« Prev Chapter 2 Next »

Chapter 2

2:1 Was now come [en tōi sunplērousthai]. Luke’s favourite idiom of [en] with the articular present infinitive passive and the accusative of general reference, “in the being fulfilled completely (perfective use of [sun-] as to the day of Pentecost.” Common verb, but only in Luke in N.T. In literal sense of filling a boat in Lu 8:23, about days in Lu 9:51 as here. Whether the disciples expected the coming of the Holy Spirit on this day we do not know. Blass holds that the present tense shows that the day had not yet come. It is a Hebrew idiom (Ex 7:25) and Luke may mean that the day of Pentecost was not yet over, was still going on, though Hackett takes it for the interval (fifty days) between Passover and Pentecost. Apparently this day of Pentecost fell on the Jewish Sabbath (our Saturday). It was the feast of first fruits. All together in one place [pantes homou epi to auto]. All together in the same place. Note [homou] here (correct text), not [homothumadon] as in 1:14, and so a bit of tautology.

2:2 Suddenly [aphnō]. Old adverb, but in the N.T. only in Acts (2:2; 16:26; 28:6). Kin to [exaiphnēs] (Ac 22:61). A sound [ēchos]. Our [echo]. Old word, already in Lu 4:37 for rumour and Lu 21:25 for the roar of the sea. It was not wind, but a roar or reverberation “as of the rushing of a mighty wind” [hōsper pheromenēs pnoēs biaias]. This is not a strict translation nor is it the genitive absolute. It was “an echoing sound as of a mighty wind borne violently” (or rushing along like the whirr of a tornado). [Pnoē] (wind) is used here (in the N.T. only here and 17:25 though old word) probably because of the use of [pneuma] in verse 4 of the Holy Spirit. In Joh 3:5-8 [pneuma] occurs for both wind and Spirit. Filled [eplērōsen]. “As a bath is filled with water, that they might be baptized with the Holy Ghost, in fulfilment of Ac 1:5” (Canon Cook). They were sitting [ēsan kathēmenoi]. Periphrastic imperfect middle of [kathēmai].

2:3 Parting asunder [diamerizomenai]. Present middle (or passive) participle of [diamerizō], old verb, to cleave asunder, to cut in pieces as a butcher does meat (aorist passive in Lu 11:17f.). So middle here would mean, parting themselves asunder or distributing themselves. The passive voice would be “being distributed.” The middle is probably correct and means that “the fire-like appearance presented itself at first, as it were, in a single body, and then suddenly parted in this direction and that; so that a portion of it rested on each of those present” (Hackett). The idea is not that each tongue was cloven, but each separate tongue looked like fire, not real fire, but looking like [hōsei], as if) fire. The audible sign is followed by a visible one (Knowling). “Fire had always been, with the Jews, the symbol of the Divine presence (cf. Ex 3:2; De 5:4). No symbol could be more fitting to express the Spirit’s purifying energy and refining energy” (Furneaux). The Baptist had predicted a baptizing by the Messiah in the Holy Spirit and in fire (Mt 3:11). It sat [ekathisen]. Singular verb here, though plural [ōpthēsan] with tongues [glōssai]. A tongue that looked like fire sat upon each one.

2:4 With other tongues [heterais glōssais]. Other than their native tongues. Each one began to speak in a language that he had not acquired and yet it was a real language and understood by those from various lands familiar with them. It was not jargon, but intelligible language. Jesus had said that the gospel was to go to all the nations and here the various tongues of earth were spoken. One might conclude that this was the way in which the message was to be carried to the nations, but future developments disprove it. This is a third miracle (the sound, the tongues like fire, the untaught languages). There is no blinking the fact that Luke so pictures them. One need not be surprised if this occasion marks the fulfilment of the Promise of the Father. But one is not to confound these miraculous signs with the Holy Spirit. They are merely proof that he has come to carry on the work of his dispensation. The gift of tongues came also on the house of Cornelius at Caesarea (Ac 10:44-47; 11:15-17), the disciples of John at Ephesus (Ac 19:6), the disciples at Corinth (1Co 14:1-33). It is possible that the gift appeared also at Samaria (Ac 8:18). But it was not a general or a permanent gift. Paul explains in 1Co 14:22 that “tongues” were a sign to unbelievers and were not to be exercised unless one was present who understood them and could translate them. This restriction disposes at once of the modern so-called tongues which are nothing but jargon and hysteria. It so happened that here on this occasion at Pentecost there were Jews from all parts of the world, so that some one would understand one tongue and some another without an interpreter such as was needed at Corinth. The experience is identical in all four instances and they are not for edification or instruction, but for adoration and wonder and worship. As the Spirit gave them utterance [kathōs to pneuma edidou apophtheggesthai autois]. This is precisely what Paul claims in 1Co 12:10, 28, but all the same without an interpreter the gift was not to be exercised (1Co 14:6-19). Paul had the gift of tongues, but refused to exercise it except as it would be understood. Note the imperfect tense here [edidou]. Perhaps they did not all speak at once, but one after another. [Apophtheggesthai] is a late verb (LXX of prophesying, papyri). Lucian uses it of the ring of a vessel when it strikes a reef. It is used of eager, elevated, impassioned utterance. In the N.T. only here, verse 14; verse26:25. [Apophthegm] is from this verb.

