Acts 8:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 8:14, NIV: When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.

Acts 8:14, ESV: Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,

Acts 8:14, KJV: Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Acts 8:14, NASB: Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John,

Acts 8:14, NLT: When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God's message, they sent Peter and John there.

Acts 8:14, CSB: When the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.

What does Acts 8:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When persecution hit the Jerusalem church, many Jesus-followers fled. Philip, a deacon, went north to Samaria (Acts 6:1–6; 8:1–5). Samaritans are the descendants of the Israelites of the northern kingdom of Israel and the people of various ethnicities who moved in when Assyria conquered the land (2 Kings 17:24). They have a troubled relationship with the Jews, in large part because ever since the two kingdoms split, at the time of Solomon's son Rehoboam, the Samaritans have almost exclusively worshiped false gods or worshiped God inappropriately (1 Kings 12:25–33; 2 Kings 17:25–33). In fact, John and his brother James once volunteered to call fire down on a Samaritan village (Luke 9:52–54) and at another time, Jesus prohibited the disciples from preaching in Samaria (Matthew 10:5–6).

Jesus always intended the restriction to be temporary. He promised the Samaritan woman that one day her people would worship the true God the right way in the place they lived (John 4:22–26). It's possible that Philip, who is a Hellenist Jew and therefore did not grow up in Judea, is less inclined to dismiss the Samaritans. The church in Jerusalem, filled with devout Jews from Judea and Galilee, needs to investigate whether the Samaritans are really choosing to follow Christ (John 20:21–23). There is biblical precedent for the importance of having two or three witnesses to confirm something (Matthew 18:18–20; Deuteronomy 17:6), so two witnesses go up to investigate.

Although the "rock" upon which Jesus promised to build His church is the understanding that He is "the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16) and not Peter himself, Peter's prominence among the disciples plays a significant role in validating the spread of the gospel to different people groups (Matthew 16:13–19; see Acts 10).

The "word" of God is from the Greek root word logos. It means an idea, a doctrine, and/or a message. John 1:1 identifies Jesus as the Word of God. Here, before the New Testament books had been widely spread, the "word of God" does not yet have the meaning of Scripture. It does mean the total message God gives to mankind. This includes that Jesus is the Son of God, that He is the Savior, that He rose from the dead, and that He is our salvation.