑβρίζω.
  15. Acts 14:5 tn The direct object “them” is repeated after both verbs in the translation for stylistic reasons, although it occurs only after λιθοβολῆσαι (lithobolēsai) in the Greek text.
  16. Acts 14:6 tn Grk “they”; the referents (Paul and Barnabas) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
  17. Acts 14:6 tn Grk “learning about it, fled.” The participle συνιδόντες (sunidontes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. It could also be taken temporally (“when they learned about it”) as long as opening clause of v. 5 is not translated as a temporal clause too, which results in a redundancy.
  18. Acts 14:6 sn Lystra was a city in Lycaonia about 18 mi (30 km) south of Iconium, a Roman colony that was not on the main roads of Lycaonia. Because of its relative isolation, its local character was able to be preserved.
  19. Acts 14:6 sn Derbe was a city in Lycaonia about 35 mi (60 km) southeast of Lystra.
  20. Acts 14:7 tn Grk “region, and there.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, καί (kai) has not been translated and a new sentence begun in the translation.
  21. Acts 14:7 tn The periphrastic construction εὐαγγελιζόμενοι ἦσαν (euangelizomenoi ēsan) has been translated as a progressive imperfect.
  22. Acts 14:8 tn Grk “And in.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
  23. Acts 14:8 sn Lystra was a city in Lycaonia about 18 mi (30 km) south of Iconium.
  24. Acts 14:8 tn Grk “powerless in his feet,” meaning he was unable to use his feet to walk.
  25. Acts 14:8 tn Grk “lame from his mother’s womb” (an idiom).sn The description lame from birth makes clear how serious the condition was, and how real it was. This event is very similar to Acts 3:1-10, except here the lame man’s faith is clear from the start.
  26. Acts 14:9 tn Grk “speaking, who.” The relative pronoun has been replaced by the noun “Paul,” and a new sentence begun in the translation because an English relative clause would be very awkward here.
  27. Acts 14:9 tn Or “looked.”
  28. Acts 14:10 tn BDAG 722 s.v. ὀρθός 1.a has “stand upright on your feet.”
  29. Acts 14:10 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  30. Acts 14:10 tn This verb is imperfect tense in contrast to the previous verb, which is aorist. It has been translated ingressively, since the start of a sequence is in view here.
  31. Acts 14:11 tn Grk “they lifted up their voice” (an idiom).
  32. Acts 14:11 tn Grk “in Lycaonian, saying.” The word “language” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in English and has not been translated.
  33. Acts 14:11 tn So BDAG 707 s.v. ὁμοιόω 1. However, L&N 64.4 takes the participle ὁμοιωθέντες (homoiōthentes) as an adjectival participle modifying θεοί (theoi): “the gods resembling men have come down to us.”sn The gods have come down to us in human form. Greek culture spoke of “divine men.” In this region there was a story of Zeus and Hermes visiting the area (Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.611-725). The locals failed to acknowledge them, so judgment followed. The present crowd was determined not to make the mistake a second time.
  34. Acts 14:12 tn The imperfect verb ἐκάλουν (ekaloun) has been translated as an ingressive imperfect.
  35. Acts 14:12 sn Zeus was the chief Greek deity, worshiped throughout the Greco-Roman world (known to the Romans as Jupiter).
  36. Acts 14:12 sn Hermes was a Greek god who (according to Greek mythology) was the messenger of the gods and the god of oratory (equivalent to the Roman god Mercury).
  37. Acts 14:13 tn The words “the temple of” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. The translation “the priest of (the temple/shrine of) Zeus located before the city” is given for this phrase by BDAG 426 s.v. Ζεύς.
  38. Acts 14:13 sn See the note on Zeus in the previous verse.
  39. Acts 14:13 tn Or “oxen.”
  40. Acts 14:13 tn Or “wreaths.”sn Garlands were commonly wreaths of wool with leaves and flowers woven in, worn on a person’s head or woven around a staff. They were an important part of many rituals used to worship pagan gods. Although it was an erroneous reaction, the priest’s reaction shows how all acknowledged their power and access to God.
  41. Acts 14:13 tn The words “to them” are not in the Greek text, but are clearly implied by the response of Paul and Barnabas in the following verse.
  42. Acts 14:14 sn The apostles Barnabas and Paul. This is one of only two places where Luke calls Paul an apostle, and the description here is shared with Barnabas. This is a nontechnical use here, referring to a commissioned messenger.
