Updated: Mar 26
Please, browse the many free commentaries available on https://www.katrinapearls.com/blog
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
This is the First Lesson reading selection for the second Sunday of Easter, Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It is the mandatory reading from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles and it is only read as the First Lesson because there is no alternative Old Testament choice available for this Sunday. As such, this reading is not optional as the New Testament reading, with only a reading from the first Epistle of John taking that position. There, John wrote, “we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us.” In between is a reading from Psalm 133, which sings, “Oh, how good and pleasant it is, when brethren live together in unity!” This then accompanies the only Gospel selection, which comes from John’s twentieth chapter, saying, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples.”
It is necessary for me to now point out that my presumption of the Easter season being to introduction of Tracks 1 and 2, although I noted that is a function the Episcopal Church designates for the Ordinary period after Pentecost, I presumed wrongly. In my check of multiple reading choices during the Easter season, I only checked Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday, the two bookends to the season. While both of those Sundays do offer reading choices [without a known system as to what choices must or can be made], none of the ‘interior’ Sundays have that flexibility. Each of the six Sundays, from the second to the seventh, have only four designated readings [First Lesson - the Acts reading, Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel] and no alternates. The Epistle is called that, not “New Testament.” I apologize for my presumptions made erroneously. While I am an Episcopalian [someone who has papers in that regard … somewhere], I do not write here as someone who acts in an official capacity for that church. I never have. I do, however, see the value of having a set lectionary to follow, as where I can go to discern Biblical reading selections methodically. I just have to also discern the meaning of that schedule, from time to time.
In this reading choice, it is worthwhile to see the typical headings that lead these verses [Acts 4:32-37, wholly], as a translator’s summary of the meaning of these verses. The BibleHub Interlinear shows them as headed “Sharing among Believers.” The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) shows a heading that announces, “The Believers Share Their Possessions,” which is the same heading used by the New International Version (NIV). This makes these verses explain what I call the “All-In Church” model; and, this concept needs to be very closely analyzed to be understood. For that reason [and the fact that this is only four verses to analyze deeply], I will present the Greek text and a literal translation in English that will change what the NRSV shows above. The changes will be significant.
Please be advised, this is a lengthy explanation of a mere four verses. The surface meaning, as translated by the NRSV above, seems fairly easy to analyze. Easy analysis leads to easily misconstrued beliefs and a weakness in defense of those beliefs, from what amounts to a 'children's church mentality' about Scripture. Many professional clerics [they are paid to do what they do] have absolutely no greater knowledge than this, as teaching the truth about Scripture is not done in seminaries. The purpose of this lesson is to expose the underlying truth, which the simple translations always miss. To do this, divine systems of language are consistently applied. Therefore, defense of the truth from logical analysis will always overcome all challengers. This commentary then reads like a graduate level Bible Studies course [of which there are no such animals to be found, other than here].
“Tou de plēthous tōn pisteusantōn ēn kardia kai psyche mia kai oude heis te tōn hyparchontōn auto , elegen idiom einai , all’ ēn autoia panta koina .”
In this one verse, before any translations are presented, it is important to see where the word “kai” appears [in my presentation of bold text]. There are two. It is also important to see where the punctuation marks are placed [in my presentation of extra spacing and bold type], as these segments of words need to be seen as separate statements. There are two in the middle and a period at the end. As such, verse 32 breaks down into three segments of words, all making separate statements, with the first segment of words being broken at two internal places by the word "kai." That word always signals importance that needs to be found following that marker word. As a marker word, it need not be translated. In that regard, the first segment of words breaks down into three parts, in five sections. I will now present translations based on that sectioning.
“Of this now assemblage of them having faith were mind "
In this segment of words, the first word is capitalized, which must not be seen as a function of Greek syntax, but of divine syntax. In that, all capitalized words have a higher meaning intended to be seen, with higher meaning of a divine quality. The word capitalized is “Tou,” which is not translated into English by the NRSV, making the word seem to be a meaningless waste of ink on parchment. In divine text, all words have meaning and purpose.
The word is the genitive singular form of “ho,” which generally translates as “of the” or simply “of.” Because the first word is possessive [genitive] it must be seen as reflecting back on that previous stated, where verse 31 says [NRSV], “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Therefore, this first word speaks “Of this,” which is the possession of God’s Holy Spirit and the same ability the Apostles had on Pentecost, which is they all “spoke the word of God boldly.” "Tou" says the presence of Yahweh is the divine state "Of."
