Acts 3:1–10 John Nicholas’ Sunday School study notes from 2/22/2018

We hope these notes are a supplement to your weekly consideration of our class and further your continued study in Acts.

1 Πέτρος δὲ⸃ καὶ Ἰωάννης ἀνέβαινον εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν ⸆ ἐπὶ τὴν ὥραν τῆς προσευχῆς τὴν ἐνάτην.*

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer the ninth (hour – 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the time of the evening sacrifice, called Tamid)

  • The largest crowds would have been at the time of the sacrifices
  • Three hours of prayer – 3rd, 6th, and 9th
  • John’s presence is sometimes explained as based on the Jewish law that at least two witnesses are necessary to confirm any testimony (cf. 2 Cor 13:1). The practice may be traced to Jesus’ sending his disciples out on mission by pairs (Luke 10:1), a practice that still retains its wisdom and validity.
After a the priests prepare the altar (Lev 1:7; 6:1-6/8-13; Mishnah: Tamid 1:2), the first male lamb of the Tamid sacrifice is brought out and tied to the altar at dawn (Mishnah: Tamid 3:2-3:3)
The twice daily communal sacrifice of the Tamid is the focus of religious life for the covenant people (Ex 29:38-42; Num 28:4-8). It is the only sacrifice other than the Feast of Fristfruits or the Sabbath that requires a single male lamb for the liturgical service. The Sabbath requires a male lamb in addition to the Tamid lamb for each of the two Sabbath services (Num 28:9-10)
The incense is offered in the Sanctuary and the first Tamid lamb is sacrificed as the Temple gates open [Mishnah: Tamid 3:7; Edersheim, The Temple, chapter 7, p. 108]
It is the time for the communal “Shacharit” (morning) prayer service (Acts 2:15) at the start of the 3rd hour. Individual morning prayer may be recited until noon (Mishnah: Berakhot 4:1A; Acts 10:9)
The second lamb is brought out and tied to the altar at high noon. [Mishnah: Tamid 4:1]
The second Tamid lamb is given a drink from a gold cup and remains near the altar until the time of sacrifice (Ex 29:41; Mishnah: Tamid 3:4; 4:1G; Josephus, Against Apion, 2.8[105]).
Individual afternoon prayer lasts from the sixth hour (noon) to about the eleventh hour (5 PM), the length of the time from when the second lamb is tied near the altar to the conclusion of the afternoon service (Mishnah: Berakhot, 4:1C; Acts 10:9).
The second Tamid lamb is sacrificed [Antiquities of the Jews 14.4.3 (14:65); Philo Special Laws I, XXXV (169)]
3 PM is the second hour of prayer [Acts 3:1; 10:9] “Minchah” (gift-offering); also called the hour of confession.
The afternoon liturgical service is concluded with the burning of the incense (sacrifices of the two lambs is embraced by the burning of the incense, making it a single sacrifice) and the priestly benediction (Mishnah: Tamid, 6:3-7:2; Num 6:24-26).
Michal Hunt, Copyright © 1991 revised 2012 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.


καί ⸆ τις ἀνὴρ χωλὸς ἐκ κοιλίας μητρὸς αὐτοῦ °ὑπάρχων ἐβαστάζετο, ὃν ἐτίθουν καθʼ ἡμέραν πρὸς τὴν θύραν τοῦ ἱεροῦ τὴν λεγομένην* Ὡραίαν τοῦ αἰτεῖν ἐλεημοσύνην παρὰ τῶν εἰσπορευομένων εἰς τὸ ἱερόν·*

And a certain man, lame from his mother’s womb, who was being carried, who was placed every day at the door of the temple called beautiful (so that) he could ask for alms from those who were going into the temple

  • the giving of alms was a particularly meritorious act in Jewish religion, it would be appropriate for a beggar to place himself where pious people might be expected to pass on their way to worship.
  • Look what it says about the healing that will occur – the man was lame since birth
    • These types of healing do not occur outside of Jesus and the apostles
  • The man does not enter the sanctuary
    • Blemished/lame unclean (Lev 21:17-20, 2 Sam 5:8)
  • This gate is not so called elsewhere. It may have been the Gate of Nicanor on the east side looking towards Kidron described by Josephus (Ant. XV. 11, 3; War V. 5, 3) as composed chiefly of Corinthian brass and very magnificent.
  • Josephus spoke of ten gates in the sanctuary. Nine, he said, were overlaid with silver and gold; but the tenth “was of Corinthian bronze and far exceeded in value those plated with silver and set in gold.” So massive was this gate that when it was closed each evening, it “could scarcely be moved by twenty men.”7 This seems to be the same gate identified in the rabbinic literature as the Nicanor gate.

