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The Fellowship of the Early Believers

42 They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship,[a] to the breaking of bread and to prayer.[b] 43 Reverential awe[c] came over everyone,[d] and many wonders and miraculous signs[e] came about by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and held[f] everything in common, 45 and they began selling[g] their property[h] and possessions and distributing the proceeds[i] to everyone, as anyone had need. 46 Every day[j] they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts,[k] breaking bread from[l] house to house, sharing their food with glad[m] and humble hearts,[n] 47 praising God and having the good will[o] of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day[p] those who were being saved.

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  1. Acts 2:42 sn Fellowship refers here to close association involving mutual involvement and relationships.
  2. Acts 2:42 tn Grk “prayers.” This word was translated as a collective singular in keeping with English style.
  3. Acts 2:43 tn Or “Fear.”
  4. Acts 2:43 tn Grk “on every soul” (here “soul” is an idiom for the whole person).
  5. Acts 2:43 tn In this context the miraculous nature of these signs is implied. Cf. BDAG 920 s.v. σημεῖον 2.a.
  6. Acts 2:44 tn Grk “had.”
  7. Acts 2:45 tn The imperfect verb has been translated as an ingressive (“began…”). Since in context this is a description of the beginning of the community of believers, it is more likely that these statements refer to the start of various activities and practices that the early church continued for some time.
  8. Acts 2:45 tn It is possible that the first term for property (κτήματα, ktēmata) refers to real estate (as later usage seems to indicate) while the second term (ὑπάρξεις, huparxeis) refers to possessions in general, but it may also be that the two terms are used together for emphasis, simply indicating that all kinds of possessions were being sold. However, if the first term is more specifically a reference to real estate, it foreshadows the incident with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11.
  9. Acts 2:45 tn Grk “distributing them” (αὐτά, auta). The referent (the proceeds of the sales) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  10. Acts 2:46 tn BDAG 437 s.v. ἡμέρα 2.c has “every day” for this phrase.
  11. Acts 2:46 tn Grk “in the temple.” This is actually a reference to the courts surrounding the temple proper, and has been translated accordingly.
  12. Acts 2:46 tn Here κατά (kata) is used as a distributive (BDAG 512 s.v. B.1.d).
  13. Acts 2:46 sn The term glad (Grk “gladness”) often refers to joy brought about by God’s saving acts (Luke 1:14, 44; also the related verb in 1:47; 10:21).
  14. Acts 2:46 tn Grk “with gladness and humbleness of hearts.” It is best to understand καρδίας (kardias) as an attributed genitive, with the two nouns it modifies actually listing attributes of the genitive noun which is related to them.
  15. Acts 2:47 tn Or “the favor.”
  16. Acts 2:47 tn BDAG 437 s.v. ἡμέρα 2.c has “every day” for this phrase.