Bruce, F.F. The Book of Acts Revised. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. Kindle Electronic Edition. “IV. Church Extension from Antioch and Apostolic Decree at Jerusalem (12:25-15:35)” “C. Pisidian Antioch (13:13-52)” pp. 250-269.
In Acts 13:13, Paul and his companions went to Perga, near the coast of Asia Minor. Bruce relates the location’s history in brief. It is at this place that Mark, a relative of Barnabas, leaves the company. Bruce suggests there may have been a relationship issue involving Barnabas no longer being considered the leader of the group (Bruce 1988, 251).
Pisidian Antioch was a key city in Colonia Caesarea. Bruce notes that Paul often focused his evangelistic work in cultural centers. Verse 15 addresses Paul’s opportunity to speak in a synagogue there. Bruce notes the lectionary structure in use at the time (Bruce 1988, 252). Verse 16 tells us that the assembly was made of Israelites and converts together.
Paul’s address ties Jesus to King David (Bruce 1988, 253). Redemption in Jesus is the natural outcome of all God’s work in the Old Testament (Bruce 1988, 254). Bruce suggests several passages which may have been read on the day and could serve as inspiration for Paul’s sermon. The sermon itself describes Jesus’ messianic work as the Son of David in some detail (Bruce 1988, 258). The culmination of Jesus’ work is the resurrection. Bruce notes that Luke speaks of the resurrection more than any of the other evangelists (Bruce 1988, 259). The similarities among the sermons in Acts have led many to question whether they are the actual sermons or are possibly composed by Luke. Bruce suggests that the similarity is related primarily to a unity in the central message (Bruce 1988, 261).
Paul’s conclusion, in verses 38 and following, calls people to believe that Jesus has accomplished justification on their behalf (Bruce 1988, 262). The alternative, warned of by the prophets, is destruction.
Verses 42 and following describe a response of interest. The congregation wished to hear more (Bruce 1988, 263). However, the leaders of the synagogue were not enthusiastic about Paul’s message. Paul and his companions were expelled from the area (Bruce 1988, 265). At issue was a Gospel which could welcome Jews and Gentiles alike. Paul and Barnabas asserted that the Jews had received the first hearing of the Gospel. However, it now was made available to all (Bruce 1988, 266). This pattern of evangelism and rejection by the Jews became the norm for the rest of the New Testament. The Gentiles received the Gospel with joy. The Jews did not (Bruce 1988, 267). The missionaries continued from community to community, leaving some disciples behind as they went.