|Book||Acts of the Apostles|
|Christian Bible part||New Testament|
|Order in the Christian part||5|
Acts 16 is the sixteenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the second missionary journey of Paul, together with Silas and Timothy. The book containing this chapter is anonymous but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke.
The original text was written in Koine Greek and is divided into 40 verses.
Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:
This chapter mentions the following places (in order of appearance):
The second missionary journey of Paul took place in c. AD 49.
One of Paul's most trusted and well-known co-workers (Romans 16:21), Timothy is mentioned in epistles to the churches in Rome and Corinth, to the Hebrews and cited as co-author of the letters to Philippi, Thessalonica (2 epistles), Philemon, and Colossae. In verse 4, the apostolic decree (Greek plural: dogmata, commonly used for a 'formal decision by a civic assembly') from the Council of Jerusalem is mentioned for the last time as considered relevant to the churches in this area, even though not addressed directly at the council (Acts 15:23).
This section records the journey out of Paul's previous mission area ('region of Phrygia and Galatia' in verse 6) in the center and southern part of Anatolia, approaching the north-west corner of Asia Minor following ancient routes (the Roman roads north of Antioch in Pisidia were built in later period), one of which reached north of Antioch, leading 'westwards down the Lycus Valley towards Ephesus'. The direction of the travel was determined by Holy Spirit (verse 6; interchangeable with "the Spirit of Jesus" in verse 7) at least in two junctions: not to take the one that could lead westward to Smyrna, nor the other that could lead northward to Bithynia and Pontus, but following the road towards Troas. The lack of preaching account along this part of the journey indicates that they were continually waiting for guidance, which finally came to Paul when they arrived in the port city of Troas, in a vision of a call for help from the man of Macedonia.
Verse 9 records a vision in which the Paul is said to have seen a 'man of Macedonia' pleading with him to "come over to Macedonia and help" them. Although it came at night, Paul is said to have a "vision", not a dream (in New Testament, dreams were only linked to Joseph and Pontius Pilate's wife). The passage reports that Paul and his companions responded immediately to the invitation. It is considered to echo Joshua 10:6 in which the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua saying " ... come up to us quickly, save us and help us". The first seal of Massachusetts Bay Colony had an American Indian with a scroll coming out over his mouth with the words "Come over and help us", also said to echo the words of the man of Macedonia.
The details of sea travel include the specific jargon of seafaring ('set sail', 'took a straight course', verse 11) and every port of call (Samothrace, Neapolis). From Neapolis, the journey is by land along Via Egnatia, the Roman road connecting the northern Aegean cities (Philippi, as well as Amphipolis, Apollonia, and Thessalonica in Acts 17:1) to the ports at Adriatic Sea.
Philippi was a Roman colony, originally settled by Roman army veterans with Roman magistrates and laws.
The independent status of Lydia as a trader and householder (verse 15) was not unusual for women among the 'traveling merchants and artisans' in most Greek cities of the ancient world and such women often became 'patron and benefactor to Jewish and other immigrant communities'.
The passage refers of woman who was possessed by a "spirit of divination", whose nature remains unclear. Paul ordered to the spirit to come out of her and this happened in the Name of Jesus Christ, like apostles were called to do against demons (Mark 16:16–18). Nevertheless, the spirit of divination (Ancient Greek: πνεῦμα Πύθωνα, romanized: pneuma Pythōna) affirmed for some days that Paul and Silas were servants of the Most High God.
The dramatic scenes of Pauls's imprisonment and escape in Philippi mirrors Peter's experience in Jerusalem (Acts 12:6—17). The singing hymn in prison is similar to the act of the philosopher Socrates (Epict. Diss. 2.6.26—7) and the rescue by divine intervention because of faithfulness to God is like that of the prophet Daniel and his friends (cf. Daniel 3, Daniel 6). Instead of escaping during earthquake, Paul honorably stayed inside (by implication also keeping the other prisoners in place) so he could prevent the jailer to commit a shame-induced suicide (verse 28) and brought change in this person's life: treating his prisoners with honor (verse 30; disregarding his original orders in verse 23), washing their wounds (verse 33) and inquiring them about salvation (verse 30). Paul's 'shameful experience of prison' was turned into a successful mission (verse 32), even in the middle of the night (verses 25, 33), that the jailer 'with his entire household' became a 'paradigmatic convert' (stressed three times in verses 32, 33, 34), baptized, 'sharing table-fellowship', and 'rejoicing' (verses 33, 34).
When the 'police' (Greek: rhabdouchoi, "lictors", verse 35) came to order the jailer to release him, Paul chose this time to reveal his Roman citizenship (cf. Acts 22:22–29; 25:1–12), which higher standards of legal treatment than other people in the empire should prevent him and his companion to be publicly humiliated, and the violation of this could result in severe punishment for the magistrates (verse 37). A complete the role-reversal then happened with the magistrates came to 'apologize' to Paul (better translation: "implore", from Greek: parekalesan, verse 39) vindicating Paul's faithfulness to God who can turn around potentially humiliating situations into honor.
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