Acts 8:20 - Conversion Gone Sour?
Acts 8:20: Conversion Gone Sour?
Acts 8:20 (KJV) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with
thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased
Acts 8:21 (KJV) Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter:
for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
Acts 8:22 (KJV) Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and
pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
Acts 8:23 (KJV) For I perceive that thou art in the gall of
bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
Acts 8:20 (NIV) Peter answered: "May your money perish with
you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!
Acts 8:21 (NIV) You have no part or share in this ministry,
because your heart is not right before God.
Acts 8:22 (NIV) Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord.
Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.
Acts 8:23 (NIV) For I see that you are full of bitterness and
captive to sin."
Acts 8:20 (NRSV) But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish
with you, because you thought you could obtain God's gift with money!
Acts 8:21 (NRSV) You have no part or share in this, for your
heart is not right before God.
Acts 8:22 (NRSV) Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours,
and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may
be forgiven you.
Acts 8:23 (NRSV) For I see that you are in the gall of
bitterness and the chains of wickedness."
Acts 8:20 (NCV) Peter said to him, "You and your money should
both be destroyed, because you thought you could buy God's gift with
Acts 8:21 (NCV) You cannot share with us in this work since
your heart is not right before God.
Acts 8:22 (NCV) Change your heart! Turn away from this evil
thing you have done, and pray to the Lord. Maybe he will forgive you
for thinking this.
Acts 8:23 (NCV) I see that you are full of bitter jealousy and
ruled by sin."
Acts 8:20 (GWT) Peter told Simon, "May your money be destroyed
with you because you thought you could buy God's gift.
Acts 8:21 (GWT) You won't have any share in this because God
can see how twisted your thinking is.
Acts 8:22 (GWT) So change your wicked thoughts, and ask the
Lord if he will forgive you for thinking like this.
Acts 8:23 (GWT) I can see that you are bitter with jealousy and
wrapped up in your evil ways."
Acts 8:20 (AMP) But Peter said to him, Destruction overtake
your money and you, because you imagined you could obtain the [free]
gift of God with money!
Acts 8:21 (AMP) You have neither part nor lot in this matter,
for your heart is all wrong in God's sight [it is not
straightforward or right or true before God]. [Ps 78:37.]
Acts 8:22 (AMP) So repent of this depravity and wickedness of
yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, this contriving thought
and purpose of your heart may be removed and disregarded and
Acts 8:23 (AMP) For I see that you are in the gall of
bitterness and in a bond forged by iniquity [to fetter souls]. [Isa 58:6.]
Acts 8:20 (CWR) Peter said to him, "If you think you can buy
the Holy Spirit so you can use His gifts to make yourself rich, then
may you and your money perish together.
Acts 8:21 (CWR) Your attitude shows that your heart is not
right with God. So there's no way that you can have a part in this
Acts 8:22 (CWR) You need to repent and ask God to forgive you
for even thinking about using the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:23 (CWR) It's obvious that you're jealous of what we're
doing and you're being controlled by the power of sin, not by the
power of God."
Acts 8:20 (TLB) But Peter replied, "Your money perish with you
for thinking God's gift can be bought!
Acts 8:21 (TLB) You can have no part in this, for your heart is
not right before God.
Acts 8:22 (TLB) Turn from this great wickedness and pray.
Perhaps God will yet forgive your evil thoughts--
Acts 8:23 (TLB) for I can see that there is jealousy and sin in
Thy money perish with thee. Peter expressed his disgust at
Simon's offer. He realized that if the man did not change he would be
destroyed. But he did not regard Simon's state as hopeless, for in v. 22 he
urged him to repent and be forgiven.
Gift of God. Simon's attitude betrayed a fundamental
misapprehension of God's character and the gifts of the Spirit. He had yet to
learn that the most precious things in life cannot be bought with
Neither part nor lot. He did not truly belong to God's family,
so was not eligible to share in its privileges and
This matter. This phrase most obviously refers to the topic
under discussion, that is, the power to impart the Holy Spirit by the
laying on of hands (v. 19).
Right. in a moral sense, "upright," "true,"
Repent. This is the first condition for obtaining forgiveness.
If perhaps. This implies a doubt, not of God's willingness to
forgive, but of Simon's readiness to repent. Peter may also have thought
that Simon's sin approximated the unpardonable sin against the Holy
Thought. "purpose," "intent," giving the idea of a ripened
scheme. This makes the offense all the more serious. The apostle sees
how the mind of Simon has been fully occupied with his plan, and
while he will not declare that there is no hope for him, his
covetousness, bordering upon idolatry, makes repentance almost impossible. God
is ever ready to forgive, but man is often not ready for
Gall of bitterness. That is, "the gall which is bitterness," and
in the next phrase, "the bond which is iniquity." Immersed in
bitterness and chained in iniquity Simon had allowed envy and covetousness
to embitter his soul, and wickedness to become a fixed habit, until
he was a prisoner to these evils. [SDA Commentary]
What did Simon want? (8:18-19) As a sorcerer, Simon was in the
power business. He didn't care what the source of his power was as
long as he could have it. Spiritual, occultic or magical powers were
all the same to Simon-they were a means to earn a living,
commodities to be bought and sold. When he witnessed the power of the
Spirit, unleashed when the apostles placed their hands on people, Simon
wanted to purchase that power to add to his arsenal. But the Holy
Spirit is a gift, not merchandise to be bought and sold to the highest
bidder, even for the best of purposes. [Quest SB]
Peter said that Simon was still, despite his supposed
conversion, held captive by sin. The implication was that Simon had not
genuinely come to Christ ("perish" is a very strong word!). It appears
that Simon still had an internal spiritual problem that had not been
corrected; he was still held captive by sin, rather than being freed from
it (John 8:31-32,36; Gal 5:1). (Life Application Commentary)
Simon got converted. But he brought some of his old attitudes
into his new life. Peter's rebuke is blunt and to the point. It is
also directed to you and me. Like Simon we bring too many of our old
attitudes and values with us when we become Christians. And we have to get
rid of them, for they have no place in people who belong to Jesus.
[The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
Simon thought he could buy the Holy Spirit's power, but Peter
harshly rebuked him. The only way to receive God's power is to do what
Peter told Simon to do--turn from sin, ask God for forgiveness, and be
filled with his Spirit. [Life Application SB]
God doesn't give us abilities to enhance our own lives. He
grants us gifts so that we may bring him glory by building up others.
When you find yourself wishing for an ability that would put you into
the limelight or somehow enrich you personally, check your motives.
And instead of sitting around wishing for talents you don't have,
spend your time serving God and others with the gifts you do possess.
(Life Application Commentary)
When Simon the sorcerer saw the ministry of Peter and John, he
offered to buy the secret of their power. This was proof to Peter that
Simon did not understand his relationship with God. He only sought God
for what he might get out of the relationship. Perhaps he wanted to
gain back the prestige he had lost when Philip came to town (see
8:9-13). Peter warned Simon that he was heading for disaster and that he
needed to examine himself and repent. This problem of impure motives
also applies to recovery. If we are in recovery just to look good, we
are in it for the wrong reason. When we look to God for help, we are
also committing ourself to make his will our own. We succeed in
recovery only as we become willing to submit completely to God's will for
our life. [Life Recovery SB]