Robertson Word Pictures - Acts 11:20 - 11:20

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Robertson Word Pictures - Acts 11:20 - 11:20

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Spake (elaloun). Inchoative imperfect active, began to speak. For them it was an experiment.

Unto the Greeks also (kai pros tous Hellēnas). This is undoubtedly the correct reading in spite of Hellenists (Hellēnistas) or Grecian Jews in B E H L P. Hellēnas is read by A and D and a corrector of Aleph. The presence of “also” or “even” (kai) in Aleph A B makes no sense unless “Greeks” is correct. Hellenists or Grecian Jews as Christians were common enough as is seen in Acts 2; Act 6:1-15. Saul also had preached to the Hellenists in Jerusalem (Act 9:29). Hellenists were merely one kind of Jews in contrast with those who spoke Aramaic (Act 6:1-15). It is true that the case of Cornelius was first in importance, but it is not clear that it was before the work in Antioch. Probably the report of the work among the Greeks in Antioch reached Jerusalem after Peter’s defence in 11:1-18. That explains the calm tone about it and also why Barnabas and not Peter was sent to investigate. Peter and John (Acts 8) had condoned Philip’s work in Samaria and Peter was the agent in the work among the Romans in Caesarea. His position was now well-known and his services discounted for this new crisis. These Greeks in Antioch were apparently in part pure heathen and not “God-fearers” like Cornelius. A man of wisdom was called for. These preachers were themselves Hellenists (Act 11:19) and open to the lessons from their environment without a vision such as Peter had at Joppa. “It was a departure of startling boldness” (Furneaux) by laymen outside of the circle of official leaders.