The Meaning of Acts 4:12 Explained

Acts 4:12

KJV: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

YLT: and there is not salvation in any other, for there is no other name under the heaven that hath been given among men, in which it behoveth us to be saved.'

Darby: And salvation is in none other, for neither is there another name under heaven which is given among men by which we must be saved.

ASV: And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.

What does Acts 4:12 Mean?

Study Notes

salvation
.
The Heb. and (Greek - ἀλεκτοροφωνία , safety, preservation, healing, and soundness). Salvation is the great inclusive word of the Gospel, gathering into itself all the redemptive acts and processes: as justification, redemption, grace, propitiation, imputation, forgiveness, sanctification, and glorification. Salvation is in three tenses:
(1) The believer has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin Luke 7:50 ; 1 Corinthians 1:18 ; 2 Corinthians 2:15 ; Ephesians 2:5 ; Ephesians 2:8 ; 2 Timothy 1:9 and is safe.
(2) the believer is being saved from the habit and dominion of sin Romans 6:14 ; Philippians 1:19 ; Philippians 2:12 ; Titus 3:5-8 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:13 ; Romans 8:2 ; Galatians 2:19 ; Galatians 2:20 ; 2 Corinthians 3:18 .
(3) The believer is to be saved in the sense of entire conformity to Christ. Romans 13:11 ; Hebrews 10:36 ; 1 Peter 1:5 ; 1 John 3:2 . Salvation is by grace through faith, is a free gift, and wholly without works; Romans 3:27 ; Romans 3:28 ; Romans 4:1-8 ; Romans 6:23 ; Ephesians 2:8 . The divine order is: first salvation, then works; Ephesians 2:9 ; Ephesians 2:10 ; Philippians 2:13 .

Verse Meaning

The verses immediately following Psalm 118:22 in the Book of Psalm refer to Messiah"s national deliverance of Israel. It seems that Peter was referring to both national deliverance and personal salvation in this address, as he had in the previous one. The former application would have been especially appropriate in view of his audience here. The messianic age to which the Jews looked forward could only come if Israel"s leaders repented and accepted Jesus as their Messiah.
Peter boldly declared that salvation comes through no one but Jesus, not the Maccabean heroes or the Sadducees or anyone else. Zechariah ( Luke 1:69), Simeon ( Luke 2:30), and John the Baptist ( Luke 3:6) had previously connected God"s salvation with Jesus. Peter stressed that Jesus was a man: He lived "under heaven" and "among men." Jesus, the Messiah, the Nazarene ( Acts 4:10), is God"s only authorized savior. Apart from Him there is no salvation for anyone (cf. John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5).
"Peter (and/or Luke) is no advocate of modern notions of religious pluralism." [1]
". . . when we read the speech of Peter, we must remember to whom it was spoken, and when we do remember that it becomes one of the world"s great demonstrations of courage. It was spoken to an audience of the wealthiest, the most intellectual and the most powerful in the land, and yet Peter, the Galilaean fisherman, stands before them rather as their judge than as their victim. But further, this was the very court which had condemned Jesus to death. Peter knew it, and he knew that at this moment he was taking his life in his hands." [2]

Context Summary

Acts 4:1-12 - The Name Above Every Name
The Sadducees are particularly mentioned, because they were the agnostics of the age, and had no belief in the unseen and eternal. The fact of our Lord's resurrection was, therefore, especially obnoxious to them. The captain of the Temple, who was head of the Levitical guard, was probably their nominee. How weak man shows himself when he sets himself against God! All that they could do was to shut the Apostles up; but they could not bind nor imprison the Living Spirit or the speech of one saved soul to another, and so the numbers of disciples kept mounting up.
Peter must have contrasted this with his former appearance in that hall. Then he trusted his own power; now he was specially filled with the Holy Spirit for a great and noble confession. The name of Jesus stands for His glorious being. It was because the man had come into vital union with the ever-living Christ, that disease was stayed and health restored. The name of Jesus rings through these chapters like a sweet refrain. Evidently He was living and at hand, or the streams of power and grace could not have poured forth to make desert lives begin to blossom as the garden of the Lord. [source]

Chapter Summary: Acts 4

1  The rulers of the Jews, offended with Peter's sermon,
3  imprison him and John
5  After, upon examination
8  Peter boldly avouching the lame man to be healed by the name of Jesus,
11  and that only by the same Jesus we must be eternally saved,
13  they threaten him and John to preach no more in that name,
23  whereupon the church flees to prayer
31  And God, by moving the place where they were assembled, testifies that he heard their prayer;
34  confirming the church with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and with mutual love and charity

