Acts of Apostles 3:1-26

3  Now Peter and John were going up into the temple for the hour of prayer, the ninth hour,  and a man who was lame from birth was being carried. Every day they would put him near the temple door that was called Beautiful, so he could ask for gifts of mercy from those entering the temple.  When he caught sight of Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking for gifts of mercy.  But Peter, together with John, looked straight at him and said: “Look at us.”  So he fixed his attention on them, expecting to get something from them.  However, Peter said: “Silver and gold I do not possess, but what I do have is what I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Naz·a·reneʹ, walk!”+  With that he took hold of him by the right hand and raised him up.+ Instantly his feet and his ankles were made firm;+  and leaping to his feet,+ he began walking and went with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.  And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10  And they began to recognize him, that this was the man who used to sit waiting for gifts of mercy at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,+ and they were completely astonished and ecstatic about what had happened to him. 11  While the man was still holding on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at what was called Solʹo·mon’s Colonnade,+ completely surprised. 12  When Peter saw this, he said to the people: “Men of Israel, why are you so amazed at this, and why are you staring at us as though by personal power or godly devotion we have made him walk? 13  The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob,+ the God of our forefathers, has glorified his Servant,+ Jesus,+ whom you handed over+ and disowned before Pilate, even though he had decided to release him. 14  Yes, you disowned that holy and righteous one, and you asked for a man who was a murderer to be given to you,+ 15  whereas you killed the Chief Agent of life.+ But God raised him up from the dead, of which fact we are witnesses.+ 16  And through his name, and by our faith in his name, this man whom you see and know has been made strong. The faith that is through him has made this man completely healthy in front of all of you. 17  And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance,+ just as your rulers also did.+ 18  But in this way God has fulfilled the things he announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer.+ 19  “Repent,+ therefore, and turn around+ so as to get your sins blotted out,+ so that seasons of refreshing may come from Jehovah himself+ 20  and he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus. 21  Heaven must hold this one within itself until the times of restoration of all things of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets of old. 22  In fact, Moses said: ‘Jehovah your God will raise up for you from among your brothers a prophet like me.+ You must listen to whatever he tells you.+ 23  Indeed, anyone who does not listen to that Prophet will be completely destroyed from among the people.’+ 24  And all the prophets from Samuel and those who followed him, as many as have spoken, have also plainly declared these days.+ 25  You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your forefathers,+ saying to Abraham: ‘And by means of your offspring all the families of the earth will be blessed.’+ 26  God, after raising up his Servant, sent him to you first+ to bless you by turning each one of you away from your wicked deeds.”

Footnotes

Study Notes

the third hour of the day: That is, about 9:00 a.m. In the first century C.E., the Jews used the count of 12 hours to the day, starting with sunrise at about 6:00 a.m. (Joh 11:9) Therefore, the third hour would be about 9:00 a.m., the sixth hour about noon, and the ninth hour about 3:00 p.m. Since people did not have precise timepieces, only the approximate time of an event was usually given.​—Joh 1:39; 4:6; 19:14; Ac 10:3, 9.

the hour of prayer: Prayers were apparently offered at the temple in conjunction with the morning and evening sacrifices. (Ex 29:38-42; 30:7, 8) Luke connects “the hour of offering incense” with the time when “the people were praying.” (Lu 1:10) In providing details about the daily sacrifices, Jehovah commanded King David to organize the priests and the Levites to honor, thank, and praise Him, which doubtless included prayer. (1Ch 16:4; 23:30; 2Ch 29:25, 26) Incense and prayers were therefore closely related. (Ps 141:2; Re 5:8; 8:3, 4) At the hour of prayer, people typically assembled in the temple courtyards. Some likely came to be purified by the priests that day, while many others would have come to share in the prayers and worship in general. (Lu 2:22-38) Rabbinic tradition says that the priests determined by lot which one of them who had not previously presented incense on the golden altar should have this once-in-a-lifetime honor. With all the priests and Levites gathered, the chosen priest would solemnly enter the Holy while the priests and the people in the courtyards were praying. As the pleasing aroma of incense ascended, the people continued to pray in deep silence for about half an hour. (Lu 1:9, 10) “The hour of prayer” was then brought to a joyful finale that included a blessing of the people (Nu 6:22-27) and a chorus of Levites singing the psalm designated for that day of the week.

the ninth hour: That is, about 3:00 p.m.​—See study note on Ac 2:15.

the Nazarene: A descriptive epithet applied to Jesus and later to his followers. (Ac 24:5) Since many Jews had the name Jesus, it was common to add a further identification; the practice of associating people with the places from which they came was customary in Bible times. (2Sa 3:2, 3; 17:27; 23:25-39; Na 1:1; Ac 13:1; 21:29) Jesus lived most of his early life in the town of Nazareth in Galilee, so it was natural to use this term regarding him. Jesus was often referred to as “the Nazarene,” in different situations and by various individuals. (Mr 1:23, 24; 10:46, 47; 14:66-69; 16:5, 6; Lu 24:13-19; Joh 18:1-7) Jesus himself accepted the name and used it. (Joh 18:5-8; Ac 22:6-8) On the sign that Pilate placed on the torture stake, he wrote in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek: “Jesus the Nazarene the King of the Jews.” (Joh 19:19, 20) From Pentecost 33 C.E. onward, the apostles as well as others often spoke of Jesus as the Nazarene or as being from Nazareth.​—Ac 2:22; 3:6; 4:10; 6:14; 10:38; 26:9; see also study note on Mt 2:23.

the Nazarene: See study note on Mr 10:47.

Chief Agent: The Greek term used here (ar·khe·gosʹ) basically means “chief leader; one who goes first.” It is used four times in the Bible, each time referring to Jesus. (Ac 3:15; 5:31; Heb 2:10; 12:2) This Greek word may also apply to one who leads the way, such as a pathfinder or a pioneer, and prepares it for others to follow. By becoming the Mediator between God and mankind and introducing the way for gaining eternal life, Jesus could rightly be called the Chief Agent of life, or a Pioneer of Life. The expression rendered “Chief Agent” indicates that the one going first does so in an official or administrative capacity as a leader or a prince. (A related word is used at Ac 7:27, 35 regarding Moses as a “ruler” in Israel.) As the term is used here, it includes the idea of being the means that God uses to accomplish his purpose. Jesus became “a corresponding ransom” in exchange for many. (1Ti 2:5, 6; Mt 20:28; Ac 4:12) After Jesus was resurrected, he could as High Priest and Judge administer the value of his ransom. The sacrifice allows humans who exercise faith in it to be free from sin and death. Jesus is, therefore, the one through whom the resurrection of the dead takes place. (Joh 5:28, 29; 6:39, 40) That is how he opens up the way to everlasting life. (Joh 11:25; 14:6; Heb 5:9; 10:19, 20) Although some Bible translators render this expression “Author” or “Originator” of life, the Bible clearly shows that Jesus does not fit that description. Rather, he received his life and his authority from God and is used by God.​—Ps 36:9; Joh 6:57; Ac 17:26-28; Col 1:15; Re 3:14.

Repent: The Greek word used here could literally be rendered “to change one’s mind,” signifying a change in thinking, attitude, or purpose. In this context, “repent” refers to a person’s relationship with God.​—See study notes on Mt 3:8, 11 and Glossary, “Repentance.”

fruit that befits repentance: Refers to evidence and actions that would indicate a change of mind or attitude on the part of those listening to John.​—Lu 3:8; Ac 26:20; see study notes on Mt 3:2, 11 and Glossary, “Repentance.”

