The following article is taken from the book, Top Ten Bible Verses in High Definition. To buy click here.
Key: [CAP] = Should be Capitalized, [ML] = Misleading, [OD] = Outdated, [T] = Wrong Tense, [WT] = Wrong Translation, [X] = Not in Greek, [-] = Greek Word not Translated
But ye[OD] shall[OD] receive power[WT], after that[X] the Holy Ghost[ML] is come[T] upon you: and ye[OD] shall[OD] be witnesses unto[OD] me[CAP] both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in[X] Samaria, and unto[OD] the[X] uttermost[WT] part[X] of the earth.
But you will receive power[WT] when the Holy Spirit has come[T] upon you, and you will be my[CAP] witnesses [-] in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to[WT] the[X] end[WT] of the earth.
But you will receive ability after the Sacred Spirit comes on you, and you will be witnesses of Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, even until the last person of the earth.
But you will receive ability after the Sacred Spirit comes on you, and you will be witnesses for Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, even until the last person of the earth.
ye -> you
This appears twice in this verse.
"Ye" is outdated. It is the second person plural pronoun referring to more than one person (you). It is no longer distinguished in English from the singular second person pronoun (you) which refers to one person except in the southern United States where the plural you is "y'all" (you all).
shall -> will
This appears twice in this verse.
"Shall" is an outdated form of "will".
power -> ability
The KJV translates five different Greek words as "power" (arche, dunamis, exousia, ischus, kratos). Each one has a specific meaning. They do not all mean power. The Greek word here is dunamis. It means ability (which is how the KJV translates it in Matthew 25:15). The verb form of dunamis (dunamai) means "to be able".
The KJV translates dunamis 14 different ways (ability, abundance, meaning, might, mightily, mighty, mighty deed, worker of miracles, miracle, power, strength, violence, mighty work, wonderful work). It can and should be translated the same way every time, as "ability".
that -> [no word]
"That" is not in the Greek text.
Holy Ghost|Holy Spirit -> Sacred Spirit
"Ghost" is a bad word to use of the Holy Spirit because "ghost" has changed in meaning. It now carries with it the sense of haunting.
The KJV translates two Greek words as holy (hagios, hosios). To be distinctive, hosios should be translated as holy and hagios as sacred.
is come|has come -> comes
"Is come" (KJV) is an outdated tense that is no longer recognized in English. "Has come" (ESV) is perfect tense. In the Greek text, it is an aorist participle paired with a future verb ("will receive"). It should not be translated as a perfect tense verb ("has come").
unto me|my -> for Me|of Me
This pronoun refers to Jesus and so it should be capitalized.
"Unto" is outdated.
The Greek text differs with this word. The Textus Receptus (from which the KJV and BKJV are translated) has "Me" in the dative class ("to Me", "with Me", "for Me"). The Critical Text (from which the ESV and BV are translated) has "Me" in the genitive class ("of Me", "My").
[no word] -> both
The ESV does not translate te ("both").
in -> [no word]
The KJV adds the word "in" before "Samaria". The Greek text does not have an "in" (en) there.
unto the|to the -> until the
"Unto" (KJV) is outdated. "To" (ESV) is not quite correct. The Greek word is eos which is "until".
There is no definite article ("the") after "unto" (KJV), "to" (ESV), or "until" (BV, BKJV), but it is needed in English, so it should be in italics to show that it is not in the Greek text.
uttermost part|end -> last person
The Greek word here is eschatos ("last"). It is an adjective. The word "eschatology" (the study of the last times) comes from it.
This adjective is singular masculine, but there is no noun that it modifies, so the noun must be supplied in English (in italics). When supplying a noun to a singular masculine adjective, the supplied noun usually is "person" ("last person"). "Place" which is masculine is also acceptable ("last place").
"Uttermost" (KJV) is an adjective, but it is extreme for the simple adjective "last". "Part" is a noun. It is not in the Greek text and so it should be italicized. "Part" is a neuter noun, not masculine, and so it is not what is meant here.
"End" (ESV) is a noun, not an adjective.
This verse is the last recorded words of Jesus before His ascension into heaven. He had told His apostles not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the Sacred Spirit. They asked Him if He was going to set up His government on earth at this time. Jesus answered that it is not for them to know when God is going to do things. What they should know and do is in this verse.
They would receive ability after the Sacred Spirit came on them and they would be witnesses of|for Jesus. A witness tells what he has seen and heard. They were not to tell what they thought or what someone else thought. They were to tell what they had heard Jesus speak and what they had seen Jesus do during His life.
This instruction has not changed for us. We as Christians are to tell others about what we have experienced of Jesus and about what He spoke and did (which is recorded in the Bible). The Sacred Spirit gives us the ability to do so.
This witnessing was to be in two places: Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria. It was to go until the last person of the earth.
Jerusalem is the city where they were when these words were spoken. Judea is the country/area that Jerusalem is in. Samaria is the country/area north of Judea.
The Judea/Samaria pairing is strange. Why not Judea/Galilee? Galilee is where the apostles' home was at this time, not Judea or even Jerusalem. Was Jesus telling them that they now have a new home, Jerusalem?
Samaria was a place where the Jews seldom went. On their way from Jerusalem to Galilee, they would take a long detour around Samaria. A year or two earlier Jesus had told them not to go to Samaria (Matthew 10:5). Now it is part of their start. Was Jesus including it to say that they should even go to the places they don't want to?
Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria is the start. The end is the last person on the earth.
Today, we also must go everywhere: to our own city and country (even places we do not like) and to the world. Tell what Jesus has done.