Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Acts 4:32

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The multitude of them that believed - The whole 5000, mentioned Acts 4:4, and probably many others, who had been converted by the ministry of the other apostles since that time.

Were of one heart and of one soul - Were in a state of the most perfect friendship and affection. In all the 5000 there appeared to be but one heart and one soul; so perfectly did they agree in all their views, religious opinions, and holy affections. Some MSS. add, και ουκ ην διακρισις εν αυτοις ουδεμια, and there was no kind of difference or dissension among them. This remarkable reading is found in the Codex Bezae, another of great authority, E, two others, Ambrose, Bede, Cyprian, and Zeno. Diogenes Laertius relates of Aristotle, ερωτηθεις, τι εστι φιλος ; being asked, What is a Friend? εφη, μια ψυχη δυο σωμασιν ενοικουσα answered, One soul dwelling in Two bodies. This saying has been justly celebrated: but what would this wonderful philosopher have thought and said, had he seen these disciples of Jesus, and friends of mankind: one soul dwelling in 5000 bodies!

They had all things common - See the notes on Acts 2:44, where this subject is examined. See below, Acts 4:34.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And the multitude - The number of believers at this time had become large. In Acts 4:4, it is said that it was five thousand, and the number was constantly increasing.

One heart - This expression denotes “tender union.” They felt alike, or were attached to the same things, and this preserved them from jars and dissensions.

One soul - This phrase also denotes “close and tender union.” No expression could denote it more strikingly than to say of friends they have one soul. Plutarch cites an ancient verse in his life of Cato of Utica with this very expression - “Two friends, one soul” (Grotius). Thus, Diogenes Laertius also (5, Acts 1:11) says respecting Aristotle, that “being asked what was a friend, answered that it was one soul dwelling in two bodies” (Kuinoel). The Hebrews spake of two friends as being “one man.” There can be no more striking demonstration of union and love than to say of more than five thousand suddenly drawn together that they had one soul! And this union they evinced in every way possible - in their conduct, in their prayers, and in their property. How different would have been the aspect of the church if the union had continued to the present time!

Neither said … - That is, I they did not regard it as their own, but to be used for the benefit of the whole society. See the notes on Acts 2:44.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The disciples loved one another. This was the blessed fruit of Christ's dying precept to his disciples, and his dying prayer for them. Thus it was then, and it will be so again, when the Spirit shall be poured upon us from on high. The doctrine preached was the resurrection of Christ; a matter of fact, which being duly explained, was a summary of all the duties, privileges, and comforts of Christians. There were evident fruits of Christ's grace in all they said and did. They were dead to this world. This was a great evidence of the grace of God in them. They did not take away others' property, but they were indifferent to it. They did not call it their own; because they had, in affection, forsaken all for Christ, and were expecting to be stripped of all for cleaving to him. No marvel that they were of one heart and soul, when they sat so loose to the wealth of this world. In effect, they had all things common; for there was not any among them who lacked, care was taken for their supply. The money was laid at the apostles' feet. Great care ought to be taken in the distribution of public charity, that it be given to such as have need, such as are not able to procure a maintenance for themselves; those who are reduced to want for well-doing, and for the testimony of a good conscience, ought to be provided for. Here is one in particular mentioned, remarkable for this generous charity; it was Barnabas. As one designed to be a preacher of the gospel, he disentangled himself from the affairs of this life. When such dispositions prevail, and are exercised according to the circumstances of the times, the testimony will have very great power upon others.
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 20.2

When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the early church, “the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul” (Acts 4:32). The Spirit of Christ made them one. This is the fruit of abiding in Christ.... 3SM 20.2

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 296.1

All the believers were one in heart and mind. Acts 4:32, NIV. LHU 296.1

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 698

With the Zeal of the Apostles—Zeal for the glory of God moved the disciples to bear witness to the truth with mighty power. Should not this zeal fire our hearts with a longing to tell the story of redeeming love, of Christ and Him crucified? Should not the power of God be even more mightily revealed today then in the time of the apostles?—The Signs of the Times, February 17, 1914. Ev 698.1

The Source of Their Power—After Christ's ascension, the disciples were gathered together in one place to make humble supplication to God. And after ten days of heart searching and self-examination, the way was prepared for the Holy Spirit to enter the cleansed, consecrated soul temples. Every heart was filled with the Spirit, as though God desired to show His people that it was His prerogative to bless them with the choicest of heaven's blessings.... The sword of the Spirit flashed right and left. Newly edged with power, it pierced even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. The idolatry that had been mingled with the worship of the people was overthrown. New territory was added to the kingdom of God. Places that had been barren and desolate sounded forth His praises.—The Review and Herald, June 10, 1902. Ev 698.2

They Felt the Burden of Souls—Notice that it was after the disciples had come into perfect unity, when they were no longer striving for the highest place, that the Spirit was poured out. They were of one accord. All differences had been put away. And the testimony borne of them after the Spirit had been given is the same. Mark the word: “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.” The Spirit of Him who died that sinners might live, animated the entire congregation of believers. Ev 698.3

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Ellen G. White
Education, 95

They knew that His sympathies were with them still. They knew that they had a representative, an advocate, at the throne of God. In the name of Jesus they presented their petitions, repeating His promise, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you.” John 16:23. Ed 95.1

Higher and higher they extended the hand of faith, with the mighty argument, “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34. Ed 95.2

Faithful to his promise, the Divine One, exalted in the heavenly courts, imparted of His fullness to His followers on earth. His enthronement at God's right hand was signalized by the outpouring of the Spirit upon His disciples. Ed 95.3

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