  43. Acts 14:14 tn The participle ἀκούσαντες (akousantes) is taken temporally.
  44. Acts 14:14 tn Grk “tearing their clothes they rushed out.” The participle διαρρήξαντες (diarrēxantes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. This action is a Jewish response to blasphemy (m. Sanhedrin 7.5; Jdt 14:16-17).
  45. Acts 14:14 tn So BDAG 307 s.v. ἐκπηδάω 1, “rush (lit. ‘leap’) outεἰς τὸν ὄχλον into the crowd Ac 14:14.”
  46. Acts 14:14 tn Grk “shouting and saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes, in v. 15) has not been translated because it is redundant.sn What follows is one of two speeches in Acts to a purely pagan audience (Acts 17 in Athens is the other). So Paul focused on God as Creator, a common link.
  47. Acts 14:15 tn Grk “with the same kinds of feelings,” L&N 25.32. BDAG 706 s.v. ὁμοιοπαθής translates the phrase “with the same nature τινί as someone.” In the immediate context, the contrast is between human and divine nature, and the point is that Paul and Barnabas are mere mortals, not gods.
  48. Acts 14:15 tn Grk “in order that you should turn,” with ἐπιστρέφειν (epistrephein) as an infinitive of purpose, but this is somewhat awkward contemporary English. To translate the infinitive construction “proclaim the good news, that you should turn,” which is much smoother English, could give the impression that the infinitive clause is actually the content of the good news, which it is not. The somewhat less formal “to get you to turn” would work, but might convey to some readers manipulativeness on the part of the apostles. Thus “proclaim the good news, so that you should turn,” is used, to convey that the purpose of the proclamation of good news is the response by the hearers. The emphasis here is like 1 Thess 1:9-10.
  49. Acts 14:15 tn Or “useless,” “futile.” The reference is to idols and idolatry, worshiping the creation over the Creator (Rom 1:18-32). See also 1 Kgs 16:2, 13, 26; 2 Kgs 17:15; Jer 2:5; 8:19; 3 Macc 6:11.
  50. Acts 14:15 tn Grk “and the earth, and the sea,” but καί (kai) has not been translated before “the earth” and “the sea” since contemporary English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
  51. Acts 14:16 tn Grk “them, who in.” The relative pronoun (“who”) was replaced by the pronoun “he” (“In past generations he”) and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek and the awkwardness of two relative clauses (“who made the heaven” and “who in past generations”) following one another.
  52. Acts 14:16 tn On this term see BDAG 780 s.v. παροίχομαι. The word is a NT hapax legomenon.
  53. Acts 14:16 tn Or “all the Gentiles” (in Greek the word for “nation” and “Gentile” is the same). The plural here alludes to the variety of false religions in the pagan world.
  54. Acts 14:17 tn The participle ἀγαθουργῶν (agathourgōn) is regarded as indicating means here, parallel to the following participles διδούς (didous) and ἐμπιπλῶν (empiplōn). This is the easiest way to understand the Greek structure. Semantically, the first participle is a general statement, followed by two participles giving specific examples of doing good.
  55. Acts 14:17 tn Or “from the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).
  56. Acts 14:17 tn Grk “satisfying [filling] your hearts with food and joy.” This is an idiomatic expression; it strikes the English reader as strange to speak of “filling one’s heart with food.” Thus the additional direct object “you” has been supplied, separating the two expressions somewhat: “satisfying you with food and your hearts with joy.”
  57. Acts 14:17 sn God’s general sovereignty and gracious care in the creation are the way Paul introduces the theme of the goodness of God. He was trying to establish monotheism here. It is an OT theme (Gen 8:22; Pss 4:7; 145:15-16; 147:8-9; Isa 25:6; Jer 5:24) which also appears in the NT (Luke 12:22-34).
  58. Acts 14:18 tn The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is regarded as indicating means.
  59. Acts 14:18 tn BDAG 524 s.v. καταπαύω 2.b gives both “restrain” and “dissuade someone fr. someth.,” but “they scarcely dissuaded the crowds from offering sacrifice,” while accurate, is less common in contemporary English than saying “they scarcely persuaded the crowds not to offer sacrifice.” Paganism is portrayed as a powerful reality that is hard to reverse.
  60. Acts 14:19 sn Antioch was a city in Pisidia about 90 mi (145 km) west northwest of Lystra.
  61. Acts 14:19 sn Iconium was a city in Lycaonia about 18 mi (30 km) north of Lystra. Note how Jews from other cities were chasing Paul (2 Cor 11:4-6; Gal 2:4-5; Acts 9:16).
