Acts 16:30


King James Version (KJV)

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

American King James Version (AKJV)

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

American Standard Version (ASV)

and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

Basic English Translation (BBE)

And took them out and said, Sirs, what have I to do to get salvation?

Webster's Revision

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

World English Bible

and brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

English Revised Version (ERV)

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

Clarke's Acts 16:30 Bible Commentary

Brought them out - Of the dungeon in which they were confined.

What must I do to be saved? - Whether this regard personal or eternal safety, it is a question the most interesting to man. But it is not likely that the jailor referred here to his personal safety. He had seen, notwithstanding the prison doors had been miraculously opened, and the bonds of the prisoners all loosed, that not one of them had escaped: hence he could not feel himself in danger of losing his life on this account; and consequently it cannot be his personal safety about which he inquires. He could not but have known that these apostles had been preaching among the people what they called the doctrine of salvation; and he knew that for expelling a demon they were delivered into his custody: the Spirit of God had now convinced his heart that he was lost, and needed salvation; and therefore his earnest inquiry is how he should obtain it. The answer of the apostles to the jailor shows that his inquiry was not about his personal safety; as his believing on Jesus Christ could have had no effect upon that, in his present circumstances. Men who dispute against this sense of the word are not aware that the Spirit of God can teach any thing to a heart, which the head of a person has not previously learned. Therefore, they say it was impossible that a heathen could make such an inquiry in reference to his eternal state, because he could know nothing about it. On this ground, how impertinent would the answer of the apostles have been: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be put in a state of Personal Safety, and thy family! I contend that neither he nor his family were in any danger, as long as not one prisoner had escaped; he had, therefore, nothing from this quarter to fear; and, on the ground against which I contend, his own question would have been as impertinent as the apostles' answer.

Barnes's Acts 16:30 Bible Commentary

And brought them out - From the prison.

Sirs - Greek: κύριοι kurioi, lords - an address of respect; a title usually given to masters or owners of slaves.

What must I do to be saved? - Never was a more important question asked than this. It is clear that by the question he did not refer to any danger to which he might be exposed from what had happened. For:

(1) The apostles evidently understood him as referring to his eternal salvation, as is manifest from their answer, since to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ would have no effect in saving him from any danger of punishment to which he might be exposed from what had occurred.

(2) he could scarcely now consider himself as exposed to punishment by the Romans. The prisoners were all safe; none had escaped, or showed any disposition to escape; and besides, for the earthquake and its effects he could not be held responsible. It is not improbable that there was much confusion in his mind. There would be a rush of many thoughts; a state of agitation, alarm, and fear; and in view of all, he would naturally ask those whom he now saw to be men sent by God, and under his protection, what he should do to obtain the favor of that great Being under whose protection he saw that they manifestly were. Perhaps the following thoughts might have tended to produce this state of agitation and alarm:

(1) They had been designated by the Pythoness Acts 16:17 as religious teachers sent from God, and appointed to "show the way of salvation," and in her testimony he might have been disposed to put confidence, or it might now be brought fresh to his recollection.

(2) he manifestly saw that they were under the protection of God. A remarkable interposition - an earthquake - an event which all the pagan regarded as ominous of the presence of the divinity - had showed this.

(3) the guilt of their imprisonment might rush upon his mind; and he might suppose that he, the agent of the imprisonment of the servants of God, would be exposed to his displeasure.

(4) his guilt in attempting his own life might overwhelm him with alarm.

(5) the whole scene was suited to show him the need of the protection and friendship of the God that had thus interposed. In this state of agitation and alarm, the apostles directed him to the only source of peace and safety - the blood of the atonement. The feelings of an awakened sinner are often strikingly similar to those of this jailor. He is agitated, alarmed, and fearful; he sees that he is a sinner, and trembles; the sins of his life rush over his memory, and fill him with deep anxiety, and he inquires what he must do to be saved. Often too, as here, the providence of God is the means of awakening the sinner, and of leading to this inquiry. Some alarming dispensation convinces him that God is near, and that the soul is in danger. The loss of health, or property, or of a friend, may thus alarm the soul; the ravages of the pestilence, or any fearful judgment, may arrest the attention, and lead to the inquiry, "What must I do to be saved?" Reader, have you ever made this inquiry? Have you ever, like the pagan jailor at Philippi, seen yourself to be a lost sinner, and been willing to ask the way to life?

In this narrative we see the contrast which exists in periods of distress and alarm between Christians and sinners. The guilty jailor was all agitation, fear, distress, and terror; the apostles, all peace, calmness, joy. The one was filled with thoughts of self-murder; the others, intent on saving life and doing good. This difference is to be traced to religion. It was confidence in God that gave peace to them; it was the want of what led to agitation and alarm in him It is so still. In the trying scenes of this life the same difference is seen. In bereavement, in sickness, in times of pestilence, in death, it is still so. The Christian is calm; the sinner is agitated and alarmed. The Christian can pass through such scenes with peace and joy; to the sinner, they are scenes of terror and of dread. And thus it will be beyond the grave. In the morning of the resurrection, the Christian will rise with joy and triumph; the sinner, with fear and horror. And thus at the judgment seat. Calm and serene, the saint shall witness the solemnities of that day, and triumphantly hail the Judge as his friend; fearful and trembling, the sinner shall look on these solemnities with a soul filled with horror as he listens to the sentence that consigns him to eternal woe! With what solicitude, then, should we seek, without delay, an interest in that religion which alone can give peace to the soul!

Wesley's Acts 16:30 Bible Commentary

16:30 Sirs - He did not style them so the day before. What must I do to be saved? - From the guilt I feel and the vengeance I fear?Undoubtedly God then set his sins in array before him, and convinced him in the clearest and strongest manner that the wrath of God abode upon him.

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