Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



You apostles are [to be] witnesses of these things [i.e., they were to give their testimony of these truths. See Acts 1:8].

And you will give testimony about me [also], because you men have been with me from the beginning [of my ministry]."


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, 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]."


[Then, at the hands of the Roman authorities] you killed the Prince of [never ending] life, but God raised Him from the dead, and we [apostles] were [reliable] witnesses of it.



And we [apostles] are witnesses of all that He did, both in the region where Jews lived and in Jerusalem [as well]. But they killed Him by hanging Him on a tree [i.e., the cross]. However, God raised Him up the third day and made it possible for Him to appear [following His resurrection], not to everyone, but to us [apostles] who were specially chosen by God to be witnesses [of His resurrected body], and to eat and drink with Him after He arose from the dead.

so that He was seen for many days by those [apostles] who came with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These men are now His witnesses before the people.

For we did not use cleverly conceived stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, because we were eyewitnesses of His Majesty [i.e., the apostles had personally seen the miraculous power of Jesus].

And we heard this voice coming from heaven when we were with Him in the holy mountain.

We [apostles] proclaim to you [the truth about Jesus], who existed from the beginning [of time]. We have heard [Him] and seen [Him] with our [own] eyes. We looked at Him, and [even] touched Him with our hands. [See John 20:20]. [So, we proclaim that] He is the word of life [i.e., the life-giving Word]! Truly, this "Life" was made known to us and we have [actually] seen it [i.e., Him], and so we testify and proclaim to you [that He is] "the Eternal Life," who was with the Father and was made known to us [apostles]. We declare to you what we have seen and heard [concerning Christ], so that you also may share a relationship with us. And indeed, our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.




But, get up onto your feet, for the reason I have appeared to you is to appoint you a minister and witness of both the things you have [already] seen of me and the things I will [reveal when] appearing to you.






[This will happen] if you continue in the faith [Note: This means either "continue to observe God's teaching" or, "continue to believe"], firmly grounded and established, and not moved away from the hope offered by the Gospel message, which you have heard and which was preached to people throughout the entire created world under heaven. I, Paul, was made a minister of this Gospel.





Or, do you not know that evil people will not possess God's kingdom? Do not be misled: neither will sexually immoral people, nor idolaters, nor those who are sexually unfaithful to their mates, nor homosexual perverts. [Note: The Greek uses two words here, denoting both the passive and active partners in male homosexual acts]. And neither will thieves, nor greedy people, nor drunkards, nor abusive talkers, nor swindlers possess God's kingdom. And some of you have practiced such things, but you were washed [i.e., from your sins. See Acts 22:16]; you were dedicated [i.e., set apart for God's service]; you were made right with God in the name [i.e., by the authority] of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Holy Spirit of our God.


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]?" 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]. 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."

But the minds of the Israelites became dull for, to this very day, the same veil remains on them [i.e., figuratively] when the Old Agreement [Scriptures] are read. It is not being revealed to them that the Old Agreement is being abolished by Christ [i.e., by His death on the cross. See Col. 2:14]. But to this day, a veil remains on their minds whenever [the writings of] Moses are read. But whenever a person [i.e., the Jews] turn to the Lord, the veil is removed [i.e., so they can understand the meaning of God's promises to them through Christ]. read more.
Now the Lord [i.e., Christ] is the Holy Spirit, and there is freedom [from the bondage of sin and fear] wherever the Spirit of the Lord is. But all of us [Christians], with unveiled faces, see the Lord's splendor reflected, as [though we were] looking in a mirror, and [so] are being transformed into His likeness in ever-increasing splendor. This is [the work] of the Lord, [who is] the Holy Spirit.



Suddenly a rushing sound, like a fierce wind blowing, came from the sky above them, and [its noise] filled the entire house where they were sitting.







Then He appeared to James [Note: This was probably Jesus' half-brother. See Acts 12:17; Gal. 1:19], and then to all of the apostles. [See John 20:26].

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. [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]. 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." read more.
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]?" 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]. 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."




But [rather] go to the lost sheep of the people of Israel.




So, Andrew brought Simon Peter to Jesus. [And when] Jesus saw him, He said [to him], "You are Simon, the son of John [Note: Peter's father is called Jonah in Matt. 16:17]; you will be called Cephas (which means Peter [i.e., "a stone." See Matt. 16:18])."


And I also tell you, [although] you are Peter [i.e., a stone], it is on this rock [i.e., the truth you have just confessed] that I will build my church and [not even] the gates of the unseen place of departed spirits will win out over it [i.e., all efforts to stamp out the church by killing Christians will fail].



