Acts 12:24

But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.

Is it talking about the people or the written word of the Lord?

  • 1
    It refers to the apostolic preaching, and, by extent, to the spread of Christianity.
    – Lucian
    Aug 22, 2021 at 11:28
  • @Lucian - why not expand that into an answer - it is well stated.
    – Dottard
    Aug 22, 2021 at 21:18

3 Answers 3


The phrase λόγος τοῦ Κυρίου (= word of the Lord) occurs in a number of places. It appears to have the following meanings:

  1. That which was spoken by Jesus Himself.
  • Luke 22:61 - And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word that the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.”
  • Acts 11:16 - Then I remembered the word of the Lord, as He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
  • This appears to also be the meaning in many other places as well such as 1 Thess 4:15 (quoting Jesus it appears), 1 Peter 1:25, Acts 20:35, etc.
  • What the disciples preached was the "word of the Lord" everywhere they went, Acts 8:25, 15:35, 16:32, 13:44, 48, 49, 19:10, 20, 1 Thess 1:8, 2 Thess 3:1, etc. That is, they preached what Jesus had told them and trained them to do.
  1. It also appears to be anything from what we now call the OT canon, Matt 8:17.

Thus, the "word of the Lord" in Acts 12:24 appears to be the teachings that Jesus taught the disciple which they spent the rest of their lives proclaiming to the rest of the world. Thus, they could say that, "the word of God continued to grow and to multiply".


Acts 12:24

But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.

This was in partial fulfillment of Jesus' great commission in Mark 16:15

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Is it talking about the people or the written word of the Lord?


most scholars believe that the Gospel of Mark was written sometime during the war between Rome and the Jews (66-74). Most early dates fall around 65 CE and most late dates fall around 75 CE.

Acts 12:

23 Immediately, because Herod did not give glory to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

24But the word of God continued to spread and multiply.

According to https://biblehub.com/timeline/#complete, Herod Agrippa Died in 44 CE.

When Herod died, the gospel of Mark was not written yet. So Acts 12:24 refers to the words of mouth about the teachings of Jesus. By extending, it refers to the people who believed in the words of Jesus.


Rather than meaning a single word, λόγος often means message, thus "God's message" or even = "the Gospel."

Senses of the word from Logos Bible Software.

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ὁ λόγος referring to a passage of Scripture:

so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

              “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, 
  and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
                                        (John 12:38, ESV)

ὁ λόγος is a sentence.

This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” (John 18:9, ESV)

ὁ λόγος referring to what Jesus had said in John 3:14; 8:28; 12:32-34:

This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die. (John 18:32, ESV)

The one who rejects me and does not receive my words [τὰ ῥήματά] has a judge; the word [ὁ λόγος] that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. (John 12:48, ESV)

ὁ λόγος as a statement:

 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement [ὁ λόγος], he was even more afraid. (John 19:7–8, ESV)

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