Acts 14:23 KJV (With Strong’s)

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23
And
de (Greek #1161)
but, and, etc.
KJV usage: also, and, but, moreover, now (often unexpressed in English).
Pronounce: deh
Origin: a primary particle (adversative or continuative)
when they had ordained
cheirotoneo (Greek #5500)
to be a hand-reacher or voter (by raising the hand), i.e. (generally) to select or appoint
KJV usage: choose, ordain.
Pronounce: khi-rot-on-eh'-o
Origin: from a comparative of 5495 and τείνω (to stretch)
them
autos (Greek #846)
the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the comparative 1438) of the third person , and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons
KJV usage: her, it(-self), one, the other, (mine) own, said, (self-), the) same, ((him-, my-, thy- )self, (your-)selves, she, that, their(-s), them(-selves), there(-at, - by, -in, -into, -of, -on, -with), they, (these) things, this (man), those, together, very, which. Compare 848.
Pronounce: ow-tos'
Origin: from the particle αὖ (perhaps akin to the base of 109 through the idea of a baffling wind) (backward)
elders
presbuteros (Greek #4245)
older; as noun, a senior; specially, an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian "presbyter"
KJV usage: elder(-est), old.
Pronounce: pres-boo'-ter-os
Origin: comparative of πρέσβυς (elderly)
in every
kata (Greek #2596)
(prepositionally) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to the case (genitive, dative or accusative) with which it is joined)
KJV usage: about, according as (to), after, against, (when they were) X alone, among, and, X apart, (even, like) as (concerning, pertaining to touching), X aside, at, before, beyond, by, to the charge of, (charita-)bly, concerning, + covered, (dai-)ly, down, every, (+ far more) exceeding, X more excellent, for, from ... to, godly, in(-asmuch, divers, every, -to, respect of), ... by, after the manner of, + by any means, beyond (out of) measure, X mightily, more, X natural, of (up-)on (X part), out (of every), over against, (+ your) X own, + particularly, so, through(-oughout, -oughout every), thus, (un-)to(-gether, -ward), X uttermost, where(-by), with. In composition it retains many of these applications, and frequently denotes opposition, distribution, or intensity.
Pronounce: kat-ah'
Origin: a primary particle
church
ekklesia (Greek #1577)
a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both)
KJV usage: assembly, church.
Pronounce: ek-klay-see'-ah
Origin: from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564
, and had prayed
proseuchomai (Greek #4336)
to pray to God, i.e. supplicate, worship
KJV usage: pray (X earnestly, for), make prayer.
Pronounce: pros-yoo'-khom-ahee
Origin: from 4314 and 2172
with
meta (Greek #3326)
properly, denoting accompaniment; "amid" (local or causal); modified variously according to the case (genitive association, or accusative succession) with which it is joined; occupying an intermediate position between 575 or 1537 and 1519 or 4314; less intimate than 1722 and less close than 4862)
KJV usage: after(-ward), X that he again, against, among, X and, + follow, hence, hereafter, in, of, (up-)on, + our, X and setting, since, (un-)to, + together, when, with (+ -out). Often used in composition, in substantially the same relations of participation or proximity, and transfer or sequence.
Pronounce: met-ah'
Origin: a primary preposition (often used adverbially)
fasting
nesteia (Greek #3521)
abstinence (from lack of food, or voluntary and religious); specially, the fast of the Day of Atonement
KJV usage: fast(-ing).
Pronounce: nace-ti'-ah
Origin: from 3522
, they commended
paratithemi (Greek #3908)
to place alongside, i.e. present (food, truth); by implication, to deposit (as a trust or for protection)
KJV usage: allege, commend, commit (the keeping of), put forth, set before.
Pronounce: par-at-ith'-ay-mee
Origin: from 3844 and 5087
them
autos (Greek #846)
the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the comparative 1438) of the third person , and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons
KJV usage: her, it(-self), one, the other, (mine) own, said, (self-), the) same, ((him-, my-, thy- )self, (your-)selves, she, that, their(-s), them(-selves), there(-at, - by, -in, -into, -of, -on, -with), they, (these) things, this (man), those, together, very, which. Compare 848.
Pronounce: ow-tos'
Origin: from the particle αὖ (perhaps akin to the base of 109 through the idea of a baffling wind) (backward)
to the Lord
ho (Greek #3588)
the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom)
KJV usage: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
Pronounce: ho
Origin: ἡ (hay), and the neuter τό (to) in all their inflections
kurios (Greek #2962)
supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication, Master (as a respectful title)
KJV usage: God, Lord, master, Sir.
Pronounce: koo'-ree-os
Origin: from κῦρος (supremacy)
, on
eis (Greek #1519)
to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases
KJV usage: (abundant-)ly, against, among, as, at, (back-)ward, before, by, concerning, + continual, + far more exceeding, for (intent, purpose), fore, + forth, in (among, at, unto, -so much that, -to), to the intent that, + of one mind, + never, of, (up-)on, + perish, + set at one again, (so) that, therefore(-unto), throughout, til, to (be, the end, -ward), (here-)until(-to), ...ward, (where-)fore, with. Often used in composition with the same general import, but only with verbs (etc.) expressing motion (literally or figuratively).
Pronounce: ice
Origin: a primary preposition
whom
hos (Greek #3739)
the relatively (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that
KJV usage: one, (an-, the) other, some, that, what, which, who(-m, -se), etc. See also 3757.
Pronounce: hos
Origin: ἥ (hay), and neuter ὅ (ho) probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article 3588)
they believed
pisteuo (Greek #4100)
to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ)
KJV usage: believe(-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.
Pronounce: pist-yoo'-o
Origin: from 4102
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Cross References

