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Acts 16:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

A certain disciple - Bishop Pearce would read the latter part of this verse and the beginning of the next thus - A certain disciple named Timotheus, (the son of a certain Jewish woman that believed, but of a father who was a Greek), who was well reported of by the brethren, etc.

This Timothy was the same person to whom St. Paul wrote those two noble epistles which are still extant. His mother's name was Eunice, as we learn from 2 Timothy 1:5. What his father's name was we know not; he was either a mere heathen, or, at most, only a proselyte of the gate, who never submitted to circumcision: had he submitted to this rite, he would, no doubt, have circumcised his son; but the son being without it is a proof that the father was so too. Some MSS. state that Timothy's mother was now a widow; but this does not appear to be well founded.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Then came he - That is, Paul in company with Silas. Luke does not give us the history of Barnabas, but confines his narrative to the journey of Paul.

To Derbe and Lystra - See the notes on Acts 14:6.

And behold, a certain disciple named Timotheus - It was to this disciple that Paul afterward addressed the two epistles which bear his name. It is evident that he was a native of one of these places, but whether of Derbe or Lystra it is impossible to determine.

The son of a certain woman … - Her name was Eunice, 2 Timothy 1:5.

And believed - And was a Christian. It is stated also that her mother was a woman of distinguished Christian piety, 2 Timothy 1:5. It was not lawful for a Jew to marry a woman of another nation, or to give his daughter in marriage to a Gentile, Ezra 9:12. But it is probable that this law was not regarded very strictly by the Jews who lived in the midst of pagan nations. It is evident that Timothy, at this time, was very young; for when Paul besought him to abide at Ephesus, to take charge of the church there 1 Timothy 1:3, he addressed him then as a young man, 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth.”

But his father was a Greek - Evidently, a man who had not been circumcised, for had he been Timothy would have been also.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Well may the church look for much service from youthful ministers who set out in the same spirit as Timothy. But when men will submit in nothing, and oblige in nothing, the first elements of the Christian temper seem to be wanting; and there is great reason to believe that the doctrines and precepts of the gospel will not be successfully taught. The design of the decree being to set aside the ceremonial law, and its carnal ordinances, believers were confirmed in the Christian faith, because it set up a spiritual way of serving God, as suited to the nature both of God and man. Thus the church increased in numbers daily.
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 918

20 (Matthew 13:47, 48). Both Good and Bad in the Church—[2 Timothy 2:19, 20 quoted.] The “great house” represents the church. In the church will be found the vile as well as the precious. The net cast into the sea gathers both good and bad (The Review and Herald, February 5, 1901). 7BC 918.1

21. Empty Vessels Needed—What kind of vessels are meet for the Master's use?—Empty vessels. When we empty the soul of every defilement, we are ready for use (The Review and Herald, February 28, 1899). 7BC 918.2

Purification an Individual Work—“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work.” He is not to accept theories that, if received, would corrupt. He is to purify himself from all unrighteous sentiments, which, if received, would lead away from the sure Word of God to unstable human devisings, degradation, and corruption. He is to resist the working of the enemy through vessels of dishonor. By searching the Scriptures with much prayer, he will find a path to follow, not the path of man, but a path that leads to heaven. 7BC 918.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 184-5

In this dark and trying hour the company of Lystrian believers, who through the ministry of Paul and Barnabas had been converted to the faith of Jesus, remained loyal and true. The unreasoning opposition and cruel persecution by their enemies served only to confirm the faith of these devoted brethren; and now, in the face of danger and scorn, they showed their loyalty by gathering sorrowfully about the form of him whom they believed to be dead. AA 184.1

What was their surprise when in the midst of their lamentations the apostle suddenly lifted up his head and rose to his feet with the praise of God upon his lips. To the believers this unexpected restoration of God's servant was regarded as a miracle of divine power and seemed to set the signet of Heaven upon their change of belief. They rejoiced with inexpressible gladness and praised God with renewed faith. AA 184.2

Among those who had been converted at Lystra, and who were eyewitnesses of the sufferings of Paul, was one who was afterward to become a prominent worker for Christ and who was to share with the apostle the trials and the joys of pioneer service in difficult fields. This was a young man named Timothy. When Paul was dragged out of the city, this youthful disciple was among the number who took their stand beside his apparently lifeless body and who saw him arise, bruised and covered with blood, but with praises upon his lips because he had been permitted to suffer for the sake of Christ. AA 184.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 202-7

Barnabas was ready to go with Paul, but wished to take with them Mark, who had again decided to devote himself to the ministry. To this Paul objected. He “thought not good to take ... with them” one who during their first missionary journey had left them in a time of need. He was not inclined to excuse Mark's weakness in deserting the work for the safety and comforts of home. He urged that one with so little stamina was unfitted for a work requiring patience, self-denial, bravery, devotion, faith, and a willingness to sacrifice, if need be, even life itself. So sharp was the contention that Paul and Barnabas separated, the latter following out his convictions and taking Mark with him. “So Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; and Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.” AA 202.1

Journeying through Syria and Cilicia, where they strengthened the church, Paul and Silas at length reached Derbe and Lystra in the province of Lycaonia. It was at Lystra that Paul had been stoned, yet we find him again on the scene of his former danger. He was anxious to see how those who through his labors had accepted the gospel were enduring the test of trial. He was not disappointed, for he found that the Lystrian believers had remained firm in the face of violent opposition. AA 202.2

Here Paul again met Timothy, who had witnessed his sufferings at the close of his first visit to Lystra and upon whose mind the impression then made had deepened with the passing of time until he was convinced that it was his duty to give himself fully to the work of the ministry. His heart was knit with the heart of Paul, and he longed to share the apostle's labors by assisting as the way might open. AA 202.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 402

In his ministry the apostle Paul had taught the people “not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” The truths that he proclaimed had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, “for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.... Which things,” declared Paul, “we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:4, 10-13. AA 402.1

Throughout his ministry, Paul had looked to God for direct guidance. At the same time, he had been very careful to labor in harmony with the decisions of the general council at Jerusalem, and as a result the churches were “established in the faith, and increased in number daily.” Acts 16:5. And now, notwithstanding the lack of sympathy shown him by some, he found comfort in the consciousness that he had done his duty in encouraging in his converts a spirit of loyalty, generosity, and brotherly love, as revealed on this occasion in the liberal contributions which he was enabled to place before the Jewish elders. AA 402.2

After the presentation of the gifts, Paul “declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.” This recital of facts brought to the hearts of all, even of those who had been doubting, the conviction that the blessing of heaven had accompanied his labors. “When they heard it, they glorified the Lord.” They felt that the methods of labor pursued by the apostle bore the signet of Heaven. The liberal contributions lying before them added weight to the testimony of the apostle concerning the faithfulness of the new churches established among the Gentiles. The men who, while numbered among those who were in charge of the work at Jerusalem, had urged that arbitrary measures of control be adopted, saw Paul's ministry in a new light and were convinced that their own course had been wrong, that they had been held in bondage by Jewish customs and traditions, and that the work of the gospel had been greatly hindered by their failure to recognize that the wall of partition between Jew and Gentile had been broken down by the death of Christ. AA 402.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 201-20

This chapter is based on Acts 15:36-41; 16:1-6.

After spending some time in ministry at Antioch, Paul proposed to his fellow worker that they set forth on another missionary journey. “Let us go again,” he said to Barnabas, “and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.” AA 201.1

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