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Unrelated to Acts chapter 10, the preliminary remarks for this evening's program are posted on the Christogenea Forum here: The Valid Christian Ministry
Book of Acts Chapter 10, Part 1 - Christogenea Internet Radio 07-19-2013
Once it is fully understood within the Biblical context, Acts chapter 10 above all other chapters of Scripture, exemplifies how so-called Judeo, or more properly Judaized Christians are willing to lift passages of Scripture out of their context and use them for the purposes of fulfilling an agenda. There are two agendas at stake here, both promoted from the account of Peter's vision by the mainstream churches, which are the acceptance of universalism and the discarding of Yahweh's food laws. Upon our examination of this chapter, both of those agendas will be deconstructed.
To begin with that deconstruction, we must note that there are several events described in the earlier chapters of the Book of Acts to which many Judeo-Christians point in order to maintain their support of universalism. Yet none of those events truly uphold universalism once they are scrutinized. The men “out of every nation under heaven” in Acts chapter 2 were all Judaeans, and although some of them were converts, meaning that they were circumcised, Peter in his address to these men only addressed the men of Israel in relation to the covenants and the promises, for which one may compare Acts 2:14 and 2:36 where Peter states that those things which transpired were for “all the house of Israel”. In Acts 3:12, regardless of who was present at the temple at the healing of the lame man, Peter again addressed Israelites specifically. While converts may have been considered Judaeans in a religious sense, neither Peter not the other apostles could have considered them to be Israelites.
In Acts chapter 6 we see debates among Hebrews and Hellenists. The King James Version translates the word as Grecians, however it does not mean Greek. Rather, Hellenist in this context refers to one who is a Hebrew by race and who has adopted and followed Greek mannerisms, customs, speech, and possibly even Greek philosophy as well. Paul again debates with Hellenists in Jerusalem, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 9. In Acts chapter 8 there is the account of Philip's conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch, who was most certainly a Judaean, and not an Ethiopian by race, since when Philip had found him, he was both reading from Scripture and returning to Gaza from Jerusalem where he had worshipped.
At this time, there were warning signs around the temple in Jerusalem, threatening death to anyone who was not a Judaean who dared to enter. All or part of at least such two inscriptions have been found, which stated in Greek that “No foreigner may enter within the railing and enclosure that surround the Temple. Anyone apprehended shall have himself to blame for his consequent death!” (There is a copy of this temple warning posted at Christogenea.org.) However at that time the term Judaean was no longer a racial or national but more of a religious designation, which would have included any circumcised Israelite, Edomite, or other convert, since Judaea had become a multicultural, ethnically diverse political entity.
It is observed in New Testament Scripture, for instance at Matthew 23:15, that the Pharisees at that time were proselytizing (converting) all sorts of people into Judaism. In that passage Christ warns them: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you go about the sea and the desert to make one convert [proselyte], and when it happens you make him a son of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves!” It seems that after the absorption of the Edomites into Judaea recorded by Josephus (i.e. Antiquities 13:9:1) and Strabo (16.2.34) and mentioned by Paul (Romans chapter 9), that anything became possible. Baptism – not the cleansing of one who was already an Israelite, but rather seen as the mystical metamorphosis of one who was not – was an important part of such proselytizing. This errant universalist idea was later brought into Christianity, however it is quite contrary to where Malachi prophesied that John the Baptist would cleanse those who were already Israelites with his baptism (Malachi 3:1-3).
John Lightfoot, the 17th century cleric, in volume 2 on pages 55 to 63 in A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, explains the details of this proselytizing of the Pharisees, where he says: “Whensoever any heathen will betake himself, and be joined to the covenant of Israel ... and take the yoke of the law upon him, voluntary circumcision, baptism, and oblation, are required ... ‘If an Israelite take a Gentile child ... or find a Gentile infant, and baptizeth him in the name of a proselyte – behold, he is a proselyte’ ... First, You see baptism inseparably joined to the circumcision of proselytes ... Secondly, Observing from these things which have been spoken, how very known and frequent the use of baptism was among the Jews, the reason appears very easy why the Sanhedrim, by their messengers, inquire not of John concerning the reason of baptism, but concerning the authority of the baptizer; not what baptism meant, but whence he had a license so to baptize, John 1:25 ...” and Lightfoot goes on to explain that once a proselyte was baptized he was considered “an Israelite in all respects”, the same attitude that all of the so-called ‘churches’ have today, taking anyone at all in off the streets and baptizing them as ‘Christians’! However simply because the Pharisees had made converts does not mean that those converts are also worthy of Christ.
