The following comments are designed to help you better understand the passage and stimulate your thinking on the implications of the scripture.
The following comments are designed to help you better understand the passage and stimulate your thinking on the implications of the scripture passage.
These new converts, along with the disciples, gave ("devoted") themselves to two activities primarily: the apostles' teaching and fellowship. The grammar of the Greek sentence sets these actions off as distinct from the following two activities that define fellowship. The apostles' teaching included the Jewish Scriptures as well as the teachings of Christ on earth and the revelations He gave to the apostles from heaven. This means the early Christians gave priority to the revealed Word of God. (Constable, Notes on Acts, 63)
In verse 43 it says, “And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.” Scholar Eckhard Schnabel points out:
The result of these miracles, of which Luke will give one example in 3:1-10, is “awe”, which affected everybody. The term, which can mean “panic, fear, terror,” also denotes “reverence, respect, awe.” Since Jesus did not perform miracles of judgment, we can assume that the apostles did not perform miracles in which people were harmed; thus the meaning “respect, awe” should be used here. The two imperfect tense verbs indicate that this was a continual state of affairs among the population of Jerusalem. (Schnabel, Acts, 180-181)
As Christians at the time were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing to those in need, it brings up interesting questions for how Christians should live today. John Stott provides some helpful commentary:
It is important to note that even in Jerusalem the sharing of property and possessions was voluntary. According to verse 46, they broke bread in their homes. So evidently many still had homes; not all had sold them. It is also noteworthy that the tense of both verbs in verse 45 is imperfect, which indicates that the selling and the giving were occasional, in response to particular needs, not once and for all. Further, the sin of Ananias and Sapphira, to which we shall come in Acts 5, was not greed or materialism but deceit; it was not that they had retained part of the proceeds of their sale, but that they had done so while pretending to give it all. (Stott, The Message of Acts, 84)
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