With the first word seen as a divine statement of transformation, the word following sates “now.” That timing is relative to a present state of existence that denotes a changed state "Of" being. That timing is then applicable "Of" “an assemblage,” more commonly referred to as a crowd, group, great number or a multitude. Because the scene has not changed away from the place where Peter and John had returned from being held by the leaders of the Temple, this “assemblage” must be seen as a “gathering” of followers of Jesus, of whom Peter and John [of Zebedee] were related. The use of "pléthos," rather than "the twelve," means a much larger number of followers of Jesus are included.
Another possessive article, this one in the plural number, is translated by the NRSV as “of those,” but the word relates to those who were gathered together in that “assemblage,” therefore not anyone else. This makes the word be better translated as “of them,” where the genitive is again stating the possessive case. This then connects to the present [active] participle in the recent past tense [aorist], which says “they” had [in verse 31] been transformed by “having faith.” It is important to get used to the depth "faith" brings into Scripture, as it means more than simply stating, “those who believed.”
The root Greek word, “pisteuó,” means “I believe, have faith in, trust in” or “I am entrusted with,” such that when the Holy Spirit of Yahweh is within them all, this becomes the truth of faith having been received. When one recalls verse 31 said they "spoke the word of God," the meaning of that says they knew the truth of Scripture, which others did not know, because divine text demands a divine presence to understand. Therefore, the difference between "belief" and "faith" is knowing what is true, from personal experience.
While it is not easily seen, such that the word “were” is a past tense statement of being, as the third person plural of “I exist” [“eimi”], it becomes most important to see this word as strongly reflecting the individual presence of the Holy Spirit. As such, in the recent past everyone in the “group” was a believer in Jesus, but still needed more to have them reach a state of faith. That recent event of the near past came through the Holy Spirit entering them [they were shaken], so they all became Jesus reborn in their core “beings.” This is most important to be seen in the use of "were."
This state of being which they “were” then in is connected to the Greek word “kardia,” which most commonly translates as “heart.” The NRSV translates this as “one heart,” where the use of “one” can only be a reflection back on the individuality of “were,” as “heart” cannot be seen in a physical sense. There was no "one heart" that all had life from. Because “one heart” is difficult for many people to grasp [“What does one heart mean?”], it is important to realize the word “kardia’ also was used to denote: mind, character, inner self, will, intention, center. (Strong’s Usage) The word is never used in Scripture as a statement of a physical organ that pumps blood, so it is best to read it as stating "our "desire-decisions" that establish who we really are.” (HELPS Word-studies) This then becomes a statement that all of the new [and old] Apostles were alike in “character, mind, and intention,” because each of their “inner selves” had become married to Yahweh.
"kai soul one "
In the NRSV translation, the words “one heart and soul” roll off the tongue like a poet speaking metaphorically about love, or something similar. In their liberty taken, to remove the word “one” from after “soul” and place it before “heart,” the meaning then becomes one combination of "heart and soul." That is like a vanilla swirl ice-cream cone [it seems]. The presence of the word “kai” [besides being fixed solidly in its place in a ‘sentence’] announces great importance that needs to be seen. Immediately after speaking of “heart” or an “inner self,” the word “kai” now equates [“and” as a joiner of equivalents] “inner self” with one’s “soul.” That importantly states an “inner self” is indeed the eternal life source within the flesh.
When that importance of one’s “soul” is seen, knowing that every individual in the gathered “assemblage” has a “soul” and an “inner self,” the number “one” becomes applicable only to the “soul.” The “inner self” [or figurative “heart”] is one’s identity in a body of flesh. The “soul” and the flesh become "one" entity that lasts a lifetime, but in that sense the “inner self” is more akin to having the “breath” of life, given to all newborns at birth. The addition of “one” ["kai psychē mia"], which is relative to the “soul” [not simply the “breath”] is God. That is stated in verse 31 as “they were filled all of this Holy Spirit.” Therefore, the important meaning of “one,” relative to “soul,” is a “soul” [in each "one" filled] became “one” with Yahweh, through a divine marriage with Him and their individual “souls.”
