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Introduction to Personal Bible Study - Videos (2007)

4 short introductory video studies First recorded in 2007, posted to GodTube in 2010  These short videos were made nearly 14 years ago. ...

Monday, June 26, 2023

The Pairings in Acts 1:13

 Now let's examine the assumption we noted above: "both' is limited to Jerusalem and Judea; Samaria unto the ends of the land (or to the dispersion).

"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

-Acts 1:13

καὶ ὅτε εἰσῆλθον ἀνέβησαν  εἰς τὸ ὑπερῷον οὗ ἦσαν καταμένοντες ὅ τε πέτρος καὶ ἰάκωβος καὶ ἰωάννης καὶ ἀνδρέας φίλιππος καὶ θωμᾶς βαρθολομαῖος καὶ ματθαῖος, ἰάκωβος ἁλφαίου καὶ σίμων ὁ ζηλωτὴς καὶ ἰούδας ἰακώβου

How are we to read "both" in this verse? If we take a literal translation of the Greek (using a direct Greek to English translator), we get:

And then they went up to who lived both Peter and Jacob [James] and John and Andrew Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, Jacob Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas Jacob


And in the Revised Version:

and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, [both] Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James

Notice the groupings:

  • Peter and John
  • James and Andrew
  • Philip and Thomas
  • Bartholomew and Matthew,
  • James and Simon
  • and Judas

A quick look at the ministry in the Book of Acts, we see Peter and John linked. Peter and John are mentioned together in Acts 3. In Acts 4 Peter and John are arrested together. They are mentioned twice there together. Finally, in Acts 8, Peter and John are again together. This is well into the Acts age and well after the commission of Acts 1, yet the Apostles were still in Jerusalem.

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
-Acts 8:14-15 (NKJV)

We will look, next time, a little more closely at the believing Gentiles in Caesarea. It is important to note Peter's calling, the region of Caesarea, the events in that house, and the reaction of the Jews.

But I digress. Peter and John are a group unto themselves in Acts 1. We God dealing in pairs much in the ministry of the Gospel accounts and in the Acts Age, The Lord sent the 70 out two-by-two.

After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.

-Luke 10:1 (NKJV)

We can see this in Paul's ministry as well (Paul and Barnabas then Paul and Silas).

When we apply this pattern to the listing in Acts 13, we can start to see:

Both Peter and John and BOTH James and Andrew, BOTH Philip and Thomas, BOTH James and Simon, and Judas (there only being 11 at the time, this is the other Judas and before Matthias was chosen). 

This use of "both" following its use earlier in Acts 1 helps to see more clearly the use of "both" as not only a pairing of two, but of pairs of two. While this latter is not as definitive, in context of the calling of the twelve in the Gospel accounts and as revealed in Acts epistles, we can get more clarity about the "commission" of Acts 1:8. When we can see their commission to Judah and Israel, we can start to understand the Book of Acts better and the we can start to rightly divide the epistles. 

Hopefully we can understand why the Apostles said and did in the Book of Acts itself and discard any thought that any "church" today is an "Acts church." I think we can clearly demonstrates that there s no such thing in the current age and that we shouldn't pretend there is.