2:5 Were dwelling [ēsan katoikountes]. Periphrastic imperfect active indicative. Usually [katoikeō] means residence in a place (4:16; 7:24; 9:22, 32) as in verse 14 (Luke 13:4). Perhaps some had come to Jerusalem to live while others were here only temporarily, for the same word occurs in verse 9 of those who dwell in Mesopotamia, etc. Devout [eulabeis]. Reverent [eu], well, [lambanō], to take). See on Lu 2:25 like Simeon waiting for the consolation of Israel or hoping to die and be buried in the Holy City and also Ac 8:2.

2:6 When this sound was heard [genomenēs tēs phōnēs tautēs]. Genitive absolute with aorist middle participle. Note [phōnē] this time, not [ēcho] as in verse 1. [Phōnē] originally meant sound as of the wind (Joh 3:8) or an instrument (1Co 14:7,8,10), then voice of men. The meaning seems to be that the excited “other tongues” of verse 4 were so loud that the noise drew the crowd together. The house where the 120 were may have been (Hackett) on one of the avenues leading to the temple. Were confounded [sunechuthē]. First aorist passive indicative of [suncheō] or [sunchunō], to pour together precisely like the Latin confundo, to confound. The Vulgate has it mente confusa est. It is an old verb, but in the N.T. only in Acts five times (2:6; 9:22; 19:32; 21:27, 31). In his own language [tēi idiāi dialektōi]. Locative case. Each one could understand his own language when he heard that. Every one that came heard somebody speaking in his native tongue.

2:7 Were amazed [existanto]. Imperfect middle of [existēmi], to stand out of themselves, wide-open astonishment. Marvelled [ethaumazon]. Imperfect active. The wonder grew and grew. Galileans [Galilaioi]. There were few followers of Jesus as yet from Jerusalem. The Galileans spoke a rude Aramaic (Mr 14:70) and probably crude Greek vernacular also. They were not strong on language and yet these are the very people who now show such remarkable linguistic powers. These people who have come together are all Jews and therefore know Aramaic and the vernacular Koinē, but there were various local tongues “wherein we were born” [en hēi egennēthēmen]. An example is the Lycaonian (Ac 14:11). These Galilean Christians are now heard speaking these various local tongues. The lists in verses 9-11 are not linguistic, but geographical and merely illustrate how widespread the Dispersion [Diaspora] of the Jews was as represented on this occasion. Jews were everywhere, these “Jews among the nations” (Ac 21:21). Page notes four main divisions here: (I) The Eastern or Babylonian, like the Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians. (2) The Syrian like Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia. (3) The Egyptian like Egypt, Libya, Cyrene. (4) The Roman. Jews and proselytes [prosēlutoi]. These last from [proserchomai], to come to, to join, Gentile converts to Judaism (circumcision, baptism, sacrifice). This proselyte baptism was immersion as is shown by I. Abrahams (Studies in Pharisaism and the Gospels, p. 38). Many remained uncircumcised and were called proselytes of the gate.

2:11 Cretes and Arabians. These two groups “seem to have been added to the list as an afterthought” (Knowling). Crete is an island to itself and Arabia was separate also though near Judea and full of Jews. The point is not that each one of these groups of Jews spoke a different language, but that wherever there was a local tongue they heard men speaking in it. We do hear them speaking [akouomen lalountōn autōn]. Genitive case [autōn] with [akouō] the participle [lalountōn] agreeing with [autōn], a sort of participial idiom of indirect discourse (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1040ff.). The mighty works [ta megaleia]. Old adjective for magnificent. In LXX, but only here (not genuine in Lu 1:49) in the N.T. Cf. 2Pe 1:16 for [megaleiotēs] (majesty).

2:12 Were perplexed [diēporounto]. Imperfect middle of [diaporeō] [dia], [a] privative, [poros] to be wholly at a loss. Old verb, but in N.T. only in Luke and Acts. They continued amazed [existanto] and puzzled. What meaneth this? [Ti thelei touto einai]. Literally, what does this wish to be?

2:13 Mocking [diachleuazontes]. Old verb, but only here in the N.T., though the simple verb (without [dia] in 17:32. [Chleuē] means a joke. With new wine [gleukous]. Sweet wine, but intoxicating. Sweet wine kept a year was very intoxicating. Genitive case here after [memestōmenoi eisin] (periphrastic perfect passive indicative), old verb [mestoō], only here in the N.T. Tanked up with new wine, state of fulness.

2:14 Standing up with the eleven [statheis sun tois hendeka]. Took his stand with the eleven including Matthias, who also rose up with them, and spoke as their spokesman, a formal and impressive beginning. The Codex Bezae has “ten apostles.” Luke is fond of this pictorial use of [statheis] (first aorist passive participle of [histēmi] as seen nowhere else in the N.T. (Lu 18:11,40; 19:8; Ac 5:20; 17:22; 27:21). Lifted up his voice [epēren tēn phōnēn autou]. This phrase only in Luke in the N.T. (Lu 11:29; Ac 2:14; 14:11; 22:22), but is common in the old writers. First aorist active indicative of [epairō]. The large crowd and the confusion of tongues demanded loud speaking. “This most solemn, earnest, yet sober speech” (Bengel). Codex Bezae adds “first” after “voice.” Peter did it to win and hold attention. Give ear unto my words [enōtisasthe ta rhēmata mou]. Late verb in LXX and only here in the N.T. First aorist middle from [enōtizomai] [en, ous], ear) to give ear to, receive into the ear. People’s ears differ greatly, but in public speech they have to be reached through the ear. That puts an obligation on the speaker and also on the auditors who should sit where they can hear with the ears which they have, an obligation often overlooked.

2:15 As ye suppose [hōs humeis hupolambanete]. Note use of [humeis] (ye) for decided emphasis. The third hour [hōra tritē]. Three o’clock in the day Jewish time, nine Roman. Drunkenness belongs to the night (1Th 5:7). It was a quick, common sense reply, and complete answer to their suspicion.

2:16 This is that which hath been spoken by the prophet Joel [touto estin to eirēmenon dia tou prophētou Iōēl]. Positive interpretation of the supernatural phenomena in the light of the Messianic prophecy of Joe 2:28-32. Peter’s mind is now opened by the Holy Spirit to understand the Messianic prophecy and the fulfilment right before their eyes. Peter now has spiritual insight and moral courage. The power [dunamis] of the Holy Spirit has come upon him as he proceeds to give the first interpretation of the life and work of Jesus Christ since his Ascension. It is also the first formal apology for Christianity to a public audience. Peter rises to the height of his powers in this remarkable sermon. Jesus had foretold that he would be a Rock and now he is no longer shale, but a solid force for aggressive Christianity. He follows here in verses 17-21 closely the LXX text of Joel and then applies the passage to the present emergency (22-24).

2:17 In the last days [en tais eschatais hēmerais]. Joel does not have precisely these words, but he defines “those days” as being “the day of the Lord” (cf. Isa 2:2; Mic 4:1). I will pour forth [ekcheō]. Future active indicative of [ekcheō]. This future like [edomai] and [piomai] is without tense sign, probably like the present in the futuristic sense (Robertson, Grammar, p. 354). Westcott and Hort put a different accent on the future, but the old Greek had no accent. The old Greek had [ekcheusō]. This verb means to pour out. Of my Spirit [apo tou pneumatos]. This use of [apo] (of) is either because of the variety in the manifestations of the Spirit (1Co 12) or because the Spirit in his entirety remains with God (Holtzmann, Wendt). But the Hebrew has it: “I will pour out my Spirit” without the partitive idea in the LXX. And your daughters [kai hai thugateres h–mōn]. Anna is called a prophetess in Lu 2:36 and the daughters of Philip prophesy (Ac 21:9) and verse 18 (handmaidens). See also 1Co 11:5 [prophētousa]. Visions [horaseis]. Late word for the more common [horama], both from [horaō], to see. In Re 4:3 it means appearance, but in Re 9:17 as here an ecstatic revelation or vision. Dream dreams [enupniois enupniasthēsontai]. Shall dream with (instrumental case) dreams. First future passive of [enupniazō] from [enupnios] [en] and [hupnos], in sleep), a common late word. Only here in the N.T. (this from Joel as all these verses 17-21 are) and Jude 1:8. Yea and [kai ge]. Intensive particle [ge] added to [kai] (and), an emphatic addition (=Hebrew vegam). Servants [doulous], handmaidens [doulas]. Slaves, actual slaves of men. The humblest classes will receive the Spirit of God (cf. 1Co 1:26-31). But the word “prophesy” here is not in the LXX (or the Hebrew).

2:19 Wonders [terata]. Apparently akin to the verb [tēreō], to watch like a wonder in the sky, miracle [miraculum], marvel, portent. In the New Testament the word occurs only in the plural and only in connection with [sēmeia] (signs) as here and in verse 43. But signs [sēmeia] here is not in the LXX. See on Mt 11:20. In verse 22 all three words occur together: powers, wonders, signs [dunamesi, terasi, sēmeiois]. As above [anō]. This word is not in the LXX nor is “beneath” [katō], both probably being added to make clearer the contrast between heaven and earth. Blood and fire and vapour of smoke [haima kai pur kai atmida kapnou]. A chiasm as these words illustrate bloodshed and destruction by fire as signs here on earth.

2:20 Shall be turned [metastraphēsetai]. Second future passive of [metastrephō], common verb, but only three times in the N.T. (Ac 2:20 from Joel; Jas 4:9; Ga 1:7). These are the “wonders” or portents of verse 19. It is worth noting that Peter interprets these “portents” as fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, though no such change of the sun into darkness or of the moon into blood is recorded. Clearly Peter does not interpret the symbolism of Joel in literal terms. This method of Peter may be of some service in the Book of Revelation where so many apocalyptic symbols occur as well as in the great Eschatological Discourse of Jesus in Mt 24, 25. In Mt 24:6, 29 Jesus had spoken of wars on earth and wonders in heaven. Before the day of the Lord come, that great and notable day [prin elthein hēmeran kuriou tēn megalēn kai epiphanē]. The use of [prin] with the infinitive and the accusative of general reference is a regular Greek idiom. The use of the adjectives with the article is also good Greek, though the article is not here repeated as in 1:25. The Day of the Lord is a definite conception without the article. Notable [epiphanē] is the same root as epiphany [epiphaneia] used of the Second Coming of Christ (2Th 2:8; 1Ti 6:14; 2Ti 4:1; Tit 2:13). It translates here the Hebrew word for “terrible.” In the Epistles the Day of the Lord is applied (Knowling) to the Coming of Christ for judgment (1Th 5:2; 1Co 1:8; 2Co 1:14; Php 1:10).

2:21 Shall call on [epikalesētai]. First aorist middle subjunctive of [epikaleō], common verb, to call to, middle voice for oneself in need. Indefinite relative clause with [ean] and so subjunctive, punctiliar idea, in any single case, and so aorist.

2:22 Hear these words [akousate tous logous toutous]. Do it now (aorist tense). With unerring aim Peter has found the solution for the phenomena. He has found the key to God’s work on this day in his words through Joel. as ye yourselves know [kathōs autoi oidate]. Note [autoi] for emphasis. Peter calls the audience to witness that his statements are true concerning “Jesus the Nazarene.” He wrought his miracles by the power of God in the midst of these very people here present.

2:23 Him [touton]. “This one,” resumptive and emphatic object of “did crucify and slay.” Being delivered up [ekdoton]. Verbal adjective from [ekdidōmi], to give out or over. Old word, but here only in the N.T. Delivered up by Judas, Peter means. By the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God [tēi hōrismenēi boulēi kai prognōsēi tou theou]. Instrumental case. Note both purpose [boulē] and foreknowledge [prognōsis] of God and “determined” [hōrismenē], perfect passive participle, state of completion). God had willed the death of Jesus (Joh 3:16) and the death of Judas (Ac 1:16), but that fact did not absolve Judas from his responsibility and guilt (Lu 22:22). He acted as a free moral agent. By the hand [dia cheiros]. Luke is fond of these figures (hand, face, etc.) very much like the Hebrew though the vernacular of all languages uses them. Lawless men [anomōn]. Men without law, who recognize no law for their conduct, like men in high and low stations today who defy the laws of God and man. Old word, very common in the LXX. Ye did crucify [prospēxantes]. First aorist active participle of [prospēgnumi], rare compound word in Dio Cassius and here only in the N.T. One must supply [tōi staurōi] and so it means “fastened to the cross,” a graphic picture like Paul’s “nailed to the cross” [prosēlōsas tōi staurōi] in Col 2:14. Did slay [aneilate]. Second aorist active indicative with first aorist vowel [a] instead of [o] as is common in the Koinē. This verb [anaireō], to take up, is often used for kill as in Ac 12:2. Note Peter’s boldness now under the power of the Holy Spirit. He charges the people to their faces with the death of Christ.

2:24 God raised up [ho theos anestēsen]. Est hoc summum orationis (Blass). Apparently this is the first public proclamation to others than believers of the fact of the Resurrection of Jesus. “At a time it was still possible to test the statement, to examine witnesses, to expose fraud, the Apostle openly proclaimed the Resurrection as a fact, needing no evidence, but known to his hearers” (Furneaux). The pangs of death [tas ōdinas tou thanatou]. Codex Bezae has “Hades” instead of death. The LXX has [ōdinas thanatou] in Ps 18:4, but the Hebrew original means “snares” or “traps” or “cords” of death where sheol and death are personified as hunters laying snares for prey. How Peter or Luke came to use the old Greek word [ōdinas] (birth pangs) we do not know. Early Christian writers interpreted the Resurrection of Christ as a birth out of death. “Loosing” [lusas] suits better the notion of “snares” held a prisoner by death, but birth pangs do bring deliverance to the mother also. Because [kathoti]. This old conjunction [kata, hoti] occurs in the N.T. only in Luke’s writings. That he should be holden [krateisthai auton]. Infinitive present passive with accusative of general reference and subject of [ēn adunaton]. The figure goes with “loosed” [lusas] above.