Jesus then called the twelve apostles together and gave them power and authority over all evil spirits and [the ability] to heal diseases. And He sent them out to preach the [coming] kingdom of God and to heal sick people.

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]?" 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]. 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."

So, the seventy-two disciples returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the evil spirits submitted to us in your name [i.e., by your authority]." And Jesus said to them, "I saw Satan falling from heaven as lightning. See, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions [i.e., to receive protection from accidental contact with venomous creatures. See Acts 28:5] and [to have authority] over all the power of the enemy [i.e., Satan. See verse 18]. And nothing at all will hurt you. read more.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice over the [evil] spirits submitting to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven [i.e., in the book of life. See Rev. 3:5; Heb. 12:23]."

The Word [already] existed in the beginning [of time]. [Note: This is a reference to the preexistence of Jesus. See verse 14]. And the Word was with God and the Word was [what] God [was]. This Word existed with God from the beginning [of time]. Everything came into being through this Word, and apart from Him not a single thing came into being. read more.
Life existed in Him; and that Life [was what] enlightened mankind [spiritually]. PM if Jewish time were meant]. And [His] light continued to shine, [even] in the darkness [of the world], and that darkness did not overcome Him [or, did not fully understand Him]. There was a man sent from God whose name was John [the Immerser]. He came to be a witness, so that he might testify concerning that Light, so that all people would believe [in Jesus] through him [i.e., through his testimony. See Acts 19:4]. He himself was not that Light, but came [only] to testify concerning that Light. [Now] the true Light, who enlightens all mankind, was [indeed] coming into the world [i.e., to earth]. [Actually] He was in the world [already], for the world came into being through Him, but the world did not acknowledge Him. [Then] He came to His own [world, while on earth], but His own [people, the Israelites] did not welcome Him. But He gave all those who did welcome Him the opportunity of becoming children of God by believing in His name [i.e., as the Messiah]. [Such people] were born of God, not of blood ties [i.e., from physical descendants], nor of the will of the flesh [i.e., merely from a sexual desire], nor of the will of man [i.e., from a husband's desire for offspring].



Suddenly a rushing sound, like a fierce wind blowing, came from the sky above them, and [its noise] filled the entire house where they were sitting.


And look, I [am going to] send upon you apostles what my Father promised [i.e., the Holy Spirit. See John 14:26]; but you should wait in the city [of Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from above." [Note: This promise was fulfilled when the apostles were immersed in the Holy Spirit. See Acts 1:4 - 2:4].

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." 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.


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]?" 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]. 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."





And look, I [am going to] send upon you apostles what my Father promised [i.e., the Holy Spirit. See John 14:26]; but you should wait in the city [of Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from above." [Note: This promise was fulfilled when the apostles were immersed in the Holy Spirit. See Acts 1:4 - 2:4].














Suddenly a rushing sound, like a fierce wind blowing, came from the sky above them, and [its noise] filled the entire house where they were sitting.






But, get up onto your feet, for the reason I have appeared to you is to appoint you a minister and witness of both the things you have [already] seen of me and the things I will [reveal when] appearing to you.


We [apostles] proclaim to you [the truth about Jesus], who existed from the beginning [of time]. We have heard [Him] and seen [Him] with our [own] eyes. We looked at Him, and [even] touched Him with our hands. [See John 20:20]. [So, we proclaim that] He is the word of life [i.e., the life-giving Word]! Truly, this "Life" was made known to us and we have [actually] seen it [i.e., Him], and so we testify and proclaim to you [that He is] "the Eternal Life," who was with the Father and was made known to us [apostles]. We declare to you what we have seen and heard [concerning Christ], so that you also may share a relationship with us. And indeed, our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

But Peter and the apostles answered them, "We must obey God instead of [you] men [in this situation]. The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus [from the dead], whom you put to death by hanging Him on a tree [i.e., the cross]. But God exalted Him at His right side to be a Prince and Savior and to give the people of Israel [an opportunity] to repent [i.e., change their hearts and lives] and [receive] forgiveness of [their] sins [through Him]. read more.
We apostles are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to every person who obeys Him."

You yourselves know [all this, and] how this message was proclaimed throughout Judea, having begun from Galilee after the preaching of the immersion [taught and practiced] by John. This message was about Jesus from Nazareth and how God specially chose Him [and signified it] by giving Him the Holy Spirit and power. He traveled all over doing good [for people] and healing everyone who was [being] oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we [apostles] are witnesses of all that He did, both in the region where Jews lived and in Jerusalem [as well]. But they killed Him by hanging Him on a tree [i.e., the cross]. read more.
However, God raised Him up the third day and made it possible for Him to appear [following His resurrection], not to everyone, but to us [apostles] who were specially chosen by God to be witnesses [of His resurrected body], and to eat and drink with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He [i.e., Jesus] is the One whom God ordained to be the Judge of people who are [now] alive and those who have [already] died. All the prophets have testified [in their writings], that it is through the name of Jesus that every person who believes in Him will receive the forgiveness of sins."