"kai not one certain of them they possessed same ,"
In case anybody is questioning this meaning, the NRSV has miraculously created a comma mark in translation, which is not present in the Greek text. They place the comma before the word “and” [a poor usage of grammar], as if there is now a new statement being put forth, rather than a continuation of the central theme of the verse. That transition then allows them to put forth the concept that states: “and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions.” This is clearly not what was written.
By recognizing the presence of “kai” as a marker that forces the reader to look for an important addition that clarified the concept of the “soul” being “one” with Yahweh, the following “kai” announces the importance that “one” is “not” something that can be seen or observed. By seeing “not” as an important statement all by itself, the word states “one” is “not one,” which means the “soul” has been made “one” by the addition of another “one,” which is so powerful that the new “one” makes the old “one not” be the impetus of one’s “inner self.” The new “one” that comes from the old “one not” being in control means submission through marriage to the “one certain,” who is God Almighty.
The Greek word “ti” is a form of the root “tis,” which often appears in the Gospels as a statement of “a certain person.” That designation means the person is known, due to being of the same Jewish blood. The word “tis” is said to mean “any one, some one, a certain one or thing.” (Strong’s Usage) The NRSV has translated this [weakly] as “any,” which misleads one to think the “soul” of “one” is “not anything,” which then leads down the rabbit hole of private possessions and things owned. When read correctly as a statement of “one certain,” as “one known” who is “not one” that anyone can point to with certainty, saying “That is the Holy Spirit of God!” “one certain” is a statement that “one’s soul be certain it is one with Yahweh.” The important realization is that what was is no longer, because a new “one” has emerged.
Here the plural possessive form of “the” is used, which translated best as “of them.” All of the “ones” filled with the Holy Spirit in the “assemblage” that “now” freely speaks the word of God is “of them possessed.” The root word here [“huparchó”] means “I begin, am, exist, am in possession” (Strong’s Usage), which relates it to the word “eimi,” which means “I am, I exist.” This the speaks loudly of the new “one” that is not the old “one,” because they have all individually “begun anew,” by having been divinely “in possession” of a “certain one.”
The word “hyparchontōn,” in the NRSV’s desire to make this reading all about things, has been translated not as the present active participle genitive plural the word is, but instead as “possessions.” The translator then attaches this presence to the past tense, as having “claimed private ownership,” which is nowhere to be found stated. None of this translation is worthy of remembering, as the truth states, “of them being possessions” [a genitive statement].
When this is known to be relative to “inner selves” and “souls,” where “one” becomes “not one” but one with a “certain one” unseen [Yahweh’s Holy Spirit], this states a divine possession has taken place. It is a divine possession that is individually applied to everyone of those in the “assemblage.” It is another 'mass divine possession' that parallels the nearly three thousand Jewish pilgrims in Jerusalem on Pentecost who likewise were divinely transformed. Here, I recommend everyone read this Wikipedia article Eudaemon, rather than write more here about this element of divine possession.
The last word written in this segment is “autō,” which implies the masculine “him,” but needs to be read as “same.” The root word “autos” bears the definitions: “(1) self (emphatic) (2) he, she, it (used for the third person pronoun) (3) the same." Here, again, is a return to the “inner self” stated before the first use of “kai,” relative to “karia” or “heart.” The meaning must be seen as all of the individuals were “the same” in the changes each “self” experienced.
“except were they same the whole common .”
In this segment, which is separated by a comma mark, making it become like a new sentence, the first word is “alla.” That is a statement of an exception becoming the focus. As a word that can be seen as stating “otherwise, on the other hand, but” (Strong’s Definition), this follows the prior statement that ended by stating they were “all the same,” where the similarity was in the “self” they possessed as Yahweh’s brides [an asexual spiritual statement]. This becomes both a condition that is the exception to that, while also being an addition to that condition.
This says then “except were,” where again is the word “ēn,” the same statement of being or existence last used before the word “kardia.” In the past tense, as “were,” the addition “on the contrary” now clarifies how a change had come over them all, such that before they “were inner self” souls, so all were individuals that were only “the same” in them being souls controlled by bodies of flesh. The “exception” now, as it “were,” is all are “the same,” as “they [are the] same.”
The word “autois” is written in the masculine dative plural, where the meaning as “(1) self (emphatic) (2) he, she, it (used for the third person pronoun) (3) the same” becoming the indirect of that past state of being [“were”]. As such, that says there was nothing obviously changed “to them” as “them same,” other than becoming a collective of “them same,” as a “whole” or “all” together as “them same” as “one assemblage” where no one differed spiritually.
The last two words of this verse – “panta koina” – separately state “all common.” The reading of things into "all" is misleading. The totality is relative to the "apostles" and nothing else. This then becomes a statement that the similarity of each “self” is they “all” shared “the same” marriage of a “soul” to Yahweh. The one thing [if one is hellbent on looking to drag things into the interpretation] “all” shared” in “common” was their individual marriages to Yahweh, as each filled with the Holy Spirit, all able to speak the word of God. The thing they all shared in common was they were “all” Saints.
“kai dymanei megalē , apedidoun to martyrion hoi apostoloi « tou Kyriou Iēsou » ⇔ « tēs anastaseōs » ; charis te megalē ēn epi pantas autous .”
Here, I want everyone to look very closely at what is written and see the appearance of marks that do not translate. These marks are rooted in mathematics, from which philosophy and logic reside. They become unread 'asides' that must be realized. They are double angle marks [left and right] and a left right arrow. I highly recommend looking these up independently and getting a hang of what they mean.
“kai power great ,"
Here, the word “kai” begins a new verse, after following a period mark. Because it is written in the lower case and not capitalized, this supports what I said initially about the capitalization of “Tou.” Divine language does not capitalize word without them needing divine elevation. The word “kai” begins this verse by marking the need to see importance in “power great.” There is nothing that says anyone was “with power great, as the word “dynamei” is itself a statement about that which was commonly shared among the apostles. That "power great" is God, whose “power” is so “great” that nothing on earth can match that.
“were giving this proof them messengers"
This segment is translated as part of a paraphrase that says, “the apostles gave their testimony.” The first word in the segment places the focus on the act of “giving,” where the imperfect tense becomes a statement of the recent past moving into the present. This usage can be seen as bearing a dual meaning, where the past being is “were” and the present act of “giving” is both the disciples being given the gift of the Holy Spirit, which having been given then cause them to keep “giving” the same to others. The use of the word “to” then says “this” they “were giving” is “this” having been given them by a “power great.” What they “were giving” was then “the proof” of a “power great,” which made “them” become willing “messengers” of the word of God they spoke. That ability is [as Paul declared] a talent, which can only come to "them" by the “power great” that is the Holy Spirit.
"« of this Lord Jesus » ⇔ « of this resurrection » ; "
This series of marks and words is all part of the previous segment, but must be realized as untranslatable, such that the NRSV run-on mistranslation shows, “the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,” shown to be one statement [added to “with power great”]. These marks are indicators of much information that needs to be realized. Individually, the double angle marks, left and right, become statements of greater than and lesser than statements. When combined to surround a segment of words [one left and one right], they act as angles that set certain words apart. The doubling acts as its own 'capitalization' that means a divine essence needs to be applied to that greater and that lesser. In between, where a left right arrow is found, this is a mathematical statement that says: If this then that; or conversely, If not this then not that. All of this needs to be grasped as Luke placing marks instead of words, as indications necessary to understand for this verse to make perfect sense.
As the first mark meaning a lesser than signal, the double left angle following “messengers” [“apostoloi”] says the “messengers” are not as great as is one “of this Lord Jesus.” The divine implication says they were "of this Lord Jesus," as his "messengers." When “of this Lord Jesus” is seen within double angle marks, the “messengers” are themselves conveyors of this presence, while not being able to outwardly show “of this Lord Jesus.”
The word “tou” is again a statement of “of this,” where the first capitalized word of verse 32 made that relative to possession of the Holy Spirit and an ability to speak the word of God. As such, “of this” means that presence of the Holy Spirit [“of this”] is what makes one a “messenger” or “apostle,” because within “one not one” is the “Lord” unseen, which makes all “messengers of this Yahweh” become the resurrection of Jesus. Thus, when the left right arrow points from this distinction, the initial assumption must be: “If of this Lord Jesus” is true, then the following angled off statement, “of this resurrection” is also true. The state of being a representation of “this resurrection” is then a lesser than state of actually being the return of Jesus of Nazareth into the world. Still, “of this resurrection” becomes the increase [greater than double angles] that is known widely as Christianity.
favor both great were on all them .
