Acts 13:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 13:6, NIV: "They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus,"

Acts 13:6, ESV: "When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus."

Acts 13:6, KJV: "And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:"

Acts 13:6, NASB: "When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus,"

Acts 13:6, NLT: "Afterward they traveled from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus."

Acts 13:6, CSB: "When they had traveled the whole island as far as Paphos, they came across a sorcerer, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus."

What does Acts 13:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The first stop in Barnabas and Saul's first missionary journey is Barnabas' homeland of Cyprus (Acts 4:36). The two evangelists, along with Barnabas' kinsman John Mark (Colossians 4:10), land in Salamis, on the east coast of the island, and travel west, sharing Jesus' stories in the Jewish synagogues as they go (Acts 13:4–6). It's likely they are supporting the message that Jewish Jesus-followers brought when they fled Saul's persecution in Jerusalem (Acts 11:19).

After traveling the length of the island, the group reaches Paphos, a port town on the southwest coast and the home of the Roman proconsul. The Roman Empire was known for efficiency, productivity, and a culture saturated with the worship of dozens of gods—including the emperor. Many Romans looked east to find more esoteric deities, and opportunistic Jews learned to use their knowledge of God to their advantage.

Bar-Jesus, a name literally meaning "son of Jesus," is identified as both a false prophet and a magician. "Magician" is from the Greek root word magos. The word is much older, however, and of indeterminate origin. It's unclear what Bar-Jesus did that earned him the title. Likely he's a false prophet in that he's a grifter who claims to have supernatural powers, not that he makes up false prophecies about the future. Either way, he has strong influence on the proconsul, and Saul must resort to Spirit-empowered miracles to shut him down (Acts 13:7–12).