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Ministry on This Verse

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they had.
elders.
Acts 11:30• 30Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. (Acts 11:30)
;
Acts 15:4,6,23• 4And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
6And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
23And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
(Acts 15:4,6,23)
;
Acts 20:17• 17And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. (Acts 20:17)
;
1 Tim. 5:1,17‑19• 1Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
17Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.
18For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.
19Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
(1 Tim. 5:1,17‑19)
;
James 5:14• 14Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (James 5:14)
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1 Peter 5:1• 1The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: (1 Peter 5:1)
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2 John 1• 1The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; (2 John 1)
;
3 John 1• 1The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. (3 John 1)
and had.
they commended.
Acts 14:26• 26And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. (Acts 14:26)
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Acts 20:32• 32And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)
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Luke 23:46• 46And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. (Luke 23:46)
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1 Thess. 3:12‑13• 12And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
13To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
(1 Thess. 3:12‑13)
;
2 Thess. 2:16‑17• 16Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
(2 Thess. 2:16‑17)
;
2 Tim. 1:12• 12For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Tim. 1:12)
;
1 Peter 5:10• 10But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Peter 5:10)
 The true force of the phrase is simply this, " they chose them elders." In more ways than one it is important; because, as a simple choice takes away "ordination," and with it that mysterious ritual which the greater bodies like, so on the other hand the apostles' choosing for them elders takes away all that gives self-importance to the little churches. For it is neither the smaller bodies choosing for themselves, nor an imposing authority vested in their great rivals, but a choice exercised by apostles; that is, they chose for the disciples " elders in every church." (Acts 14 by W. Kelly)
 None but Paul and Barnabas chose (whatever the manner); and they chose for the disciples, not by their votes, which would be incompatible with their own choice. Compare Acts 10:41; 2 Cor. 8:19. In the former case God chose beforehand the witnesses, but others gave no votes; in the latter the churches chose brethren to be their confidential messengers, but they never thought of collecting the suffrages of other people. Scriptural usage in every instance is simply choice. (Acts 14 by W. Kelly)

J. N. Darby Translation

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23
And having chosen them elders in each assembly, having prayed with fastings, they committed them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.

W. Kelly Translation

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23
aAnd when they chose for them elders in each assembly and prayed with fastings, they commended them to the Lord on whom they had believed.

