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Bible Commentaries

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary
Acts 14



Verse 1

And of the Greeks. Which is here put for the Gentiles. (Witham)

Verse 2

The unbelieving Jews stirred up, &c. It would hence appear, that the former were not very scrupulous in the means they took to oppose the gospel. They, who would have been dreadfully scandalized to have spoken to a Gentile for any good purpose, are not very nice in having intercourse with them to irritate them against the apostles. Such is the general conduct of men whose religion is vain. That sacred name is used for a pretext to authorize the most unwarrantable actions. (Haydock)

Verse 3

To the word of his grace. That is, of the gospel, and the law of grace. (Witham)

Verse 8

Perceiving that he had. It does not appear that St. Paul had any previous conversation with the man he healed on this occasion, or demanded from him any testimony of his faith. But he saw that he had faith, perhaps by inspiration, or by the confidence and eagerness the lame man may have shewn in his countenance and actions. (Calmet, &c.)

Verse 11

And they called Barnabas, Jupiter. Perhaps because he was of taller and finer stature; for, according to Nicephorus (hist. ii. 37.) St. Paul was very low in size, and much bent; hence St. John Chrysostom says of him, tricubitalis est, & cœlos transcendit, though not more than three cubits high, he yet transcends the heavens, and hence for his eloquence, he was called Mercury. Jupiter was said to take Mercury with him, as may be seen in Amphitryone Plauti.

Verse 12

Garlands. These might be for the victims, as they generally were crowned, or had gilded horns. Victima labe carens, præstantissima forma,

Sistitur ante aras, vittis præsignis et auro.---Ovid.

--- Or they might be for the two pretended gods, as it was usual to crown their statues. (Pliny, lib. xvi. chap. 4.) --- The priests likewise themselves, who sacrificed, wore crowns. (Virgil, Æneid ii.)

Verse 14

We also are mortals. The enraptured people wished to pay divine homage, Greek: thoein, to the apostles, and therefore they indignantly reject the proffered honours. The Catholic Church has but one external sacrifice, and this she offereth to God only, and "neither to Peter nor to Paul, saith St. Augustine, though the priest that sacrificeth, standeth over their bodies, and offereth in their memories." (lib. viii. de Civit. Dei. chap. 27.)

Verse 15

Suffered all nations to walk in their own way. Literally, dismissed all nations, suffering them to run on in their idolatry, and other sins, not favouring them with a written law, as he did the Jews, &c. (Witham)

Verse 16

He left not himself without testimony. Inasmuch as the Gentiles had always the light of reason, and such lights, that the created things of this world, and from the visible effects of God's providence, they might have come to the knowledge of the true God, the creator of all things. See Romans chap. i. (Witham) --- God did not leave himself without testimony among the Gentiles. He did not leave them without the means of discovering the way which led to him. They had the law of nature engraved in their hearts, the knowledge of good and evil, &c. (Menochius) --- Therefore they were inexcusable, if they did not know him. The invisible things of God, his eternal divinity might have been known to them from the consideration of the visible creation. (Romans i. 20.)

Verse 21

Through many tribulations. Our daily offences required the paternal chastisement of the Almighty. The concupiscence of the flesh too, which wills against the spirit, must be subdued by punishment. Woe then to you, lovers of this world, who wish to pass your lives without tribulation, enemies of the cross. Senseless creatures, is the disciple above his master? Did it not become Christ first to suffer, and thus to enter into his glory? and shall we pretend to enter by any other means? &c. (Denis the Carthusian)

Verse 22



Cum constituissent presbyteros, Greek: cheirotonesantes presbuterous. Mr. Bois on this verse: Si usum loquendi potius quam syllabas ipsas, quibus inhærere sæpe parum tutum est, respicias, Greek: cheirotonein, nihil aliud declarat, quam constituere, creare, ordinare. See Mr. Legh, in thesauro linguæ græcæ.


Verse 24

Antioch was a sea-port in Pamphylia. (Bible de Vence)

Verse 25

From whence they had been delivered, up to their ministry, and their apostolical mission by the grace of God; that is, where they had been first chosen by the direction of the Spirit of God, ordained priests and bishops, and had received power, and graces to discharge their offices of apostles. (Witham)

Verse 27

No little time. It is not precisely known how long he remained there, nor what he did. St. Luke relates nothing of what happened from the 46th year of Christ to the 51st [from A.D. 46 to A.D. 51], in which the Council of Jerusalem was held. It is probable St. Paul spent that time carrying the gospel among the neighbouring provinces. (Calmet)

Verse 48


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Bibliography Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Acts 14:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 28th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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