There was a man sent from God whose name was John [the Immerser]. He came to be a witness, so that he might testify concerning that Light, so that all people would believe [in Jesus] through him [i.e., through his testimony. See Acts 19:4]. He himself was not that Light, but came [only] to testify concerning that Light. read more.
[Now] the true Light, who enlightens all mankind, was [indeed] coming into the world [i.e., to earth]. [Actually] He was in the world [already], for the world came into being through Him, but the world did not acknowledge Him. [Then] He came to His own [world, while on earth], but His own [people, the Israelites] did not welcome Him. But He gave all those who did welcome Him the opportunity of becoming children of God by believing in His name [i.e., as the Messiah]. [Such people] were born of God, not of blood ties [i.e., from physical descendants], nor of the will of the flesh [i.e., merely from a sexual desire], nor of the will of man [i.e., from a husband's desire for offspring]. [Eventually] this Word became a human being and lived among us [Note: The word "lived" here refers to pitching a temporary tent]. (And we saw His splendor; such splendor as belongs to the Father's only Son), full of God's favor and truth. John gave testimony about Jesus, shouting out, "This person is the one about whom I said, 'He who will come after me ranks above me because He existed before me.'"

so that everyone will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The person who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. "Truly, truly, I tell you, the person who listens to my message and believes [in] the One who sent me [i.e., God] has never ending life [i.e., as a hope. See Titus 1:2; 3:7]. He will not be judged [and condemned], but has [already] passed from being [spiritually] dead to being [spiritually] alive. Truly, truly, I tell you, the time is coming, and is now [actually] here, when those who are [spiritually] dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear [i.e., and heed His message] will have [spiritual] life. read more.
For [just] as the Father is Himself [the source of] life, in the same way He gave to His Son also [the power] to be [the source of] life. And He gave His Son authority to carry out judgment [upon mankind] because He is the Son of man [Note: The Greek actually says "a son of man"]. "Do not be surprised at this: The time is coming when all those who are in their graves will hear His voice and they will come out [i.e., in the general resurrection on the last day]. Those who had done what was good will be raised [from the dead] to [never ending] life; and those who had done what was evil will be raised [from the dead] to judgment [i.e., to be condemned]. "I cannot do anything by my own [authority]. I judge [people] based on what I hear [i.e., from the Father] and my judgment [of them] is just, because I do not look for what I want [to do], but for what He who sent me [i.e., God] wants. If I testify about myself, my testimony is not [considered] true. [But] there is Someone else [i.e., God] who testifies about me, and I know that the testimony He gives about me is true. "You people have sent to John [the Immerser, for information. See 1:19] and he has given true testimony [about me]. But I do not rely on the testimony of men about me; therefore I tell you these things so you will be saved [i.e., from condemning judgment. See verse 29]. John was the lamp that was burning and glowing and you people were willing to enjoy the light that he projected for awhile. But my testimony is greater than John's. For the deeds the Father has given me to complete, the very deeds I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me testifies concerning me. You people have never heard His voice nor seen His form. And you do not keep His message living in your [hearts], for you do not believe [in] the One whom God sent [i.e., in Jesus]. You search through the Scriptures [i.e., the Old Testament], because you think that you will [learn how to] have never ending life by [reading] them. And these Scriptures are what testify concerning me. But you do not want to come to me [i.e., to believe in me. See verse 38] so that you will have [never ending] life. "I do not accept honor from mankind, but I know you [well enough], that you do not have a love for God within you. I have come in my Father's name [i.e., by His authority] and you do not accept me. If someone else comes in his own name [i.e., by his own authority], you will accept him. How can you believe [in me] when you [offer and] accept honors from one another, but do not try to obtain the honor that comes from the only God? "Do not think that I will accuse you [of wrongdoing] before the Father; Moses, on whom you have set your hope [i.e., you base your acceptance with God on the promises found in Moses' writings], he is the one who accuses you [i.e., in his writings]. For if you believed Moses' [writings], you would [also] believe in me, for he wrote about me. [See Deut. 18:15-19]. But if you do not believe his writings, how do you expect to believe my message?"



