Acts 13:50 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 13:50, NIV: "But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region."

Acts 13:50, ESV: "But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district."

Acts 13:50, KJV: "But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts."

Acts 13:50, NASB: "But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region."

Acts 13:50, NLT: "Then the Jews stirred up the influential religious women and the leaders of the city, and they incited a mob against Paul and Barnabas and ran them out of town."

Acts 13:50, CSB: "But the Jews incited the prominent God-fearing women and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their district."

What does Acts 13:50 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Whenever the New Testament speaks of "the Jews," the term typically means Jewish leadership (John 1:19; 5:16; Acts 9:23; 13:45). In Jerusalem, this is the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of Jewish religion, composed of priests, elders, and scribes. In cities outside of Judea, it means the Jewish leaders who had influence over the community, such as synagogue leaders, elders, and scribes. Although they are outside their homeland, surrounded by pagan Gentiles, they still hold some power and are loath to give it up.

It would be understandable if "the Jews" in Pisidian Antioch rejected the gospel; in their thinking it doesn't place sufficient requirements on the Gentiles, like being circumcised. Some Jewish Jesus-followers will believe Gentiles are required to be circumcised (Acts 15:1, 5). They will be wrong, but at least their objection will be consistent with the zeal they feel for the Mosaic law (Acts 15:7–21).

But it is envy, not religious integrity that catches the Jewish leaders here. Just like the Sanhedrin was envious of Jesus' popularity (Matthew 27:18), the synagogue leaders are jealous that Paul and Barnabas have become so popular (Acts 13:45). They convince important women, who may have been priestesses or fervent in their Judaism, and well-respected men, possibly including magistrates, that Paul and Barnabas are a threat. Not content with driving Paul and Barnabas out of town, they follow the pair to Lystra and convince the crowds there to stone Paul (Acts 14:19).

Still, they cannot stop the spread of Jesus' news. Many disciples remain faithful throughout the region (Acts 13:52). Paul apparently returns to Pisidian Antioch during his second missionary trip to let them know the Jewish church has affirmed that Gentiles do not have to follow the Jewish Law (Acts 16:1–5). Luke doesn't mention details about the second trip, but the Jewish leaders couldn't have been happy about it.