Καὶ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὴν ἡμέραν τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς, ἦσαν πάντες ὁμοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό.
And when the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place.
Paraphrase: As time went on, the normal schedule of Jewish feast days took place. First, the Passover followed by a week of celebrating the feast of unleavened bread. Fifty days later, the Jewish people were streaming to Jerusalem to bring their offering of first fruits to the Lord in celebration of the Feast of Weeks. It was at this feast, also called Pentecost, that the disciples were gathered together for the single purpose of looking and praying for the promised baptism. (Acts 1:5)
Robertson says ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι is a favorite idiom of Luke. For the syntax, see §415 in Burton.
The first month of the year would have seen the Jews choosing a lamb on day 10 (Exodus 12:3), killing that lamb on day 14 and having the Passover meal that evening. Day 15 to 21 would have been the feast of unleavened bread with all its rituals. (Exodus 12:15-20; Leviticus 23:5-8) Counting fifty days from day 16, would have been the feast of weeks or Pentecost. (Leviticus 23:15-22) See Lightfoot for more detail on the chronology.
Edersheim says that tens of thousands of worshippers would have crowded to the temple for this feast. source
καὶ ἐγένετο ἄφνω ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἦχος, ὥσπερ φερομένης πνοῆς βιαίας, καὶ ἐπλήρωσεν ὅλον τὸν οἶκον οὗ ἦσαν καθήμενοι.
And it happened suddenly, a noise from heaven, just as a violent blowing rushing along, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
Paraphrase: Then suddenly it happened. God poured out His Spirit upon them baptizing the entire assembly in the blessed person and ministry of the third Person of the Holy Trinity. It happened like this. As they were sitting in the house, they suddenly heard the sound of a mighty wind blowing, and yet there was no wind. This astonishing noise filled the entire house where they were at this time.
καὶ ὤφθησαν αὐτοῖς διαμεριζόμεναι γλῶσσαι ὡσεὶ πυρός καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐφ’ ἕνα ἕκαστον αὐτῶν.
And there appeared to them tongues distributed as fire and it rested on each one of them.
Paraphrase: As they sat there wondering what this noise might be, they saw what looked tongues of fire, being distributed to each person. These tongues of fire had no real fire in them just as the sound of the wind had no actual wind in it. