What does Acts 14:19 mean?
ESV: But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
NIV: Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.
NASB: But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking that he was dead.
CSB: Some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and when they won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead.
NLT: Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead.
KJV: And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
NKJV: Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.
Verse Commentary:
In the time of the New Testament, before the full establishment of the written Bible, God more often allowed His messengers to perform miracles. Sometimes, those miracles gave evidence that the speaker's message was true and authorized by God. Sometimes the miracles validated the faith of the listener who responded to the message. In Lystra, a man born crippled listened to Paul's words about Christ, believed in Him, and received healing for his faith. The townspeople misunderstood and, thinking Paul and Barnabas were Greek gods, attempted to offer sacrifices to them. The two barely convinced the crowd they were mere men and continued trying to share the true Creator God of the universe (Acts 14:8–18).

This worshipful response was unusual in Paul and Barnabas' travels. In Pisidian Antioch, the two were run out of town by Jewish synagogue leaders who were jealous so many Gentiles responded to their message of salvation (Acts 13:44–50). In Iconium, the Jews and Gentiles who rejected the message tried to stone Paul and Barnabas, who managed to hear of their plans and escaped in time (Acts 14:1–7).

Now, Jews from both cities have come to the small, confused village of Lystra. Where a moment ago the people were willing to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods, they are now incited to kill them. God warned Paul he would suffer greatly in his work; this is just the beginning (Acts 9:16; 2 Corinthians 11:24–28).

In practice, there were two different ways to stone a person. When driven by mob violence, it was as simple as people throwing rocks at the condemned until they died (Acts 7:54–60). If the stoning is a legal act of capital punishment, the victim is pushed off a ten-foot height and a large stone is rolled off the edge onto his chest. If he still lives, the people throw stones at him until he is dead. Either way, the fact that the people stone Paul shows the punishment is spearheaded by the Jews. In the Jews' minds, Paul is a self-proclaimed prophet leading people to worship a false god; he has violated the Mosaic law, and the punishment is chosen accordingly (Deuteronomy 13:1–5). After a stoning, the victim would be left outside the city for the dogs and other animals. Some think 2 Corinthians 11:25 and/or Galatians 6:17 refer to this event.

This is not the last time trouble will follow Paul. While preaching to the thoughtful Bereans, Jews from Thessalonica will barge in, forcing Paul to flee to Athens (Acts 17:13). In Jerusalem, Jews from a province just west of Paul's current location in Galatia will accuse him of bringing a Gentile into the temple. This event leads to Paul's arrest and first imprisonment in Rome (Acts 21:27–28).
Verse Context:
Acts 14:8–20 finds Paul and Barnabas in Lystra in the province of Galatia in modern-day Asia Minor. This city's reaction is the extreme opposite of what happened in Pisidian Antioch and Iconium, where they were threatened with stoning (Acts 13:50; 14:5). In Lystra, they are initially worshiped as gods. The two Christian missionaries are horrified by this reaction and do their best to stop it. Before long, however, antagonistic Jews from their previous stops arrive and convince the locals to stone Paul. God's warning that Paul would suffer greatly for Him begins to come true (Acts 9:16), but Paul considers being left for dead a small price to pay for his salvation through Jesus (Romans 8:18).
Chapter Summary:
Acts 14 describes the last half of Paul's first missionary journey. He and Barnabas leave Pisidian Antioch, near central modern-day Asia Minor, and travel southeast to Iconium where they establish a new church. In Lystra, Paul heals a man born crippled. The amazed people insist Barnabas is the Greek deity Zeus, and Paul is Hermes. They attempt to offer sacrifices to them, much to the horror of the two evangelists. When antagonists from Pisidian Antioch and Iconium arrive, Paul is stoned but survives. The pair travel to Derbe, then retrace their steps, encouraging the new churches before sailing back to Syrian Antioch.
Chapter Context:
Paul's first missionary journey, recorded in Acts 13—14, gives a glimpse of issues that the church will face throughout its entire existence. When presented with Jesus's story, some will accept Him while others will not. Opposition is sometimes violent. Some integrate into church life easily, but for centuries the church has struggled with how to integrate those from vastly different cultures. This raises the crucial question of which aspects of faith and worship are biblical, making them universal, and which are cultural, and therefore optional? In Acts 15, the church leadership will start a discussion on that subject which continues even today.
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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