Acts 13:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 13:10, NIV: "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?"

Acts 13:10, ESV: "and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?"

Acts 13:10, KJV: "And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?"

Acts 13:10, NASB: "and said, 'You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not stop making crooked the straight ways of the Lord?"

Acts 13:10, NLT: "Then he said, 'You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord?"

Acts 13:10, CSB: "and said, "You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery, you son of the devil and enemy of all that is right. Won't you ever stop perverting the straight paths of the Lord?"

What does Acts 13:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is presenting the saving story of Jesus to a Roman proconsul on the island of Cyprus (Acts 13:2–4). The proconsul is under the influence of a Jewish false prophet (Acts 13:6–8) who is trying to discredit Paul. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Paul declares the false prophet to be a "son of the devil." The term "son of" in the Bible does not necessarily mean a literal biological child; it can mean one who emulates another's character. In this case, Paul's accusation is particularly ironic since the magician's name is Bar-Jesus which literally means "son of Jesus."

Gentiles in the Roman Empire had their pick of dozens of gods and goddesses to worship, and all were called to worship the emperor as a god. But people often grew weary of uninspired rituals and stories; they wished for something more powerful and mysterious. Romans often sought excitement in the esoteric religions of the east, including Judaism. Grifters, such as Bar-Jesus, took advantage of this honest search for God and promised truth in exchange for money, in absolute contrast to the approach Paul develops (1 Corinthians 9:3–12).

"Deceit" is from the Greek root word dolos. It means "craft or guile." "Villainy" is from the Greek root word rhadiourgia. It means "cunning and mischief." Bar-Jesus could have invited Sergius Paulus to the local synagogue where the proconsul could have become a "God-fearing" Gentile according to Judaism. Instead, he used the leader for his own gain.