Acts chapter 13

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New International Version

New American Standard Bible

26Brothers, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. 27For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the declarations of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him. 28And though they found no grounds for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. 29When they had carried out everything that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. 30But God raised Him from the dead; 31and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. 32And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, 33that God has fulfilled this promise to those of us who are the descendants by raising Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE FATHERED YOU.’ 34As for the fact that He raised Him from the dead, never again to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I WILL GIVE YOU THE HOLY and faithful mercies of DAVID.’ 35Therefore, He also says in another Psalm: ‘YOU WILL NOT ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.’ 36For David, after he had served God’s purpose in his own generation, fell asleep, and was buried among his fathers and underwent decay; 37but He whom God raised did not undergo decay. 38Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. 40Therefore, see that the thing spoken of in the Prophets does not come upon you:
Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

14But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 15And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. 16Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. 17The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. 18And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. 19And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. 20And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 22And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. 23Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: 24When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. 26Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. 27For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. 30But God raised him from the dead: 31And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. 32And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 33God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 34And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. 35Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 36For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 37But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. 38Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; 41Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

What does Acts chapter 13 mean?

Acts 13 recounts the calling of Paul and Barnabas to missions beyond Syrian Antioch and their travels to the island of Cyprus and up into the heart of modern-day Asia Minor (eastern Turkey). In this short time, Barnabas and Paul face opposition, abandonment, and slander. The chapter begins with the Holy Spirit setting the two aside for ministry to the Gentiles and ends with affirmation of that mission.

First, the narrative turns from Peter and the other apostles and begins the transition wherein Paul becomes the focus of Luke's story. Paul (still going by his Jewish name "Saul") is with Barnabas and other church leaders in Syrian Antioch. During a time of fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit directly calls out the pair for a special mission (Acts 13:1–3).

Next, Paul, Barnabas, and Barnabas' kinsman John Mark traveled to Barnabas' home territory on the island of Cyprus. The team traverses the length of the island from Salamis in the east to Paphos in the west. They generally preach the news about Jesus in the Jewish synagogues, but in Paphos, they come upon the Roman proconsul who has been influenced by a Jewish magician. Paul proves the man to be a false prophet, and the proconsul believes in Jesus. Cyprus seems to be the place where Saul the Jew takes on the Roman version of his name: Paul (Acts 13:4–12).

Verse 15 is the first time Paul is named before Barnabas. Barnabas, and John Mark sail north to Perga on the southern coast of modern-day Asia Minor. Here, John Mark abandons them and returns to Jerusalem, an act that will later cause a rift in Paul and Barnabas' friendship and ministry (Acts 15:36–41). Paul and Barnabas travel north to Pisidian Antioch and, as is their custom, find the local synagogue and wait to be asked to speak (Acts 13:13–15).

This chapter includes the only recording of one of Paul's sermons in a synagogue. In nearly every town he visits, he starts in the local synagogue, but Luke focuses on the actions and relationships more than the message. Like Stephen (Acts 7), Paul begins with Israel's history, focusing on the progression from Moses to David to David's descendant, Jesus. He gives his audience a description of what happened in Jerusalem around Jesus' death and resurrection and relates those events to Old Testament prophecy. Since Luke didn't record any of Paul's other synagogue speeches, it's safe to assume he followed this general format throughout his ministry, customizing the details for each city (Acts 13:16–41).

Reaction is mixed, among the Jews and Gentiles, to Paul's assertion that Jesus forgives the sins of Jews and Gentiles. The people want to know more. The Jewish leaders are jealous. Paul and Barnabas resolve that it was right for them to present Jesus to the Jews first so that they, like the leaders and by-standers present at the crucifixion, could choose to follow or reject Jesus. Since the synagogue, the local religious Jewish authority, rejects their message, Paul and Barnabas are free to concentrate on the Gentiles. They do so throughout the district until the Jewish leadership enlists the help of more socially influential people who drive the pair out of town (Acts 13:44–52).
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