Peter's statement in Acts chapter 15, where he is referring to his vision and his conversion of the household of Cornelius, things which we are about to see here in Acts chapter 10, establishes the assertions made here, that to this point all of those who were earlier converted to Christianity were Judaeans, meaning that they were of the circumcision, In Acts 15, at a meeting which occurred as many as 14 years after the events recorded here in Acts chapter 10, Peter says: “Men, brethren, you know that from the first days Yahweh has chosen among you through my mouth for the Nations to hear the account of the good message and to believe.” With this statement, Peter could only have been referring to this vision and the conversion of the household of Cornelius. The proof of this interpretation is in Acts 11:1, where learning of this it is said of the other apostles and followers of Christ: “And the ambassadors and the brethren who were throughout Judaea heard that the nations also accepted the Word of Yahweh.” That the distinction was only a religious one is seen in Acts 11:2-3: “2 Then when Petros went up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him 3 saying that 'You went in with uncircumcised men and ate together with them!'” [We do not see recorded in Acts those actions of Peter's which Paul had criticized him for, which are recorded in Galatians chapter 2, and which must have occurred later.]
Acts chapter 9 leaves off with Peter in Joppa, at the home of Simon the Tanner, who had a house by the sea. After going to Joppa and miraculously healing a woman named Dorcas, the last verse of the chapter reads “43 And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.”
Acts chapter 10 brings Peter further north, to Caesareia, which was on the Mediterranean coast northwest of Jerusalem but not quite as far north as Tyre. It was in the land of Samareia which once belonged to the tribe of Manasseh, near the site of the ancient city of Dor. Herod had rebuilt a place called Strato's Tower, which was a short distance south of Dor, and renamed it Caesareia in honor of Augustus Caesar. It was sometimes called Caesareia Maritima, being on the sea, to distinguish it from other towns bearing the same name, and this Caesareia is not mentioned in the Gospels. There was another Caesareia which was mentioned in the Gospels, called Philippi, in the far north of Judaea, inland and very much near the site of the ancient city of Laish which was later called Dan. Strabo, and evidently also Pliny, had continued to call Caesareia Maritima after its older name, Strato's Tower. By the 2nd century BC Dor was an Edomite city, one of those taken by Hyrcanus where all the Edomites were forced to convert to Judaism (Antiquities 13:257), and it is not mentioned in the New Testament. Caesareia Maritima is evidently a cosmopolitan city, not a hundred years old at this time, and most certainly it had a mixed Judaean population not unlike that of Jerusalem. This Caesareia is not mentioned in the Gospels, however it is the place where Philip was last mentioned, at Acts 8:40, and it is frequently mentioned later in Acts.
X 1 And a certain man in Caesareia named Kornelios, centurion of that cohort called “Italian”, pious and fearing Yahweh with all his house, doing many acts of charity for the people and making requests[“making requests”, or begging or supplicating]of Yahweh continually, 3 saw conspicuously in a vision as if about the ninth hour of the day a messenger of Yahweh entering in to him and saying to him “Kornelios!”
The Majority Text has “And there was a certain man”; the text follows the third century papyrus P53 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Laudianus (E).
The cohort which Cornelius commanded was called “Italian”, ostensibly because it was made up of soldiers from Italy. The Romans commonly constructed cohorts or legions of foreign soldiers and used them overseas. Most of what the Romans called Italy was settled by Greeks, and they too were considered foreign to the Romans, having been subjected to them. In his description of the first Herod’s funeral, Josephus at Antiquities 17.8.3 (17:196-199) lists bands, or cohorts, of Thracians, Germans, and Galatians in attendance.
The Majority Text wants περί, which is the word rendered about; the text of the Christogenea New Testament follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Laudianus (E). The word περί is redundant since the word which precedes, ὡσεί, may mean about, but here it is necessarily as if, since it must be retained in respect of the older manuscripts which have it. The phrase may have been written “about around”, yet any attempt to put ὡσεὶ περὶ into English seems clumsy. A better reading may be “perhaps around the ninth hour....”
4 And staring at him and becoming terrified he said “What is it, master?” Then he said to him “Your prayers and your acts of charity have been brought up for remembrance before Yahweh.
The word ἀναβαίνω (305) is literally “to go up”, but here in the Aorist tense (ἀνέβησαν), as Liddell & Scott attest, (ἀναβαίνω, B.) “ἀνέβησα is used as aorist to ἀναβιβάζω in causal sense, to make to go up...” and so it is “have been brought up” here in the appropriate tense.
5 And now send men to Ioppa and send for a certain Simon who is called ‘Petros’.
The Codices Sinaiticus (א), Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text want the phrase rendered “a certain”; the text follows the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B) and Ephraemi Syri (C). This is another of those infrequent occasions where the Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are divided.
6 He is being hosted by a certain Simon, a tanner, with whom is a house by the sea.”
The King James Version has a line inserted at the end of the dialogue in this verse, “he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do”, which appears in only some Latin and a very small number of late Greek manuscripts.
7 And as the messenger [or angel, since here in a vision the inference is certainly that is is a supernatural event, for it is daytime and Kornelios is wide awake] speaking to him departed, he called two of the household servants, and a pious soldier of those who were with him constantly. 8 And explaining all to them he sent them to Ioppa.
Like the Samaritans who were preached to by Christ, Kornelios, excepting that Romans were not circumcised, certainly fits the description of a “lost” Israelite given in Isaiah 56: From Isaiah 56:3-8: “3 Neither let the son of the stranger [or estranged one, referring to the estranged Israelites who were deported by the Assyrians], that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people [the estranged ones must be His people in the first place, since Israel was already separated from all peoples]: neither let the eunuch [another way of referring to an estranged Israelite] say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths [the Sabbaths were given only to Israel], and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the stranger [estranged one] that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. 8 The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.” Here is the beginning of the fulfillment of Isaiah 56: that the circumcised were being gathered to Christ, and now the outcasts are also going to be gathered: Kornelios being an uncircumcised Roman, was the son of the estranged ones, who according to this passage must have been Israel in the first place.
Peter's vision was precipitated by the vision of Kornelios, and one vision could not be effective without the other. These visions had to be presented to each of these men in concert in order to put the men together, because neither of them would have been persuaded without such a vision of his own.
9 Then on the next day, upon their traveling and approaching the city, Petros went up upon the roof about the sixth hour to pray.
The Codex Alexandrinus (A) has “about the sixth hour of the day to pray.” The time to us would be about 12:00 noon.
10 And he became hungry and desired to taste food, and upon their preparing it, a trance came upon him.
The Codex Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text have “fell upon him.” The third century papyrus P45 has “came upon him”, but with a different verb, ἔρχομαι rather than γίγνομαι. The text of the Christogenea New Testament follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B) and Ephraemi Syri (C).
Peter's hunger should not be confused with the reason for Peter's vision. If the household of Simon the Tanner had not kept the customs of the Judaeans, which would have included an adherence to the food laws, it is highly unlikely that Peter would have lodged there in the first place.
11 And he beheld the heaven opening and a vessel descending, somewhat as a great linen cloth with four corners being let down upon the earth,
The third century papyrus P45 has this verse: “And he beheld the heaven opening, four corners being bound, and some vessel being let down upon the earth”; The Majority Text has “And be beheld the heaven opening and descending upon him a vessel somewhat as a great linen cloth with four corners being bound and being let down upon the earth”; the Codex Ephraemi Syri (C) agrees with the Majority Text but wants the words rendered “upon him”; the text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B) and Laudianus (E).
The four-cornered sheet...
12 in which were all the four-footed creatures and reptiles of the earth and birds of heaven.
The Codex Ephraemi Syri (C) inserts “and the beasts” before “and reptiles” The Codex Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text also have the additional phrase, but the word order is different. These manuscripts are closer to the text of Acts 11:6, where none of the manuscripts noted here differ. Regardless of the text of Acts 11:6, the text of this passage in the Christogenea new Testament follows the third century papyrus P45, and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A) and Vaticanus (B).
13 And a voice came to him: “Arise, Petros![P45 wants Petros] Offer sacrifice, and eat!”
The final phrase may have been rendered more simply “kill and eat”, as θύω is often interpreted in English translations. However the verb θύω (2380) means more than simply to kill, as it is here in the King James Version. Liddell & Scott explain that it is “... Active to offer part of a meal to the gods … 2. to sacrifice, i.e. by slaying a victim … also simply, to slaughter, slay … 3. to sacrifice, offer sacrifices ...” where we see that colloquially θύω came to mean simply to kill, but fully it means to kill in order to sacrifice to a god, because there were several other Greek words which meant to kill without the significance of killing for the purpose of a sacrifice.
