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  • Writer's pictureEric Cline

Observing at the Sentence Level—Acts 1:8 NIV

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Acts 1:8 (NIV): But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Details to look for in a sentence:

Read and re-read seriously and note all the details. Do not yet look for meaning. Understand all the little details to later help understand the bigger details.

· Look for Repetition.

o “You” is repeated three times.

o The active verb, “will,” is repeated twice.

o Locations are repeated: in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in all Samaria, to the ends of the earth.

o The conjunction “and” is used four times.

· Look for Contrasts/Differences.

o “but” is a conjunction indicating a contrast between verse 7 where the disciples are essentially told it is none of their business to verse 8 where they are told they will be empowered.

· Look for Comparisons.

o From small to large: witnesses in the small towns of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria to witnesses to the ends of the large earth.

· Look for Lists.

o Lists of locations: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, ends of the earth.

· Look for Cause and Effect.

o You will receive power (effect) when the Holy Spirit comes on you (cause).

o You will be witnesses (effect) from the (cause) of the Holy Spirit.

· Look for Figures of Speech.

o The Holy Spirit [comes on you].

o Witnesses [to the ends of the earth].

· Look for Conjunctions.

o “but” indicates a transition from verse 7 to verse 8. (See also as a Contrast)

o “And” you will, “and” in all, “and” to the ends.

· Look for active and passive Verbs.

o “You” is followed by the active verb “will.”

· Look for Pronouns.

o The implied antecedent is Jesus to the implied pronoun “us” in “be my witness.” The “my” can be “us” because of the Trinity.


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