What does Acts 13:7 mean?
ESV: He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.
NIV: who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.
NASB: who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.
CSB: He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God.
NLT: He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God.
KJV: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
NKJV: who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.
Verse Commentary:
Barnabas, Saul, and John Mark are spreading the saving message of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection on the island of Cyprus (Acts 13:2–6). They have come to the headquarters of Sergius Paulus, the proconsul in Paphos. A proconsul governed in areas that did not quarter legions, with the authority of the counsel, not the emperor.

During Saul's reign of terror in Jerusalem, Jesus-followers fled the city, taking Jesus' story with them (Acts 8:1–3). Some of the Jesus-followers originally from Cyprus and Cyrene traveled north to Syrian Antioch and shared Jesus' offer of forgiveness with the Gentiles there. They were so successful, the leaders of the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas, and Barnabas invited Saul to help (Acts 11:19–26).

It's unclear, however, if the message had already reached Cyprus, or if Gentiles had been invited into the church. Sergius Paulus may have heard of the influence of this new Jewish sect, but his continued association with Bar-Jesus (Acts 13:6) suggests he is not familiar with the message. His invitation to Barnabas and Saul may be for his own edification, but it may also be to gain information he needs to govern his people.
Verse Context:
Acts 13:4–12 records the initial stop in Barnabas and Saul's first missionary journey (Acts 13:4—14:26). They sail west from Syrian Antioch to the island of Cyprus: Barnabas' home. As they travel the length of the island, they visit Jewish synagogues to give the Jews the first opportunity to accept Jesus' forgiveness (Romans 1:16), but their work among so many Gentiles impels Saul to make a major change and take on the Roman version of his name: Paul.
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.
Accessed 5/29/2024 7:24:30 PM
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