Therefore considering the application of this verse, if we want to think that it may refer to food, we must not only imagine whether Peter would eat something in violation of Yahweh's law, but whether Yahweh would accept something unclean for sacrifice in violation of His law. In truth, none of this is about food, but the corresponding vision which Cornelius received and the subsequent instructions to Peter here in verse 20 both show that it is about men, the act of eating being an allegory for what was about to be required of Peter, which was the act of communing with uncircumcised men and transmitting the Gospel to them.
[When the Syrians defiled the second temple circa 155 BC, they insulted Yahweh God by sacrificing a pig upon its altar (Josephus, Antiquities, 12:253, 13:243).]
14 And Petros said “Not at all, master, because not ever have I eaten anything profane and unclean.”
The word rendered profane here, κοινός (2839), may have been rendered more literally as common. However to the Hebrews, something common was indeed what we would consider to be profane, and the same word in the King James Version is rendered as profane in relation to Esau at Hebrews 12:6. There Paul had considered Esau to be profane because he was a race-mixer, a fornicator. Note that here Peter used two different words, one which means profane (or common), and the other which means unclean, which demonstrates that there was indeed a distinction between these words. That distinction is often missed, and therefore passages which contain words such as profane, common or unclean are often misunderstood, and have even been mistranslated.
The word profane here is κοινός, an adjective, and the verb form of this word is κοινόω (2840), which appears at verse 15 and is to consider or to deem profane (or common). According to Liddell & Scott the adjective κοινός is “common, shared in common...common to all the people, common, public, general...of meats, common, profane, New Testament” and the verb κοινόω is “to make common, communicate...to defile, profane...”
Foods which were declared edible in the Old Testament, having been sanctioned in the Law by Yahweh, were able to be sanctified at the Hebrew altar and table. These foods could not be considered unclean, and things deemed unclean by the Law could never be sanctified at the Hebrew altar and table. Note that Peter says here “common [or profane] and unclean”. Things which were not sanctioned in the Old Testament, yet which other peoples were accustomed to eating, such as swine or shellfish, certainly were considered “unclean”, they were never considered to be food, and they should be rejected as food today. No cleansing ritual could sanctify them, and therefore they were not merely profane or common, but were unclean and never to be considered for consumption. Things that were considered foods, that were sanctioned in the Old Testament but which were handled or killed in a manner contrary to Old Testament law – and especially meats sacrificed on the altars of idols – were considered “common”, or “profane”. It is these things which Paul is addressing in Romans chapter 14 and I Corinthians chapters 10 and 11. This is a distinction which the King James Version often failed to make in translation, such as at Romans 14:14 where twice κοινός is unclean and should instead have been profane or common. Rather, unclean is ἀκάθαρτος (169), as it is in this verse. Paul never told the Romans or Corinthians to eat unclean things, for they were not food in the first place. Rather, he was telling them not to worry about eating common, or profane things, since if they had been mishandled or sacrificed to idols it really did not matter - idols were not to be accounted by Christians.
However since Peter's vision refers to men, and not to food, considering the instructions given to Peter here by Yahweh God they must be likewise applied to men in the manner in which they would be applied to food, which is evident in verse 15:
15 And a voice again for a second time to him: “The things which Yahweh has cleansed, you do not deem profane!”
With His answer, we see that Peter should not deem as profane that which Yahweh had cleansed. However by the Law, only things which were able to be sanctified under the Law could possibly be cleansed. While Peter mentioned things “profane and unclean”, in His response here Yahweh God is not concerned with the unclean, but only with the profane. Things which are unclean by the law cannot be cleansed, but things which may be profane can be sanctified. No act of ritual cleansing could cleanse a pig or a dog. By the Law, only Israel is sanctified to Yahweh, and therefore only Israelites can be cleansed, which under the Law may include other Adamic people who joined themselves to Israel in accordance with the law. However not even that is in accordance with the promises.
To understand what “Yahweh has cleansed” is to understand the entire reason for Peter's vision, and for that one must turn to Old Testament prophecy. In the Old Testament, the only promises of cleansing any people whatsoever were those made to the children of Israel, which state explicitly that the children of Israel would be cleansed by Yahweh, and none other:
Isaiah 1: “2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.... 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.... 24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: 25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: 26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. 27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.”
Jeremiah 13: “27 I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?”
Jeremiah 33: “7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.”
Ezekiel 36: “16 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. 18 Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: 19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. 20 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. 21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. 22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. 31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. 33 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. 34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. 35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. 36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. 37 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. 38 As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.”
