New American Standard Bible
"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
King James Bible
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Darby Bible Translation
Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchased with the blood of his own.
World English Bible
Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.
Young's Literal Translation
'Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit made you overseers, to feed the assembly of God that He acquired through His own blood,
Acts 20:28 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Take heed, therefore - Attend to; be on your guard against the dangers which beset you, and seek to discharge your duty with fidelity.
Unto yourselves - To your own piety, opinions, and mode of life. This is the first duty of a minister; for without this all his preaching will be vain. Compare Colossians 4:17; 1 Timothy 4:14. Ministers are beset with unique dangers and temptations, and against them they should be on their guard. In addition to the temptations which they have in common with other people, they are exposed to those special to their office - arising from flattery, and ambition, and despondency, and worldly-mindedness. And just in proportion to the importance of their office is the importance of the injunction of Paul, to take heed to themselves.
And to all the flock - The church; the charge entrusted to them. The church of Christ is often compared to a flock. See the John 10:1-20 notes; also John 21:15-17 notes. The word "flock" here refers particularly to the church, and not to the congregation in general, for it is represented to be what was purchased with the blood of the atonement. The command here is:
(1) To take heed to the church; that is, to instruct, teach, and guide it; to guard it from enemies Acts 20:29, and to make it their special object to promote its welfare.
(2) to take heed to all the flock the rich and the poor, the bond and the free, the old and the young. It is the duty of ministers to seek to promote the welfare of each individual of their charge not to pass by the poor because they are poor, and not to be afraid of the rich because they are rich. A shepherd regards the I interest of the tenderest of the fold as much as the strongest; and a faithful minister will seek to advance the interest of all. To do this he should know all his people; should be acquainted, as far as possible, with their unique needs, character, and dangers, and should devote himself to their welfare as his first and main employment.
Over the which the Holy Ghost - Though they had been appointed, doubtless, by the church, or by the apostles, yet it is here represented as having been done by the Holy Spirit. It was by him:
(1) Because he had called and qualified them for their work; and,
(2) Because they had been set apart in accordance with his direction and will.
Overseers - ἐπισκόπους episkopous. "Bishops." The word properly denotes those who are appointed "to oversee or inspect anything." This passage proves that the name "bishop" was applicable to elders; that in the time of the apostles, the name "bishop" and "presbyter," or "elder," was given to the same class of officers, and, of course, that there was no distinction between them. One term was originally used to denote "office," the other term denotes "age," and both words were applied to the same persons in the congregation. The same thing occurs in Titus 1:5-7, where those who in Titus 1:5 are called "elders," are in Titus 1:7 called "bishops." See also 1 Timothy 3:1-10; Philippians 1:1.
To feed - ποιμαίνειν poimainein. This word is properly applied to the care which a shepherd exercises over his flock. See the notes on John 21:15-16. It is applicable not only to the act of feeding a flock, but also to that of protecting, guiding, and guarding it. It here denotes not merely the "duty" of instructing the church, but also of "governing" it; of "securing" it from enemies Acts 20:29, and of "directing" its affairs so as to promote its edification and peace.
The church of God - This is one of three passages in the New Testament in regard to which there has been a long controversy among critics, which is not yet determined. The controversy is, whether is this the correct and genuine reading. The other two passages are, 1 Timothy 3:16, and 1 John 5:7. The mss. and versions here exhibit three readings: "the church of God" τοῦ Θεός tou Theos the church of the Lord τοῦ Κυρίου tou Kuriou; and the church of the Lord and God Κυρίος καὶ Θεός Kurios kai Theos. The Latin Vulgate reads it "God." The Syriac, "the Lord." The Arabic, "the Lord God." The Ethiopic, "the Christian family of God." The reading which now occurs in our text is found in no ancient mss. except the Vatican Codex, and occurs nowhere among the writings of the fathers except in Athanasius, in regard to whom also there is a various reading.
It is retained, however, by Beza, Mill, and Whitby as the genuine reading. The most ancient mss., and the best, read "the church of the Lord," and this probably was the genuine text. It has been adopted by Griesbach and Wetstein; and many important reasons may be given why it should be retained. See those reasons stated at length in Kuinoel "in loco"; see also Griesbach and Wetstein. It may be remarked, that a change from Lord to God might easily be made in the transcribing, for in ancient mss. the words are not written at length, but are abbreviated. Thus, the name Christ Χριστός Christos is written ChoS; the name God θεός theos is written ThoS; the name Lord κύριος kurios is written KOS; and a mistake, therefore, of a single letter would lead to the variations observable in the manuscripts. Compare in this place the note of Mill in his Greek Testament. The authority for the name "God" is so doubtful that it should not be used as a proof text on the divinity of Christ, and is not necessary, as there are so many undisputed passages on that subject.
Which he hath purchased - The word used here περιεποιήσατο periepoiēsato occurs but in one other place in the New Testament - 1 Timothy 3:13, "For they that have used the office of deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree and great boldness in the faith." The word properly means "to acquire or gain anything; to make it ours." This may be done by a price, or by labor, etc. The noun (περιποίησις peripoiēsis) derived from this verb is used several times in the New Testament, and denotes "acquisition:" 1 Thessalonians 5:9, God hath appointed us "to obtain" (unto the obtaining or acquisition of) salvation"; 2 Thessalonians 2:14, "Whereunto he called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ"; 1 Peter 2:9; Titus 2:14; Ephesians 1:14. In this place it means that Christ had "acquired, gained, or procured," the church for himself by paying his own life as the price. The church is often represented as having thus been bought with a price, 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:23; 2 Peter 2:1.
With his own blood - With the sacrifice of his own life; for blood is often put for life, and to shed the blood is equivalent to faking the life. See the notes on Romans 3:25. The doctrines taught here are:
LibraryApril 26 Evening
Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?--SONG 6:10. The church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. There appeared a great wonder …
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path
March 7. "It is More Blessed to Give than to Receive" (Acts xx. 35).
The New Crusade --Serampore and the Brotherhood
"Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My lambs."
He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep."
"I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
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