What does Acts 13:44 mean?
ESV: The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
NIV: On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
NASB: The next Sabbath nearly all the city assembled to hear the word of the Lord.
CSB: The following Sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of the Lord.
NLT: The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the word of the Lord.
KJV: And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
NKJV: On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.
Verse Commentary:
Paul and Barnabas are well into their first missionary trip. They had left Syrian Antioch in the north of the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and traveled the length of the island of Cyprus. From there, they sailed north to the south-central coast of modern-day Asia Minor where Barnabas' cousin, John Mark, left them and returned to Jerusalem. Now, they are in Pisidian Antioch, in the heart of Asia Minor (Acts 13:1–14).

As becomes their custom, Paul and Barnabas started in the Jewish synagogue where the synagogue leader asked them to speak. Following the reading of the Law and Prophets, a sermon was given by someone invited by the hazzan, or synagogue leader. Preaching was not the prerogative of any one group or class of people. Jesus, for example, preached in the Nazareth synagogue (Matthew 13:54). Paul often "proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews" (Acts 13:5). Of course, then as now, those best qualified were preferred, especially those who were educated and well-traveled.

Paul has explained how Jesus is the ultimate Savior God promised He would send through the line of David. Paul's message has intrigued the people—both Jews and God-worshiping Gentiles—who ask him to come the next Sabbath and tell them more (Acts 13:15–42).

Within a week, the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles who heard Paul's message have told friends and family to hear about this Savior. The synagogue leaders apparently agreed to let Paul speak, but when they see how popular the message is, they reject Paul, Barnabas, and Jesus out of envy (Acts 13:45). This, too, becomes a trend, culminating in Paul's arrest by the Romans several years later when devout Jews from just west of Pisidian Antioch accuse him of bringing a Gentile into the temple (Acts 21:27–29).
Verse Context:
Acts 13:42–52 details the response to Paul's message in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch. Many Gentiles and some Jews accept the news about Jesus gladly, but the synagogue leaders don't. Since Jews live in community, and the Jewish community leaders feel threatened by Paul's message and popularity, Paul can say "the Jews" reject Jesus' offer of eternal life. Paul turns his attention to the Gentiles until the Jewish leaders join with city leaders to drive Paul and Barnabas out of town.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 13 transitions Luke's account (Acts 1:1) fully into a record of Paul's ministry to spread the news about Jesus. The Holy Spirit calls Paul and Barnabas for their first missionary journey. They teach about Jesus' offer of forgiveness of sins on the island of Cyprus and in the district of Pisidia in modern-day south-central Asia Minor. Along the way, they face opposition, desertion, and persecution: themes that will follow Paul throughout his life. But they also experience the joy of watching the people they'd least expect come to a saving faith in Jesus.
Chapter Context:
The first chapters of Acts, save for a quick account of Paul's conversion (Acts 9:1–31), cover the ministry of the apostles, particularly Peter. Those passages also detail the spread of the news about Jesus from His followers. That message goes to the Jews of Jerusalem (Acts 2—7) and Judea (Acts 8:26–40; 9:32–43), the Samaritans (Acts 8:4–25), and God-fearing Gentiles (Acts 10—11). Now, Paul's contribution to the ''end of the earth'' portion of Jesus' commission in Acts 1:8 begins, as he and Barnabas start their first missionary journey. Luke will record two more of Paul's journeys (Acts 15:36—18:22 and 18:23—20:38) before settling in on his return to Jerusalem, arrest, and sea voyage to Rome (Acts 21—28).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
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