Acts 2:46

ESV And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
NIV Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
NASB Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
CSB Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts,
NLT They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity —
KJV And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

What does Acts 2:46 mean?

This is an interesting verse. The passage is talking about Jews from Jerusalem, Judea, and all over the Roman Empire (Acts 2:9–11, 41), who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and created the first church. In addition to listening to the apostles' teaching, spending time together, praying together (Acts 2:42), and selling their possessions so that all their needs are filled (Acts 2:45), they still meet at the temple. To them, their faith is a fulfillment of Judaism, not a deviation. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, promised by God to King David (2 Samuel 7:12–16). Their conversion is not to a foreign religion but to a man—a Jew—who fulfills their beloved Scriptures (Matthew 5:17).

For the next many years, Jesus-followers will still value the temple. Peter and John heal a beggar and preach at the temple (Acts 3), and then are arrested there (Acts 4:1–3). Years later Paul, too, is arrested at the temple (Acts 21:27–36). Paul is also in the temple when God tells him Jerusalem is too dangerous and he will need to preach to the Gentiles (Acts 22:17–21).

Despite this devotion among the Jewish Jesus-followers, the first martyr is killed in large part because he puts the temple into perspective. Stephen's upcoming speech (Acts 7) is a dissertation on how the temple is not necessary for the worship of God. For one, the early patriarchs worshiped God without it (Genesis 12:7; 28:18–22; 35:1–4). For another, although God directed the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 26), He didn't ask for a permanent building (2 Samuel 7:5–7). Finally, God honored David and Solomon's desire to build the temple (1 Kings 6:11–13), but even Solomon admitted God couldn't be contained in a building (1 Kings 8:27).

Still, the connection between Christianity and Judaism will be an important one. The Roman government tolerates Judaism as a religion parallel to emperor worship. As long as Christianity is seen as a "sect of Judaism" they are relatively protected as well (Acts 18:12–16). As Christianity spreads, however, Jesus-followers will learn they don't need a temple; like the Samaritan woman at the well, they will worship God in spirit and truth, not a physical building (John 4:19–24).

The fact that the local Jesus-followers must share their homes with those from other cities and countries prepares them for this tradition. Churches will not be established in synagogues or other designated buildings, but in homes (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2). Eating together in harmony is worship, as well. Whether "breaking bread" refers to communion or daily meals we don't know. But the spirit of togetherness and glad and generous hearts is as much worship to God as anything they could do at the temple.
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