2:25 Concerning him [eis auton]. Peter interprets Ps 16:8-11 as written by David and with reference to the Messiah. There is but one speaker in this Psalm and both Peter here and Paul in Ac 13:36 make it the Messiah. David is giving his own experience which is typical of the Messiah (Knowling). I beheld [proorōmēn]. Imperfect middle without augment of [prooraō], common verb, but only twice in the N.T., to see beforehand (Ac 21:29) or to see right before one as here. This idea of [pro-] is made plainer by “before my face” [enōpion mou]. On my right hand [ek dexiōn mou]. The Lord Jehovah like a defender or advocate stands at David’s right hand as in trials in court (Ps 109:31). That [hina] here is almost result. Moved [saleuthō]. First aorist passive subjunctive of [saleuō], to shake like an earthquake.

2:26 Was glad [ēuphranthē]. First aorist (timeless here like the Hebrew perfect) passive indicative of [euphrainō] (cf. Lu 15:32). Timeless also is “rejoiced” [ēgalliasato]. Shall dwell [kataskēnōsei]. Shall tabernacle, pitch a tent, make one’s abode (cf. Mt 13:32). See on Mt 8:20 about [kataskēnōseis] (nests) In hope [ep’ elpidi]. On hope, the hope of the resurrection.

2:27 In Hades [eis Hāidēn]. Hades is the unseen world, Hebrew Sheol, but here it is viewed as death itself “considered as a rapacious destroyer” (Hackett). It does not mean the place of punishment, though both heaven and the place of torment are in Hades (Lu 16:23). “Death and Hades are strictly parallel terms: he who is dead is in Hades” (Page). The use of [eis] here = [en] is common enough. The Textus Receptus here reads [eis Hāidou] (genitive case) like the Attic idiom with [domon] (abode) understood. “Hades” in English is not translation, but transliteration. The phrase in the Apostles’ Creed, “descended into hell” is from this passage in Acts (Hades, not Gehenna). The English word “hell” is Anglo-Saxon from [helan], to hide, and was used in the Authorized Version to translate both Hades as here and Gehenna as in Mt 5:22. Thy Holy One [ton hosion sou]. Peter applies these words to the Messiah. Corruption [diaphthoran]. The word can mean destruction or putrefaction from [diaphtheirō], old word, but in N.T. only here and Ac 13:34-37. The Hebrew word in Ps 16 can mean also the pit or the deep.

2:28 The ways of life [hodous zōēs]. Though dead God will show him the ways back to life.

2:29 I may say [exon eipein]. Supply [estin] before [exon], periphrastic present indicative of [exeimi], to allow, permit. The Authorized Version has “Let me speak,” supplying [esto] present imperative. Freely [meta parrēsias]. Telling it all [pan, rhēsia] from [eipon], to speak), with fulness, with boldness. Luke is fond of the phrase (as in 4:13). It is a new start for Simon Peter, full of boldness and courage. The patriarch [tou patriarchou]. Transliteration of the word, from [patria], family, and [archō], to rule, the founder of a family. Late word in LXX. Used of Abraham (Heb 7:4), of the twelve sons of Jacob as founders of the several tribes (Ac 7:8), and here of David as head of the family from whom the Messiah comes. Was buried [etaphē]. Second aorist passive indicative of [thaptō]. His tomb was on Mt. Zion where most of the kings were buried. The tomb was said to have fallen into ruins in the time of the Emperor Hadrian. Josephus (Ant. XVI. 7, 1) attributes most of the misfortunes of Herod’s family to the fact that he tried to rifle the tomb of David.

2:31 Foreseeing [proidōn]. Second aorist active participle. Did it as a prophet. Of the Christ [tou Christou]. Of the Messiah. See under verse 32. This is a definite statement by Peter that David knew that in Ps 16 he was describing the resurrection of the Messiah.

2:32 This Jesus [touton ton Iēsoun]. Many of the name “Jesus,” but he means the one already called “the Nazarene” (verse 22) and foretold as the Messiah in Ps 16 and raised from the dead by God in proof that he is the Messiah (2:24, 32), “this Jesus whom ye crucified” (verse 36). Other terms used of him in the Acts are the Messiah, verse 31, the one whom God “anointed” (Ac 10:38), as in Joh 1:41, Jesus Christ (9:34). In 2:36 God made this Jesus Messiah, in 3:20 the Messiah Jesus, in 17:3 Jesus is the Messiah, in 18:5 the Messiah is Jesus, in 24:24 Christ Jesus. Whereof [hou]. Or “of whom.” Either makes sense and both are true. Peter claims the whole 120 as personal witnesses to the fact of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead and they are all present as Peter calls them to witness on the point. In Galilee over 500 had seen the Risen Christ at one time (1Co 15:6) most of whom were still living when Paul wrote. Thus the direct evidence for the resurrection of Jesus piles up in cumulative force.

2:33 By the right hand of God [tēi dexiāi tou theou]. This translation makes it the instrumental case. The margin has it “at” instead of “by,” that is the locative case. And it will make sense in the true dative case, “to the right hand of God.” These three cases came to have the same form in Greek. Ro 8:24 furnishes another illustration of like ambiguity [tēi elpidi], saved by hope, in hope, or for hope. Usually it is quite easy to tell the case when the form is identical. Exalted [hupsōtheis]. First aorist passive participle of [hupsoō], to lift up. Here both the literal and tropical sense occurs. Cf. Joh 12:32. The promise of the Holy Spirit [tēn epaggelian tou pneumatos tou hagiou]. The promise mentioned in 1:4 and now come true, consisting in the Holy Spirit “from the Father” [para tou patros], sent by the Father and by the Son (Joh 15:26; 16:7). See also Ga 3:14. He hath poured forth [execheen]. Aorist active indicative of [ekcheō] the verb used by Joel and quoted by Peter already in verses 17, 18. Jesus has fulfilled his promise. This which ye see and hear [touto ho humeis kai blepete kai akouete]. This includes the sound like the rushing wind, the tongues like fire on each of them, the different languages spoken by the 120. “The proof was before their eyes in this new energy from heaven” (Furneaux), a culminating demonstration that Jesus was the Messiah.

2:34 Ascended not [ou—anebē]. It is more emphatic than that: For not David ascended into the heavens. Peter quotes Ps 110:1 as proof. No passage in the O.T. is so constantly quoted as Messianic as this. “St. Peter does not demand belief upon his own assertion, but he again appeals to the Scriptures, and to words which could not have received a fulfilment in the case of David” (Knowling). Sit thou [kathou]. Late Koinē form for earlier [kathēso], present middle imperative second singular of [kathēmai].

2:35 Till I make [heōs an thō]. Second aorist active subjunctive of [tithēmi] with [an] after [heōs] for the future, a common Greek idiom. This dominion of Christ as Mediator will last till the plan of the kingdom is carried out (1Co 15:23-28). Complete subjugation will come, perhaps referring to the custom of victorious kings placing their feet upon the necks of their enemies (Jos 10:24). Therefore assuredly [Asphalōs oun]. Assuredly therefore, without any slip or trip [asphalēs] from [a] privative and [sphallō], to trip, to slip. Peter draws a powerfully pungent conclusion by the use of the adverb [asphalōs] and the inferential conjunction [oun].) Peter’s closing sentence drives home the point of his sermon: “This very Jesus whom ye crucified (note [humeis], strongly emphatic ye), him God made both Lord and Messiah” [kai kurion kai Christon], as David foretold in Ps 110 and as the events of this day have confirmed. The critics are disturbed over how Luke could have gotten the substance of this masterful address spoken on the spur of the moment with passion and power. They even say that Luke composed it for Peter and put the words in his mouth. If so, he made a good job of it. But Peter could have written out the notes of the address afterwards. Luke had plenty of chances to get hold of it from Peter or from others.

2:37 They were pricked in their heart [katenugēsan tēn kardian]. Second aorist indicative of [katanussō], a rare verb (LXX) to pierce, to sting sharply, to stun, to smite. Homer used it of horses dinting the earth with their hoofs. The substantive [katanuxis] occurs in Ro 11:8. Here only in the N.T. It is followed here by the accusative of the part affected, the heart. What shall we do? [Ti poiēsōmen]. Deliberative subjunctive first aorist active. The sermon went home, they felt the sting of Peter’s words, compunction [compungo]. Codex Bezae adds: “Show us.”

2:38 Repent ye [metanoēsate]. First aorist (ingressive) active imperative. Change your mind and your life. Turn right about and do it now. You crucified this Jesus. Now crown him in your hearts as Lord and Christ. This first. And be baptized every one of you [kai baptisthētō hekastos h–mōn]. Rather, “And let each one of you be baptized.” Change of number from plural to singular and of person from second to third. This change marks a break in the thought here that the English translation does not preserve. The first thing to do is make a radical and complete change of heart and life. Then let each one be baptized after this change has taken place, and the act of baptism be performed “in the name of Jesus Christ” [en tōi onomati Iēsou Christou]. In accordance with the command of Jesus in Mt 28:19 [eis to onoma]. No distinction is to be insisted on between [eis to onoma] and [en tōi onomati] with [baptizō] since [eis] and [en] are really the same word in origin. In Ac 10:48 [en tōi onomati Iēsou Christou] occurs, but [eis] to [onoma] in 8:16; 19:5. The use of [onoma] means in the name or with the authority of one as [eis onoma prophētou] (Mt 10:41) as a prophet, in the name of a prophet. In the Acts the full name of the Trinity does not occur in baptism as in Mt 28:19, but this does not show that it was not used. The name of Jesus Christ is the distinctive one in Christian baptism and really involves the Father and the Spirit. See on Mt 28:19 for discussion of this point. “Luke does not give the form of words used in baptism by the Apostles, but merely states the fact that they baptized those who acknowledged Jesus as Messiah or as Lord” (Page). Unto the remission of your sins [eis aphesin tōn hamartiōn h–mōn]. This phrase is the subject of endless controversy as men look at it from the standpoint of sacramental or of evangelical theology. In themselves the words can express aim or purpose for that use of [eis] does exist as in 1Co 2:7 [eis doxan hēmōn] (for our glory). But then another usage exists which is just as good Greek as the use of [eis] for aim or purpose. It is seen in Mt 10:41 in three examples [eis onoma prophētou, dikaiou, mathētou] where it cannot be purpose or aim, but rather the basis or ground, on the basis of the name of prophet, righteous man, disciple, because one is, etc. It is seen again in Mt 12:41 about the preaching of Jonah [eis to kērugma Iōna]. They repented because of (or at) the preaching of Jonah. The illustrations of both usages are numerous in the N.T. and the Koinē generally (Robertson, Grammar, p. 592). One will decide the use here according as he believes that baptism is essential to the remission of sins or not. My view is decidedly against the idea that Peter, Paul, or any one in the New Testament taught baptism as essential to the remission of sins or the means of securing such remission. So I understand Peter to be urging baptism on each of them who had already turned (repented) and for it to be done in the name of Jesus Christ on the basis of the forgiveness of sins which they had already received. The gift of the Holy Ghost [tēn dōrean tou hagiou pneumatos]. The gift consists (Ac 8:17) in the Holy Spirit (genitive of identification).

2:39 The promise [hē epaggelia]. The promise made by Jesus (1:4) and foretold by Joel (verse 18). To you [humin]. You Jews. To your descendants, sons and daughters of verse 17. To all that are afar off [pāsin tois eis makran].) The horizon widens and includes the Gentiles. Those “afar off” from the Jews were the heathen (Isa 49:1; 57:19; Eph 2:13, 17). The rabbis so used it. Shall call [an proskalesētai]. First aorist middle subjunctive with [an] in an indefinite relative clause, a perfectly regular construction. The Lord God calls men of every nation anywhere whether Jews or Gentiles. It may be doubted how clearly Peter grasped the significance of these words for he will have trouble over this very matter on the housetop in Joppa and in Caesarea, but he will see before long the full sweep of the great truth that he here proclaims under the impulse of the Holy Spirit. It was a great moment that Peter here reaches.

2:40 With many other words [heterois logois pleiosin]. Instrumental case. Not necessarily “different” [heterois], but “further,” showing that Luke does not pretend to give all that Peter said. This idea is also brought out clearly by [pleiosin] (“more,” not “many”), more than these given by Luke. He testified [diemarturato]. First aorist middle of [diamarturomai], old verb, to make solemn attestation or call to witness (perfective use of [dia], while [martureō] is to bear witness. Page insists that here it should be translated “protested solemnly” to the Jews as it seems to mean in Lu 16:28; Ac 20:23; 1Ti 5:21; 2Ti 2:14; 4:1. And exhorted [kai parekalei]. Imperfect active, kept on exhorting. Save yourselves [sōthēte]. First aorist passive of [sōzō]. Literally, Be ye saved. Crooked [skolias]. Old word, opposite of [orthos], straight. Pravus the opposite of rectus, a perversity for turning off from the truth. Cf. Lu 9:41; Php 2:15.

2:41 They then [Hoi men oun]. A common phrase in Acts either without antithesis as in 1:6; 5:41; 8:4, 25; 9:31; 11:19; 16:5; or with it as here, 8:25; 13:4; 14:3; 17:17; 23:31; 25:4. [Oun] connects with what precedes as the result of Peter’s sermon while [men] points forward to what is to follow. Were baptized [ebaptisthēsan]. First aorist passive indicative, constative aorist. Note that only those who had already received the word and were converted were baptized. There were added [prosetethēsan]. First aorist passive indicative of [prostithēmi], old verb to add, to join to. Luke means that the 3,000 were added to the 120 already enlisted. It is not stated they were all baptized by Peter or the twelve or all on the same day, though that is the natural implication of the language. The numerous pools in Jerusalem afforded ample opportunity for such wholesale baptizing and Hackett notes that the habit of orientals would place no obstacle in the way of the use of the public reservoirs. Furneaux warns us that all the 3,000 may not have been genuine converts and that many of them were pilgrims at the passover who returned home. Souls [psuchai]. Persons as in verse 43.

2:42 They continued steadfastly [ēsan proskarturountes]. Periphrastic active imperfect of [proskartureō] as in Ac 1:14 (same participle in verse 46). Fellowship [koinōniāi]. Old word from [koinōnos] (partner, sharer in common interest) and this from [koinos] what is common to all. This partnership involves participation in, as the blood of Christ (Php 2:1) or co-operation in the work of the gospel (Php 1:5) or contribution for those in need (2Co 8:4; 9:13). Hence there is wide diversity of opinion concerning the precise meaning of [koinōnia] in this verse. It may refer to the distribution of funds in verse 44 or to the oneness of spirit in the community of believers or to the Lord’s Supper (as in 1Co 10:16) in the sense of communion or to the fellowship in the common meals or [agapae] (love-feasts). The breaking of bread [tēi klasei tou artou]. The word [klasis] is an old word, but used only by Luke in the N.T. (Lu 24:35; Ac 2:42), though the verb [klaō] occurs in other parts of the N.T. as in verse 46. The problem here is whether Luke refers to the ordinary meal as in Lu 24:35 or to the Lord’s Supper. The same verb [klaō] is used of breaking bread at the ordinary meal (Lu 24:30) or the Lord’s Supper (Lu 22:19). It is generally supposed that the early disciples attached so much significance to the breaking of bread at the ordinary meals, more than our saying grace, that they followed the meal with the Lord’s Supper at first, a combination called [agapai] or love-feasts. “There can be no doubt that the Eucharist at this period was preceded uniformly by a common repast, as was the case when the ordinance was instituted” (Hackett). This led to some abuses as in 1Co 11:20. Hence it is possible that what is referred to here is the Lord’s Supper following the ordinary meal. “To simply explain [tēi klasei tou artou] as = ‘The Holy Communion’ is to pervert the plain meaning of words, and to mar the picture of family life, which the text places before us as the ideal of the early believers” (Page). But in Ac 20:7 they seem to have come together especially for the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Perhaps there is no way to settle the point conclusively here. The prayers [tais proseuchais]. Services where they prayed as in 1:14, in the temple (Ac 3:1), in their homes (4:23).

2:43 Came [egineto]. Imperfect middle, kept on coming. Were done [egineto]. Same tense. Awe kept on coming on all and signs and wonders kept on coming through the apostles. The two things went on [pari passu], the more wonders the more fear.

2:44 Were together [ēsan epi to auto]. Some MSS. [ēsan kai] (were and). But they were together in the same place as in 2:1. And had [kai eichon]. Imperfect active, kept on having, a habit in the present emergency. Common [koina]. It was not actual communism, but they held all their property ready for use for the common good as it was needed (4:32). This situation appears nowhere else except in Jerusalem and was evidently due to special conditions there which did not survive permanently. Later Paul will take a special collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem.

2:45 Sold [epipraskon]. Imperfect active, a habit or custom from time to time. Old and common verb, [pipraskō]. Parted [diemerizon]. Imperfect again of [diamerizō], old verb for dividing or distributing between [dia] people. According as any man had need [kathoti an tis chreian eichen]. Regular Greek idiom for comparative clause with [an] and imperfect indicative corresponding precisely with the three preceding imperfects (Robertson, Grammar, p. 967).

2:46 With one accord in the temple [homothumadon en tōi hierōi]. See on 1:14 for [homothumadon]. They were still worshipping in the temple for no breach had yet come between Christians and Jews. Daily they were here and daily breaking bread at home [kat’ oikon] which looks like the regular meal. They did take their food [metelambanon trophēs]. Imperfect tense again and clearly referring to the regular meals at home. Does it refer also to the possible [agapai] or to the Lord’s Supper afterwards as they had common meals “from house to house” [kat’ oikon]? We know there were local churches in the homes where they had “worship rooms,” the church in the house. At any rate it was “with singleness” [aphelotēti] of heart. The word occurs only here in the N.T., though a late Koinē word (papyri). It comes from [aphelēs], free from rock [phelleus] is stony ground), smooth. The old form was [apheleia].

2:47 Having favor [echontes charin]. Cf. Lu 2:52 of the Boy Jesus. Added [prosetithei]. Imperfect active, kept on adding. If the Lord only always “added” those who join our churches. Note verse 41 where same verb is used of the 3,000. To them [epi to auto]. Literally, “together.” Why not leave it so? “To the church” [tēi ekklēsiāi] is not genuine. Codex Bezae has “in the church.” Those that were being saved [tous sōzomenous]. Present passive participle. Probably for repetition like the imperfect [prosetithei]. Better translate it “those saved from time to time.” It was a continuous revival, day by day. [Sōzō] like [sōtēria] is used for “save” in three senses (beginning, process, conclusion), but here repetition is clearly the point of the present tense.

« Prev Chapter 2 Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |