Acts 10:41 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 10:41, NIV: He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen--by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

Acts 10:41, ESV: not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

Acts 10:41, KJV: Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

Acts 10:41, NASB: not to all the people, but to witnesses who had been chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.

Acts 10:41, NLT: not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

Acts 10:41, CSB: not by all the people, but by us whom God appointed as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

What does Acts 10:41 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter is explaining to a house filled with Gentile God-followers why they may not have heard the details of Jesus' resurrection. His host is a Roman centurion in Caesarea Maritima and certainly would have heard rumors that this Jewish teacher had either risen from the dead or His disciples stole His body and claimed He had. Peter explains that after His resurrection Jesus didn't show Himself to everyone. Specifically, Jesus appeared and ate with the disciples (Luke 24:30, 41–43; John 21:13). Jesus didn't try to prove His resurrection to all His detractors; He sent the disciples as witnesses (Acts 1:8). This is a similar strategy to His silencing of the demons who identified Him as the Son of God (Mark 1:24–25; 3:11–12). His witnesses would be followers who were trained to give the correct context, not enemies who could twist the truth, although hundreds did see Jesus after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3–7).

"Witness" is from the Greek root word martys. It means a legal or historical spectator who can swear to what he has seen, a role Jesus bestowed to the apostles right before His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:8). Peter says, "we are witnesses" (Acts 10:39). He is with six unidentified men from Joppa (Acts 10:23; 11:12), but apparently at least some of them saw Jesus after the resurrection. In Roman law, as in the Mosaic law, two witnesses are required to validate any testimony.

But martys is also the origin of the English word martyr. It is someone who embodies the example of Jesus by being willing to die for what they believe about Him. The apostles fulfilled Jesus' commission; all but John are recorded to have been martyred for their faith.