WK Translation Notes

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a
chose: Naturally the differences in Christendom warp the minds of too many in their impressions of this instructive verse. Jerome, though by no means so extreme as some of the early fathers, interprets the word Χειροτονήσαντες (which all the early English Versions as well as the Authorized had rendered 'ordained', Tyndale, Crammer, and Geneva adding 'by election') of ordination by laying on of hands, as if Χειροτονία = Χειροθεσία. This, Mr. Humphry rightly treats as untenable, or at least unsupported by any clear example of such a sense.
But we may go farther than Dean Alford, and must affirm that scripture nowhere points to the churches selecting elders by show of hands or in any other way. Indeed the phraseology before us excludes any such thought; for, first, if χειροτονήσαντες necessarily implied any such etymological import here, the meaning must be that Paul and Barnabas chose elders by the method of suffrage. This nobody holds or wishes, but the contrary. And, secondly, this is confirmed yet more abundantly by the pronoun 'for them', which excludes the disciples from their desired part in the election, and distinctly makes the apostles choose the elders for the saints concerned. Of all interpretations, therefore, none is so bad as the amiable compromise that the apostles ordained those whom each church elected. The words simply teach that Paul and Barnabas chose elders for the disciples in each assembly. No doubt the word may mean to stretch out the hand, and this especially in voting; but it had long been used, where no such form could be, to express choice or appointment. And this is certain in the New Testament without going outside it, and in Luke's usus loquendi, as the most prejudiced must allow in Acts 10:41, and here too, unless he contends for Paul and Barnabas holding up their hands in each of these cases. This, however, is not what Congregationalism wants, but that the disciples should thus decide their choice of each elder and of one only in each church; whereas the text declares that the apostles chose elders for them in each assembly: the most distinct and conclusive disproof of popular election which language can convey. (Dr. Bennett says that the more remote antecedent, `the disciples', may be referred to; which is so certainly wrong that he himself immediately changes this by the suggestion that Luke may have designed to show what no doubt (?) was the fact (!), that the apostles concurred in their election, and held out their hands, along with the disciples (!) in favor of the elected elder.) And if laying on of hands followed, it is in no way taught here, for the word refers only to the choice of the presbyters. (Exp. of Acts, p.204)
chose: "When they had ordained them." Let me take the liberty of saying that "ordained" is a very misleading term, which conveys an ecclesiastical idea without any warrant whatever. Not that "ordained" is an interpolation here as in the first chapter of Acts, but certainly the meaning given is fictitious. The true force of the phrase is simply this, "they chose them elders." In more ways than one it is important; because, as a simple choice takes away "ordination," and with it that mysterious ritual which the greater bodies like, so on the other hand, the apostle's choosing for them elders takes away all that gives self-importance to the little churches. For it is neither the smaller bodies choosing for themselves, nor an imposing authority vested in their great rivals, but a choice exercised by apostles; that is, they chose for the disciples "elders in every church.”
I am well aware that persons of respectability have not been wanting who have tried to make out that the Greek word means that the apostles chose them by taking the sense of the assembly… But this is mere etymological trifling. There is not the slightest warrant for it in the usage of scripture. It is not requisite for a man to be a scholar in order to reject the thought as false. Thus the word "them" refutes it for any intelligent reader of the English Bible. It is not merely that apostles chose. If it be said that the people must have chosen for them to ordain, the answer is, that the people did not choose at all. This is proved by the simple declaration that the apostles chose for the disciples. Such is the way to fill up the sentence "They chose them elders." (It is scarcely necessary to refute at length the notion of the fathers, and of some moderns like Bishop Bilson (Perpetual Government of Christ's Church, p. 13, Eden's edition, Oxford, 1842), that χειροτονήσαντες here means ordaining by imposition of hands. That the word was so used in later times by ecclesiastical writers is true; that this is its meaning in scripture is palpable error. It is to confound