Boldness Then and Now

Nine times in the Book of Acts, the word “bold” in its various forms is used to describe the Apostles and their associates. [1] Indeed, the entire book chronicles the bold acts of the Apostles, primarily those of Peter and Paul. One only need to read Peter’s address to the Pharisees in chapter 4 to observe this. Peter stands before the Pharisees – the very same ones who barely two months prior had Jesus crucified – and (filled with the Holy Spirit) says, “…by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this [formerly paralyzed] man stand before you whole.” [2] Boldly proclaiming the truth and exposing error, they were following in the footsteps of Jesus, Who called the Pharisees “hypocrites,” “sons of hell,” “blind guides,” “fools and blind,” “whited sepulchres,” “serpents,” and “generation of vipers.” [3]

The Greek word translated as ‘bold’ is a compound word which could be translated literally as all outspokenness; that is, frankness and bluntness. We typically think of boldness as the demeanor of a person, someone who is fearless, confident, or sure of himself. But its definition and the passages cited below link the Apostles’ boldness moreso to their speech than to their comportment, though the two are related. They knew what they believed, and they spoke it plainly and clearly.

Let’s look at some Scriptures and note the tie between the Apostles’ boldness and their speech. Continue reading