BibliaTodo Commentaries


Fleming Don Bridgeway Bible
Acts 1

1. The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

2. Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

3. To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

4. And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

5. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

6. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7. And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

9. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

12. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.

13. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

14. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

15. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

16. Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

17. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

18. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

19. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

20. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

21. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

22. Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

23. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

24. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

25. That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

26. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Acts 1

1:1-2:47 BIRTH OF THE CHURCH The task ahead (1:1-11) Theophilus, to whom the book is addressed, was apparently a person of influence to whom Luke wished to give a reliable account of the origins and development of Christianity. In his Gospel, Luke had told Theophilus of what Jesus began to do through his life, death and resurrection (1:1-2; cf. Luk 1:1-4). Luke now goes on to tell Theophilus what Jesus continued to do through his followers. On the occasions when Jesus appeared to his apostles after his resurrection, he taught them the significance of his death and resurrection in relation to the kingdom of God that they were now to proclaim. They would be able to begin this work within a few days, after Jesus returned to his heavenly Father and sent them the gift of his Spirit as he had promised (3-4; cf. Joh 14:26; Joh 15:26; Joh 16:7; Mar 1:8). The apostles, thinking more about possible political independence for Israel than about their responsibility to preach the gospel, misunderstood Jesus’ words. Jesus told them not to spend time thinking about things that God did not intend them to know, but to go and tell people everywhere that he was alive and triumphant. Jesus would no longer be with them physically, but through the Spirit he would come and live in them to enable them to carry on the work that he had started (5-8; cf. Joh 14:12; Joh 14:16-18). He would make no more appearances to the apostles for the time being, but some time in the future he would return to be physically with his people again (9-11). Jesus’ plan for the expansion of the gospel was that it spread out in ever widening circles - from Jerusalem into the surrounding province, then into neighbouring regions, and eventually into every part of the world (v. 8). The book of Acts shows how the work started in Jerusalem (Chapters 1-7), expanded through Judea, Samaria and Syria (Chapters 8-12), and kept on moving out till it reached the heart of the Empire (Chapters 13-28).

A replacement for Judas (1:12-26) After Jesus’ departure, the apostles returned to Jerusalem, where they met and prayed with various people, among them Jesus’ mother and brothers. During the time of Jesus’ ministry, his brothers had not believed in him as the Son of God, but the resurrection must have turned them to true faith (12-14; cf. Joh 7:5; 1Co 15:7). Soon after, the apostles met with just over a hundred other Christians in Jerusalem to choose an apostle to replace Judas. Luke adds a note outlining how Judas had died. When Judas returned the betrayal money to the priests, the priests felt they could not put the money into the temple treasury, so used it to buy a field in Judas’ name. This field was the place where Judas killed himself, and later it became a cemetery for Gentiles (15-20; see Mat 27:3-10). The replacement apostle had to be an eye witness of the events of Jesus’ public ministry, and particularly of his resurrection. Two were found, equally qualified and apparently equally suitable. The apostles therefore laid the matter before God in complete faith, believing that if they drew lots to decide between the two, the result would indicate God’s choice (21-26). Apostles and their duties The word ‘apostle’ meant ‘a sent one’. Jesus gave the name to his chosen twelve because he sent them out, equipped with his messianic powers, to spread the message of the kingdom (Mat 10:1-7; Luk 6:13). They were to spread the message throughout Israel first (Mat 10:5-7), as preparation for the worldwide mission to follow (Mat 28:19-20). The significance of the number twelve was that just as twelve tribes had been the basis of the old people of God, so twelve apostles would be the basis of the new people of God, the Christian church (Mat 16:18; Eph 2:20; Rev 21:12; Rev 21:14). By choosing a replacement for Judas, the apostles showed that at first they considered it necessary to maintain the unit of twelve. Some years later when James was executed (Act 12:1-2), they did not feel the same need to find a replacement, probably because by that time the original twelve-member group had largely fulfilled its purpose. It had provided the first-hand witness to Jesus’ life, death and resurrection that Jesus wanted (Luk 24:46-48; Joh 15:27; Act 1:21-22), it had established the church on the basis of Jesus’ teaching (Joh 14:26; Act 2:42; Act 6:4) and it had overseen the expansion of Christianity from Jerusalem into the wider world beyond (Mat 28:19-20; Act 1:8; Act 8:14; Act 10:44-48). It no longer functioned as a group and the unit of twelve no longer needed to be maintained. However, the office of apostle continued to be recognized, and as the church grew, an increasing number of people were recognized as apostles (Act 14:14; Rom 16:7). It even became necessary to warn against false apostles (2Co 11:13; Rev 2:2). From this it is clear that the title of apostle applied to a wider group of people than the twelve (1Co 9:1; 1Co 15:8-11; Gal 1:19). Apostles in this broader sense continued to preserve, teach and develop the truths of the Christian gospel, and people accepted their teaching as having the authority of God’s Word (1Co 1:1; 1Co 12:28; 1Co 14:37; 1Th 2:13; 2Th 2:15; 2Pe 3:15-16; cf. Joh 16:13-14). This apostolic authority extended to all aspects of the church’s life (Act 5:1-11; 2Co 12:12; 2Co 13:1-3; 2Th 3:4; 2Th 3:14), though apostles rarely forced their authority upon people. They usually preferred that Christians develop maturity by making their own decisions and using their spiritual gifts (Act 15:6; 2Co 1:24; 2Co 13:10; Eph 4:11-13). It seems that apostles did not pass on their office to the next generation. They had been God’s provision to link the ministry of Christ with the birth of the church, and to ensure that the church was built upon a proper foundation (Eph 2:20). As the Christian teaching became firmly established in written form (2Th 2:15) and as the churches became firmly established through local elders (Act 14:23; Act 20:28), the necessity for apostles decreased. The apostolic office had fulfilled its purpose and after the first century it died out.

King James Version

This is the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible (also known as the Authorized Version). "Public Domain"