χειροτονία with χειροθεσία (or its equivalent, if ὴ ἐπίθεσις). On the other hand the idea that χειροτονήσαντες means that the apostles conceded to the disciples the power of selecting by vote, whilst they reserved to themselves the right of approval and institution, is still harsher and in short unexampled in all Greek writings profane or sacred, ancient or mediaeval. In the earlier Greek authors who write of their public affairs, the word often occurs in the sense of choosing by suffrage (as opposed to lots); later on it meant appointment irrespective of votes. But it is never used, so far as I know, to express that some appointed on the ground of election by others. And I am glad to say not merely that a candid Presbyterian like Prof. G. Campbell treats Beza's version (per suffragis creassent) with the utmost severity as "a mere interpolation for the sake of answering a particular purpose," but that the Presbyterian divines of 1645 in the "Jus Divinum” point out the flagrant inconsistency of such an interpretation with the express language of the text. None but Paul and Barnabus chose (whatever the manner); and they chose for the disciples, not by their votes, which would be incompatible with their own choice. Compare Acts 10:41, 2 Cor. 8:19. In the former case God chose beforehand the witnesses, but others gave no votes; in the latter the churches chose brethren to be their confidential messengers, but they never thought of collecting the suffrages of other people. Scriptural usage in every instance is simply choice. (Lect. Intro. to Acts, Cath. Epist., and Rev., p.110-111)
chose: This opportunity is taken to furnish clear and conclusive evidence against the notion that the elders were chosen by the votes of the churches. The word χιεροτονέω, if etymologically viewed, means to stretch out the hand; hence it was applied to election, as we say by show of hands, and, generally, to choice or appointment without reference to the manner. Just so ψηφίζομαι starts from mere reckoning with pebbles, and was used for voting thus; then for voting in general, and lastly for the simple resolve or decision of the mind. The context, not the word in itself, shows which is to be understood. Hesychius explains χειροτονεῖν by καθιστᾷν (compare Titus 1:5), ψηφίζειν; as Suidas for χειροτονήσαντες gives ἐκλεξάμενοι. With all this accords the usage of Aristophanes, as well as of Æschines, Demosthenes, etc., both in the narrow and literal sense, and in the general meaning of choice or designation. Appian, Dio Cassius, Plutarch, Lucian, and Libanius afford many examples where the word conveys no more meaning than choosing. In these therefore the idea of popular suffrage with or without the hands stretched out is quite excluded.
But a few instances must be given from Hellenistic writers familiar with the Old Testament and contemporaneous with those inspired to write the New Testament. Thus Philo (περὶ Ἰωςὴφ) repeatedly uses χ. of Pharaoh's appointing Joseph his prime minister, and of Moses in the place to which he was chosen by God, and in his selection again of Aaron's sons for the priesthood. So Josephus (ANT. vi. xiii. 9) speaks of Saul as "chosen king by God," ὐπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ κεχειροτονημένον βασιλέα, and also (ANT. XIII. ii. 2) represents Alexander as writing to Jonathan in these terms, χειροτονοῦμεν δέ σε σήμερον ἀρχιερέα τῶν Ἰουδαίων. "We constitute thee this day high priest of the Jews." This may suffice to prove what we are to judge of Dr. J. Owen's statement (Works, vol. xv. pp. 495, 496, Goold's edition) that "Paul and Barnabas are said to ordain elders in the churches by their election and suffrage; for the word there used will admit of no other sense, however it be ambiguously expressed in our translation." Indeed, Beza, Diodati, Martin, and others had committed themselves to the same thing. Dr. G. Campbell, however, Presbyterian as he was, repudiated this version of the text, and (in his Prelim. Diss. x., Part v. § 7) pronounced per suffragia in the Latin of Beza "a mere interpolation for the sake of answering a particular purpose." If one do not endorse so strong a censure, the only alternative is that the gloss sprang from inadequate research and strong prejudice.
The truth is that we need not go beyond the New Testament to demonstrate the error; for here as elsewhere, even when applied to the most rigid election, χ. never means choosing by the votes of others, which it must mean to bear the alleged sense. Wherever the word occurs technically, the person intended does not take the votes of others merely, or preside as moderator of the election, but is the voter himself. Now in this case the subject in question is beyond doubt not the disciples but Paul and Bamabas. If any voted by stretching out their hands, it was the apostles only. Hence the authorized version rightly dropped "by election," the sense given in some of the older English and foreign translations which had been too much influenced by the Genevese school and even Erasmus.
