Acts 13:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 13:16, NIV: "Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: 'Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!"

Acts 13:16, ESV: "So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: “Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen."

Acts 13:16, KJV: "Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience."

Acts 13:16, NASB: "Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, 'Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:"

Acts 13:16, NLT: "So Paul stood, lifted his hand to quiet them, and started speaking. 'Men of Israel,' he said, 'and you God-fearing Gentiles, listen to me."

Acts 13:16, CSB: "Paul stood up and motioned with his hand and said: "Fellow Israelites, and you who fear God, listen!"

What does Acts 13:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul and Barnabas have come to Pisidian Antioch, not far from the center of modern-day Asia Minor, to bring Jews and Gentiles to a saving relationship with Jesus. Since salvation belongs first to the Jews who are to reveal their God to the rest of the world (Acts 1:8), Paul and Barnabas begin by going to the Jewish synagogue and patiently wait to be asked to speak. Although Luke records several of Paul's speeches, this is the only transcript of the several messages Paul will give in a synagogue.

The first of the message's five parts is identified by "listen." Paul proceeds to remind his audience how God is a saving God. He has saved Israel from slavery by leading them from Egypt, saved them from endless wandering by giving them the Promised Land, saved them from dissolution by giving them a king, and saved them from instability by establishing the Davidic dynasty (Acts 13:17–22). Finally, God promised them a future Savior (Acts 13:23–25).

The "men of Israel" are devout Jews. Those who fear God are Gentiles who worship the Jewish God but may or may not have converted to the point of circumcision. Despite showing how Jesus fulfills the Jewish Scriptures, it is the Gentiles who react most favorably. Paul and Barnabas will admonish the Jews, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:46).

The Jews in Pisidian Antioch don't reject Paul and Barnabas' message because they find it inconsistent with their Scriptures. They reject the promise of reconciliation with God because they are jealous of the attention Paul and Barnabas receive (Acts 13:45). In the same way, modern Christians need to carefully consider criticisms we receive from unexpected quarters. We should consider, if we are defensive, if it's because the messages are unbiblical or if their perspective threatens our worldly comforts.