Joel 3: “16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. 18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21 For I will cleanse their blood[shed] that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.” [The King James and other versions overlook the Hebrew idiom for the word blood, where in the Hebrew original it appears in the plural and refers to bloodshed, which is also evident from the context of Joel chapter 3. See Psalm 51:14.]
Here the animals in Peter's vision do not represent foods, but rather they represent people, and what Yahweh had cleansed were uncircumcised Israelites. Yahweh God, through Yahshua Christ, had cleansed the outcasts of Israel on the Cross, and Peter was not to consider them to be profane. Many of the Greek tribes as well as the Romans, Kelts, Parthians, and the other Germanic tribes all descended from the “lost” Israelites of the Assyrian deportations (c. 741-676 B.C.), and the migrations of Israelites from Palestine over the centuries leading up to those deportations (i.e. the Danaans, Dorians, Trojans, and Phoenicians who emigrated from the 15th through the 8th centuries B.C.). These had long ceased following Hebrew custom, and were considered unclean by the Judaeans who adhered to (and also added to) certain interpretations of the Old Testament laws. Peter received his vision for the express purpose that he should preach the Gospel to these people. The writers of the New Testament, as well as Christ Himself, recognized and professed that the cleansing referred to here in Peter's vision was that same cleansing prophesied of the children of Israel in the Old Testament, in the following passages:
John 15, the words of Christ to the apostles: “3 You are already clean through the word which I have spoken to you.” However Judas Iscariot could not be cleansed, as John evidenced in his Gospel at 13:10-11.
1 John 1: “7 But if we would walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of His Son Yahshua cleanses us from all guilt.”
1 John 3: “1 Look at the sort of love which the Father gave to us, that we should be called children of Yahweh! And we are. For this reason Society does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of Yahweh, and not yet has it been made manifest what we shall be. We know that if He is made manifest, we shall be like Him, since we shall see Him just as He is. 3 And each who having this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
Romans 2:12: “12 For as many as have done wrong without law, without law then are they cleansed; and as many as have done wrong in the law, by the law they will be judged”. Those who reject Christ in favor of the law, shall be condemned by the law.
2 Corinthians 6: “17 On which account “Come out from the midst of them and be separated,” says the Prince, and 'do not be joined to the impure, and I will admit you'.” The impure are all those who were not cleansed on the cross of Christ, since only Israel was cleansed, and true Christians are commanded to be separate from them.
Ephesians 5: “24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, in that manner also wives in everything to the husbands. 25 Husbands, love the wives, just as Christ has also loved the assembly, and had surrendered Himself for it, 26 in order that He would consecrate it, cleansing it in the bath of the water in the word”. Immersion in the Word of God is the true baptism, and we shall see as much in Peter's words in Acts chapter 11.
Titus 2: “13 expecting the blessed hope and manifestation of the honor of the Great Yahweh, even our Savior Yahshua Christ, 14 who gave Himself over in behalf of us, in order that He would redeem us from all lawlessness, and may purify for Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Hebrews 1: “1 On many occasions and in many ways in past times Yahweh had spoken to the fathers by the prophets. 2 At the end of these days He speaks to us by a Son, whom He has appointed heir of all, through whom He also made the ages. 3 Who being the radiance of the honor and the express image of His substance, and bearing all things in the word of His power, bringing about a purification of errors [or sins] has sat at the right hand of the majesty in the heights.”
Hebrews 10: “19 Therefore brethren, having liberty into the entrance of the holy places in the blood of Yahshua 20 by a new and living way through the veil which He has consecrated for us, that is, of His flesh, 21 and a great priest over the household of Yahweh, 22 we should approach with a true heart, in certainty of faith having purified the hearts from a wicked conscience, and having washed the body in pure water 23 we should hold fast the profession of the expectation without wavering; for He making the promise is trustworthy. 24 And we should consider one another, in regard to stimulation of love and of good deeds, 25 not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as is a habit with some, but encouraging, and by so much more as you see the day approaching.” Paul is saying that the Body of Christ – the Anointed People – is washed in allegorical “pure water” by the Blood of Christ and the Gospel.
Hebrews 13:12: “On which account Yahshua also, that He would sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. ”
Seeing this, we should also know that the admonishment is still valid, where it is recorded at Matthew 7:6 that Yahshua Christ had said “6 You should not give that which is holy to the dogs, nor should you cast your pearls before swine, lest they shall trample them with their feet and turning they would rend you to pieces!” Only sheep – allegorically Israelites – are what “Yahweh has cleansed” on the cross of Christ.
