“It seemed good
To the Holy Spirit
And to us
To impose on you
No further burden
Than these necessary things.”
ἔδοξεν γὰρ τῷ Πνεύματι τῷ Ἁγίῳ καὶ ἡμῖν μηδὲν πλέον ἐπιτίθεσθαι ὑμῖν βάρος πλὴν τούτων τῶν ἐπάναγκες,
The author of Acts indicated that this letter said that it seemed good (ἔδοξεν γὰρ) to the Holy Spirit (τῷ Πνεύματι τῷ Ἁγίῳ) and to them (καὶ ἡμῖν) to impose (ἐπιτίθεσθαι) on them (ὑμῖν) no further (μηδὲν πλέον) burden (βάρος) except these (πλὴν τούτων) necessary or essential things (ἐπάναγκες). Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ἐπάναγκες, that means necessary, of necessity, or necessarily. These deliberations and this letter were guided by the Holy Spirit. Jesus had promised to give them the Holy Spirit. Here was the Holy Spirit in action with their discussions and finished letter. There were only a few necessary things that they had to do. What should you have to do if you were a Christian?
“But the Paraclete,
The Holy Spirit,
Whom the Father
In my name,
Will teach you
He will remind you
That I have said
ὁ δὲ Παράκλητος, τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον ὃ πέμψει ὁ Πατὴρ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐκεῖνος ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα ἃ εἶπον ὑμῖν ἐγώ.
John uniquely indicated that Jesus said that the Father (ὁ Πατὴρ) would send (ὃ πέμψει) them an advocate, the Paraclete (ὁ δὲ Παράκλητος), the Holy Spirit (τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον), in the name of Jesus (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου) that would teach them everything (ἐκεῖνος ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα). He would remind them (καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς) about everything (πάντα) that Jesus had said to them (ἃ εἶπον ὑμῖν ἐγώ.), using the second person plural. God the Father would complete the Trinitarian presence of Jesus with the Holy Spirit, to remind them of what Jesus was all about and what he had said. Thus, the teaching ministry would continue after the death and resurrection in his newly forming Christian community. They did not have to remember everything. The Holy Spirit, explicitly named here as the Paraclete, would guide them. Do you acknowledge the role of the Holy Spirit in your life?
About the Spirit.
Were about to receive.
The Holy Spirit.
He had not been given,
Was not yet glorified.”
τοῦτο δὲ εἶπεν περὶ τοῦ Πνεύματος οὗ ἔμελλον λαμβάνειν
οἱ πιστεύσαντες εἰς αὐτόν· οὔπω γὰρ ἦν Πνεῦμα, ὅτι Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη.
uniquely explained why Jesus had said this.
Jesus said this (τοῦτο δὲ εἶπεν) about the Spirit (περὶ τοῦ Πνεύματος), as
the believers (οἱ πιστεύσαντες) in Jesus (εἰς αὐτόν) were about to receive (οὗ
ἔμελλον λαμβάνειν) this Spirit. However,
the Holy Spirit had not been given (οὔπω γὰρ ἦν Πνεῦμα) to his followers,
because Jesus (ὅτι Ἰησοῦς) had not yet been glorified (οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη) with
his death and resurrection. The living
waters that Jesus was speaking about was and is the Holy Spirit, but this Holy
Spirit would not be given until after the glorification of Jesus with his death
and resurrection. The outpouring of the
Holy Spirit on followers of Jesus can be found at the beginning of the Acts
of the Apostles, chapters 1 and 2.
Have you received the Holy Spirit?
“The Holy Spirit
Will teach you
At that very hour
What you ought to say.”
τὸ γὰρ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα διδάξει ὑμᾶς ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἃ δεῖ εἰπεῖ
Luke had Jesus explain why they should not worry. The Holy Spirit (τὸ γὰρ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα) would teach them (διδάξει ὑμᾶς) at that very hour (ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ) what they ought to say (ἃ δεῖ εἰπεῖ). Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:20, and Mark chapter 13:11. Mark indicated that Jesus said that they were to say (τοῦτο λαλεῖτε) whatever would be given to them (ἀλλ’ ὃ ἐὰν δοθῇ ὑμῖν) at that hour (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ). They would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ἐστε ὑμεῖς οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Holy Spirit would be speaking (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) for them. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that it would be given to them (δοθήσεται γὰρ ὑμῖν) in that hour (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ) what they should say (τί λαλήσητε). They would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Spirit of their Father would be speaking through them (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τὸ λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν). In other words, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father, would speak for them and through them, so that they did not have to worry or prepare anything beforehand. Luke had the Holy Spirit teaching them, while Mark and Matthew had the Holy Spirit speaking for them. What do you know about the Holy Spirit?