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]?" 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]. 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." read more.
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. And while they gazed up into the sky as He ascended, suddenly two men wearing white clothing appeared beside them 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."

And as this [former] crippled man stayed close beside Peter and John, all the people rushed toward them at "Solomon's Portico" [Note: This was a large covered area, with rows of columns, on the side of the Temple enclosure], completely astonished [at what had happened]. And when Peter saw [the crowd assembling] he gave this explanation: "Men of Israel, why are you so shocked at [what happened to] this man? And why are you gazing at us, as though it were by our power or godly qualities that we caused him to walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob --- the God of our forefathers --- has highly honored His servant Jesus, whom you people turned over [to the Roman authorities] and denied [Him freedom] in the presence of [governor] Pilate, who had already decided to release Him. read more.
But you denied the Holy and Righteous One [His rightful freedom] and asked for a murderer to be released to you [instead]. [Then, at the hands of the Roman authorities] you killed the Prince of [never ending] life, but God raised Him from the dead, and we [apostles] were [reliable] witnesses of it.

[This letter is being written by] Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith just as precious as ours, through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. [May God's] unearned favor and peace be yours in abundance, through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. God's divine power has given us everything [necessary] for [abundant] life and godly living, through the knowledge of Him [i.e., God], who called us by His own splendor and goodness. read more.
By these [blessings] He has given to us the precious and tremendous promises, so that you people may share in His divine nature, [after] having escaped the world's corruption, caused by evil desires. And for this very reason, you people should make every effort to develop goodness along with your faith, and knowledge along with your goodness, and self-control along with your knowledge, and endurance along with your self-control, and godliness along with your endurance, and brotherly kindness along with your godliness, and with your brotherly kindness, develop love. For if you people have a lot of these [qualities] they will keep you from being unproductive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But, anyone who lacks these qualities is [spiritually] blind and shortsighted, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed [i.e., forgiven] of his past sins. So, brothers, be diligent to make sure of your calling and election [i.e., of your status as being selected by God], for when you do, you will never stumble [and fall away from God]. For in this way, you will be provided with a rich welcome into the never ending kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ [i.e., in heaven]. Therefore, I intend to constantly remind you people about these things [i.e., those mentioned in verses 5-11], even though you [already] know them, and have been established in the truth you now possess. But I consider it the right thing to do, as long as I am in this "tent" [Note: This is an allusion to his still being alive], to stir up your memory [of these things], knowing that [I will] soon put off my "tent" [i.e., I will soon die], even as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that, after I leave [i.e., die], you will always be able to recall the things [I said to you]. For we did not use cleverly conceived stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, because we were eyewitnesses of His Majesty [i.e., the apostles had personally seen the miraculous power of Jesus].

[This is the record of] the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave [Him] to show to His servants. [It contains] the things which were soon to happen, and Christ sent His angel [i.e., messenger] to inform His servant, [the apostle] John, [about them]. [So], John testified concerning everything he saw of God's message and Jesus Christ's testimony [of it].


And you will give testimony about me [also], because you men have been with me from the beginning [of my ministry]."




"You men, go and stand in the Temple and speak to all the people words about this Life [i.e., about Jesus]." [See John 14:6]. And when the apostles heard this, they entered the Temple about dawn and began teaching [about Jesus]. [A little later] the head priest and the Sadducees [see verse 17] called the Council [i.e., the Sanhedrin] and all of the ruling body of Jewish leaders together and sent to the jail to have the apostles brought in to them [for further questioning].

Then the Lord spoke to Paul in a night vision [i.e., a divinely given dream]: "Do not be afraid, but speak up and do not hold [anything] back, for I will be with you [See Matt. 28:20] and no one will attack you or hurt you, for I have many people in this city [i.e., who will be converted]."

And he said [to me], 'The God of our forefathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One [i.e., Jesus], and to hear His voice [speaking to you]. For you will be His witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.








Everything the Father has belongs to me. Therefore, I said that the Holy Spirit will receive what belongs to me and will declare it to you.


Yet I am telling you the truth: It will be helpful to you for me to go away. For unless I go, the Helper [i.e., the Holy Spirit] will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He does come, He will bring conviction to the world regarding sin [i.e., exposing it and producing guilt], regarding what is right [i.e., upholding godly standards], and regarding judgment [i.e., showing that sin condemns].

And in the same way, the Holy Spirit helps [us in] our weakness; for we do not know what we ought to pray for [Note: Some translators understand this as "how to pray"]. But the Holy Spirit goes to God on our behalf with groanings [in our hearts] that are not expressed [in words].

He will honor me, for He will receive what belongs to me and will declare it to you.


Phrases