Greek Commentary for Acts 4:12

Salvation [η σωτηρια]
The Messianic salvation as in Acts 5:31; Acts 17:11 and as Jesus meant in John 4:22. It is amazing to see Peter speaking thus to the Sanhedrin and proclaiming the necessity of salvation (δει σωτηναι — dei sōthēnai) in the name of Jesus Christ and in no other. If this was true then, it is true today. There is no second (ετερον — heteron) name to go beside that of Jesus in India, China, Japan, or America. [source]
Salvation [ἡ σωτηρία]
Note the article: the salvation; the Messianic deliverance. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Acts 4:12

2 Corinthians 11:4 A different spirit [πνευμα ετερον]
This is the obvious meaning of ετερον — heteron in distinction from αλλον — allon as seen in Acts 4:12; Galatians 1:6. But this distinction in nature or kind is not always to be insisted on. A different gospel (ευαγγελιον ετερον — euaggelion heteron). Similar use of ετερον — heteron Ye do well to bear with him Ironical turn again. “Well do you hold yourselves back from him” (the coming one, whoever he is). Some MSS. have the imperfect ανειχεστε — aneichesthe (did bear with). [source]
Revelation 7:10 With a great voice [πωνηι μεγαληι]
As in Revelation 6:10; Revelation 7:2. “The polyglott multitude shouts its praises as with one voice” (Swete).Salvation (η σωτηρια — hē sōtēria). As in Revelation 12:10; Revelation 19:1. Nominative absolute. Salvation here is regarded as an accomplished act on the part of those coming out of the great tribulation (Revelation 7:14) and the praise for it is given to God (τωι τεωι — tōi theōi dative case) and to the Lamb (τωι αρνιωι — tōi arniōi dative also). Both God and Christ are thus called σωτηρ — sōtēr as in the Pastoral Epistles, as to God (1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; Titus 1:3; Titus 3:4) and to Christ (Titus 1:4; Titus 2:13; Titus 3:6). For η σωτηρια — hē sōtēria see John 4:22; Acts 4:12; Judges 1:3. [source]
Revelation 7:10 Salvation [η σωτηρια]
As in Revelation 12:10; Revelation 19:1. Nominative absolute. Salvation here is regarded as an accomplished act on the part of those coming out of the great tribulation (Revelation 7:14) and the praise for it is given to God Both God and Christ are thus called σωτηρ — sōtēr as in the Pastoral Epistles, as to God (1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; Titus 1:3; Titus 3:4) and to Christ (Titus 1:4; Titus 2:13; Titus 3:6). For η σωτηρια — hē sōtēria see John 4:22; Acts 4:12; Judges 1:3. [source]

What do the individual words in Acts 4:12 mean?

And not there is in other no one the salvation not for name is there another under - heaven - having been given among men by which it behooves to be saved us
Καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν ἄλλῳ οὐδενὶ σωτηρία οὐδὲ γὰρ ὄνομά ἐστιν ἕτερον ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν τὸ δεδομένον ἐν ἀνθρώποις ἐν δεῖ σωθῆναι ἡμᾶς

ἔστιν  there  is 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
ἄλλῳ  other 
Parse: Adjective, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: ἄλλος  
Sense: another, other.
οὐδενὶ  no  one 
Parse: Adjective, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: οὐδείς 
Sense: no one, nothing.
σωτηρία  salvation 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: σωτηρία  
Sense: deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation.
ὄνομά  name 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: ὄνομα  
Sense: name: univ.
ἐστιν  is  there 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
ἕτερον  another 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: ἀλλοιόω 
Sense: the other, another, other.
ὑπὸ  under 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ὑπό  
Sense: by, under.
τὸν  - 
Parse: Article, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
οὐρανὸν  heaven 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: οὐρανός  
Sense: the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it.
τὸ  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
δεδομένον  having  been  given 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Participle Middle or Passive, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: διδῶ 
Sense: to give.
ἀνθρώποις  men 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Plural
Root: ἄνθρωπος  
Sense: a human being, whether male or female.
δεῖ  it  behooves 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: δεῖ  
Sense: it is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right and proper.
σωθῆναι  to  be  saved 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Passive
Root: ἐκσῴζω 
Sense: to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.
ἡμᾶς  us 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative 1st Person Plural
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.