By the Spirit,
Into the temple.
Their child Jesus,
To do for him
What was customary
Under the law.”
καὶ ἦλθεν ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι εἰς τὸ ἱερόν· καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ,
Luke said that Simeon, guided by the Holy Spirit (ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι), went into the Jerusalem Temple (καὶ ἦλθεν…εἰς τὸ ἱερόν). Then the parents of the child Jesus brought him into the Temple (καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς) for the customary actions under the Law (κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ). Unfortunately, there were no ordinary customs for the children, since the purification ritual was for the mother. It was rare for a mother to offer up her son to God. Normally, the 2 birds were sufficient as an offering for the first-born male child. Nevertheless, Simeon was there in the Temple when Mary, Joseph, and the child Jesus came into the Jerusalem Temple.
I tell you!
People will be forgiven
For every sin
Against the Spirit
Will not be forgiven.
Whoever speaks a word
Against the Son of man
Will be forgiven.
But whoever speaks
Against the Holy Spirit
Will not be forgiven,
Either in this age
Or in the age to come.”
Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν, πᾶσα ἁμαρτία καὶ βλασφημία ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, ἡ δὲ τοῦ Πνεύματος βλασφημία οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται.
καὶ ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου, οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ οὔτε ἐν τούτῳ τῷ αἰῶνι οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι.
There are similar statements to this in Mark, chapter 3:28-30, and Luke, chapter 12:10. It might be okay to disrespect the Son of Man, but it is quite another thing to speak against or blasphemy the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy was profaning the name of God. If you profaned the Holy Spirit you were hopeless. Only God could forgive. If you gave up on God and his Spirit, there was no hope of forgiveness. The Son of Man was so human that you could be forgiven for speaking against the Son of Man, Jesus, but not the Holy Spirit. Jesus told them with a solemn proclamation (Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν). God would forgive all human sins and blasphemies (πᾶσα ἁμαρτία καὶ βλασφημία ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς ἀνθρώποις). However, he would not forgive the sin of blasphemy against the Spirit (ἡ δὲ τοῦ Πνεύματος βλασφημία οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται). Humans could speak against the Son of Man (καὶ ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) and be forgiven (ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ). However, anyone who spoke against the Holy Spirit (ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου) would not be forgiven (οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ), either now or in the future (οὔτε ἐν τούτῳ τῷ αἰῶνι οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι).
“When they hand you over,
Do not worry
About how you are to speak
Or what you are to say.
What you are to say
Will be given to you
At that time.
It is not you
But the Spirit
Of your Father
Speaking through you.”
ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς, μὴ μεριμνήσητε πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε· δοθήσεται γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ τί λαλήσητε·
οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ λαλοῦντες ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τὸ λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν.
Equivalent passages to this can be found in Mark, chapter 13:11, and Luke, chapter 12:11. Jesus told his disciples not to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνήσητε), when they were handed over (ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς) to these courts or tribunals. They should not worry about how or what they should say (πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε). It will be given to them (δοθήσεται γὰρ ὑμῖν) in that hour at that time (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ) what they should say (τί λαλήσητε). They would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Spirit of their Father would be speaking through them (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τὸ λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν). In other words, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father, would speak for them and through them, so that they did not have to worry or prepare anything beforehand.
“If you then,
Who are evil,
To give good gifts
To your children,
How much more
Will your Father,
Who is in heaven,
Give good things
Who ask him!
εἰ οὖν ὑμεῖς πονηροὶ ὄντες οἴδατε δόματα ἀγαθὰ διδόναι τοῖς τέκνοις ὑμῶν, πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς δώσει ἀγαθὰ τοῖς αἰτοῦσιν αὐτόν.
This saying of Jesus is exactly the same as in Luke, chapter 11:13, indicating a common Q source, except that Luke mentioned giving the Holy Spirit instead of giving good things. Even the evil humans (εἰ οὖν ὑμεῖς πονηροὶ ὄντες), know how to give good gifts to their children (οἴδατε δόματα ἀγαθὰ διδόναι τοῖς τέκνοις ὑμῶν,). How much more will your heavenly Father (πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς) give you good things (δώσει ἀγαθὰ), if you were to ask for them (τοῖς αἰτοῦσιν αὐτόν). Ask, and it will be granted. Prayer to the heavenly Father is easy.