Acts 13 Commentary

Acts chapter 13 commentary Bible study

Acts Chapter 13 Commentary Bible Study


Acts 13:2-5 Fasting
Acts 13:6 False Prophet
Acts 13:7-12 Proconsul
Acts 13:13-16 Perga
Acts 13:17 Why did God choose Israel?
Acts 13:18 Forty Years in the Wilderness
Acts 13:19 Seven Nations of Canaan
Acts 13:20-21 Judges of Israel
Acts 13:22 Saul and David
Acts 13:23-26 God's Promise
Acts 13:27-32 Voices of the Prophets
Acts 13:33-37 "Begotten" Meaning
Acts 13:38-45 Forgiveness of Sins
Acts 13:46-52 Paul and Barnabas
Acts 13 Bible Study Questions (Handout)
ACTS 13:1  1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Where is "Antioch" (Acts 13:1)?
See Antioch.

How many prophets and teachers were "in the church that was at Antioch" (Acts 13:1)?
Five: Barnabas, Simeon/Niger, Lucius, Manaen, and Saul/Paul

Who is "Barnabas" (Acts 13:1)?
See Barnabas.

Who is "Lucius" (Acts 13:1)?
Lucius was from "Cyrene" (Acts 13:1), a north African town on the northern coast of what is Libya today, and he could be the "Lucius" (Romans 16:21) whose greeting Paul conveyed to the church in Rome from Corinth.

Who is "Simeon" (Acts 13:1)?
νιγερ (niger), the original word of Latin origin that is translated "Niger" (Acts 13:1), literally means "black," so Simeon most likely was from Africa, whose most populous country today is Nigeria. This is the Bible's only mention of this Simeon.

Who is "Manaen" (Acts 13:1)?
This is also the Bible's only mention of Manaen but the Jewish historian Josephus wrote about this Manaen's father, who was also named Manaen. When Herod the Great, the father of "Herod the tetrarch" (Acts 13:1), was young, the elder Manaen told him that he would one day rule Judea. When that came true, Herod the Great became close with the elder Manaen, and their sons - the younger Manaen and Herod the tetrarch, also known as Herod Antipas - were "brought up" (Acts 13:1) together.

What roles do "prophets and teachers" (Acts 13:1) perform?
Prophets prophesy - foretell an event in the future as inspired by God - and teachers teach.

Can prophets teach and teachers prophesy?
Yes, the Old Testament has many examples of prophets teaching, and in the New Testament, Paul, for example, prophesied the demise of the ship carrying him to Rome (see Cnidus). The two roles are neither mutually exclusive nor require one another. They are simply two of the roles to be performed as appointed by Jesus: "He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:10-12).

Are "prophets" and "teachers" also titles to be used to call certain people in the church?
No, Jesus explicitly warned us against turning roles into titles: "But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ" (Matthew 23:8-10). According to Jesus, therefore, any Christian being called "Teacher" or "Father," let alone "Holy Father," is usurping titles reserved for God.

What about the titles of "Pastor," "The Reverend" or "Bishop"?
They fall into the same category as above. No Christian is to be entitled or exalted above any other Christian. Since Jesus told us above, "You are all brethren" (Matthew 23:8), the appropriate way for Christians to call one another is "Brethren": "Brother" or "Sister."

Then why are pastors called "Pastor"?
It is an unbiblical tradition that helped to create and propagate an unbiblical wall of separation between those "in ministry" and all other Christians, allowing the latter to turn into (fee-paying) spectators who abandon their God-given gifts and ministries.

How many God-given gifts does every Christian have?
At least one.

Did God intend that/those gift(s) to be used to serve oneself?
No, to serve the body of Christ, which is to be "... joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love" (Ephesians 4:16).

What do we call "every part" doing "its share" (Ephesians 4:16)?

What do we call a person who has no ministry and no God-given gift for it?
A non-Christian

What is your God-given gift and ministry?