Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Are they "Jews" or "Christian Jews"? (Acts 11:2)

The phrase “οἱ ἐκ περιτομῆς (πιστοί)” occurs twice in Acts, once with πιστοί (10:45) and once without (11:2). Is the change significant, and should translations add in the word “believer” in 11:2 when the Greek doesn't say they were believers?


Another point worth making is that, after Peter then finishes his supporting testimony and defense, in Acts 11:18 it says, "Yet hearing these [things] they become quiet and have been glorifying the God, saying, 'So then also to the nations the God gives the repentance into life.'" So, if the "circumcised" group were not believers, they certainly were by verse 18. But I tend to agree that they were believers stuck on a process that entailed first becoming circumcised and being taught to obey the Law of Moses. Of course, this popped up again in Acts 15, and was resolved once for all. Yet, unfortunately, the apostle Paul still had to write the whole book of Galatians to address it, and it is still lost on those in the so-called "Hebrew roots" movement today. Nothing's changed in two thousand years, it seems.