10:1 Now there was a man in Caesarea 1 named Cornelius, a centurion 2 of what was known as the Italian Cohort. 3 10:2 He 4 was a devout, God-fearing man, 5 as was all his household; he did many acts of charity for the people 6 and prayed to God regularly. 10:3 About three o’clock one afternoon 7 he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God 8 who came in 9 and said to him, “Cornelius.” 10:4 Staring at him and becoming greatly afraid, Cornelius 10 replied, 11 “What is it, Lord?” The angel 12 said to him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity 13 have gone up as a memorial 14 before God. 10:5 Now 15 send men to Joppa 16 and summon a man named Simon, 17 who is called Peter. 10:6 This man is staying as a guest with a man named Simon, a tanner, 18 whose house is by the sea.” 10:7 When the angel who had spoken to him departed, Cornelius 19 called two of his personal servants 20 and a devout soldier from among those who served him, 21 10:8 and when he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
10:9 About noon 22 the next day, while they were on their way and approaching 23 the city, Peter went up on the roof 24 to pray. 10:10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. 25 10:11 He 26 saw heaven 27 opened 28 and an object something like a large sheet 29 descending, 30 being let down to earth 31 by its four corners. 10:12 In it 32 were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 33 of the earth and wild birds. 34 10:13 Then 35 a voice said 36 to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 37 and eat!” 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!” 38 10:15 The voice 39 spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 40 ritually unclean!” 41 10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven. 42
10:17 Now while Peter was puzzling over 43 what the vision he had seen could signify, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was 44 and approached 45 the gate. 10:18 They 46 called out to ask if Simon, known as Peter, 47 was staying there as a guest. 10:19 While Peter was still thinking seriously about 48 the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look! Three men are looking for you. 10:20 But get up, 49 go down, and accompany them without hesitation, 50 because I have sent them.” 10:21 So Peter went down 51 to the men and said, “Here I am, 52 the person you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 10:22 They said, “Cornelius the centurion, 53 a righteous 54 and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, 55 was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message 56 from you.” 10:23 So Peter 57 invited them in and entertained them as guests.
On the next day he got up and set out 58 with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa 59 accompanied him. 10:24 The following day 60 he entered Caesarea. 61 Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously 62 for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 10:25 So when 63 Peter came in, Cornelius met 64 him, fell 65 at his feet, and worshiped 66 him. 10:26 But Peter helped him up, 67 saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 68 10:27 Peter 69 continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 70 10:28 He said to them, “You know that 71 it is unlawful 72 for a Jew 73 to associate with or visit a Gentile, 74 yet God has shown me that I should call no person 75 defiled or ritually unclean. 76 10:29 Therefore when you sent for me, 77 I came without any objection. Now may I ask why 78 you sent for me?” 10:30 Cornelius 79 replied, 80 “Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock in the afternoon, 81 I was praying in my house, and suddenly 82 a man in shining clothing stood before me 10:31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity 83 have been remembered before God. 84 10:32 Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. This man is staying as a guest in the house of Simon the tanner, 85 by the sea.’ 10:33 Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. 86 So now we are all here in the presence of God 87 to listen 88 to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.” 89
10:34 Then Peter started speaking: 90 “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 91 10:35 but in every nation 92 the person who fears him 93 and does what is right 94 is welcomed before him. 10:36 You know 95 the message 96 he sent to the people 97 of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace 98 through 99 Jesus Christ 100 (he is Lord 101 of all) – 10:37 you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 102 10:38 with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, 103 that 104 God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He 105 went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, 106 because God was with him. 107 10:39 We 108 are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea 109 and in Jerusalem. 110 They 111 killed him by hanging him on a tree, 112 10:40 but 113 God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 114 10:41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, 115 who ate and drank 116 with him after he rose from the dead. 10:42 He 117 commanded us to preach to the people and to warn 118 them 119 that he is the one 120 appointed 121 by God as judge 122 of the living and the dead. 10:43 About him all the prophets testify, 123 that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins 124 through his name.”
