Acts 2:42

42 They were 1continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to 2the breaking of bread and 3to prayer.

Acts 2:42 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 2:42

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine,
&c.] And which is the same with the doctrine of Christ, of which he is the author, preacher, and subject; the substance of which is peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation by him: this the apostles received from Christ, and constantly taught in their ministry; for which reason, it is called theirs; and this these young converts had embraced gladly; and were not only believers of it, but persevering believers; they were constant hearers of it; they continually attended on the ministry of the apostles, and held fast the form of sound words they had received from them; and stood fast in the faith of the Gospel, notwithstanding all the reproach cast upon it, and the afflictions they endured for it:

and fellowship;
with the apostles and other saints, in spiritual conversation with them, in private, and in communion with them at the Lord's table in public: and so the Vulgate Latin reads this clause, in connection with the next, thus, "in the communication of breaking of bread"; to which agrees the Syriac version, and "they communicated in prayer, and in breaking of the eucharist"; though it seems better to understand this of a distinct branch of fellowship, or communication, and may rather intend liberality and beneficence, in which sense it is used, ( Romans 15:26 ) ( 2 Corinthians 8:9 ) ( Hebrews 13:16 ) and so expresses their constant contributions towards the support of the apostles, as ministers of the word and of the poor members of the church; a duty which, in both its branches, is incumbent on those who have it in their power to perform, and which these first Christians were remarkable for:

and in breaking of bread;
or "of the eucharist": as the Syriac version renders it, which was an usual name with the ancients for the Lord's supper; and which seems to be intended here, and not eating common bread, or a common meal; seeing it is here mentioned with religious exercises: and though the Jews used to begin their meals with breaking of bread, yet the whole repast, or meal, is never by them called by that name; and for what reason these saints should be commended for keeping their common meals, cannot be said, unless to show their sociableness, agreement, and brotherly love in eating together; and which is not hinted at here, but in ( Acts 2:46 ) where it is mentioned as something distinct from this: it seems rather therefore to design, that they were constant at the Lord's table, kept their places there, and duly attended whenever the ordinance was administered:

and in prayers:
not only in their closets, and in their families, but in the church; in the public prayers of the church, they observed all opportunities of this kind, and gladly embraced them.

Acts 2:42 In-Context

40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!"
41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;

Cross References 3

  • 1. Acts 1:14
  • 2. Luke 24:30; Acts 2:46; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 10:16
  • 3. Acts 1:14

Footnotes 1