Acts and Mission 7

Pentecost.jpgPeter’s “sermon” — which is more interpretation of event than anything else — explains that the tongue-speaking community, of which he is a part, is not some lunatic fringe but the very embodiment of God’s promises through the prophet Joel.

But Peter goes immediately from Joel to Jesus, the “God-accredited” man through miracles, wonders and signs. Notice, too, that these things were done by God in their presence through Jesus. Acts of God is the emphasis.

Again, God handed him over; you put him to death unjustly; but God overturned that injustice by raising him from the dead. In fact, death could not hold him … why? Scripture (Psalm 16).

Through and through what happened at Pentecost and what happened with Jesus — miracles to death to resurrection — where acts of God. This is emphasized in Beverly Gaventa’s commentary (The Acts of the Apostles (Abingdon New Testament Commentaries)).

” ‘I saw the Lord always before me.
       Because he is at my right hand,
       I will not be shaken.

   Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
       my body also will rest in hope,

  because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
       you will not let your holy one see decay.

    You have made known to me the paths of life;
       you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

Death could not hold him because God’s Scripture, through David, says death cannot hold him and his body will not see decay.

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  • RJS

    I got Galventa’s commentary last night – and look forward to thinking along. Should be interesting.

  • I think it would be fair to say that the most important factor regarding the interpretation of Pentecost is Peter’s sermon. You are right in that it is not a continuation of the event, but rather an exegesis of it (I suppose, a pesher of what happened). If this is the case, then we must work to place the texts Peter cites not only into their original context, but also in the context of messianic and eschatological expectation among Second Temple Judaism.

  • Well said.
    Thanks for sharing.