10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on 125 all those who heard the message. 126 10:45 The 127 circumcised believers 128 who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished 129 that 130 the gift of the Holy Spirit 131 had been poured out 132 even on the Gentiles, 10:46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising 133 God. Then Peter said, 10:47 “No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, 134 can he?” 135 10:48 So he gave orders to have them baptized 136 in the name of Jesus Christ. 137 Then they asked him to stay for several days.
[10:1] 1 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi). It was known as “Caesarea by the sea” (BDAG 499 s.v. Καισάρεια 2). Largely Gentile, it was a center of Roman administration and the location of many of Herod the Great’s building projects (Josephus, Ant. 15.9.6 [15.331-341]).
[10:1] 2 sn A centurion was a noncommissioned officer in the Roman army or one of the auxiliary territorial armies, commanding a centuria of (nominally) 100 men. The responsibilities of centurions were broadly similar to modern junior officers, but there was a wide gap in social status between them and officers, and relatively few were promoted beyond the rank of senior centurion. The Roman troops stationed in Judea were auxiliaries, who would normally be rewarded with Roman citizenship after 25 years of service. Some of the centurions may have served originally in the Roman legions (regular army) and thus gained their citizenship at enlistment. Others may have inherited it, like Paul.
[10:1] 3 sn A cohort was a Roman military unit of about 600 soldiers, one-tenth of a legion (BDAG 936 s.v. σπεῖρα). The Italian Cohort has been identified as cohors II Italica which is known to have been stationed in Syria in
[10:2] 4 tn In the Greek text this represents a continuation of the previous sentence. Because of the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences, a new sentence was begun here in the translation.
[10:2] 5 sn The description of Cornelius as a devout, God-fearing man probably means that he belonged to the category called “God-fearers,” Gentiles who worshiped the God of Israel and in many cases kept the Mosaic law, but did not take the final step of circumcision necessary to become a proselyte to Judaism. See further K. G. Kuhn, TDNT 6:732-34, 43-44, and Sir 11:17; 27:11; 39:27.
[10:3] 8 tn Or “the angel of God.” Linguistically, “angel of God” is the same in both testaments (and thus, he is either “an angel of God” or “the angel of God” in both testaments). For arguments and implications, see ExSyn 252; M. J. Davidson, “Angels,” DJG, 9; W. G. MacDonald argues for “an angel” in both testaments: “Christology and ‘The Angel of the Lord’,” Current Issues in Biblical and Patristic Interpretation, 324-35.
[10:5] 15 tn Grk “And now.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
[10:6] 18 tn Or “with a certain Simon Berseus.” Although most modern English translations treat βυρσεῖ (bursei) as Simon’s profession (“Simon the tanner”), it is possible that the word is actually Simon’s surname (“Simon Berseus” or “Simon Tanner”). BDAG 185 s.v. βυρσεύς regards it as a surname. See also MM 118.
[10:7] 20 tn Or “domestic servants.” The Greek word here is οἰκέτης (oiketh"), which technically refers to a member of the household, but usually means a household servant (slave) or personal servant rather than a field laborer.
[10:7] 21 tn The meaning of the genitive participle προσκαρτερούντων (proskarterountwn) could either be “a soldier from the ranks of those who served him” (referring to his entire command) or “a soldier from among his personal staff” (referring to a group of soldiers who were his personal attendants). The translation “from among those who served him” is general enough to cover either possibility.
[10:9] 24 sn Went up on the roof. Most of the roofs in the NT were flat roofs made of pounded dirt, sometimes mixed with lime or stones, supported by heavy wooden beams. They generally had an easy means of access, either a sturdy wooden ladder or stone stairway, sometimes on the outside of the house.