By seeing the great than double angles pointing to the semi-colon mark, it is still possible to see the state of having become the resurrection of Jesus is a ‘favor” bestowed upon “one.” The root word “charis” is defined as “grace” or “kindness,” but relative to “the resurrection” within “one” this is a weak translation, simply because it is so vague it is hard for people to grasp the deeper meaning. The usage is shown as: “(a) grace, as a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ, (b) favor, (c) gratitude, thanks, (d) a favor, kindness.” (Strong’s Definition and Usage) The aspect of “a blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ” still demands that one recognize such a presence is not by the soul of Jesus floating around, holding a magic wand, which he touches people here and there with. That fantasy is wrong, as there is no external Jesus spirit waiting for some soul in a body of flesh to command that spirit to bring one's wishes into fulfillment. Jesus reborn is the reality of a soul merging with God's Holy Spirit, meaning "Jesus" can only be found in flesh devoted to God. Yahweh is the one granting all “favor,” such that the “power great” that becomes “of this Lord Jesus” – “of this resurrection” comes solely from God.
This is where the word “te” must be understood to mean “both” or “and both,” where the word places focus on a duality present. This is the “one not one” being explained and the “soul” of one being joined with the Holy Spirit of God, so the presence of “both” becomes the “grace” of Yahweh bestowed. That brings about the repeat of the word “great” [“megalē”], which is the “power” that is a soul being “both” a human body of flesh and a Son of man, reborn as Jesus. The name "Jesus" means "Yahweh Saves," so when a "messenger" of Yahweh is married to His Holy Spirit, that wife's "Lord" is the Holy Spirit of God, named "Jesus."
Here, again is written the word “ēn,” which has been used twice before, as "were,” a statement of the being in the past tense, plural number. This is another statement of changes coming upon those who devote their souls to Yahweh, to become His wives, so those past tense beings have been made new as both the old “one” with the new “one,” bringing about the rebirth of Jesus. It is this state of new being that is “on all them.
“Oude gar endeēs tis ēn en autois ; hosoi gar ktētores chorion ē oikiōn hypērchon pōlountes , epheron tas timas tōn pipraskomenōn ,”
"Neither for poor certain were among them ;"
Here, the first word is capitalized and that word that must be seen as bearing elevation of meaning to a divine level. As the first word of a new verse, this needs to then be reflected back on that stated just before. There, the last segment of words placed focus on “favor great on all of them, so now “Neither” brings about the aspect of none being the recipient of greater favor that another. The aspect of “not” also becomes elevated, such that the “not” preceded by a “kai” is reflected in this “Not” here. "Not" becomes a statement of divine presence that now keeps “one” from expressing its old behaviors.
From that grasping of a capitalized “Oude,” that leads to “for need,” where the word “endeēs” can also denote a state of “destitution.” This implies the state prior was one where the soul [the “inner self”] was impoverished by not being married to Yahweh. By having married their souls through union with His Holy Spirit, “Neither” would ever want to give up that state of being “for” the “poverty” of a “soul” that does “not” possess salvation and eternal life. The importance of a divine "Not" now says no "one" married to Yahweh will ever be "in need."
Next, we encounter the word “tis,” which I mentioned is used to denote “a certain” entity known. This then takes the aspect of being “poor” or "needy" and relates it to that “certain” state existing before marriage to Yahweh, when they “were” [that word “ēn” again] “poor” souls. This explains "need" as the necessity of Yahweh for a soul to be saved from death [its repetition through reincarnation]. All "Not one" with God, "Not one" whose "Lord is Jesus" within is thereby a "poor" soul.
This then leads to the words “en autois,” where the directional preposition, “in,” is another reference to their “inner self” [“kardia”]. This ending as a reflection on “them” and what “were in them,” becomes the motivation held by all, never to go back to being “destitute” spiritually again.
"as much as for owners of properties or dwelling exchanging has possessed , "
The first word in this segment makes a comparative statement, “as much as” or “how much, how great, how many” or “as much.” When this is related to the previous segment talking about how little one wants to return to an impoverished soul state, this segment directs the focus to a comparison. As souls possessing bodies of flesh, the point now is made to being “owners of property.” The specific comparisons are made to “pieces of land” and “dwellings,” which would include anything from parcels of land to portions of fields, and extra homes or even inns for rentals. The aspect of “being in possession of” these material things did not mean they had to be sold, but ownership allowed one the freedom for “selling, exchanging, or bartering” that which one possessed.