16 Then this happened for a third time and forthwith [or immediately] the vessel went up into the heaven.
The Codex Bezae and the Majority Text have “and again the vessel went up”. The third century papyrus P45 wants either again or forthwith. The text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Laudianus (E).
Peter was the most stubborn of the apostles. He needed to suffer many things three times before he understood them. This is evident here, where Peter had to see the vision of the sheet three times. Recorded in Luke chapter 22 and elsewhere, he is told that he would deny Yahshua Christ three times, and in the last chapter of John where Christ admonishes him to feed His sheep he also was told three times.
17 Then as Petros was perplexed [the Codex Bezae has became perplexed] within himself, what the vision which he saw could mean [or literally could be], behold, the men who were sent by Kornelios asking around for the house of Simon stood by the gate, 18 and calling out inquired if Simon who is called “Petros” is a guest there.
The Codices Ephraemi Syri (C), Bezae (D), Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text have “then behold”; the text follows the third century papyrus P45 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A) and Vaticanus (B),
The Greek word διερωτάω (1331), “to ask around for”, only appears here in the New Testament and it is “to cross-question... II. to ask constantly or continually...” (Liddell & Scott).
19 And upon Petros’ considering about the vision, the Spirit said to him:
The Codex Vaticanus (B) wants the word rendered “to him”; the text follows the third century papyrus P45, and the Codices Bezae (D), Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text, and also the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A) and Ephraemi Syri (C) which have a different word order.
“Behold, three men are seeking you, 20 so arising get down and go with them, not making any distinction, because I sent them.”
The Codex Vaticanus (B) has “two men”, which is perhaps an error in transcription but is also possibly interpreting the soldier at verse 7 as being one of the household servants. Verse 7 states that Kornelios “called two of the household servants, and a pious soldier of those who were with him constantly”.The Codex Bezae (D) and the Majority Text have no number, reading only “men”. The text of the Christogenea New Testament here agrees with the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A),Ephraemi Syri (C) and Laudianus (E). The version of this same account provided at Acts 11:11 gives the number of men as three, where the number is not disputed among the manuscripts.
Peter had his vision at precisely the time when he needed it. If it were not for the vision, Peter may never have even admitted these men into the house. The words of the Spirit to Peter, “not making any distinction, because I sent them”, prove without doubt that the admonition for Peter not to consider common “the things which Yahweh has cleansed” applies to people, specifically to Israelite people, and in actuality it has nothing to do with food. Yet there are grown men today, claiming to be readers of the Bible, who cite Peter's vision to justify their consumption of every vile and unclean thing, including ham sandwiches. With that same justification, millions of so-called Christians eat a slice of pig's ass “in the Name of the Lord” on many Sundays and holidays, and in actuality they blaspheme His Name by blaspheming His Word. This is a signal example of just how an agenda can blind a man to the truth.
Note that Peter had spent over three years with Christ, and also saw him on several occasions after His resurrection. Yet Peter still followed the Old Testament food laws, his own initial impression being that the vision which he experienced here had something to do with food, since he was hungry when he first went up to pray and a meal was being prepared for him at that time. His first reaction was therefore to protest the eating of unclean things.
21 And Petros going down to the men said “Behold, I am he whom you seek. For what reason is there on account of which you have come?”
The King James Version has here “And Petros going down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius said...” The additional text appears only in the Codex Mutinensis (H 014), which is a 9th century uncial, and a small number of later miniscule manuscripts.
22 And they said “Kornelios, a centurion [the Codex Bezae (D) has certain centurion], a man righteous and fearing God, and accredited by the whole nation of the Judaeans, was conferred with by a holy messenger to summon you to his house and to hear words by you.” 23 Therefore inviting them in he lodged them.
The Codex Bezae (D) has “Then leading them in Petros lodged them”; the Codex Laudianus (E) “Then calling to them he lodged them.”
The Greek word ξενίζω (3579) appears four times in this chapter of Acts, and it is rendered three different ways. Here in the Active voice it is to lodge. The other three occurrences are in the Passive voice. It is to be hosted at verse 6 where lodged would also have been appropriate, and at verses 18 and 32 it is to be a guest. The related Greek word, ξένος (3581), which is only one of several Greek words translated as stranger in most New Testament translations, actually denotes a guest or guest-friend, as Liddell and Scott define the word, who has an expectation of hospitality. The use of the related verb here illustrates the meaning of the noun.
Psalm 51: "1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. 16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar."