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Bible Commentaries

Scofield's Reference Notes
Acts 2



Other Authors
Verse 3

cloven tongues tongues, as of fire, parting and sitting upon each of them.

Verse 4

Holy Ghost

The Holy Spirit, N.T. Summary (see Malachi 2:15, note): (See Scofield "Malachi 2:15").

(1) The Holy Spirit is revealed as a divine Person. This is expressly declared (e.g.) John 14:16; John 14:17; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7-15; Matthew 28:19 and everywhere implied.

(2) The revelation concerning Him is progressive

(a) In the O.T. (See Scofield "Malachi 2:15"). He comes upon whom He will, apparently without reference to conditions in them

(b) During His earth-life, Christ taught His disciples Luke 11:13 that they might receive the Spirit through prayer to the Father.

(c) At the close of His ministry He promised that He would Himself pray the Father, and that in answer to prayer the Comforter would come to abide John 14:16; John 14:17.

(d) On the evening of His resurrection He came to the disciples in the upper room, and breathed on them saying, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost" John 20:22 but instructed them to wait before beginning their ministry till the Spirit should come upon them; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8.

(e) On the day of Pentecost the Spirit came upon the whole body of believers Acts 2:1-4

(f) After Pentecost, so long as the Gospel was preached to Jews only, the Spirit was imparted to such as believed by the laying on of hands Acts 8:17; Acts 9:17.

(g) When Peter opened the door of the kingdom to the Gentiles (Acts 10.), the Holy Spirit, without delay, or other condition than faith, was given to those who believed. Acts 10:44; Acts 11:15-18. This is the permanent fact for the entire church age. Every believer is born of the Spirit; John 3:3; John 3:6; 1 John 5:1 indwelt by the Spirit, whose presence makes the believer's body a temple; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:9-15; 1 John 2:27; Galatians 4:6 and baptized by the Spirit; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27 thus sealing him for God; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30.

(3) The N.T. distinguishes between having the Spirit, which is true of all believers, and being filled with the Spirit, which is the believer's privilege and duty (cf) Acts 2:4 with; Acts 4:29-31; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 1:14 with Ephesians 5:18. --"One baptism, many fillings."

(4) The Holy Spirit is related to Christ in His Conception Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:35 baptism; Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32; John 1:33 walk and service Luke 4:1; Luke 4:14 resurrection Romans 8:11, and as His witness throughout this age; John 15:26; John 16:8-11; John 16:13; John 16:14.

(5) The Spirit forms the church Matthew 16:18 (See Scofield "Hebrews 12:23") by baptizing all believers into the body of Christ 1 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Corinthians 12:13 imparts gifts for service to every member of that body 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 1 Corinthians 12:27; 1 Corinthians 12:30 guide the members in their service; Luke 2:27; Luke 4:1; Acts 16:6; Acts 16:7 and is Himself the power of that service; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:4.

(6) The Spirit abides in the company of believers who constitute a local church, making of them, corporately, a temple 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 3:17.

(7) Christ indicates a threefold personal relationship of the Spirit to the believer: "With", "In", "upon" John 14:17; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8. "With" indicates the approach of God to the soul, convicting of sin John 16:9 presenting Christ as the object of faith John 16:14 imparting faith Ephesians 2:8 and regenerating John 3:3-16. "In" describes the abiding presence of the Spirit in the believer's body 1 Corinthians 6:19 to give victory over the flesh; Romans 8:2-4; Galatians 5:16; Galatians 5:17 to create the Christian character Galatians 5:22; Galatians 5:23 to help infirmities Romans 8:26 to inspire prayer Ephesians 6:18 to give conscious access to God Ephesians 2:18 to actualize to the believer his sonship Galatians 4:6 to apply the Scripture in cleansing and sanctification; Ephesians 5:26; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2 to comfort and intercede; Acts 9:31; Romans 8:26 and to reveal Christ John 16:14.

(8) Sins against the Spirit committed by unbelievers are: To blaspheme Matthew 12:31, resist Acts 7:51, insult Hebrews 10:29, "despite," lit. insult). Believers' sins against the Spirit are: To grieve Him by allowing evil in heart or life Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 4:31 and to quench Him by disobedience 1 Thessalonians 5:19.

The right attitude toward the Spirit is yieldedness to His sway in walk and service, and in constant willingness that He shall "put away" whatever grieves Him or hinders His power Ephesians 4:31.

(9) The symbols of the Spirit are: (a) oil John 3:34; Hebrews 1:9 (b) water, John 7:38; John 7:39 (c) wind; Acts 2:2; John 3:8, (d) fire Acts 2:3, (e) a dove Matthew 3:16, (f) a seal; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30, (g) an earnest or pledge Ephesians 1:14.

Verse 8



Verse 11



Verse 14

said unto them

The theme of Peter's sermon at Pentecost is stated in Acts 2:36. It is, that Jesus is the Messiah. No message could have been more unwelcome to the Jews who had rejected His Messianic claims, and crucified Him. Peter, therefore, does not announce his theme until he has covered every possible Jewish objection. The point of difficulty with the Jews was the apparent failure of the clear and repeated prophetic promise of a regathered Israel established in their own land under their covenanted King (e.g).; Isaiah 11:10-12; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Ezekiel 37:21-28. Instead of explaining, as Rome first taught, followed by some Protestant commentators, that the covenant and promises were to be fulfilled in the church in a so-called "spiritual" sense, Peter shows Acts 2:25-32 from Psalms 16. that David himself understood that the dead and risen Christ would fulfil the covenant and sit on his throne Luke 1:32; Luke 1:33. In precisely the same way James Acts 15:14-17 met the same difficulty. See "Kingdom (O.T.)," Zechariah 12:8 (N.T.),; Luke 1:33; 1 Corinthians 15:24.

Verse 17

last days

A distinction must be observed between "the last days" when the prediction relates to Israel, and the "last days" when the prediction relates to the church 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-8; Hebrews 1:1; Hebrews 1:2; 1 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 1:5; 2 Peter 3:1-9; 1 John 2:18; 1 John 2:19; Judges 1:17-19. Also distinguish the expression the "last days" (plural) from "the last day" (singular); the latter expression referring to the resurrections and last judgment; John 6:39; John 6:40; John 6:44; John 6:54; John 11:24; John 12:48. The "last days" as related to the church began with the advent of Christ Hebrews 1:2 but have especial reference to the time of declension and apostasy at the end of this age; 2 Timothy 3:1; 2 Timothy 4:4. The "last days" as related to Israel are the days of Israel's exaltation and blessing, and are synonymous with the kingdom-age; Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-7. They are "last" not with reference to this dispensation, but with reference to the whole of Israel's history.

Verse 21


(See Scofield "Romans 1:16").

Verse 27


Hades. (See Scofield "Luke 16:23").

Verse 31


Hades. (See Scofield "Luke 16:23").

Verse 38

remission (See Scofield "Matthew 26:28").

sins Sin. (See Scofield "Romans 3:23").

Verse 47


(See Scofield "Romans 1:16").


Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Acts 2:4". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". 1917.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 19th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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