When one realizes that the souls where the room was shaken and they immediately were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God, those souls who own bodies, those bodies of flesh have been given away in marriage. Those bodies of the "apostles" or "messengers" have become "the possessions" of Yahweh. As the one who holds the deeds and titles, the "properties" of Yahweh are his to use as He sees fit. Here, it becomes vital to see oneself as a commodity of righteousness, renovated by God, to be 'put on the market' to do God's Will.
"were publicly making known this prices of them of this sold , "
The Greek word “epheron” is translated by the NRSV as “brought.” The spelling is the imperfect active indicative, so the past tense application is better translated as an act of doing, as “were bringing.” The root word “pheró” means “I carry, bear, bring; I conduct, lead; perhaps: I make publicly known.” (Strong’s Usage) In the focus of this segment going towards “prices,” coming from having the ability to sell themselves [like material commodities], the meaning implies these “apostles” or “messengers “bore” a responsibility of making anything sold be known within the “assemblage.” Still, this becomes a focus on material things and not the truth of spiritual matters.
When one's eyes open to the reality this segment of words does not say property has been sold and the price land or houses were sold for need to be exposed, it amazingly says the "price" of one's soul is that body's remaining lifetime being devoted to serving Yahweh. The "price" of salvation is complete submission, which is the truth of a marriage that is holy matrimony. When the spirituality of this state of being is realized first, one can then be lowered back into the material realm and see everything on earth is rated by its value. Everything has a "price." Thus, as servants of the Lord, His messengers can sell themselves as laborers, earning a wage that needs to be let known.
Because the world demands ownership and values, it is impossible to exist in that earthly realm without having material needs. When one suddenly becomes married to Yahweh, completely submissive to His Will, God knows the world comes with prices that must be paid. As a wife of Yahweh, those needs will be met divinely. For an "assemblage" to suddenly find themselves in a total commitment state, God will be the one who leads their minds to organize the realities of life on earth: who owns land, who grows crops, who has houses, who needs to be laborers, etc., etc., etc. Thus, the divinity of that stated in this segment says, "Ask and you shall receive." Make the world's price known and Yahweh will meet one's needs.
The word “timas” [plural form of “timé”] means “accord honor, pay respect,” or “properly, perceived value; worth (literally, "price") especially as perceived honor.” (HELPS Word-studies) When this segment of words is seen as separate from that before it [comma usage], a statement saying “were bringing them respect” or “were publicly making known them honor,” then the tone shifts away from a comparison of self-ownership to material ownership and what rights one holds as an owner, to a statement of what a union of one’s soul to God’s Holy Spirit “brought to them in perceived value.”
When that flow of words is realized, the Greek word “pipraskomenōn” needs to be seen as coming from the root “pipraskó,” so it not only means “I sell,” but also means in a passive sense, “I am a slave to, am devoted to.” (Strong’s Usage) While the element of “sold” can be seen, it must be applied to spiritual matters, not the selling of lands and houses. That “sold” becomes the “souls” of other Jews and Gentiles that had been “sold” into slavery to the world. To demonstrate their “worth” as the wives of Yahweh, the meaning of this segment says they “were bringing this value of” receipt of the Holy Spirit to “them” who had been “sold” into slavery.
“kai etithoun para tous podas tōn apostolōn ; diedideto de hekastō kathoti an tis chreian eichen .”
“kai were establishing in the presence of those feet of them messengers ; "
Again one finds a verse beginning with a lower-case “kai,” showing importance is about to unfold that should be recognized. As a separate segment of words in a new verse, the focus is in addition to those who “were bringing value to those sold," who then “were establishing” in "those sold" changes that made others become “side by side” or “alongside” those who had married Yahweh. Here, the root word “tithémi” says, “I put, place, lay, set, fix, establish,” such that the simple act of “laying” has to be seen in spiritual terms. This says it is better to use a word that denotes reparations, as a form of repentance, which those sold “were fixing” in themselves.
The element of “posas” meaning “feet” can then be seen as metaphor, rather than physical body parts. According to the idiom “to lay at the feet” that means, “To make or hold someone responsible for something.” (The Free Dictionary by Farlex) By seeing that meaning, the purpose of “apostles” [or “messengers”] going into ministry was to help those sold, into slavery to a world of sin, be “fixing” themselves so they can join with the “assemblage” and stand “side by side” as true Christians. However, all responsibility for that transformation “lay at the feet” of those hearing the truth of the Word spoken by God’s wives.
