Acts 10:39 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 10:39, NIV: We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross,

Acts 10:39, ESV: And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,

Acts 10:39, KJV: And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Acts 10:39, NASB: We are witnesses of all the things that He did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.

Acts 10:39, NLT: 'And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross,

Acts 10:39, CSB: We ourselves are witnesses of everything he did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, and yet they killed him by hanging him on a tree.

What does Acts 10:39 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter is in Caesarea Maritima at the home of the Roman centurion Cornelius. Cornelius has invited friends and family—many of whom worship the Jewish God—to hear what Peter has to say. Peter quickly overcomes his shock at being invited to the home of a Gentile and tells them about Jesus.

It's unclear who the "we" are. Peter had been in Lydda and Joppa, west of Jerusalem. When he received Cornelius' invitation in Joppa, he brought "six brothers" (Acts 11:12) from Joppa (Acts 10:23). We don't know who they are or where they learned about Jesus. They may have heard Jesus speak. They may have been in Jerusalem at some point when Peter and the other apostles preached. Or they may be recent converts thanks to Philip (Acts 8:40). Peter's fellow witnesses may be the other apostles who aren't there but were commissioned by Jesus to tell His story shortly before the ascension (Acts 1:8).

Traditional verse divisions create an awkward separation here, as verse 40 completes Jesus' death with the resurrection. A "tree" is any vertical piece of wood—in this case the cross, but in the Old Testament sometimes an Asherah pole. To be crucified was the greatest dishonor in Roman culture, but to hang from a "tree" was a curse according to the Jews (Deuteronomy 21:22–23). It's unclear what the "country of the Jews" means; it could mean Judea or Judea and Galilee.