conversion: The Greek word used here, e·pi·stro·pheʹ, comes from a verb that means “to return; to turn back (around).” (Joh 12:40; 21:20; Ac 15:36) Used in a spiritual sense, it may involve turning to or returning to the true God as well as turning away from idols and false gods. (This verb appears at Ac 3:19; 14:15; 15:19; 26:18, 20; 2Co 3:16.) At 1Th 1:9, the verb is used in the phrase “how you turned to God from your idols.” Conversion is preceded by repentance.​—See study notes on Mt 3:2, 8; Ac 3:19; 26:20.

repent: The Greek word used here could literally be rendered “to change one’s mind,” signifying a change in thinking, attitude, or purpose. In this context, the admonition to “repent” is connected with the expression and turn to God and is therefore referring to a person’s relationship with God. For a person to be genuinely repentant, he must do works that befit repentance. In other words, his actions would give evidence that a real change of mind or attitude had taken place.​—See study notes on Mt 3:2, 8; Lu 3:8 and Glossary, “Repentance.”

Jehovah: In this quote from De 18:15, the divine name, represented by four Hebrew consonants (transliterated YHWH), occurs in the original Hebrew text. It is worth noting that when this quote occurs in an early fragment of the Septuagint (in the collection Papyrus Fouad Inv. 266), the divine name is written in square Hebrew characters () within the Greek text. This fragment is dated to the first century B.C.E. (See App. A5.) Also a number of translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures into Hebrew (referred to as J7, 8, 10-12, 14-18, 20, 22-24, 28 in App. C4) use the Tetragrammaton here. So although existing manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures use Kyʹri·os (Lord) here, there are good reasons for using the divine name in the main text.​—See App. C.

Repent . . . and turn around: The Greek word me·ta·no·eʹo, “to repent,” literally means “to change one’s mind,” signifying a change in thinking, attitude, or purpose. In this context, repentance involved a person’s wanting to repair or restore his relationship with God. A sinner who genuinely repents deeply regrets his wrong course and is determined not to repeat his sin. (2Co 7:10, 11; see study notes on Mt 3:2, 8.) Moreover, true repentance moves a sinner to “turn around,” abandoning his wrong course and pursuing a course that is pleasing to God. Both in Hebrew and in Greek, the verbs for “to turn around” (Hebrew, shuv; Greek, streʹpho; e·pi·streʹpho) mean “to return; to turn back (around)” in a literal sense. (Ge 18:10; 50:14; Ru 1:6; Ac 15:36) When used in a positive spiritual sense, however, this may denote turning to God from a wrong way.​—1Ki 8:33; Eze 33:11; see study notes on Ac 15:3; 26:20.

get . . . blotted out: The Greek verb used here has been defined “to cause to disappear by wiping.” In the Bible, it is used in connection with wiping out tears (Re 7:17; 21:4) and erasing names from the book of life (Re 3:5). In this context, it conveys the idea of “to remove so as to leave no trace.” According to some scholars, the image expressed here is that of erasing handwriting.​—Compare Col 2:14, where the same Greek word is rendered “erased,” or “blotted out,” ftn.

seasons: Or “appointed times.” The Greek word kai·rosʹ (here the plural form is rendered “seasons”) may refer to a point of time or a fixed or definite period of time or a “season” marked by certain features. (Mt 13:30; 21:34; Mr 11:13) This Greek term is used of “the appointed time” for Jesus’ ministry to begin (Mr 1:15) and the “appointed time” of his death (Mt 26:18). It is also used with reference to future times or seasons within God’s arrangement or timetable, particularly in relation to Christ’s presence and his Kingdom.​—Ac 1:7; 1Th 5:1.

from Jehovah himself: Available Greek manuscripts literally read “from face of the Lord.” (See App. C.) The context of Ac 3:17-22 indicates that “the Lord” refers, not to Jesus, but to Jehovah God, the one who would “send the Christ.” (Ac 3:20) The Greek word for “Lord” (Kyʹri·os) is also used at Ac 3:22 in a quote from De 18:15, where the Tetragrammaton occurs in the original Hebrew text. (See study note on Ac 3:22.) In the Hebrew Scriptures, the phrase “the face of Jehovah” is a combination of the Hebrew word for “face” and the Tetragrammaton.​—Ge 3:8; Ex 34:24; Jg 5:5; Ps 34:16; La 4:16; see App. C3 introduction; Ac 3:19.

