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Acts 4:13

    Acts 4:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Now when they saw that Peter and John were without fear, though they were men of no education or learning, they were greatly surprised; and they took note of them that they had been with Jesus.

    Webster's Revision

    Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

    World English Bible

    Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled. They recognized that they had been with Jesus.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 4:13

    The boldness of Peter and John - Την παρῥησιαν, The freedom and fluency with which they spoke; for they spoke now from the immediate influence of the Holy Ghost, and their word was with power.

    That they were unlearned and ignorant men - Αγραμματοι, Persons without literature, not brought up in nor given to literary pursuits - and ignorant, ιδιωται, persons in private life, brought up in its occupations alone. It does not mean ignorance in the common acceptation of the term; and our translation is very improper. In no sense of the word could any of the apostles be called ignorant men; for though their spiritual knowledge came all from heaven, yet in all other matters they seem to have been men of good, sound, strong, common sense.

    They took knowledge of them - Επεγινωσκον may imply that they got information, that they had been disciples of Christ, and probably they might have seen them in our Lord's company; for there can be little doubt that they had often seen our Lord teaching the multitudes, and these disciples attending him.

    That they had been with Jesus - Had they not had his teaching, the present company would soon have confounded them; but they spoke with so much power and authority that the whole sanhedrin was confounded. He who is taught in spiritual matters by Christ Jesus has a better gift than the tongue of the learned. He who is taught in the school of Christ will ever speak to the point, and intelligibly too; though his words may not have that polish with which they who prefer sound to sense are often carried away.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 4:13

    Boldness - This word properly denotes "openness" or "confidence in speaking." It stands opposed to "hesitancy," and to "equivocation" in declaring our sentiments. Here it means that, in spite of danger and opposition, they avowed their doctrines without any attempt to conceal or disguise them.

    Peter and John - It was they only who had been concerned in the healing of the lame man, Acts 3:1.

    And perceived - When they knew that they were unlearned. This might have been ascertained either by report or by the manner of their speaking.

    Unlearned - This word properly denotes "those who were not acquainted with letters, or who had not had the benefit of an education."

    Ignorant men - ἰδιῶται idiōtai. This word properly denotes "those who live in private, in contradistinction from those who are engaged in public life or in office." As this class of persons is commonly also supposed to be less learned, talented, and refined than those in office, it comes to denote "those who are rude and illiterate." The idea intended to be conveyed here is, that these men had not had opportunities of education (compare Matthew 4:18-21), and had not been accustomed to public speaking, and hence, they were surprised at their boldness. This same character is uniformly attributed to the early preachers of Christianity. Compare 1 Corinthians 1:27; Matthew 11:25. The Galileans were regarded by the Jews as particularly rude and uncultivated, Matthew 26:73; Mark 14:17.

    They marvelled - They wondered that men who had not been educated in the schools of the rabbis, and accustomed to speak in public, should declare their sentiments with so much boldness.

    And they took knowledge - This expression means simply that riley knew, or that they obtained evidence that they had been with Jesus. It is not said in what way they obtained this evidence, but the connection leads us to suppose it was by the miracle which they had performed, by their firm and bold declaration of the doctrines of Jesus, and perhaps by the irresistible conviction that none would be thus bold who had not been personally with him, and who had not the firmest conviction that he was the Messiah. They had not been trained in their schools, and their boldness could not be attributed to the arts of rhetoric, but was the native, ingenuous, and manly exhibition of a deep conviction of the truth of what they spoke, and that conviction could have been obtained only by their having been with him, and having been satisfied that he was the Messiah. Such conviction is of far more value in preaching than all the mere teachings of the schools; and without such a conviction, all preaching will be frigid, hypocritical, and useless.

    Had been with Jesus - Had been his followers, and had attended person ally on his ministry. They gave evidence that they had seen him, been with him, heard him, and were convinced that he was the Messiah. We may learn here:

    (1) That if men wish to be successful in preaching, it must be based on deep and thorough conviction of the truth of what they deliver.

    (2) they who preach should give evidence that they are acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ; that they have imbibed his spirit, pondered his instructions, studied the evidences of his divine mission, and are thoroughly convinced that he was from God.

    (3) boldness and success in the ministry, as well as in everything else, will depend far more on honest, genuine, thorough conviction of the truth than on the endowments of talent and learning, and the arts and skill of eloquence. No man should attempt to preach without such a thorough conviction of truth; and no man who has it will preach in vain.

    (4) God often employs the ignorant and unlearned to confound the wise, 1 Corinthians 1:27-28. But it is not by their ignorance. It was not the ignorance of Peter and John that convinced the Sanhedrin. It was done in spite of their ignorance. It was their boldness and their honest conviction of truth. Besides, though not learned in the schools of the Jews, they had been under a far more important training, under the personal direction of Christ himself, for three years; I and now they were directly endowed by the Holy Spirit with the power of speaking with tongues. Though not taught in the schools, yet there was an important sense in which they were not unlearned and ignorant men. Their example should not, therefore, be pled in favor of an unlearned ministry. Christ himself expressed his opposition to an unlearned ministry by teaching them himself, and then by bestowing on them miraculous endowments which no learning at present can furnish. It may be remarked, further, that in the single selection which he made of an apostle after his ascension to heaven, when he came to choose one who had not been under his personal teaching, he chose a learned man, the apostle Paul, and thus evinced his purpose that there should be training or education in those who are invested with the sacred office.

    (5) yet in the case before us there is a striking proof of the truth and power of religion. These men had not acquired their boldness in the schools; they were not trained for argument among the Jews; they did not meet them by cunning sophistry; but they came with the honest conviction that what they were saying was true. Were they deceived? Were they not competent to bear witness? Did they have any motive to attempt to palm a falsehood onto people? Infidelity must answer many such questions as these before the apostles can be convicted of imposture.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 4:13

    4:13 Illiterate and uneducated men - Even by such men (though not by such only) hath God in all ages caused his word to be preached before the world.