Acts 15:41 and “Confirmation or “Strengthening” thoughts


#1

Thoughts on Acts 15:41 and “Confirmation or “Strengthening”

Any thoughts on the “Strengthening” or “Confirming” or “epistērizōn” in Acts 15:41 could be referring to the Sacrament of Confirmation?

On a differing thread (here) they were discussing ancient text discrepancies and subsequent translations of Acts 15:41.

As I was reading the thread, I looked at some differing translations and an interlinear Greek reference, and a thought came to mind about the word “epistērizōn” (“Confirming” or “Strengthening”) in Acts 15:41.

ACTS 15:40-41 (RSV) 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

ACTS 15:40-41 (KJV) 40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

The Bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation.

I am wondering if Acts 15:41 is telling us St. Paul, who is a Bishop, traveled to these areas (together with other reasons) to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Confirmation is among other things, the Sacrament of strengthening for spiritual battle.

ROMAN CATECHISM . . . In Baptism man is enlisted into the service,** in Confirmation he is equipped for the battle** . . . . . regeneration of itself saves those who receive Baptism in time of peace, Confirmation arms and makes ready for conflicts. . .

Excerpt from CCC 1285 . .the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For “by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.

**
Excerpt from CCC 1303** Confirmation . . . .increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us; . . . gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross . . . .

St. Paul was a Bishop and Apostle.

I am just wondering if BOTH “strengthening” AND “Confirmation” would be appropriate to Acts 15:41 (or for that matter Acts 18:23), especially in the context of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

I would welcome any thoughts on this.

ACTS 15:40-41 (RSV) 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

ACTS 15:40-41 (KJV) 40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

**
ACTS 15:41 (NIV)** 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

ACTS 15:41 (DRV) 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches, commanding them to keep the precepts of the apostles and the ancients.

And Acts 18:23.

ACTS 18:20-23 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined; 21 but on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

Concerning “epistērizōn”, an online concordance (here) says (bold mine) . . .

ἐπιστηρίζων (epistērizōn) — 2 Occurrences

Acts 15:41 V-PPA-NMS
GRK: τὴν Κιλικίαν ἐπιστηρίζων τὰς ἐκκλησίας
NAS: and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
KJV: and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
INT: Cilicia strengthening the churches

Thanks and God bless.

Cathoholic


#2

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