  62. Acts 14:19 tn The participle πείσαντες (peisantes) is taken temporally (BDAG 791 s.v. πείθω 1.c).
  63. Acts 14:19 tn Grk “stoning Paul they dragged him.” The participle λιθάσαντες (lithasantes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
  64. Acts 14:20 tn Grk “and entered”; the word “back” is not in the Greek text but is implied.
  65. Acts 14:20 tn Grk “And on.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
  66. Acts 14:20 sn Derbe was a city in Lycaonia about 35 mi (60 km) southeast of Lystra. This was the easternmost point of the journey.
  67. Acts 14:21 sn Lystra was a city in Lycaonia about 35 mi (60 km) northwest of Derbe.
  68. Acts 14:21 sn Iconium was a city in Lycaonia about 18 mi (30 km) north of Lystra.
  69. Acts 14:21 sn Antioch was a city in Pisidia about 90 mi (145 km) west northwest of Lystra.
  70. Acts 14:22 tn Grk “to Antioch, strengthening.” Due to the length of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences, a new sentence was started here. This participle (ἐπιστηρίζοντες, epistērizontes) and the following one (παρακαλοῦντες, parakalountes) have been translated as finite verbs connected by the coordinating conjunction “and.”
  71. Acts 14:22 sn And encouraged them to continue. The exhortations are like those noted in Acts 11:23; 13:43. An example of such a speech is found in Acts 20:18-35. Christianity is now characterized as “the faith.”
  72. Acts 14:22 sn This reference to the kingdom of God clearly refers to its arrival as future, although this does not automatically rule out a present manifestation of the kingdom as well. The nature of the kingdom of God in the NT and in Jesus’ teaching has long been debated by interpreters and scholars, with discussion primarily centering around the nature of the kingdom (earthly, heavenly, or both) and the kingdom’s arrival (present, future, or both). An additional major issue concerns the relationship between the kingdom of God and the person and work of Jesus himself. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21; Acts 1:3.
  73. Acts 14:22 tn Or “sufferings.”
  74. Acts 14:23 sn Appointed elders. See Acts 20:17.
  75. Acts 14:23 tn The preposition κατά (kata) is used here in a distributive sense; see BDAG 512 s.v. κατά B.1.d.
  76. Acts 14:23 tn Literally with a participle (προσευξάμενοι, proseuxamenoi) rather than a noun, “praying with fasting,” but the combination “prayer and fasting” is so familiar in English that it is preferable to use it here.
  77. Acts 14:23 tn BDAG 772 s.v. παρατίθημι 3.b has “entrust someone to the care or protection of someone” for this phrase. The reference to persecution or suffering in the context (v. 22) suggests “protection” is a better translation here. This looks at God’s ultimate care for the church.
  78. Acts 14:24 tn Grk “Then passing through Pisidia they came.” The participle διελθόντες (dielthontes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
  79. Acts 14:24 sn Pamphylia was a province along the southern coast of Asia Minor.
  80. Acts 14:25 tn Or “message.”
  81. Acts 14:25 sn Perga was a city in Pamphylia near the southern coast of Asia Minor.
  82. Acts 14:25 sn Attalia was a seaport in the province of Pamphylia on the southern coast of Asia Minor, about 12 mi (20 km) southwest of Perga.
  83. Acts 14:26 sn Antioch was the city in Syria (not Antioch in Pisidia) from which Paul’s first missionary journey began (see Acts 13:1-4). That first missionary journey ends here, after covering some 1,400 mi (2,240 km).
  84. Acts 14:26 tn Or “committed.” BDAG 762 s.v. παραδίδωμι 2 gives “commended to the grace of God for the work 14:26” as the meaning for this phrase, although “give over” and “commit” are listed as alternative meanings for this category.
  85. Acts 14:26 tn BDAG 829 s.v. πληρόω 5 has “to bring to completion an activity in which one has been involved from its beginning, complete, finish” as meanings for this category. The ministry to which they were commissioned ends with a note of success.
  86. Acts 14:27 tn Or “announced.”
  87. Acts 14:27 sn Note that God is the subject of the activity. The outcome of this mission is seen as a confirmation of the mission to the Gentiles.
  88. Acts 14:27 sn On the image of opening, or of the door, see 1 Cor 16:9; 2 Cor 2:12; Col 4:3.
  89. Acts 14:28 tn BDAG 238 s.v. διατρίβω gives the meaning as “spend” when followed by an accusative τὸν χρόνον (ton chronon) which is the case here.
  90. Acts 14:28 tn Grk “no little (time)” (an idiom).
New English Translation (NET)

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