1 [Dear] Theophilus, in my former letter [i.e., the Gospel of Luke] I wrote to you concerning what all Jesus did and taught since the beginning [of His ministry], 2 up until the day He returned to heaven. [Just before that time] He had given [certain] instructions to His [specially] selected apostles through [the direction of] the Holy Spirit. 3 Now, following His death on the cross [and resurrection], Jesus appeared alive [to His apostles] for forty days, and demonstrated by many convincing proofs [that He had been raised bodily from the dead]. [During that time] He also spoke to them about the [coming] kingdom of God.
4 [One day, as He was] gathered with these apostles, He urged them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there until they received what the Father had promised them. (Jesus had previously discussed this with them). [See Luke 24:49]. 5 For [Jesus had said, Matt. 3:11], "John immersed you [men] in water but [this time] you will be immersed in the Holy Spirit, and [it will happen] in just a few more days."
6 When the apostles had come together, they asked [Jesus], "Lord, are you ready to restore the kingdom [of God] to [the nation of] Israel [at this time]?"
7 Jesus replied, "You are not permitted to know the [specific] time or date [when this will happen]. For the Father has appointed it [to happen] when He determines [the right time]. 8 But, you apostles will receive power when the Holy Spirit descends on you and [then] you will become My witnesses [i.e., to tell what you know] in Jerusalem, in [the countries of] Judea and Samaria, and [even] to the distant regions of the earth."
9 And when Jesus had said these things, just as the apostles were watching [Him], He was taken up by a cloud [and disappeared] out of their sight. 10 And while they gazed up into the sky as He ascended, suddenly two men wearing white clothing appeared beside them 11 and said, "You men from Galilee, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus who was received up from your presence into the sky will return in the same way you saw Him go there."
12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the place called "Mount of Olives," which was about three-fourths of a mile from Jerusalem. 13 Upon arriving at the house where they were staying, they went upstairs. [Those present were]: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, the son of Alpheus, Simon the Zealous [one] and Judas, the son of James. [Note: Judas Iscariot, the twelfth apostle, had already committed suicide].
14 These men continued in united prayer [for the kingdom to come? See 1:6; Matt. 6:10] along with [certain] women, Mary the mother of Jesus and His [half-] brothers.
15 And during this time Peter stood up to speak to a gathering of about one hundred twenty persons. 16 [He said], "Brothers, it was necessary that the Scriptures be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke through King David about Judas, who guided the soldiers who came to arrest Jesus. 17 For he was one of our number and shared with us [in the responsibility of] this ministry." 18 (Now this man [Judas] paid for [in a sense] a [burial] field with the reward money he had received for his sinful act [of betraying Jesus, See Matt. 27:3-10]. [Then, some time after Judas hanged himself, See Matt. 27:5] he fell down headlong, [his swollen body] bursting so that his intestines gushed out. 19 This incident became known to everyone who lived in Jerusalem so that the [burial] field purchased with the reward money became known as "Akeldama" [an Aramaic word] which means "Field of Blood.") 20 "For it was written [about Judas] in the book of Psalms [69:25]: 'Let the place where he lives become deserted, with no one living there' and [Psa. 109:8] 'Let someone else fill his ministry.'
21 The person [to replace Judas] would have to be one of those who accompanied us [disciples] during the time the Lord traveled around with us, 22 from His immersion by John [the Immerser] until He was received up from us [in a cloud]. Of these people [we must choose] someone to become a witness with us [i.e., to tell people] of Jesus' resurrection [from the dead]."
23 And so they presented two men [for consideration]: Joseph, called Barsabbas (and also called Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, "Lord, you know the inner thoughts of all men, so show us which one of these two men should be selected 25 to replace Judas in this ministry and this group of apostles, from which he fell away to go to where he belonged" [i.e., to the place of punishment for unrepentant sinners]. 26 So, they drew lots [i.e., devices used for making random choices] and the lot [i.e., the choice] favored Matthias, so he was added to the other eleven apostles.