New Defender's Study Bible Notes
20:7 first day of the week. This is the first mention of the disciples meeting on the first day of the week, but this seems to have soon become a regular practice (see I Corinthians 16:2). For a considerable time, as long as he was welcome, Paul (presumably the others also) continued to meet and preach in the synagogues on the Sabbath day. However, as Jewish opposition became more virulent, this soon became impracticable. The last reference to this practice of meeting each sabbath day with the Jews in the synagogue is in reference to Ephesus (Act 19:8). Paul was finally forced to move this synagogue next door to the school of Tyrannus (an odd name for a schoolmaster, unless it was a nickname given him by his students), where he preached every day. It seems likely that, during the period while the Jews and Christians would meet together each Sabbath day, the Christians would then want to meet by themselves the next day for fellowship and study (although there is no specific reference teaching this). However, this would normally be a workday, so they would probably have to wait until early evening to do so. This practice of meeting on the evening of the first day with the other disciples presumably then continued after they could no longer worship in the synagogue. This would also explain why Paul was preaching at Troas until midnight and why Eutychus fell asleep (Acts 20:9). The first day of the week then eventually became known as “the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10). By worshiping and resting on that day, the Christians were still keeping the sabbath (“sabbath” means “rest,” not “seventh” or “Saturday”) and also honoring the Lord Jesus, who rose from the dead on the first day of the week. He is both Creator and Redeemer, and now that He has completed both great works (Genesis 2:1-3; John 19:30), it is appropriate that we remember both together this way.
20:12 young man alive. Only one other example of miraculous restoration to life through an apostle is cited, that of Tabitha through Peter (Acts 9:41). This is the last such instance recorded in Scripture before the second coming of Christ.
20:21 repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Both repentance and faith were essential components of the message of Paul to non-Christians, whether Jews or Gentiles, and so should they be of our witness today. Repentance toward God and faith in Christ are like two sides of the same coin. They are distinct, yet neither true repentance nor true faith exists without the other.
20:26 pure from the blood. Paul is probably referring here to the principle in Ezekiel 3:17-21.
20:27 counsel of God. Jesus had commissioned the apostles to teach the disciples to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20), and Paul endeavored to do just that in all the churches for which he felt responsible. It is important that each church, especially its leaders, seek to teach its members the whole Word of God, not to concentrate on a few pet doctrines.
20:28 overseers. The word “overseers” is the same as “bishops.” Since these men were the “elders of the church” (Acts 20:17), it follows that the offices of “elder” and “bishop” were the same in the early church. In the Greek, “elder” is presbuteros (from which, of course, we get our ecclesiastical term “presbyter”) and “bishop” is episkopos (from which “episcopal” is derived), meaning simply “overseer.” The two terms are again equated in Titus 1:5,7. The word “pastor” is the same as “shepherd” (Greek poimen), and the elders (or bishops) have the duty of “feeding” the “flock” for which they are responsible. See also I Peter 5:1-5.
20:30 your own selves. It is sad indeed that the ordained leaders of the church throughout church history have all too often been responsible for leading the flock astray after some “wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14), instead of feeding the flock with the whole counsel of God.
20:35 how he said. This particular statement is not recorded in any of the four gospels, though it is certainly consistent with the teachings and actions of Christ (note, e.g., Luke 14:12). Probably Paul had learned of this statement directly by way of his contacts with Peter or one of the other apostles. In any case, its inclusion in Scripture marks it as of divine truth and authority.