Acts 8:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 8:18, NIV: When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money

Acts 8:18, ESV: Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,

Acts 8:18, KJV: And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Acts 8:18, NASB: Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,

Acts 8:18, NLT: When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power.

Acts 8:18, CSB: When Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money,

What does Acts 8:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Simon, a magician living in Samaria, has seen the Holy Spirit indwell new Jesus-followers as Peter and John lay their hands on them (Acts 8:9–13, 14–17). He thinks this is a magic trick worth learning.

It's easy to condemn Simon on this side of history. He is a professional magician; it's unclear if that means he has demon-given powers or if he is a fraud. Now, he sees real power. He's interested enough in Jesus' story to get baptized (Acts 8:13), but he's still an opportunist. If he makes a decent living doing his little tricks, think of what he can do with the power to endow people with the Holy Spirit.

The New Testament outlines several different relationships people can have with money and religion. The money-changers and vendors filled the courtyard of the temple to take advantage of travelers who needed coins to donate and animals to sacrifice; Jesus responded by flipping over their tables (Mark 11:15–17). Ministers should be able to make their living from those to whom they minister (Mark 6:7–13; 1 Corinthians 9:14), but sometimes they have to provide for their own needs if their converts are themselves needy, or spiritually immature (2 Corinthians 11:8–15). Jesus never promised that serving Him would make anyone rich (Matthew 8:19–20).

We all want something from God—He designed us to. But there's a difference between using Him to gain the comforts of this world and coming to Him as a child comes to a Father in trust that He will give us what we need (Matthew 6:33).