The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Father Callan’s Commentary on Acts 16:11-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2011

Text in red are my additions.

11. And sailing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the day following to Neapolis
12. And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were in this city some days conferring together.

Philippi, so called after Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, who built it. It was the most important town of one of the four parts into which Macedonia was divided by the Romans in 168 B.C. Instead of “the chief city of part of Macedonia,” the best Greek readings have, “a city of the first part of Macedonia.” That St. Luke’s juepis of Macedonia here is a technical term, and particularly associated with Macedonia, is now certain from some ancient Macedonian coins recently discovered with this word on them. Cf. Hogarth, Authority and Archaeology, pp. 349-350. A colony. It was proclaimed a Roman colony by Augustus, and enjoyed all the privileges of the capital of the Empire.

13. And upon the sabbath day, we went forth without the gate by a river side, where it seemed that there was prayer ; and sitting down, we spoke to the women that were assembled.

That there was prayer; i.e., where prayer was accustomed to be made. The Jews were everywhere, and when they were not in sufficient number to have a synagogue, as apparently in the present case, they held their religious gatherings outside the cities, away from pagan habitations, in proseuche, or small oratories. These oratories were usually built on the banks of streams, so
as to enable the Jews to observe their various ablutions and purifications.

14. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of
Thyatira, one that worshipped God, did hear : whose heart the Lord opened to attend to those things which were said by Paul.

Worshipped God; i.e., she was. a Jewish proselyte, a pagan by birth.

15. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. 

She was baptized, and her household. See Acts 7:2, 10; 10:2 for similar events.

And she constrained us. The word παρεβιασατο recalls the disciples request to the risen Jesus in Luke 24:29.  The word is sometimes used in the OT for urging someone to enjoy hospitality (Gen 19:3, 9).

One Response to “Father Callan’s Commentary on Acts 16:11-15”

  1. […] A Sermon on John 14:15-21 « This Weeks Posts: Sunday, May 22-Saturday, May 28, 2011 Monday, May 30: Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 16:11-15) […]

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