hold this one within itself: Or “receive this one.” This apparently refers to the time during which Jesus would wait at God’s right hand in heaven until the times of restoration would begin.​—Ps 110:1, 2; Lu 21:24; Heb 10:12, 13.

the times of restoration: The Greek word for “restoration” (a·po·ka·taʹsta·sis), in some Bible translations rendered “restitution,” comes from a·poʹ, meaning “back” or “again,” and ka·thiʹste·mi, literally meaning “to set down.” The corresponding verb is translated “restoring” at Ac 1:6. Josephus used the Greek word for “restoration” in referring to the return of the Jews from their exile in Babylon. In papyrus writings, the word is used of the repair of certain buildings, the restoration of estates to rightful owners, and the balancing of accounts. Ac 3:21 does not specify what things would be restored, so this restoration of all things must be ascertained by a study of God’s message spoken through his prophets of old. Restoration is a recurring theme in the writings of the Hebrew prophets. Through them, Jehovah promised a land restored and repopulated, fertile, protected from wild beasts and enemy attacks. He described their restored land as a paradise! (Isa 65:25; Eze 34:25; 36:35) Above all, the temple would be rebuilt, and pure worship would be reestablished. (Isa 2:1-5; Mic 4:1-5) The foretold restoration would include both a spiritual and a physical restoration.

Jehovah: In this quote from De 18:15, the divine name, represented by four Hebrew consonants (transliterated YHWH), occurs in the original Hebrew text. It is worth noting that when this quote occurs in an early fragment of the Septuagint (in the collection Papyrus Fouad Inv. 266), the divine name is written in square Hebrew characters () within the Greek text. This fragment is dated to the first century B.C.E. (See App. A5.) Also a number of translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures into Hebrew (referred to as J7, 8, 10-12, 14-18, 20, 22-24, 28 in App. C4) use the Tetragrammaton here. So although existing manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures use Kyʹri·os (Lord) here, there are good reasons for using the divine name in the main text.​—See App. C.

life: This is the first occurrence of the Greek word psy·kheʹ, rendered “soul” in some Bible translations. Here it refers to a person’s life. The expression seeking the life of someone can also be rendered “seeking [wanting] to kill” someone.​—Ex 4:19, ftn.; see Glossary, “Soul.”

to save a life or to kill: Or “to save or to kill a soul.”​—See Glossary, “Soul.”

life: Or “soul.”​—See Glossary, “Soul.”

anyone: Or “any soul.” The Greek word psy·kheʹ, traditionally rendered “soul,” here refers to an individual or a person. (See Glossary, “Soul.”) This is one of several verses in the Christian Greek Scriptures that speak of the “soul” (psy·kheʹ) as mortal and destructible.​—See study notes on Mt 2:20; Mr 3:4; Lu 6:9; see also Heb 10:39, ftn.; Jas 5:20, ftn.

offspring: Lit., “seed.”​—See App. A2.

Media

Solomon’s Colonnade
Solomon’s Colonnade

This 3-D animation shows one possibility of what Solomon’s Colonnade may have looked like. Located on the east side of the outer courtyard of the first-century temple in Jerusalem, Solomon’s Colonnade was a spacious, covered passageway. The Bible mentions this location three times by name. John states that on one occasion when Jesus walked through this colonnade, a group of Jews surrounded him, demanding that he tell them if he was the Christ. (Joh 10:22-24) Later, an amazed crowd gathered at Solomon’s Colonnade to hear Peter explain how he had cured a man who was crippled from birth. (Ac 3:1-7, 11) And early Christians met publicly in Solomon’s Colonnade.—Ac 5:12, 13; see Glossary, “Solomon’s Colonnade.”