[10:10] 25 tn The traditional translation, “he fell into a trance,” is somewhat idiomatic; it is based on the textual variant ἐπέπεσεν (epepesen, “he fell”) found in the Byzantine text but almost certainly not original.
[10:12] 33 tn Or “snakes.” Grk “creeping things.” According to L&N 4.51, in most biblical contexts the term (due to the influence of Hebrew classifications such as Gen 1:25-26, 30) included small four-footed animals like rats, mice, frogs, toads, salamanders, and lizards. In this context, however, where “creeping things” are contrasted with “four-footed animals,” the English word “reptiles,” which primarily but not exclusively designates snakes, is probably more appropriate. See also Gen 6:20, as well as the law making such creatures unclean food in Lev 11:2-47.
[10:12] 34 tn Grk “the birds of the sky” or “the birds of the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated either “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. The idiomatic expression “birds of the sky” refers to wild birds as opposed to domesticated fowl (cf. BDAG 809 s.v. πετεινόν).
[10:13] 35 tn Grk “And there came.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
[10:14] 38 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqarto") here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts.
[10:15] 39 tn Grk “And the voice.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
[10:18] 46 tn Grk “and.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun by supplying the pronoun “they” as the subject of the following verb.
[10:20] 50 tn The term means “without doubting” or “without deliberation.” It is a term of conscience and discernment. In effect, Peter is to listen to them rather than hesitate (BDAG 231 s.v. διακρίνω 6).
[10:22] 55 tn The phrase τοῦ ἔθνους τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων (tou eqnou" twn Ioudaiwn) is virtually a technical term for the Jewish nation (1 Macc 10:25; 11:30, 33; Josephus, Ant. 14.10.22 [14.248]). “All the Jewish people,” while another possible translation of the Greek phrase, does not convey the technical sense of a reference to the nation in English.
[10:24] 62 tn Normally προσδοκάω (prosdokaw) means “to wait with apprehension or anxiety for something,” often with the implication of impending danger or trouble (L&N 25.228), but in this context the anxiety Cornelius would have felt came from the importance of the forthcoming message as announced by the angel.
[10:25] 63 tn Grk “So it happened that when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
[10:26] 68 tn Although it is certainly true that Peter was a “man,” here ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") has been translated as “mere mortal” because the emphasis in context is not on Peter’s maleness, but his humanity. Contrary to what Cornelius thought, Peter was not a god or an angelic being, but a mere mortal.
[10:27] 69 tn Grk “And he”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
[10:28] 74 tn Grk “a foreigner,” but in this context, “a non-Jew,” that is, a Gentile. This term speaks of intimate association (BDAG 556 s.v. κολλάω 2.b.α). On this Jewish view, see John 18:28, where a visit to a Gentile residence makes a Jewish person unclean.
[10:28] 76 tn Possibly there is a subtle distinction in meaning between κοινός (koinos) and ἀκάθαρτος (akaqartos) here, but according to L&N 53.39 it is difficult to determine precise differences in meaning based on existing contexts.
[10:29] 77 tn Grk “Therefore when I was sent for.” The passive participle μεταπεμφθείς (metapemfqei") has been taken temporally and converted to an active construction which is less awkward in English.
[10:30] 79 tn Grk “And Cornelius.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
[10:30] 82 tn Grk “and behold.” The interjection ἰδού (idou) is difficult at times to translate into English. Here it has been translated as “suddenly” to convey the force of Cornelius’ account of the angel’s appearance.
[10:32] 85 tn Or “with a certain Simon Berseus.” Although most modern English translations treat βυρσεῖ (bursei) as Simon’s profession (“Simon the tanner”), it is possible that the word is actually Simon’s surname (“Simon Berseus” or “Simon Tanner”). BDAG 185 s.v. βυρσεύς regards it as a surname.
[10:33] 86 tn Grk “you have done well by coming.” The idiom καλῶς ποιεῖν (kalw" poiein) is translated “be kind enough to do someth.” by BDAG 505-6 s.v. καλῶς 4.a. The participle παραγενόμενος (paragenomeno") has been translated as an English infinitive due to the nature of the English idiom (“kind enough to” + infinitive).
[10:34] 90 tn Grk “Opening his mouth Peter said” (a Semitic idiom for beginning to speak in a somewhat formal manner). The participle ἀνοίξας (anoixa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
[10:34] 91 tn Grk “God is not one who is a respecter of persons,” that is, “God is not one to show partiality” (cf. BDAG 887 s.v. προσωπολήμπτης). L&N 88.239 translates this verse “I realize that God does not show favoritism (in dealing with people).” The underlying Hebrew idiom includes the personal element (“respecter of persons”) so the phrase “in dealing with people” is included in the present translation. It fits very well with the following context and serves to emphasize the relational component of God’s lack of partiality. The latter is a major theme in the NT: Rom 2:11; Eph 2:11-22; Col 3:25; Jas 2:1; 1 Pet 1:17. This was the lesson of Peter’s vision.
[10:36] 101 sn He is Lord of all. Though a parenthetical remark, this is the theological key to the speech. Jesus is Lord of all, so the gospel can go to all. The rest of the speech proclaims Jesus’ authority.
[10:38] 105 tn Grk “power, who.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “he,” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek.
[10:39] 108 tn Grk “And we.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
[10:39] 111 tn Grk “in Jerusalem, whom they killed.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “him” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek.
[10:39] 112 tn Or “by crucifying him” (“hang on a tree” is by the time of the 1st century an idiom for crucifixion). The allusion is to the judgment against Jesus as a rebellious figure, appealing to the language of Deut 21:23. The Jewish leadership has badly “misjudged” Jesus.
[10:42] 117 tn Grk “and he.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
[10:42] 118 tn The verb διαμαρτύρομαι (diamarturomai) can mean “warn,” and such a meaning is highly probable in this context where a reference to the judgment of both the living and the dead is present. The more general meaning “to testify solemnly” does not capture this nuance.
[10:43] 123 tn Or “All the prophets testify about him.” Although modern English translations tend to place “about him” after “testify” (so NIV, NRSV) the phrase “about him” has been left at the beginning of v. 43 for emphatic reasons.
[10:43] 124 sn Forgiveness of sins. See Luke 24:47; also Acts 14:23; 19:4; 9:42; 11:17; 16:31. The gospel is present in the prophetic promise, Rom 1:1-7. The message is in continuity with the ancient hope.
[10:45] 127 tn Grk “And the.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
[10:45] 129 sn The Jewish Christians who were with Peter were greatly astonished because they thought the promise of the Spirit would be limited only to those of Israel. God’s plan was taking on fresh dimensions even as it was a reflection of what the prophets had promised.
[10:47] 134 tn Grk “just as also we.” The auxiliary verb in English must be supplied. This could be either “have” (NIV, NRSV) or “did” (NASB). “Did” is preferred here because the comparison Peter is making concerns not just the fact of the present possession of the Spirit (“they received the Spirit we now possess”), but the manner in which the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house received the Spirit (“they received the Spirit in the same manner we did [on the day of Pentecost]”).
[10:47] 135 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative reply which is indicated in the translation by the ‘tag’ question, “can he?” The question is rhetorical. Peter was saying these Gentiles should be baptized since God had confirmed they were his.
[10:48] 136 tn The Greek construction (passive infinitive with accusative subject) could be translated either “he ordered them to be baptized” or “he ordered that they be baptized,” but the implication in English in either case is that Peter was giving orders to the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house, telling them to get baptized. It is much more likely in the context that Peter was ordering those Jewish Christians who accompanied him to baptize the new Gentile converts. They would doubtless have still had misgivings even after witnessing the outpouring of the Spirit and hearing the tongues. It took Peter’s apostolic authority (“ordered”) to convince them to perform the baptisms.