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Bible Commentaries
Acts 3

The Expositor's Greek TestamentExpositor's Greek Testament

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Verse 1

Acts 3:1 . St. Luke selects out of the number of τέρατα καὶ σημεῖα the one which was the immediate antecedent of the first persecution. “Non dicitur primum hoc miraculum fuisse, sed fuit, quanquam unum e multis, ipso loco maxime conspicuum,” Blass, as against Weiss, Hilgenfeld, Feine. ἀνέβαινον , cf. Luke 18:10 . “Two men went up into the Temple to pray,” i.e. , from the lower city to Mount Moriah, the hill of the Temple, “the hill of the house,” on its site see “Jerusalem,” B.D. 2 . The verb is in the imperfect, because the Apostles do not enter the Temple until Acts 3:8 . St. Chrysostom comments: Πέτρος καὶ Ἰωάννης ἦσαν καὶ τὸν Ἰησοῦν εἶχον μέσον , Matthew 18:20 . ἐπὶ τὴν ὥραν τῆς προσευχῆς , not during or about , but marking a definite time, for the hour, i.e. , to be there during the hour sometimes the words are taken to mean “towards the hour”: see Plummer on Luke 10:35 (so apparently Weiss). Page renders “for, i.e. , to be there at the hour” (so Felten, Lumby). In going thus to the Temple they imitated their Master, Matthew 26:55 . τὴν ἐνάτην , i.e. , 3 P.M., when the evening sacrifice was offered, Jos., Ant. , xiv., 4, 3. Edersheim points out that although the evening sacrifice was fixed by the Jews as “between the evenings,” i.e. , between the darkness of the gloaming and that of the night, and although the words of Psalms 134:0 , and the appointment of Levite singers for night service, 1 Chronicles 9:33 ; 1 Chronicles 23:30 , seem to imply an evening service, yet in the time of our Lord the evening sacrifice commenced much earlier, The Temple; its Ministry and Services , pp. 115, 116. According to Schürer, followed by Blass who appeals to the authority of Hamburger, there is no ground for supposing that the third, sixth, and ninth hours of the day were regular stated times for prayer. The actual times were rather (1) early in the morning at the time of the morning sacrifice (see also Edersheim, u. s. , p. 115); (2) in the afternoon about the ninth hour (three o’clock), at the time of the evening sacrifice; (3) in the evening at sunset ( Jewish People , div. ii., vol. i., 290, E.T.). The third, sixth, and ninth hours were no doubt appropriated to private prayer, and some such rule might well have been derived from Psalms 55:7 ; cf. Daniel 6:11 . This custom of prayer three times a day passed very early into the Christian Church, Didache 1 , viii. 3. To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the three daily times of prayer are traced back in the Berachoth , 26 b ; Charles, Apocalypse of Baruch , p. 99.

Verse 2

Acts 3:2 . τις , by its position as in Luke 11:27 directs attention to this man, “the man was conspicuous both from the place and from his malady” Chrys., Hom. , viii. χωλὸς … ὑπάρχων : “a certain man that was lame” R.V., otherwise ὑπάρχων is not noticed, fittingly used here in its classical sense expressing the connection between the man’s present state and his previous state, see on Acts 2:30 . ἐβαστάζετο : imperf., expressing a customary act, the man was being carried at the hour of worship when the Temple would be filled with worshippers (Chrysostom); or the verb may mean that he was being carried in the sense that the bearers had not yet placed him in the accustomed spot for begging, cf. 2 Kings 18:14 , Sir 6:25 , Bel and the Dragon, ver. 36; Theod. ὃν ἐτίθουν : the imperfect used of customary or repeated action in past time, Burton, Syntax of Moods and Tenses , etc., p. 12, on the form see Winer-Schmiedel, p. 121; Blass, Grammatik des N. G. , p. 48: in Acts there are several undoubted instances of the way in which the imperfect 3rd plural of verbs in μι was often formed as if from a contract verb, cf. Acts 4:33 ; Acts 4:35 , Acts 27:1 πρὸς τὴν θύραν : R.V. “door,” although in Acts 3:10 we have not θύρα but πύλη · τὴν λεγ . Ὡραίαν : it may have been the gate of Nicanor (so called because Judas Maccabæus had nailed to the gate the hand of his conquered foe, 1Ma 7:47 ). The description given of it by Josephus, B. J. , v., 5, 3, marks it as specially magnificent, cf. also Hamburger, Real-Encycl. , ii., 8, p. 1198. This view was held by Wetstein, see, in loco , Nicanor’s gate. Another interpretation refers the term to the gate Shushan, which was not only close to the Porch of Solomon, but also to the market for the sale of doves and other offerings, and so a fitting spot for a beggar to choose (Zöckler). The gate may have been so called because a picture of the Persian capital Susa was placed over it (Hamburger, u. s. ), i.e. , Town of Lilies. Cf. Hebrew Shushan, a lily, the lily being regarded as the type of beauty. Wendt suggests that the title may be explained from the decoration on the pillars of lily work מַעֲשֵׂה שׁוּשַׁן , Mr. Wright, Some N.T. Problems , 1898, has recently argued that the eastern gate of the Court of the Women is meant, p. 304 ff. (so too Schürer, Jewish People , div. ii., vol. i., p. 180, E.T.). This court was the place of assembly for the services, and a beggar might naturally choose a position near it. The decision as to which of these gates reference is made to is rendered more difficult by the fact that, so far as we know, no gate bore the name “Beautiful”. But the decision apparently lies between these alternatives, although others have been proposed, cf. John Lightfoot, Hor. Heb., in loco , and Wright, u. s. In such notices as the mention of the Beautiful Gate, Solomon’s Porch, Feine sees indications of a true and reliable tradition. τοῦ αἰτεῖν : genitive of the purpose, very frequent in this form, genitive of the article with the infinitive both in the N.T. and in the LXX, cf. Genesis 4:15 , 1 Kings 1:35 , Ezekiel 21:11 ; Luke 24:16 , see especially Burton, Syntax of Moods and Tenses , p. 159. It is very characteristic of St. Luke, and next to him of St. Paul probably indicates the influence of the LXX, although the construction is found in classical Greek, cf. Xen., Anab. , iii., 5, see Viteau, Le Grec du N. T. , p. 172 (1893). It was a common thing for beggars amongst the Jews as amongst the Christians (just as amongst the Romans, Martial, i., 112) to frequent the Temple and Churches for alms. St. Chrysostom notes the custom as common as it is today in continental cathedrals or modern mosques. ἐλεημοσύνην : common in the LXX but not classical, sometimes used for the feeling of mercy ( ἔλεος ), Proverbs 3:3 ; Proverbs 19:22 , and constantly through the book; and then for mercy showing itself in acts of pity, almsgiving, Tob 1:3 ; Tob 12:8 , cf. Acts 9:36 ; Acts 10:2 , where it is used in the plural, as often in the LXX. Our word alms is derived from it and the German Almosen , both being corruptions of the Greek word.

Verse 3

Acts 3:3 . ἠρώτα λαβεῖν : “asked to receive,” R.V., as other English versions except A.V. The expression is quite classical, αἰτῶν λαβεῖν , Aristoph., Plut. , 240, cf. Mark 1:17 , and LXX, Exodus 23:15 , for similar instances of a redundant infinitive. The verb is in the imperfect, because the action of asking is imperfect until what is asked for is granted by another, Blass, in loco , and Grammatik des N. G. , pp. 187, 236, and Salmon, Hermathena , xxi. p. 228.

Verse 4

Acts 3:4 . ἀτενίσας , cf. Acts 1:10 . βλέψον εἰς ἡμᾶς : it has sometimes been thought that the command was given to see whether the man was a worthless beggar or not (Nösgen), or whether he was spiritually disposed for the reception of the benefit, and would show his faith (as in our Lord’s miracles of healing), or it might mean that the man’s whole attention was to be directed towards the Apostles, as he evidently only expects an alms, Acts 3:5 . At the same time, as Feine remarks, the fact that the narrative does not mention that faith was demanded of the man, forms an essential contrast to the narrative often compared with it in Acts 14:9 .

Verse 5

Acts 3:5 . ὁ δὲ ἐπεῖχεν , sc. , νοῦν (not τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς ); cf. Luke 14:7 , 1 Timothy 4:16 , Sirach 31 (34):2, 2Ma 9:25 (Job 30:26 , A.S. 2 al .) with dative rei ; so in Polybius.

Verse 6

Acts 3:6 . ἀργύριον καὶ χρυσίον : the words do not suggest the idea of a complete communism amongst the believers, although Oecumenius derives from them a proof of the absolute poverty of the Apostles. They may perhaps be explained by remembering that if the Apostles had no silver or gold with them, they were literally obeying their Lord’s command, Matthew 10:9 , or that whatever money they had was held by them in trust for the public good, not as available for private charity. Spitta, who interprets Acts 2:45 of the Apostles alone (pp. 72 74), sees in St. Peter’s words a confirmation of his view, and a further fulfilment of our Lord’s words in Luke 12:33 , but if our interpretation of Acts 2:44 ff. is correct, our Lord’s words were fully obeyed, but as a principle of charity, and not as a rule binding to the letter. St. Chrysostom ( Hom. , viii.) justly notes the unassuming language of St. Peter here, so free from boasting and personal display. Compare 1 Peter 1:18 (Acts 3:3 ), where the Apostle sharply contrasts the corruptible gold and silver with higher and spiritual gifts (Scharfe). ὃ δὲ ἔχω : the difference between this verb and ὑπάρχει may be maintained by regarding the latter as used of worldly belongings, ἔχω of that which was lasting and most surely held. ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι : no occasion to prefix such words as λέγω σοι for the expression means “in the power of this name” ( cf. Matthew 7:22 , Luke 10:17 , Acts 4:10 ; Acts 16:18 , James 5:14 , Mark 16:17 ). So too the Hebrew בְּשֵׁם in the name of any one, i.e. , by his authority, Exodus 5:23 , and thus “in the name of Jehovah,” i.e. , by divine authority, Deuteronomy 18:22 , 1 Chronicles 22:19 , Jeremiah 11:21 , and frequently in the Psalms, cf. also Book of Enoch , xlviii. 7 (Charles, p. 48). On the use, or possible use, of the phrase in extra-biblical literature, see Deissmann, Bibelstudien , p. 145, and also Neue Bibelstudien , p. 25 (1897). When Celsus alleged that the Christians cast out demons by the aid of evil spirits, Origen claims this power for the name of Jesus: τοσοῦτον γὰρ δύναται τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ , cf. also Justin Martyr, Dial. c. Tryph. , 85. Ἰ . Χ . τοῦ Ναζωραίου : the words must n themselves have tested the faith of the lame man. His part has sometimes been represented as merely passive, and as if no appeal of any kind were made to his faith contrasted with Acts 14:9 (Acts 3:16 in this chapter being interpreted only of the faith of the Apostles), but a test of faith was implied in the command which bade the man rise and walk in the power of a name which a short time before had been placed as an inscription on a malefactor’s cross, but with which St. Peter now bids him to associate the dignity and power of the Messiah (see Plumptre, in loco ). It is necessary from another point of view to emphasise this implied appeal to the man’s faith, since Zeller and Overbeck regard the omission of faith in the recipient as designed to magnify the magic of the miracle. Zeller remarks: “Our book makes but one observation on his state of mind, which certainly indicates a receptivity, but unfortunately not a receptivity for spiritual gifts”. But nothing was more natural than that the man should at first expect to receive money, and his faith in St. Peter’s words is rather enhanced by the fact that the Apostle had already declared his utter inability to satisfy his expectations. St. Luke much more frequently than the other Evangelists names our Lord from His early home Nazareth in which frequency Friedrich sees another point of likeness between St. Luke’s Gospel and the Acts, Das Lucasevangelium , p. 85. Holtzmann attempts to refer the whole story to an imitation of Luke 5:18-26 , but see as against such attempts Feine, Eine vorkanonische Überlieferung des Lukas , pp. 175, 199, 200.

Verse 7

Acts 3:7 . πιάσας , cf. Acts 12:4 : so in LXX, Song of Solomon 2:15 , Sir 23:21 , A. al . χειρὸς very similar to, if not exactly, a partitive genitive, found after verbs of touching, etc., inasmuch as the touching affects only a part of the object (Mark 5:30 ), and so too often after verbs of taking hold of , the part or the limit grasped is put in the genitive, Mark 5:41 (accusative being used when the whole person is seized, Matthew 14:3 ), Blass, Grammatik des N. G. , p. 100, cf. classical use in Eurip., Hec. , 523. The meaning of πιάζω in N.T. and in the LXX has passed into modern Greek = πιάνω = seize, apprehend (Kennedy). For a similar use see also 2 Corinthians 11:32 , Revelation 19:20 , and John 7:30 ; John 7:32-33 ; John 7:44 ; John 8:20 ; John 10:39 ; John 11:57 ; John 21:3 ; John 21:10 . παραχρῆμα , i.e. , παρὰ τὸ χρῆμα , forthwith, immediately, auf der Stelle , on the spot, specially characteristic of St. Luke, both in Gospel and Acts ( cf. εὐθύς of St. Mark). It is found no less than ten times in the Gospel, and six to seven times in Acts, elsewhere in N.T. only twice, Matthew 21:19-20 ; several times in LXX, Wis 18:17 , Tob 8:3 , ., 2Ma 4:34 ; 2Ma 4:38 , etc., 4Ma 14:9 , Bel and the Dragon, ver. 39, 42, Theod., and in Numbers 6:9 ; Numbers 12:4 , [138] [139] [140] ., Isaiah 29:5 , for Hebrew, פִּתְאֹם ; frequent in Attic prose; see also Dalman, Die Worte Jesu , pp. 22, 29. But as the word is so manifestly characteristic of St. Luke it is noteworthy that in the large majority of instances it is employed by him in connection with miracles of healing or the infliction of disease and death, and this frequency of use and application may be paralleled by the constant employment of the word in an analogous way in medical writers; see, e.g. , Hobart, Medical Language of St. Luke , and instances in Hippocrates, Galen, Dioscorides. ἐστερεώθησαν : στερεόω = to make firm or solid; it cannot by any means be regarded only as a technical medical term, but as a matter of fact it was often employed in medical language (so also the adjective στερεός ), and this use of the word makes it a natural one for a medical man to employ here, especially in connection with βάσεις and σφυρά . It is used only by St. Luke in the N.T. (Acts 3:16 and Acts 16:5 ), but very frequently in the LXX. The nearest approach to a medical use of the word is given perhaps by Wetstein, in loco , Xen., Pæd. , viii. αἱ βάσεις , “the feet” ( βαίνω ). The word is constantly used in LXX, but for the most part in the sense of something upon which a thing may rest, but it is found in the same sense as here in Wis 13:18 ; cf. also Jos., Ant. , vii., 3, 5, so in Plato, Timæus , 92, A. It was in frequent use amongst medical men, and its employment here, and here only in the N.T., with the mention of the other details, e.g. , the more precise σφυρά , “anklebones,” also only found in this one passage in N.T., has been justly held to point to the technical description of a medical man; see not only Hobart, p. 34 ff., u. s. , and Belcher’s Miracles of Healing , p. 41, but Bengel, Zöckler, Rendall, Zahn.

[138] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[139] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[140] Codex Cryptoferratensis (sæc. vii.), a palimpsest fragment containing chap. Acts 11:9-19 , edited by Cozza in 1867, and cited by Tischendorf.

Verse 8

Acts 3:8 . ἐξαλλόμενος : not leaping out of his couch (as has sometimes been supposed), of which there is no mention, but leaping up for joy ( cf. Isaiah 55:12 , Joel 2:5 ) (on the spelling with one λ see Blass, p. 51); cf. also Isaiah 35:6 . This seems more natural than to suppose that he leaped because he was incredulous, or because he did not know how to walk , or to avoid the suspicion of hypocrisy (Chrys., Hom. , viii., so too Oecumenius). St. Chrysostom remarks that it was no less than if they saw Christ risen from the dead to hear Peter saying: “In the name,” etc., and if Christ is not raised, how account for it, he asks, that those who fled whilst He was alive, now dared a thousand perils for Him when dead? ἔστη καὶ περιεπάτει : “he stood and began to walk” R.V., thus marking the difference between the aorist and the imperfect. Such vivid details may have been derived from St. Peter himself, and they are given here with a vividness characteristic of St. Mark’s Gospel, of which St. Peter may reasonably be regarded as the main source. If St. Luke did not derive the narrative directly from St. Peter, he may easily have done so from the same Evangelist, John Mark, see on chap. 12, and Scharfe, Die petrinische Strömung der N. T. Literatur , pp. 59, 60 (1893). αἰνῶν τὸν θεόν : commentators from the days of St. Chrysostom have noted that by no act or in no place could the man have shown his gratitude more appropriately; characteristic of St. Luke, to note not only fear, but the ascription of praise to God as the result of miraculous deeds; cf., e.g. , Luke 19:37 ; Luke 24:53 , Acts 3:9 ; Acts 4:21 ; Acts 11:18 , and other instances in Friedrich ( Das Lucasevangelium , pp. 77, 78). On the word see further, p. 97. Spitta regards Acts 3:8 as modelled after Acts 14:10 , a passage attributed by him to his inferior source B. But on the other hand both Feine and Jüngst regard the first part of Acts 3:8 as belonging to the original source.

Verse 10

Acts 3:10 . ἐπεγίνωσκόν τε : “took knowledge of him” or perhaps better still “recognised”. The word is so used of recognising any one by sight, hearing, or certain signs, to perceive who a person is (Grimm), cf., e.g. , Luke 24:16 ; Luke 24:31 , Matthew 14:35 , Mark 6:54 . ὁ … καθήμενος : imperfect, may refer to the customary action of the man: or may be equivalent here to an imperfect, a force of the imperfect usual in similar cases when reference is made to a time before the actual time of recognition, Blass, Grammatik des N. G. , p. 188. ἐπὶ : for the local dative cf. Acts 5:9 , Matthew 24:33 , Mark 13:29 , John 5:2 , Revelation 9:14 . θάμβους , cf. Luke 4:36 ; Luke 5:9 . A word peculiar to St. Luke in the N.T. (so St. Luke alone uses ἔκθαμβος , Acts 3:11 ); used from Homer downwards, of amazement allied to terror or awe, cf. LXX, Ezekiel 7:18 , Song of Solomon 3:8 ; Song of Solomon 6:3 (4), 9 (10). ἐκστάσεως : for the word in a similar sense, Mark 5:42 ; Mark 16:8 , Luke 5:26 . Its use in ordinary Greek expresses rather distraction or disturbance of mind caused by a shock. The word is very common both in Hippocrates and Aretaeus. In the LXX it is employed in various senses, cf. Deuteronomy 28:28 , ἐκστάσει διανοίας ; elsewhere it is used of agitation, trouble, 2 Chronicles 29:8 , and most frequently of terror, fear, 1 Samuel 11:7 , Ezekiel 26:16 . See further on. Here the word expresses more than simple astonishment as its collocation with θάμβος shows (Wendt, in loco ), rather “bewilderment,” cf. Mark 5:42 . See on Acts 2:43 for this characteristic of St. Luke. But there is no occasion to conclude with Weiss that these strong expressions as to the effect of the miracle show that it must have been the first which the disciples performed. It was the unique nature of the miracle which affected the beholders so powerfully.

Verse 11

Acts 3:11 . κρατοῦντος : in his joy and gratitude, “holding them” in a physical sense, although it is possible that it signifies that the healed man joined himself to the Apostles more closely as a follower (Acts 4:14 ), fearing like the demoniac healed by Christ (Luke 8:38 ) lest he should be separated from his benefactors, cf. Song of Solomon 3:4 . ἐπὶ τῇ στοᾷ τῇ καλ . Σ .: better “portico,” R.V. margin; colonnade, or cloister (John 10:23 ). It derived its name from Solomon, and was the only remnant of his temple. A comparison of the notices in Josephus, B. J. , v., 5, 1; Ant. , xv., 11, 5 and xx., 9, 7, make it doubtful whether the foundations only, or the whole colonnade, should be referred back to Solomon. Ewald’s idea that the colonnade was so called because it was a place of concourse for the wise in their teaching has not found any support: Stanley’s Jewish Church , ii., 184; Edersheim, Temple and its Services , pp. 20, 22, and Keim, Geschichte Jesu , iii., 161. It was situated on the eastern side of the Temple, and so was sometimes called the Eastern Cloister, and from its position it was a favourite resort. τῇ καλ .: the present participle is used just as the present tense is found in the notice in St. John’s Gospel, chap. Acts 5:2 (see Blass, Philology of the Gospels , pp. 241, 242), and if we cannot conclude from this that the book was composed before the destruction of the Temple, the vividness of the whole scene and the way in which Solomon’s Porch is spoken of as still standing, points to the testimony of an eye-witness. Nösgen argues that this narrative and others in the early chapters may have been derived directly from St. John, and he instances some verbal coincidences between them and the writings of St. John ( Apostelgeschichte , p. 28). But if we cannot adopt his conclusions there are good reasons for referring some of these Jerusalem incidents to St. Peter, or to John Mark, see introduction and chap. 12. Feine rightly insists upon this notice and that in Acts 3:2 as bearing the stamp of a true and trustworthy tradition.

Verse 12

Acts 3:12 . This address of St. Peter divides itself into two parts, 12 16, 17 26, and although it covers much of the same ground as in chap. 2, there is no need to regard it with Overbeck and Holtzmann as unhistorical: see Blass, in loco , and Feine; the latter points out that St. Peter would naturally, as in chap. 3, take the incident before him as his text, place it in its right light, and draw from it an appeal to repentance and conversion. But whilst we may grant the common and identical aim of the two discourses, to proclaim the Messiahship of Jesus before the Jews, none can fail to see that in chap. 3 the Messianic idea becomes richer and fuller. Jesus is the prophet greater than Moses: Jesus is the fulfilment of the Abrahamic covenant, through which the blessing of Abraham is to extend to all the earth, Matthew 8:11 . And more than this: St. Peter has learnt to see in the despised Nazarene not only the suffering servant of Jehovah ( παῖς ), but in the servant the King, and in the seed of David the Prince of Life. And in the light of that revelation the future opens out more clearly before him, and he becomes the first prophet in the Messianic age the spiritual presence which the believers now enjoyed, and by which those mighty deeds are wrought, is only a foretaste of a more visible and glorious Presence, when the Messiah should return in His glory; and for that return repentance and remission of sins must prepare the way (see Briggs, Messiah of the Apostles , pp. 31, 32). On St. Peter’s discourses see additional note at end of chapter. ἀπεκρίνατο : cf. Luke 13:14 ; Luke 14:3 , answered, i.e. , to their looks of astonishment and inquiry. The middle voice as here, which would be the classical usuage, is seldom found in the N.T., but generally the passive aorist, ἀπεκρίθη , and so in the LXX. “In Biblical Greek the middle voice is dying, in modern Greek it is dead,” Plummer. Thus in modern Greek, ὑποκρίνομαι in the passive = to answer, Kennedy, Sources of N. T. Greek , p. 155, and Blass, Grammatik des N. G. , p. 44. ὡς πεποιηκόσιν τοῦ περιπατεῖν : this use of the infinitive with the genitive of the article, instead of the simple infinitive with or without ὥστε , to express a purpose, or result as here: “non de consilio sed de eventu” (Blass), may be illustrated from the LXX, Genesis 37:18 , Genesis 37:1 Chron. 44:6, Isaiah 5:6 . εὐσεβείᾳ : “godliness,” R.V., as always elsewhere in A.V., i.e. , by our piety towards God, as always in the Bible, although εὐσέβεια may be used like the Latin pietas of piety towards parents or others, as well as of piety towards God. It is frequently used in the LXX of reverence towards God, εἰς , so too in Josephus, πρὸς τὸν Θεόν , cf. Proverbs 1:7 ; Proverbs 13:11 , Isaiah 11:2 , Wis 10:12 , and often in 4 Macc. In Trench, N. T. Synonyms , ii., p. 196, and Grimm-Thayer, sub v . In the N.T. the word is used, in addition to its use here, by St. Paul ten times in the Pastoral Epistles, and it is found no less than four times in 2 Peter, but nowhere else. St. Chrysostom, Hom. ix., comments: “Do you see how clear of all ambition he is, and how he repels the honour paid to him?” so too Joseph: Do not interpretations belong to God?

Verse 13

Acts 3:13 . ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ κ . τ . λ .: the words were wisely chosen, not only to gain attention and to show that the speaker identified himself with the nation and hope of Israel, but also because in Jesus St. Peter saw the fulfilment of the promise made to Abraham. ἐδόξασε , John 8:54 ; John 11:4 . Again we mark the same sharp contrast as in St. Peter’s former address God hath glorified … but you put to an open shame. The objections of Weiss, who traces a reviser’s hand in the double mention of the glorification of Jesus in Acts 3:13 and in 15, fail to secure the approval of Spitta, Feine, Jüngst, who all hold that ἐδόξασε refers to the power of the Risen Jesus, shown in the healing of the lame man, which Peter thus expressly emphasises. But the glorification was not, of course, confined to this miracle: “auxit gloria hoc quoque miraculo” (Blass). τὸν παῖδα : “his Servant,” R.V. (margin, “Child”). Vulgate has filium , which all other English versions (except A.V., “Child”) seem to have followed. But the rendering “Servant” is undoubtedly most appropriate, cf. Acts 3:26 , and Acts 4:27 ; Acts 4:30 (employed in the Messianic sense of Isaiah 42:1 ; Isaiah 52:13 ; Isaiah 53:11 ), where the LXX has παῖς , Hebrew עֶבֶד . In Matthew 12:18 the Evangelist sees the fulfilment of the first passage in Jesus as the Christ, the Servant of Jehovah. Wendt rightly emphasises the fact that no Apostle ever bears the name παῖς θεοῦ , but δοῦλος ; cf. Acts 4:29 . In the LXX Moses is called both παῖς and δοῦλος . The rendering of R.V. is generally adopted, and by critics of very varying schools, e.g. , Overbeck, Nösgen, Holtzmann, Felten, Hilgenfeld. Zöckler, whilst he adopts the rendering “Servant,” still maintains that Luther’s translation, Kind Gottes , cannot be regarded as incorrect ( cf. the double meaning of the word in classical literature). Certainly he seems justified in maintaining that in the numerous parallels in the sub-apostolic writings the conception of the Servant by no means always excludes that of the Son, e.g., Epist. ad Diogn. , viii., 11 and 9, where of God’s great scheme it is said ἀνεκοινώσατο μόνῳ τῷ παιδί (to His Son alone), called in 11 τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ παιδός ; cf. Martyr. Polyc. , xiv., 3, where the same phrase occurs, reminding us of Matthew 3:17 (Colossians 1:13 , Ephesians 1:6 ) and Acts 14:1 , where God is spoken of as ὁ πατήρ of the well-beloved Son παιδός . In Clem. Rom., Cor [141] 59:2 4, the word is used three times of Jesus Christ, and twice with τοῦ ἠγαπημένου ( παιδός ), and if there is nothing in the context to determine the exact sense of the word, in the previous chapter St. Clement had written ζῇ γὰρ ὁ Θεὸς καὶ ζῇ ὁ Κυριος Ἰῃσοῦς Χριστὸς καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον κ . τ . λ .; cf. also Barnabas, Epist. (3, 6), 6, 1; Apost. Const. , viii., 5, 14, 39, 40, 41; and Didache 1 , ix., 2, 3; x., 2, 3, where, however, at the first introduction of the word, David and Jesus are both called by it in the same sentence. In the Didache 1 the title is found altogether five times, once as above, and four times as applied to Jesus alone. But these passages all occur in the Euctiaristic Prayers of the Didache 1 (placed by Resch as early as 80 90 A.D.), and in them we find not only the title “Lord” used absolutely of Jesus, Acts 9:5 , but He is associated with the Father in glory and power, Acts 9:4 . Knowledge, faith, and immortality are made known by Him, spiritual food and drink, and eternal life are imparted by Him, Acts 10:2-3 . Zöckler, Apostelgeschichte, in loco ; Lock, Expositor , p. 183 ff. (1891), “Christology of the Earlier Chapters of the Acts”; Schmid, Biblische Theologie , p. 405. But further: if we bear in mind all that the “Servant of the Lord” must have meant for a Jew, and for a Jew so well versed in the O.T. Prophets as St. Peter, it becomes a marvellous fact that he should have seen in Jesus of Nazareth the realisation of a character and of a work so unique ( cf. Isaiah 42:1 ff., Isaiah 49:1-3 ; Isaiah 49:5 ; Isaiah 49:8 ; Isaiah 50:4-9 , Isaiah 52:13 to Isaiah 53:12 ). For if we admit that the word “Servant” may be used, and is sometimes used, of the nation of Israel ( cf. Isaiah 41:8 ; Isaiah 45:4 ), and if we admit that some of the traits in the portrait of Jehovah’s “Servant” may have been suggested by the sufferings of individuals, and were applicable to individual sufferers, yet the portrait as a whole was one which transcended all experience, and the figure of the ideal Servant anticipated a work and a mission more enduring and comprehensive than that of Israel, and a holiness and innocency of life which the best of her sons had never attained (Driver, Isaiah , pp. 175 180). But not only in His miraculous working, but in His Resurrection and Ascension St. Peter recognised how God had glorified His Servant Jesus; and whilst it was natural that the word “Servant” should rise to his lips, as he recalls the submission to betrayal and death, whilst he never forgets the example of lowliness and obedience which Christ had given, and commends to poor Christian slaves the patience and humility of Him Who was “the first Servant in the world” (1 Peter 2:18-25 ), he sees what prophets and wise men had failed to see, how the suffering “Servant” is also “the Prince of Life,” cf. chap. Acts 5:15 , and Acts 5:31 . ὑμεῖς μὲν : there is no regular answering δὲ in the text ( cf. Acts 1:1 ), but the words in Acts 3:15 ὁ θεὸς ἤγειρεν express the antithesis (Blass, Wendt, Holtzmann). In dwelling upon the action of Pilate and the guilt of the Jews, the Apostle loses the direct grammatical construction; he emphasises the denial ( ἠρνήσασθε twice) and its baseness; but nothing in reality was more natural, more like St. Peter’s impetuosity. κατὰ πρόσωπον , coram, cf. Luke 2:31 , 2 Corinthians 10:1 the expression need not be explained as a Hebraism, it is found several times in Polybius; see Dalman, Die Worte Jesu , p. 23. In the LXX it is frequent in various senses, and sometimes simply in the sense of before, in the presence of, a person, 1Sa 17:8 , 1 Kings 1:23 , 1 Chronicles 17:25 , Sir 45:3 , Jeremiah 52:12 ; Jeremiah 52:33 , Jdt 10:23 ; Jdt 11:5 , etc. Rendall takes the words as usually denoting open encounter with an opposite party face to face, cf. Acts 25:16 , Galatians 2:11 , and so here; the Jews met Pilate’s proposal to free the prisoner with a point-blank denial. 13 b is referred by Hilgenfeld to the revising hand of “the author to Theophilus,” and he sees in its introduction a proof of the anti-Judaism of the reviser, whilst Jüngst prefers to regard the first part of Acts 3:14 as an insertion, but this Hilgenfeld will not accept, as thus the antithesis in Acts 3:15 is not marked. κρίναντος : “when he had determined,” R.V., not a purpose only, but a decision, Luke 23:16 . ἐκείνου , not αὐτοῦ , emphasising the antithesis between what Pilate had determined and what they had done: ὑμεῖς ἐκείνου θελήσαντος οὐκ ἠθελήσατε (Chrys.).

[141] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Verse 14

Acts 3:14 . τὸν ἅγιον καὶ δίκαιον : both epithets are used of John the Baptist, Mark 6:20 , ἄνδρα δίκαιον καὶ ἅγιον , but Jesus is emphatically “the Holy and Righteous One” R.V. Not only is the sinlessness of His human character emphasised, but also associated with the language of prophecy. St. Peter had already spoken of Jesus as God’s Holy One, Acts 2:27 , and if the word used here means rather one consecrated to God’s service, it is the thought involved in the παῖς Θεοῦ ( ἅγιος , e.g. , ἔκλεκτος θεοῦ , see Grimm, sub v. , and cf Isaiah 42:1 LXX). The word was used by the demoniacs as they felt the power of the unique holiness of Christ, Mark 1:34 , Luke 4:34 , and in St. John’s Gospel, John 6:69 , it is the title given to Jesus by St. Peter in his great confession. τὸν δικ .: the reference to the language of prophecy is unmistakable. The suffering Servant of Jehovah was also the righteous Servant, Isaiah 53:11 ( cf. Acts 11:5 , and Jeremiah 23:5 ), see Acts 7:52 ; Acts 22:14 . Later, in the Book of Enoch , the title is applied to the Messiah as the Righteous One , xxxviii. 2, liii. 6, xlvi. 3 (Charles’ edition, pp. 48, 112, 144). In Acts 7:52 ; Acts 7:56 , the title is found on the lips of St. Stephen, and in Acts 22:14 , Ananias, a Jewish Christian, announces to Paul that God had chosen him to see the Righteous One . When we remember too that this title is used again in the writings of each of the Apostles, who now appealed to it, 1 Peter 3:18 , 1 John 2:1 , cf. Acts 3:20 (Revelation 3:7 ), it would seem that it was not only a favourite one amongst these early believers, but that it affords in itself a marvellous proof of the impression made by the human life of Jesus upon those who knew Him best, or who at all events, like St. Stephen, had ample opportunities of learning the details of that life of holiness and righteousness, cf. also Matthew 27:19 ; Matthew 27:24 , Luke 19:47 . ἄνδρα φονέα : nearly all commentators dwell upon the marked contrast between this description of Barabbas and that just given of Jesus. Both St. Mark, Mark 15:7 , and St. Luke, Luke 23:19 , notice that Barabbas was not only a robber but a murderer. The addition, ἄνδρα , common in Luke, makes the expression stronger than the simple φονέα ; cf. Soph., O. C. , 948, ἄνδρα πατροκτόνον , O. R. , 842, ἄνδρας λῃστάς . No crime was more abhorrent to the Christian life, as St. Peter himself indicates, 1 Peter 4:15 . χαρισθῆναι : to be granted to you as a χάρις or favour, as if St. Peter would recall the fact that Pilate had given them a gratification! The verb is used several times in Luke, three times in his Gospel, Acts 7:21 ; Acts 7:42-43 , and four times in Acts, cf. Acts 25:11 ; Acts 25:16 ; Acts 27:24 , elsewhere only in St. Paul’s Epistles, where it is found fifteen times. In the LXX, cf. Esther 8:7 , Sir 12:3 , and several times in the Books of the Maccabees, cf. 2Ma 3:31 ; 2Ma 3:33 , and other instances in Hatch and Redpath, sub v. St. Chrys. writes: “Peter shows the great aggravation of the act. As he has them under his hand, he strikes hard; while they were hardened he refrained from such language, but when their minds are most moved then he strikes home, now that they are in a condition to feel it” ( Hom. , ix.).

Verse 15

Acts 3:15 . τὸν δὲ ἀρχηγὸν τῆς ζωῆς : again the words stand in marked contrast not only to φονέα but also to ἀπεκτείνατε ; magnificum antitheton, Bengel. The word is rendered “Author” in the margin of R.V. (Vulgate, auctorem ) but “Prince” in the text and so in Acts 5:31 (Vulg., principem ). In the two other passages in which the word occurs in the N.T., viz. , Hebrews 2:10 ; Hebrews 12:2 , R.V. renders “Author,” “the author of their salvation,” “the author and perfecter of our faith,” margin “captain” (Vulgate, auctorem ); see Westcott, Hebrews , pp. 49, 395. Christ is both the Prince of life and the Source ( auctor ) of life: “Vitam aliis dat Christus, opp [142] φονεύς qui adimit” (Blass). Grimm and others draw a distinction between the meaning attaching to the word here and in Acts 5:31 . The use of the word in the LXX may help to justify such a distinction, for whilst it is found in the sense of a leader or a captain (Numbers 14:4 , Jdt 14:2 ), or the chief of a family or tribe (R.V. renders it “every one a prince” in Numbers 13:2 , but in the next verse “heads of the children of Israel”), it is also used to signify the author, or beginner, the source, cf. 1Ma 9:61 ; 1Ma 10:47 , Micah 1:13 (although it was never used for a prince or to describe kingly attributes); but in many respects the rendering “Prince” may be compared with the Latin princeps , which signifies the first person in order, a chief, a leader, an originator, the founder of a family (in the time of the emperors it was used of the heir to the throne). So in classical Greek the word was used for a leader, a founder, Latin auctor , for the first cause, author, so God τῶν πάντων , Plat., and also for a prince, a chief, and, especially in later Greek, of the person from whom anything good or bad first proceeds in which others have a share, e.g. , ἀρχηγὸς καὶ αἴτιος combined ( antesignanus et auctor ), Polyb., i., 66, 10; Hdian., ii., 6, 22, and as Alford points out in Hebrews 2:10 , this later usage throws a light upon its meaning in Acts 3:15 , cf. Chrys. on Hebrews 2:10 , ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας τούτεστι τὸν αἴτιον τῆς σωτηρίας . Christ is the source of life, a life in which others share through Him; in this very place where St. Peter was speaking our Lord had spoken of Himself as the giver of eternal life, John 10:28 , although doubtless the expression may include the thought that in Him was life in its fullest and widest sense physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual. St. Chrysostom comments on the words “Prince of Life,” Hom. , xi.: “It follows that the life He had was not from another, the Prince or Author of Life must be He who has life from Himself”. Theophylact and Oecumenius see in the words a contrast to the φονέα , in that Christ gives life, while the murderer takes it away a contrast deepened by the words of St. Peter’s fellow-disciple whom he here associates with himself in his appeal to the people, cf. 1 John 3:15 . In John 10:31 ἀρχ . in its rendering “Prince” of kingly dignity may be compared with the use of the word in Thuc., i., 132, Æsch., Agam. , 259. Rendall sees in the expression both here and Acts 5:31 a reference to Jesus (the name used by St. Peter) as the second Joshua. As Joshua was the captain of Israel and led them across the Jordan into the land of promise, so Jesus was the Captain of the living army of the Resurrection; and for Saviour, Acts 5:31 , he compares Matthew 1:21 . Such associations may be included in St. Peter’s words, but they seem much more applicable to Acts 5:31 . In modern Greek the word ἀρχηγός = leader, in the ordinary sense, Kennedy, Sources of N. T. Greek , p. 153; see Grimm, sub v . οὗ may refer to ὅν , cf. Acts 1:8 , Acts 13:31 , or to the fact of the Resurrection, cf. Acts 2:32 , Acts 5:32 , Acts 10:39 . R.V. reads “of whom” in the margin.

[142] opposite, opposition.

Verse 16

Acts 3:16 . ἐπὶ : so T.R., and so Weiss and Wendt: “on the ground of faith in His name,” R.V. margin; cf. Luke 5:5 (not expressing the aim as if it meant with a view to faith in His name). But the name is no mere formula of incantation, see Acts 19:13 , nor is it used as, in Jewish tradition, the name of God, inscribed on the rod of Moses, was said to have given him power to work his miracles in Egypt and the wilderness, see above on Acts 3:5 . On the use of ὄνομα in formulæ of incantation, see Deissmann, Bibelstudien , pp. 25 54. ἡ πίστις ἡ διʼ αὐτοῦ : “the faith which is through Him,” not by it, i.e. , the name not only the healing power is through Christ, but also the faith of the Apostles as of the man who was healed, cf. , especially, 1 Peter 1:21 . τοὺς διʼ αὐτοῦ πιστοὺς εἰς Θεόν , i.e. , his converts who through Christ are believers in God: He is the object and the author of our faith, Cf. also Nestle, Expository Times , Feb., 1899, p. 238, and the connection of this phrase with Codex [143] , Acts 18:8 , and Acts 20:21 (see Blass, l. c. ). ὁλοκληρίαν : only here in N.T., integram sanitatem , Vulgate, but the adjective ὁλόκληρος in an ethical sense, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 , James 1:4 . The noun is only used once in the LXX, and there in a physical sense, Isaiah 1:6 . The adjective is used by Josephus of a sacrifice complete in all its parts ( integer ), Ant. , iii., 12, 2, cf. its use in Philo., but in LXX, Zach. Acts 11:16 , its use in a physical sense is a very doubtful rendering of the Hebrew, see further Trench, N. T. Synonyms , i., 85, and Mayor’s St. James , p. 34. Cf. Plato, Tim. , 44. ὁλόκληρος ὑγιής τε παντελῶς . In Plutarch the noun is joined with ὑγίεια , and also with τοῦ σώματος (Grimm), but whilst the noun does not seem to be used by the strictly medical writers, ὁλόκληρος is frequently used of complete soundness of body (Hobart, Zahn).

