The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers. (Acts 9:26-31) //
And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda. (Act 9:32)
Your final Questions for this Section
In Acts 9:31 why do some translations use peace while King James uses edified ?
Seems like edified is the more proper response ( due to Saul's conversion) because how can you have peace if the persecution is still there?
I assume the Jews did not stop just because Saul has been converted) and still trying to destroy the church. Or is it the inner peace within the church inspite of the persecution.
I know you said verse 31 is section marker Ian but why and what does it mark? What does it mean?
I thought about the impact of Saul's conversion and the significance of that event and then came to a position on the pivotal points in Christianity: Any comment?
I will try to gather up these remaining questions and answer them in this one Gemz but will stop when it gets too long. I have changed the order of them a little and I have improved the English of the original questions from some of you. Let’s deal firstly with what is written in the text.
The original text in Greek is:
(GNT) Αἱ μὲν οὖν ἐκκλησίαι καθ᾿ ὅλης τῆς ᾿Ιουδαίας καὶ Γαλιλαίας καὶ Σαμαρείας εἶχον εἰρήνην1 οἰκοδομούμεναι2 καὶ πορευόμεναι3 τῷ φόβῳ τοῦ Κυρίου4, καὶ τῇ παρακλήσει τοῦ ῾Αγίου Πνεύματος5 ἐπληθύνοντο6.
Yes I know that is not much help to most of you. So turn to the LITV – the Literal Version
(LITV) Then, indeed, the assemblies throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, had peace1, having been built up2 and having gone on3 in the fear of the Lord4. And they were increased6 in the comfort of the Holy Spirit5.
I have marked the essential elements for you.
(AMP) So the church throughout the whole of Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was edified [growing in wisdom, virtue, and piety] and walking in the respect and reverential fear of the Lord and in the consolation and exhortation of the Holy Spirit, continued to increase and was multiplied.
(ASV) So the church throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, was multiplied.
(KJV) Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
(RV) So the church throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, was multiplied.
Being built up/made strong/strengthened
(BBE) And so the church through all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was made strong; and, living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, was increased greatly.
(ESV) So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
(ISV) So the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria enjoyed peace. As it continued to be built up and to live in the fear of the Lord, it kept increasing in numbers through the encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
(NASB) So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.
(NLT) The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.
You will notice that both meanings are there at the heart of the verse. It is not a case of one translation choosing have peace and another choosing edify. Both meanings are there in εἶχον εἰρήνην1 have peace and οἰκοδομούμεναι2 being built up, made strong, edified. Both things were happening at the same time. The church had peace and was being built up. Why? Was it that they came into this time of peace after these events and the persecution stopped? The following translations seem to make it sound like that is what happened:
(CEV) The church in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria now had a time of peace and kept on worshiping the Lord. The church became stronger, as the Holy Spirit encouraged it and helped it grow.
(ERV) The church in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, these groups of believers became stronger in faith and showed their respect for the Lord by the way they lived. So the church everywhere grew in numbers.
(GNB) And so it was that the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. Through the help of the Holy Spirit it was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord.
(MSG) Things calmed down after that and the church had smooth sailing for a while. All over the country--Judea, Samaria, Galilee--the church grew. They were permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God. The Holy Spirit was with them, strengthening them. They prospered wonderfully.
No, that is not the sense of this verse. That was a very astute comment made by one of you.
"I assume the Jews did not stop just because Saul has been converted) and still trying to destroy the church. Or is it the inner peace within the church inspite of the persecution."
Right on! That is exactly the case. The verse in the original Greek contains no hint of there being a time of peace, an absence of persecution. The translations listed above simply add the idea of a time of peace. The literal Greek reads, the church had peace. How did they have peace? Because the persecutors stopped persecuting? Not likely. Rather they had peace because they lived or continued on in the fear of the Lord. The text makes it plain to us that the peace was a result of their living in the fear of God. They feared God or had reverence for God more than they feared the persecutors. They had taken on the spirit of the apostles when Peter and John on behalf of the others could say, "You must decide whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than God, for we cannot stop talking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20) This kind of attitude comes not from an absence of persecution but rather from an inner conviction of the truth of the Gospel and the Words of Christ which you hold to no matter what is happening around you. It is a case of having life-peace or life-joy rather than your peace or joy being dependant on your circumstances [event-joy or event-peace] . That is what the early church had found. They knew the same conviction and in filling of the Holy Spirit that held the Apostles firm in the face of opposition.
My question now must be, what about you? Do you have peace only when there is no opposition or persecution or have you learned to rise above the persecutors because your peace is firmly planted in Him? Notice that the early church grew and multiplied because of the inner comfort of the Holy Spirit. Now that is an important difference. It reminds me again of the story I have already told you in an earlier Gemz:- of the leaders of the underground church gathered in China and an American saying “we are praying you because you are going through persecution". To which a Chinese leader responded, "and we pray for you because you don’t have persecution".
I will leave it there as this stage and not attempt to cover the last element of the division marker in this Gemz. I will leave that for the following Gemz. But notice that I have given you above the following verse (9:32). Think on what follows 9:31 before Wednesday's Gemz.
A little persecution is good for the soul. Ian
To go against the dominant thinking of your friends is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform. Theodore H. White
Words are free, it is how you choose to use them that may cost you.
True change is based on a change in the inner man not a alteration at the surface level. Ian
Ask God to give you backbone, a funny bone and a wishbone. Ian
Don't sit there uninvolved. Say yes Lord when He calls and go and do what He tells you. It will astound you what He will do in and through you. Ian