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Acts 14:12

12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.

Read Acts 14:12 Using Other Translations

And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.
They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the chief speaker.

What does Acts 14:12 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Acts 14:12

And they called Barnabas Jupiter
The supreme God; it may be because that Barnabas was the oldest man, of the tallest stature, and largest bulk, and made the best figure; whereas Paul was younger, of a low stature, and mean appearance:

and Paul Mercurius,
because he was the chief speaker; Mercury was the god of eloquence, and the messenger of the gods, and the interpreter of their will F18; Paul being chiefly concerned in preaching and speaking to the people, they called him by the name of this God: the Jews had a doctor in their schools, whom they called (Myrbdmh vad) , "the chief of the speakers" F19.


FOOTNOTES:

F18 Vid Macrob. Saturnal. l. 1. c. 17, 19.
F19 Juchasin, fol. 45. 2. & 46. 1.
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