[143] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

Verse 17

Acts 3:17 . καὶ νῦν : favourite formula of transition, cf. Acts 7:35 , Acts 10:5 , Acts 20:25 , Acts 22:16 , 1 John 2:28 , 2 John 1:5 . See Wendt and Page, in loco . Bengel describes it as “formula transeuntis a præterito ad præsens”. Blass, “i.e., quod attinet ad ea quæ nunc facienda sunt, Acts 3:19 ”. ἀδελφοί : affectionate and conciliatory, cf. Acts 3:12 , where he speaks more formally because more by way of reproof: “One of the marks of truth would be wanting without this accordance between the style and the changing mental moods of the speaker” (Hackett). κατὰ ἄγνοιαν : the same phrase occurs in LXX, Leviticus 22:14 ( cf. also Leviticus 5:18 , Ecclesiastes 5:5 ). On κατά in this usage, see Simcox, Language of the N. T. , p. 149, who doubts whether it is quite good Greek. It is used in Polybius, and Blass compares κατʼ ἀνάγκην (Philem., Acts 3:14 ), which is found in Xen., Cyr. , iv., 3. Their guilt was less than if they had slain the Messiah κατὰ πρόθεσιν κατὰ προαίρεσιν , or ἐν χειρὶ ὑπερηφανίας , Numbers 15:30 , and therefore their hope of pardon was assured on their repentance ( cf. 1 Peter 1:14 , ἐν ἀγνοίᾳ , and Psalms of Solomon , Acts 18:5 , for the same phrase). St. Peter speaks in the spirit of his Master, Luke 23:34 . See instances in Wetstein of the antithesis of the two phrases κατʼ ἄγνοιαν and κατὰ πρόθεσιν ( προαίρεσιν ) in Polybius. οἱ ἄρχοντες ὑμῶν , cf. 1 Corinthians 2:8 . The guilt of the rulers was greater than that of the people, but even for their crime St. Peter finds a palliation in the fact that they did not recognise the Messiah, although he does not hold them guiltless for shutting their eyes to His holiness and innocence.

Verse 18

Acts 3:18 . δὲ : a further mitigation; whilst they were acting in their ignorance, God was working out His unerring counsel and will. πάντων τῶν προφητῶν : not to be explained by simply calling it hyperbolic. The prophets are spoken of collectively, because the Messianic redemption to which they all looked forward was to be accomplished through the death of Christ, cf. Acts 10:43 . The view here taken by St. Peter is in striking harmony with his first Epistle, 1 Peter 1:11 , and 1 Peter 2:22-25 . παθεῖν τὸν Χ . αὐτοῦ , R.V., “his Christ,” cf. Luke 17:25 ; Luke 24:26 . The phrase, which (W.H [144] ) is undoubtedly correct, is found in Psalms 2:2 , from which St. Peter quotes in Acts 4:26 , and the same expression is used twice in the Apocalypse, but nowhere else, in the N.T.; Revelation 11:15 ; Revelation 12:10 ( cf. also Luke 2:26 ; Luke 9:20 ). See also the striking passage in Psalms of Solomon , Acts 18:6 (and Acts 3:8 ), ἐν ἀνάξει Χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ , and Ryle and James on Psalm 17:36. The paradox that the suffering Messiah was also the Messiah of Jehovah, His Anointed, which the Jews could not understand (hence their ἄγνοια ), was solved for St. Peter in the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. On the suffering Messiah, see note Acts 26:23 . ἐπλήρωσεν οὕτω : “He thus fulfilled,” i.e. , in the way described, Acts 3:14-15 . On πληρόω , see Acts 1:16 . “In the gardens of the Carthusian Convent … near Dijon … is a beautiful monument.… It consists of a group of Prophets and Kings from the O.T., each holding in his hand a scroll of mourning from his writings each with his own individual costume and gesture and look, each distinguished from each by the most marked peculiarities of age and character, absorbed in the thoughts of his own time and country. But above these figures is a circle of angels, as like each to each as the human figures are unlike. They, too, as each overhangs and overlooks the Prophet below him, are saddened with grief. But their expression of sorrow is far deeper and more intense than that of the Prophets, whose words they read. They see something in the Prophetic sorrow which the Prophets themselves see not: they are lost in the contemplation of the Divine Passion, of which the ancient saints below them are but the unconscious and indirect exponents:” Stanley’s Jewish Church , pref. to vol. ii.

[144] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.

Verse 19

Acts 3:19 . ἐπιστρέψατε : “turn again,” R.V.; cf. also Matthew 13:15 , Mark 4:12 , and Acts 28:27 (Luke 22:32 ), in each of these passages, as in the text, A.V., “should be converted,” following the Vulgate, convertantur . But the verb is in the active voice in each of the passages mentioned; cf. LXX, 1Ki 8:33 , 2 Chronicles 6:24 ; 2 Chronicles 6:37 , Isaiah 6:10 (“turn again,” R.V.), Tob 13:6 ἐπιστρέψατε ἁμαρτωλοί : this passive rendering in the Vulgate and A.V. testifies to the unwillingness in the Western Church to recognise the “conversion” to God as in any degree the spontaneous act of the sinner himself men have enlarged upon Lamentations 5:21 , but have forgotten James 4:8 (Humphry, Commentary on the R. V. , pp. 31, 32). πρὸς τὸ ἐξαλειφθῆναι : in the LXX the verb is found in the sense of obliterating ἀνομίας , Psalms 50:0 (51):1, 9; Isaiah 43:25 , Sir 46:20 , Jeremiah 18:23 , with ἁμαρτίας , 2Ma 12:42 , with ἁμάρτημα ( cf. 3Ma 2:19 , ἀπαλείφειν with ἁμαρτίας ), and in N.T.; cf. Colossians 2:14 . For other instances of its use in the N.T., cf. Revelation 3:5 , with Deuteronomy 9:14 , Psalms 9:5 , etc., and see also Revelation 7:17 ; Revelation 21:4 . In Psalms of Solomon it is used twice once of blotting out the memories of sinners from off the earth, Psalm 2:19; cf. Exodus 17:14 , etc., and once of blotting out the transgressions of Saints by the Lord, Psalm 13:9. Blass speaks of the word as used “de scriptis proprie; itaque etiam de debita pecunia”; cf. Dem., 791, 12 (Wendt), and see also Wetstein, in loco . The word can scarcely be applied here to the Baptism (as Meyer), for which a word expressing washing would rather be required, cf. Acts 22:16 , although no doubt, as in Acts 2:38 , Baptism joined with Repentance was required for the remission of sins. ὅπως ἄν : not “when” (as if ὅπως = ὅτε ), but “that so there may come,” R.V., ἄν with ὅπως indicates that the accomplishment of the purpose is dependent upon certain conditions; here dependent upon the repentance. In the N.T. there are only four instances of this use of ὅπως ἄν , all in pure final clauses, viz. , in the text, Luke 2:35 , and in two quotations from the LXX, Acts 15:17 (where ἄν is wanting in LXX, Amos 9:12 ), and Romans 3:4 = LXX, Psalms 50:0 (51):4, so that this usage is practically peculiar to St. Luke in the N.T. Viteau, Le Grec du N. T. , p. 80 (1893); Blass, Grammatik des N. G. , p. 207, and Burton, N.T. Moods and Tenses , p. 85. καιροὶ ἀναψύξεως : the word ἀνάψυξις , used only by St. Luke, means refreshing or refreshment. In the LXX it occurs in Exodus 8:15 (but cf. Aq. on Isaiah 28:12 , and Sym. on Isaiah 32:15 ), where it is translated “respite,” although the same Hebrew word רְוָחָה , in the only other place in which it occurs, Lamentations 3:56 , may have the sense of “relief” (see Dr. Payne Smith, in loco, Speaker’s Commentary , vol. v.). In Strabo ἀνάψυξις is found in the sense of recreation, refreshment, 10, p. 459; see also Philo, De Abr. , 29, and cf. the verb ἀναψύχω in 2 Timothy 1:16 ( cf. Romans 15:32 , ἀναψύξω μεθʼ ὑμῶν , DE, refrigerer vobiscum , Vulgate, and Nösgen on Acts 3:19 ). Rendall would render it here “respite,” as if St. Peter urged the need of repentance that the people might obtain a respite from the terrible visitation of the Lord. But the καιροὶ ἀναψ · are identified by most commentators with the ἀποκατα . πάντων , and ἀναψ · need by no means be rendered “respite”. Nösgen, connecting the words with the thought of ἀνάπαυσις ( cf. the various renderings in Romans 15:32 ), would see here a fulfilment of Christ’s promise, κἀγὼ ἀναπαύσω ὑμᾶς , Matthew 11:28 , to those who turned to Him in true repentance, and so in his view the expression applies to the seasons of spiritual refreshment which may be enjoyed by the truly penitent here and now, which may occur again and again as men repent (Isaiah 57:16 ); so J. Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. , interprets the word of the present refreshing of the Gospel, and God’s present sending of Christ in His ministry and power, and in the same manner ἀποστείλῃ , i.e. , not at the end of the world, when Christ shall come as Judge, but in the Gospel, which is His voice. But the context certainly conceives of Christ as enthroned in Heaven, where He must remain until His Second Advent, although we may readily admit that there is a spiritual presence of the enthroned Jesus which believers enjoy as a foretaste of the visible and glorious Presence at the Parousia, Briggs, Messiah of the Apostles , p. 31 ff. ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ Κ . πρόσωπ ., lit [145] , face, often used as here for “the presence”; cf. Hebrew, מִפְּנֵי , frequently in LXX, and see above on Acts 2:28 , here of the refreshment which comes from the bright and smiling presence of God to one seeking comfort (so Grimm). The phrase occurs three times in Acts 5:41 ; Acts 7:45 , elsewhere in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 , and three times in Apoc. On St. Luke’s fondness for phrases with πρόσωπον ( ἀπό , πρό , κατά ), see Friedrich ( Das Lucasevangelium , pp. 8, 9, 89). The Lord is evidently God the Father, the καιροί are represented as present before God, already decreed and determined, and as coming down from His presence to earth (Weiss, Wendt). Christ speaks, Acts 1:6 , of the seasons which the Father hath set in His own power, and so St. Chrysostom speaks of God as αἴτιος of the seasons of refreshment.

[145] literal, literally.

Verse 20

Acts 3:20 . καὶ ἀποστείλῃ , i.e. , at His Parousia. The construction is still ὅπως ἄν with the verb. ἀποστ . is here used as in Luke 4:18 ; Luke 4:43 , expressing that the person sent is the envoy or representative of the sender ( πέμπω is also used of the mission of our Lord). τὸν προκεκηρυγμένον , T.R., see on Acts 3:18 ; but W.H [146] , Blass, Weiss, τὸν προκεχειρισμένον ὑμῖν Χριστόν , Ἰησοῦν : “the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus”. So R.V. This verb is found with accusative of the person in the sense of choosing, appointing, in Acts 22:14 ; Acts 26:16 , and nowhere else in the N.T.; cf. Joshua 3:12 , 2MMalachi 3:7 ; 2Ma 8:9 , Exodus 6:13 ( cf. its use also in Dem., Polyb., Plut., and instances in Wetstein); Latin eligere, destinare . The expression here refers not only to the fact that Jesus was the appointed Christ, inasmuch as the covenant with Abraham was fulfilled in Him, Acts 3:25 , but also to the return of Jesus as the Christ, the Messianic King, at His Parousia, in accordance with the voices of the Prophets. This is more natural than to suppose that the expression means foreordained, i.e. , from eternity, although St. Peter’s words elsewhere may well be considered in connection with the present passage, 1 Peter 1:20 .

[146] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.

Verse 21

Acts 3:21 . μὲν : no answering δέ expressed, but the antithesis is found in the ἄχρι χρόνων ἀποκ ., “quasi dicat: ubi illud tempus venerit, ex coelo in terras redibit,” Grotius (so Weiss, Blass). ὅν δεῖ οὐρανὸν δέξασθαι : the words have been rendered in three ways: (1) “whom the heaven must receive,” i.e. , as the place assigned to Him by God until the Parousia, Philippians 3:20 , Colossians 3:4 . In this case δεῖ is not used for ἔδει , as if St. Luke were referring to the past historical fact of the Ascension only, but Christ’s exaltation to heaven is represented as a fact continually present until His coming again; or (2) the words have been taken as if ὅν were the subject, “who must possess the heaven”. But the former seems the more natural rendering, so in A.V. and R.V., as more in accordance with the use of δέχεσθαι , and κατέχειν would be rather the word in the second rendering (see Wendt’s note). Zöckler takes the words to mean “who must receive heaven,” i.e. , from the Father. Here St. Peter corrects the popular view that the Messiah should remain on earth, John 12:34 , and if we compare the words with the question asked in Acts 1:6 , they show how his views had changed of his Master’s kingdom (see Hackett’s note). ἄχρι χρόνων ἀποκαταστάσεως : the latter noun is not found either in LXX or elsewhere in N.T., but it is used by Polybius, Diodorus, Plutarch. In Josephus, Ant. , xi., 3, 8, 9, it is used of the restoration of the Jews to their own land from the captivity, and also in Philo., Decal. , 30, of the restoration of inheritances at the Jubilee. The key to its meaning here is found not in the question of the disciples in Acts 1:6 , but in our Lord’s own saying, Matthew 17:11 , Mark 9:12 , “Elias truly first cometh, and shall restore all things,” καὶ ἀποκαταστήσει πάντα , and cf. LXX, Malachi 4:6 , where the same verb is found ( ἀποκυταστήσει ). It was the teaching of the Scriptures that Elias should be the forerunner of the Messiah, Malachi 4:5 , and Matthew 17:11 ; Matthew 11:14 . But his activity embraced both an external and an internal, i.e. , a moral restoration, Sir 48:10 . He is said καταστῆσαι φυλὰς Ἰακώβ , to enable those who had been illegally excluded from the congregation to attain their inheritance. But he is eager also for the moral and religious renewal of his people. All disputes would be settled by him at his coming, and chiefly and above all he conducts the people to a great repentance, which will not be accomplished before he comes, Luke 1:16-17 (Malachi 4:6 , LXX). This is the inward and moral side of the ἀποκατάστασις , Matthew 17:11 , Mark 9:12 . But as in Acts 1:6 our Lord had corrected the ideas of the disciples as to an external restoration of the kingdom to Israel, so in the Gospels He had corrected their ideas as to the coming of Elias, and had bidden them see its realisation in the preaching of John the Baptist in turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. And so the ἀποκατάστασις πάντων had already begun, in so far as men’s hearts were restored to obedience to God, the beginning of wisdom, to the purity of family affection, to a love of righteousness and a hatred of iniquity. Even when the thoughts of the N.T. writers embrace the renewal of the visible creation, the moral and spiritual elements of restoration were present and prominent; cf. 2 Peter 3:13 , Romans 8:19-21 , Revelation 21:5 . So too the παλινγενεσία , in Matthew 19:28 , is joined with the rule which the disciples would share with their Lord, and involved great moral issues. A renewal of all things had no doubt been foretold by the prophets, Isaiah 34:4 ; Isaiah 51:6 ; Isaiah 65:17 ; it was dwelt upon in later Jewish writings, and often referred to by the Rabbis ( cf., e.g., Book of Enoch , xlv., 2; lxii., 1; xci., 16, 17; Apocalypse of Baruch , xxxii., and instances in Edersheim, Jesus the Messiah , ii., p. 343); but even amongst pious Israelites there was always a danger lest their hopes for the future should be mainly associated with material prosperity and national glorification. It is perhaps significant thas Josephus uses the two terms ἀποκατάστασις and παλινγενεσία in close conjunction of the restoration of the Jews to their own land after the exile. How this restoration of all things was to be effected, and what was involved in it, St. Peter does not say, but his whole trend of thought shows that it was made dependent upon man’s repentance, upon his heart being right with God, see Weber, Jüdische Theologie p. 352 ff. (1897); Edersheim, Jesus the Messiah , ii., pp. 343, 706; Hauck’s Real-Encyclopädie , “Apokatastasis,” p. 616 ff. (1896). ὧν refers to χρόνων , so R.V. “whereof,” i.e. , of which times. Holtzmann and Wendt on the other hand refer ὧν to πάντων . But the words of our Lord in Matthew 17:11 certainly point to the former reference, and the words are so taken by Weiss, Page, Hackett. In the article from Hauck quoted above, the writer speaks of the reference to χρόνων as the more correct, and points out that if ὧν is the relative to πάντων , the restoration spoken of would no longer be a restoration of all things, but only of those things of which the prophets had spoken. On the prophecies referred to see above. All the words from πάντων to προφητῶν are ascribed by Hilgenfeld to his “author to Theophilus”; the thought of the prophets existing ἀπʼ αἰῶνος (Luke 1:70 ) belongs in his opinion to the Paulinism of this reviser, just as in Luke’s Gospel he carries back the genealogy of Jesus not to Abraham but to Adam. To a similar Pauline tendency on the part of the same reviser, Hilgenfeld refers the introduction in Acts 3:25-26 of the promise made to Abraham embracing all the nations of the earth (Galatians 3:16 ), and also the introduction of the word πρῶτον (Romans 1:16 ; Romans 2:9 ), to show that not only upon the Jews, but also upon the Gentiles had God conferred the blessings of the Christ; cf. Acts 2:39 , where the same revising hand is at work. But St. Peter’s “universalism” here is in no way inconsistent with that of a pious Jew who would believe that all nations should be blessed through Israel , so far, i.e. , as they conformed to the covenant and the law of Israel. Spitta sees no difficulty in referring both the passage before us and Acts 2:39 to the Jewish Diaspora (so too Jüngst). διὰ στόματος τῶν ἁγ . προφ .: cf. Luke 1:70 , a periphrasis of which St. Luke is fond (Plummer), cf. Acts 1:16 , Acts 3:18 , Acts 4:25 ; Acts 4:30 , Acts 15:7 , not found in the other Evangelists except once in St. Matthew in a quotation, Acts 4:4 . ἀπʼ αἰῶνος : in the singular the phrase is only used by St. Luke in the N.T., Luke 1:70 , Acts 3:21 ; Acts 15:18 , but the plural ἀπʼ αἰώνων is used twice, Colossians 1:26 , Ephesians 3:9 (Friedrich), cf. in LXX, Genesis 6:4 , Isaiah 46:9 , Jeremiah 35:0 (28):8. The phrase here may be taken simply = “of old time,” cf. Tob 4:12 .

Verse 22

Acts 3:22 . μὲν : answered by, or rather connected with, καὶ πάντες δὲ (Acts 3:24 ), “Moses indeed, yea and all the Prophets from Samuel” not “truly” as in A.V., as if μὲν were an adverb. The quotation is freely made from Deuteronomy 18:15 . On the Messianic bearing of the passage see Weber, Jüdische Theologie , p. 364 (1897), and Lumby, Acts, in loco . Wetstein sees no necessity to refer the word προφήτην , Acts 3:22 , to Jesus, but rather to the succession of prophets who in turn prophesied of the Coming One. But “similitudo non officit excellentiæ” (Bengel, so Wendt), and the words in Deuteronomy were fulfilled in Christ alone, the new Law-giver; the Revealer of God’s will, of grace and truth, “Whom the Lord knew face to face,” Who was from all eternity “with God”. But the N.T. gives us ample reason for referring the verse, if not to the Messiah, yet at least to the Messianic conceptions of the age. To say nothing of St. Stephen’s significant reference to the same prophecy, Acts 7:37 , it would certainly seem that in the conversation of our Lord with the Samaritan woman, John 4:19 ff., the conception of the Messianic prophet is in her mind, and it was upon this prediction of a prophet greater than Moses that the Samaritans built their Messianic hopes (Briggs, Messiah of the Gospels , p. 272, and see also for Deuteronomy 18:15 , and its Messianic fulfilment, Messianic Prophecy , p. 110 ff.). On other allusions in St. John’s Gospel to the anticipation in Deuteronomy 18:15 see Bishop Lightfoot, Expositor , 1 (fourth series), pp. 84, 85; there are, he thinks, four passages, John 1:21 ; John 1:25 ; John 6:14 ; John 7:40 , in all of which “ the prophet” is mentioned (so R.V. in each place). But whilst in St. John the conception is still Jewish (that is to say, St. John exhibits the Messianic conceptions of his countrymen, who regard the Christ and the prophet as two different persons), in Acts it is Christian. St. Peter identified the prophet with the Christ (and so inferentially St. Stephen). (But see also Alford’s note on St. John 6:14 , and also Weber, ubi supra , p. 354, for the view that Jeremiah was ὁ προφ ., in John 1:21 ; John 1:25 ; John 7:40 ( cf. 2Ma 15:14 ), whilst Wendt’s Teaching of Jesus , i., pp. 67 69, E.T., should also be consulted.) ὡς ἐμέ : rendered by A.V. and R.V. “like me” (the meaning of the Hebrew, in loco ), but in margin R.V. has “as he raised up me,” a rendering adopted as the only admissible one of the Greek by Page and Rendall; as no doubt it is, if we read ὥσπερ , as in LXX, Deuteronomy 18:18 . But ὡς is found in the LXX in Acts 5:15 . Certainly the rendering in A.V. and R.V. could not be applied to any one prophet so truly as to Christ, and the ὡς ἐμέ is a rendering of the familiar Hebrew כְּ (Lumby), which is so frequent in the LXX; see also Grimm-Thayer, sub v ., and Delitzsch, Messianische Weissagungen , p. 46 ff., second edition (1899).

Verse 23

Acts 3:23 . ἔσται δὲ , cf. Acts 2:17 . The expression, which is not in the Hebrew. seems to call attention to what follows. ἐξολεθρευθήσεται ἐκ τοῦ λαοῦ : “shall be utterly destroyed” ( ἐξ ), R.V. In the LXX, Deuteronomy 18:19 , following the Hebrew, the words are ἐγὼ ἐκδικήσω ἐξ πὐτοῦ , “I will require it of him”. But the phrase which St. Peter uses was a very common one, from Genesis 17:14 , for the sentence of death, cf. also Exodus 12:15 ; Exodus 12:19 , Leviticus 17:4 ; Leviticus 17:9 , Numbers 15:30 . Here again the quotation is evidently made freely or from memory. The strong verb, although frequent in the LXX, is found only here in the N.T. It is used by Josephus and by Philo, but not in classical Greek. The warning is evidently directed against wilful disobedience, and is expressed in terms signifying the utterness of the destruction from the people. But in their original meaning in the O.T. they need not refer to anything more than the penalty of the death of the body, and it is not necessary to see in them here any threat of eternal punishment in Gehenna (so Wendt, Holtzmann, Felten). If the word has any eschatological bearing it would support the theory of annihilation more easily. Grotius explains ἐξολεθ ., “morte violenta aut immatura,” and he adds “mystice etiam Rabbini hoc ad poenas post hanc vitam referunt,” but this is quite apart from the primary meaning of the word.

Verse 24

Acts 3:24 . Σαμουὴλ : On Samuel as the founder of the prophetic schools and the pattern of all later prophets, see Hamburger, Real-Encyclopädie des Judentums , i., 6, p. 854; “Prophet,” cf. Midrash Shemuel , c. 24, where Samuel is called the Rabban, the chief and teacher of the prophets (Wetstein, in loco , and Lumby), cf. also Hebrews 11:32 , Δαυείδ τε καὶ Σ . καὶ τῶν προφητῶν . καὶ τῶν καθεξῆς : an unmistakable tautology. Wendt considers the expression as inaccurate, see his note, and for a full discussion cf. Winer-Moulton, lxvii. 2, who compares Luke 24:27 , = “all the series of prophets beginning from Samuel” (Page); “longa tamen successione, uno tamen consensu” (Calvin). καθεξ . used by St. Luke alone, Luke 1:3 ; Luke 8:1 , Acts 11:4 ; Acts 18:23 . In Greek writers = ἐφεξῆς , not found in LXX. καὶ κατήγγ . τὰς ἡμέρας ταύτας : “have also told of these days,” i.e. , the present days, cf. Acts 5:36 , Luke 24:18 . This interpretation does not prevent the identification of “these days” with the χρόνοι τῆς ἀποκαταστάσεως , since in one sense the restoration had already begun with the coming of the forerunner and of the Christ, and in the acceptance of the repentance which they had preached. Rendall renders “yea, so said all the prophets from Samuel … as many as have spoken and told of these days,” as if the fact which St. Peter wished to emphasise was that all the prophets had spoken threats of utter destruction like Moses. But the Greek does not by any means of necessity bear this construction (Viteau, Le Grec du N. T. , p. 55 (1896), and such an interpretation seems too harsh. As Wendt admits, the reference is not merely to the prophetical sayings relating to the last judgment, but also to the promises of salvation and to all which is connected with the χρόνοι ἀποκατ . Moreover the reference to Samuel is made because of Nathan’s prediction, “the fundamental prophecy respecting the seed of David,” 2 Samuel 7:12 ff., in which it is foretold that mercy shall not be taken away even in the midst of punishment. Blass explains the expression τἀς ἡμερ . ταύτ . “regni felicis Messianici”; but we must remember that it does not follow that the popular views of the Messianic kingdom and judgment were still held by St. Peter.

Verse 25

Acts 3:25 . ὑμεῖς , as in Acts 3:26 , emphatic, “obligat auditores” Bengel, cf. Acts 2:39 , Romans 9:4 ; Romans 15:8 ; their preference and destiny ought to make them more sensible of their duty in the reception of the Messiah; υἱοί , “sons” as in Matthew 8:12 , R.V. The rendering “disciples” (Matthew 12:2 ), even if υἱοί could be so rendered with προφητῶν (J. Lightfoot, Kuinoel), could not be applied to τῆς διαθήκης . The expression is Hebraistic, see Grimm-Thayer, sub υἱός , 2, and on many similar expressions Deissmann, Bibelstudicn , p. 163 ff. διαθ . διέθετο , cf. Hebrews 8:10 ; Hebrews 10:16 , Genesis 15:18 , Malachi 1:11; Malachi 1:11 , for a similar construction in LXX in more than seventy places, so also frequently in classical writers. διαθήκης : on the word, see below, Acts 7:8 . ἐν τῷ σπέρματί σου , cf. Genesis 22:18 ; Genesis 12:3 . For the application of the prophecy to the Messiah as the seed of Abraham by the Rabbinical writers, see Wetstein on Galatians 3:16 (and Edersheim, Jesus the Messiah , ii., p. 712); so by St. Luke, although the words of the prophecy were first uttered in a collective sense. πατριαὶ : “families,” R.V., Luke 2:4 , Ephesians 3:15 ; “kindreds,” A.V., is the rendering of other words, Acts 4:5 , Acts 7:3 . πατριά is found in LXX (and in Herodotus); in Genesis 12:3 φυλαί is used, and in Acts 18:18 ἔθνη , but in Psalms 22:27 and in 1 Chronicles 16:28 we have the phrase αἱ πατριαὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν (but see Nösgen, in loco ). In this quotation, cf. Galatians 3:8 ; Galatians 3:16 , and in the πρῶτον of the next verse we may see a striking illustration of the unity of Apostolic preaching, and the recognition of God’s purpose by St. Peter and St. Paul alike (Romans 1:16 ; Romans 2:9-10 ). ἐνευλογηθήσονται : ἐν of the instrument as often: the verb is not used in classical writers, but Blass gives several instances of verbs similarly compounded with ἐν , cf. ἐνευδαιμονεῖν , ἐνευδοκιμεῖν . The compound verb is found several times in LXX.

Verse 26

Acts 3:26 . ὑμῖν πρῶτον ὑμῖν : again emphatic. In the words of St. Peter we may again note his agreement with St. Paul, Acts 13:46 , Romans 1:16 (Acts 10:11 ), although no doubt St. Peter shared the views of his nation in so far that Gentiles could only participate in the blessings of the Messianic kingdom through acceptance of Judaism. ἀναστήσας , cf. Acts 3:22 , τὸν παῖδα , “his servant,” R.V., see above on Acts 3:13 . ἀπέστειλεν also shows that ἀνασ . here refers not to the Resurrection but to the Incarnation. εὐλογοῦντα : as in the act of blessing, present participle; the present participle expressing that the Christ is still continuing His work of blessing on repentance, but see also Burton, N. T. Moods and Tenses , p. 171. ἐν τῷ : this use of ἐν governing the dative with the infinitive is most commonly temporal, but it is used to express other relations, such as manner, means, as here ( cf. Acts 4:30 , where the attempt to give a temporal sense is very far-fetched, Hackett, in loco ); see Burton, u. s. , p. 162, and Blass, Grammatik des N. G. , p. 232. This formula of ἐν with the dative of the article and the infinitive is very common in St. Luke, both in his Gospel and in the Acts, and is characteristic of him as compared with the number of times the same formula is used by other writers in the N.T., Friedrich, Das Lucasevangelium , p. 37, and also Zeller, of the Apostles , ii., p. 196, ., also in the LXX the same construction is found, cf. Genesis 19:16 ; Genesis 34:15 , etc. ἀποστρέφειν : probably intransitive (Blass, Grimm, and so often in LXX, although the English A. and R.V. may be understood in either sense). Vulgate renders “ut convertat se unusquisque,” but the use of the verb elsewhere in Luke 23:14 ( cf. also Romans 11:26 , Isaiah 59:20 ) makes for the transitive sense (so Weiss, in loco ). The argument from Acts 3:19 (as Alford points out) does not decide the matter either way (see also Holtzmann). πονηριῶν , cf. Luke 11:39 , and adjective πονηρός frequent both in the Gospel and in the Acts; in LXX both words are very common. The word may denote miseries as well as iniquities, as Bengel notes, but the latter sense is demanded by the context. πρῶτον according to Jüngst does not mark the fact that the Jews were to be converted first and the Gentiles afterwards, but as belonging to the whole clause, and as referring to the first and past sending of Jesus in contrast to the second (Acts 3:20 ) and future sending in glory. But to support this view Jüngst has no hesitation in regarding 25 b as an interpolation, and so nothing is left but a reference to the διαθήκη of God with the fathers, i.e. , circumcision, which is quite in place before a Jewish audience.

St. Peter’s Discourses . More recent German criticism has departed far from the standpoint of the early Tübrigen school, who could only see in these discourses the free composition of a later age, whilst Dr. McGiffert, in spite of his denial of the Lucan authorship of Acts, inclines to the belief that the discourses in question represent an early type of Christian teaching, derived from primitive documents, and that they breathe the spirit of St. Peter and of primitive Jewish Christianity. Feine sees in the contents of the addresses a proof that we have in them a truthful record of the primitive Apostolic teaching. Just the very points which were of central interest in this early period of the Church’s life are those emphasised here, e.g. , the proof that Jesus of Nazareth, the Crucified One, is the Messiah, a proof attested by His Resurrection, the appeal to Israel, the chosen people, to repent for the remission of sins in His name. Nor is there anything against the speeches in the fact of their similarity; in their first and early preaching, as Feine urges, the Apostles’ thoughts would naturally move in the same circle, they would recur again and again to the same facts, and their addresses could scarcely be otherwise than similar. Moreover we have an appeal to the facts of the life of Jesus as to things well known in the immediate past: “Jesus of Nazareth” had been working in the midst of them, and Peter’s hearers were witnesses with him of His signs and wonders, “as ye yourselves know,” Acts 2:23 ; we become conscious in such words and in their context of all the moral indignation and the deep pain of the Apostles at the crucifixion of their Master, just as in Acts 3:13 we seem to listen to another personal reminiscence of the Passion history (see Beyschlag, Neutest. Theol. , i., pp. 304, 305; Scharfe, Die Petrinische Strömung , 2 c., pp. 184, 185).

The fact that no reference is made to, or at all events that no stress is laid upon, the doctrinal significance of the death of Christ, as by St. Paul, is again an intimation that we are dealing with the earliest days of Apostolic teaching the death of the Cross was in itself the fact of all others which was the insuperable offence to the Jew, and it could not help him to proclaim that Christ died for his sins if he had no belief in Jesus as the Christ. The first and necessary step was to prove to the Jew that the suffering of the Messiah was in accordance with the counsels of God and with the voices of the prophets (Lechler, Das Apostolische Zeitalter , pp. 230, 231). But the historical fact accepted, its inner and spiritual significance would be imparted, and there was nothing strange in the fact that disciples who had themselves found it so difficult to overcome their repugnance to the mention of their Master’s sufferings, should first direct their main efforts to remove the like prejudice from the minds of their countrymen. But we cannot adduce from this method that the Apostles had never heard such words as those of Christ (Matthew 20:28 , Mark 10:45 , cf. 1 Peter 1:18 ) ( cf. the striking passage in Beyschlag, u. s. , pp. 306, 307), or that they were entirely ignorant of the atoning significance of His Death. St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 , speaks of the tradition which he had received, a tradition in which he was at one with the Twelve, Acts 3:11 , viz. , that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (Feine, Die vorkanonische Ueberlieferung des Lukas ; see p. 230).

When we pass to the consideration of St. Peter’s Christology, we again see how he starts from the actual experience of his hearers before him: “Jesus of Nazareth, a man,” etc. plainly and fearlessly St. Peter emphasises the manhood of his Lord the title which is never found in any of the Epistles leads us back to the Passion and the Cross, to the early records of the Saviour’s life on earth, Acts 24:9 ; Acts 22:8 . And yet the Crucified Nazarene was by a startling paradox the Prince or Author of Life (see note on ἀρχηγός ); by a divine law which the Jews could not discern He could not save Himself and yet another paradox there was no other Name given amongst men whereby they must be saved.

St. Paul could write of Him, Who took upon Him the form of a servant, Who humbled Himself, and became obedient to the death of the Cross, Philippians 2:6 ; and St. Peter, in one familiar word, which so far as we know St. Paul never used, brings before his hearers the same sublime picture of obedience, humility, death and glory; Jesus is the ideal, the glorified “Servant” of God (see note on Acts 3:13 ). But almost in the same breath St. Peter speaks of the Servant as the Holy and Righteous One, Acts 3:14 ; holy, in that He was consecrated to the service of Jehovah ( ἅγιος , Acts 4:27 ; Acts 4:30 , see note, and Acts 2:27 ); righteous, in that He was also the impersonation of righteousness, a righteousness which the Law had proclaimed, and which Prophets and Kings had desired to see, but had not seen (Isaiah 53:11 ). But whilst we note these titles, steeped each and all of them in O.T. imagery, whilst we may see in them the germs of the later and the deeper theology of St. Paul and St. John (see Dr. Lock, “Christology of the Earlier Chapters of the Acts,” Expositor , iv. (fourth series), p. 178 ff.), they carry us far beyond the conception of a mere humanitarian Christ. It is not only that Jesus of Nazareth is set before us as “the very soul and end of Jewish Prophecy,” as Himself the Prophet to whom the true Israel would hearken, but that He is associated by St. Peter even in his earliest utterances, as none other is associated, with Jehovah in His Majesty in the work of salvation, Acts 2:34 ; the salvation which was for all who called upon Jehovah’s Name, Acts 2:21 , was also for all in the Name, in the power of Jesus Christ, Acts 4:12 (see notes, l. c , and cf. the force of the expression ἐπικαλεῖσθαι τὸ ὄνομα in 1 Corinthians 1:2 , Schmid, Biblische Theologie , p. 407); the Spirit which Joel had foretold would be poured forth by Jehovah had been poured forth by Jesus raised to the right hand of God, Acts 2:18 ; Acts 2:33 (see further notes in chap. Acts 10:36 ; Acts 10:42-43 ).

One other matter must be briefly noticed the correspondence in thought and word between the St. Peter of the early chapters of the Acts and the St. Peter of the First Epistle which bears his name. A few points may be selected. St. Peter had spoken of Christ as the Prince of Life; quite in harmony with this is the thought expressed in 1 Peter 1:3 , of Christians as “begotten again” by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. St. Peter had spoken of Christ as the Holy and Righteous One, so in the First Epistle he sets forth this aspect of Christ’s peculiar dignity, His sinlessness. As in Acts, so also in 1 Pet. the thought of the sufferings of Christ is prominent, but also that of the glory which should follow, chap. 1, Acts 3:11 . As in Acts, so also in 1 Pet. these sufferings are described as undeserved, but also as foreordained by God and in accordance with the voices of the Prophets, 1 Peter 1:11 ; 1 Peter 2:22-25 . As in Acts, so in 1 Pet. it is the special task of the Apostles to be witnesses of the sufferings and also of the resurrection of Christ, chap. Acts 5:1 . As in Acts, so in 1 Pet. we have the clearest testimony to the δόξα of Christ, 1Pe 1:21 ; 1 Peter 4:11 . As in Acts stress is laid not only upon the facts of the life of Christ, but also upon His teaching, Acts 10:34 ff., so also in 1 Pet., while allusions are made to the scenes of our Lord’s Passion with all the force of an eye-witness, we have stress laid upon the word of Christ, the Gospel or teaching, Acts 1:12 ; Acts 1:23 ; Acts 1:25 , Acts 2:2 ; Acts 2:8 , Acts 3:19 , Acts 4:6 . As in Acts, so in 1 Pet. we have a reference to the agency of Christ in the realm of the dead, 1Pe 3:19 ; 1 Peter 4:6 . As in Acts, Acts 10:42 , so in 1 Pet. Christ is Himself the judge of quick and dead, Acts 4:6 , or in His unity with the Father shares with Him that divine prerogative, cf. Acts 1:17 . As in Acts, so in 1 Pet. the communication of the Holy Spirit is specially attributed to the exalted Christ, cf. Acts 2:33 , 1 Peter 1:11-12 . As in Acts, so in 1 Pet. Christ is the living corner-stone on which God’s spiritual house is built, Acts 4:12 and 1 Peter 2:4-10 . As in Acts, so in 1 Pet. not only the details but the whole scope of salvation is regarded in the light and as a fulfilment of O.T. prophecy, cf. Acts 3:18-25 , 1 Peter 2:22-23 ; 1 Peter 1:10-12 . But this correspondence extends to words, amongst which we may note πρόγνωσις , Acts 2:23 , 1 Peter 1:2 , a word found nowhere else in the N.T., and used in each passage in the same sense; ἀπροσωπολήμπτως , 1 Peter 1:17 , and only here in N.T., but cf. Acts 10:34 , οὐκ ἐστιν προσωπολήμπτης . ξύλον twice used by St. Peter in Acts 5:30 ; Acts 10:39 (once by St. Paul), and again in 1 Peter 2:24 ; ἀθέμιτος only in the Cornelius history, Acts 10:28 , by St. Peter, and in 1 Peter 4:3 ; μάρτυς with the genitive of that to which testimony is rendered, most frequently in N.T. used by St. Peter, cf. Acts 1:22 ; Acts 6:13 ; Acts 10:39 , and 1 Peter 5:1 ; and further, in Acts 4:11 = 1 Peter 2:7 , Acts 10:42 = 1 Peter 4:5 , the verbal correspondence is very close.

See on the whole subject Nösgen, Apostelgeschichte , p. 48; Lechler, Das Apost. Zeitalter , p. 428 ff.; Scharfe, Die Petrinische Strömung , 2 c. , p. 122 ff.; Lumby, Expositor , iv. (first series), pp. 118, 123; and also Schmid, Biblische Theologie , p. 389 ff. On the striking connection between the Didache 1 , and the language of St. Peter’s sermons, and the phraseology of the early chapters of Acts, see Gore, Church and the Ministry , p. 416.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Acts 3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/egt/acts-3.html. 1897-1910.
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