⸀ὃς ἰδὼν Πέτρον καὶ Ἰωάννην μέλλοντας εἰσιέναι εἰς τὸ ἱερόν, ἠρώτα ἐλεημοσύνην °λαβεῖν.*

Who saw Peter and John going into the temple, he began asking to receive alms.

⸀ἀτενίσας δὲ Πέτρος εἰς αὐτὸν σὺν τῷ Ἰωάννῃ εἶπεν· ⸁βλέψον εἰς ἡμᾶς.

And Peter stared at him together with John saying, ‘look at us’

  • How many times are beggars passed by without even a look – even if they are given money

ὁ δὲ ⸀ἐπεῖχεν αὐτοῖς προσδοκῶν τι παρʼ αὐτῶν λαβεῖν.

And he fixed his attention on them expecting to receive something from them

⸉εἶπεν δὲ Πέτρος⸊· ἀργύριον καὶ χρυσίον οὐχ ὑπάρχει μοι, ὃ δὲ ἔχω τοῦτό σοι δίδωμι· ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ Ναζωραίου ⸋[ἔγειρε καὶ]⸌ περιπάτει.*

Now Peter said, ‘silver and gold is not (what I have), but what I have this I give to you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth [arise and(not in every text)] walk

  • The healing power is in the name – Jesus
  • Peter is able to do the kind of thing that Jesus did by acting in the name of Jesus: thus the continuity between the ministry of Jesus and the witness of the church is expressed.
  • The reference to “the name” is not incidental. In the biblical sense a name is far more than a label. It represents a person and is an extension of that person’s being and personality. To invoke the name of Jesus is to call upon his authority and power. In a real sense, then, Jesus through Peter continued his healing ministry
  • A thought – to enter the sanctuary he would have to be unblemished – hence the healing is spectacular

καὶ πιάσας αὐτὸν τῆς δεξιᾶς χειρὸς ἤγειρεν °αὐτόν· παραχρῆμα δὲ ⸆ ἐστερεώθησαν αἱ βάσεις αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ ⸀σφυδρά,

And taking hold of him by the right hand he raised him immediately and his feet and his ankles were made strong.

  • Is there the idea that the man would not try before Peter took hold of him?

⸋καὶ ἐξαλλόμενος ἔστη⸌ καὶ περιεπάτει* ⸆ καὶ εἰσῆλθεν σὺν αὐτοῖς εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν ⸋1περιπατῶν καὶ ἁλλόμενος °καὶ⸌ αἰνῶν τὸν θεόν.

And leaping up he stood and began walking(around), and entered together with them into the temple walking and leaping and praising God.

  • Now he can enter – the blemish is gone
  • Only through Christ’s name can one be seen as clean
    • Accepted
    • The lame/blind/etc
    • Huge implications
  • Fulfillment of Isaiah 35:6

καὶ εἶδεν πᾶς ὁ λαὸς αὐτὸν περιπατοῦντα καὶ αἰνοῦντα τὸν θεόν·*

And all the people saw him walking and praising God.

10 ἐπεγίνωσκον δὲ αὐτὸν ὅτι ⸀αὐτὸς ἦν ὁ πρὸς τὴν ἐλεημοσύνην ⸁καθήμενος ἐπὶ τῇ ὡραίᾳ πύλῃ τοῦ ἱεροῦ καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν θάμβους καὶ ἐκστάσεως ἐπὶ τῷ ⸀1συμβεβηκότι αὐτῷ.*

And they recognized him(they took knowledge of him) because this one was (asking for) alms, one who used to sit at the beautiful gate of the temple and they were filled with awe and astonishment at what happened to him.

  • Such a reaction, however, is not necessarily the same thing as faith in the One who performed the miracle; one can be impressed by the spectacular without responding to what it signifies, the power and the grace of God.
    • In other words, because they are amazed does not necessarily mean that they believe in the name of Jesus