Acts 12:24

ESV But the word of God increased and multiplied.
NIV But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.
NASB But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.
CSB But the word of God spread and multiplied.
NLT Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.
KJV But the word of God grew and multiplied.

What does Acts 12:24 mean?

Herod Agrippa I beheaded the apostle James (Acts 12:1–2). The Sanhedrin is still out to get the church. But Jesus' commission to the apostles—to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth—is still going strong (Acts 1:8).

"Word" is from the Greek root word logos. It can mean speech or an idea, a doctrine, or a message. For believers, Jesus is "The Word," and in a similar sense, so is the Bible, although at this point the Bible was not completed. So, "word" means the idea, doctrine, and message of Jesus: that He is God and that He was born into a human form, crucified for our sins, and rose again on the third day for our salvation.

"Increased" is from the Greek root word auxano. It may mean the word spreads geographically or grows in the hearts of each believer as they come to know God better and allow the Holy Spirit to work in them. We call this "sanctification"—the lifelong practice of growing in spiritual maturity. In the High Priestly Prayer, Jesus said, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17). Just knowing and accepting Jesus as the logos—the true message—changes us.

"Multiplied" is from the Greek root word plethuno, which refers to the spread of something to others, rather than an internal growth. The understanding of salvation through Jesus grew in His followers and spread to other people.

The church prospers as the murderer of an apostle dies in agony (Acts 12:1–2, 23).
What is the Gospel?
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