The true meaning is that the apostles chose elders for the disciples in each assembly (not the disciples for themselves). And this is entirely confirmed by Acts 10:41 and 2 Cor. 8:19; in one of which passages God is said to have chosen beforehand; in the other the churches are the choosers precisely as here the apostles. Neither God nor the assemblies gathered the votes of others: no more did Paul and Barnabus. But this is the sole testimony which has ever been imagined directly to favor the popular election of elders; and we have seen that the inference drawn is assuredly fictitious. For the matter in hand the usage of the word in the political or civil affairs is no evidence.
It is perhaps hardly necessary to add that χ. does not mean the imposition of hands, for which scripture supplies another phrase never confounded with the word in question. But this confusion soon began to show itself in ecclesiastical authors, who not unfrequently employ χειροτονία where we might expect χειροθεσία or ἠ ἐπίθεσίς τῶν χειρῶν. This error occurs in the so-called Apostolical Canons, Chrysostom, and subsequent writers; and it may have led the authorized translators to give "ordained" rather than "chose" or "designated." Bishop Bilson, in his "Perpetual Government of Christ's Church," is guilty not of this confusion only but of the strange error that "the elders" included "deacons." (See chaps. 7 and 10.) But really the discord of commentators is almost past belief, unless one have read extensively and proved the fact by experience. Thus Hammond tries to extract from this verse the appointment of a single bishop to each church or city; whereas one might have inferred (without appealing to such incontestable proof to the contrary as Acts 20:17, 28) that the plurality of the presbyters with the singular distributive was as strongly against him as language could make the case short of an express contradiction. Had Hammond's idea been meant, nothing could have been easier than to have written πρεσβύτερον κατ’έκκλησίαν or πρεσβθτέρους κατ΄ἐκκλησίας. On the other hand, if I may trust Mr. Elsley's report, Whitby opposes this ultra-Episcopalianism on the equally untenable ground that these elders were such as had miraculous endowments either directly from God (as in Acts 2,4,9-11) or through an apostolic medium (as in Acts 8), and who had the care at first of the churches; not fixed ministers, but nearer to the apostles in rank. Can any statement be conceived more random and unfounded?
The last and perhaps the worst specimen of this speculation I take from Calvin's INST. iv. 15,16, where, according to the author, "Luke relates that Barnabas and Paul ordained elders throughout the churches; but he at the same time marks the plan or mode when he says it was done by suffrage. The words are χ. πρ. κ. έκκλ (Acts 14:23.) They therefore selected (creabant) two; but the whole body, as was the custom of the Greeks in elections, declared by a show of hands which of the two they wished to have." It has rarely been my lot to meet with a more glaring perversion of the facts and language of inspiration than this passage exhibits, the refutation of which has been already anticipated. The new translation by H. Beveridge is purposely cited to cut off cavil on that score; and the original is given... for verification. ("Refert enim Lucas constitutes esse per ecclesias presbyteros ὰ Paulo et Barnaba: sed rationem vel modum simul notat, quum dicit factum id esse suffragiis, χειροτονήσαντες, inquit, πρεσβυτέρους κατ’ἐκκλησίαν Creabant ergo ipsi duo: sed tots multitudo, ut mos Graecorum in electionibus erat, manibus sublatis declarabat quem habere vellent." (Genevae, 1618)) It is consolatory however to find that so untoward a construction was destined to no long existence; for its own author smothers it through reluctance in his commentary on the passage: "Presbyterium qui hic collectivum nomen esse putant, pro collegio presbyterorum positum, recce sentiunt meo judicio." (Comment. in loc.) (Lect. on the Church, p.217-221)
chose: Some argue from the etymology; but usage, not etymology, is the only safe guide. The word (χειροτονέω) meant originally to stretch out the hand. Hence, it was applied to voting in this manner, and by an easy transition to choosing without reference to the manner. Thus in Acts 10:41 the same word, compounded with a preposition, is applied to God's choice, where the notion of the church's voting is of course excluded. (Bible Treasury N12:374 and The "Brethren" with an Appendix Containing Some Notice of the Mention Made of Them in Mr. Winslow's Silver Trumpet.) [see note to Mk. 3:14]