"redistributed now to each in proportion to as certain need had .”
In this final segment of words, the first word is “diedideto,” which is rooted in the word “diadidómi,” meaning “I offer here and there, distribute, divide, hand over.” As the Imperfect Passive Indicative 3rd Person Singular, this word is said to translate as “distribution was made,” although some align the word to “redistribution.” When one’s eyes have become set to see “things,” where “prices” equate to monies, it is easy to think of “redistribution” as the way money flows from the hands of those earning it and into the hands of those needing a handout. However, the purpose of these verses is not in the physical sense but the spiritual; so, any “distribution made” or “redistribution” has to do with the Holy Spirit, sent by Yahweh.
This makes the focus of “redistribution” be more in line with redemption than a question asking, “How much do you need to tide you over for the month?” Since “each” individual “soul” has differing sins of the past to atone for, redemption is then made by Yahweh “in proportion to” that confessed sincerely, “as certain” known deeds of failure, serving self not God.
Certainly, there are two ways to read these verses and both are true, with the way the NRSV shows this stated in human terms, not spiritual commitments. This says the element of money never ceased being a necessity in a human world, where everything has a price and everything costs something, rather than being free for the taking. Still, it is not this flawed existence that Yahweh began through sending His Son to the world. Christianity is the story told in Acts, which needs to be seen clearly during this season of Easter.
It is important to see how the ministry of Jesus demanded others provide for him, as well as for all of his followers and lead disciples. We are told multiple time that Judas Iscariot was the keeper of the purse, which made him the equivalent to a CFO in some church organization today. As evil as Judas was made out to be, by freely taking from the purse for personal gains, he held that position because then (as now) nothing is free.
When the rich young ruler asked Jesus how he could get to heaven, it is a misconception to hear Jesus tell him to sell everything he owns and give it to the poor, then become a disciple of mine. Jesus did not have a ministry that had no material values; so, he could never tell anyone to “sell everything and give it away.” If one is rich and another is poor, to transfer one's wealth to the other maintains the same system of inequality. Jesus never preached that, because that would indicate owning possessions was evil. Why would Jesus tell anyone to give evil away to those who have none? He didn’t say that.
The material essence of this lesson says all true Apostles cannot be limited by needing to work for pay, when God has blessed them with the ability to speak His Word fluently. God awarded His Apostles with those gifts or talents for the purpose of ministry. To have one's needs be met in ministry does not mean turning religion into a cash cow. That is a reflection of why God sent Jesus to Judaism … to fix that which had gone totally wrong. Therefore, for those who must go out into ministry [as did Jesus, as did Paul and others], they need financial supporters; but that support cannot be seen as one buying favor from Yahweh, by giving to the poor “messengers.” God's Judgment is on souls, not how much one leaves behind in bank accounts. Whatever way God leads one to serve Him - investor, backer, minister - all must be wholly committed to Yahweh, as His wives.
As I discerned these four verses as I wrote this, my mind returned to thoughts of the Cathars, who were Gnostic Christians who suddenly appeared in southern France in the twelfth century. They were all known as “Good men” [“bon hommes”], with “Cathar” derived from the word “katharsis,” meaning “pure” or “purged.” They did not name themselves, as others did so by witnessing their commitment to serving Yahweh. They were known as hard workers, who were weavers by trade. They had a system of making and producing things, which were of such high quality that people bought them. Over the century the Cathars thrived in France, southern France was an economic paradise – business was booming. After the Roman Catholic Church had almost all Cathar people executed for not converting to Roman Catholicism, southern France became and has remained ever since economically poor. I have been led to recall that history because it is foolish to read these verses and only think true Christians would sell everything and become evangelists begging for handouts. God expects hard work in this world, with few frills; but the rewards after this life are great.
In this Easter season, when mandatory readings from the Acts of the Apostles are read, the reasoning needs to be remembered as this: The lessons are teaching us to become ministers of the Word. These readings become Jesus spending time teaching us to take his place, after he ascends. The lessons in the Book of Acts cannot be found to be about how wonderful Jesus was [boohoo he’s gone]. Instead, he must be seen as news worthy of rejoicing, because Jesus is still here, in his apostles.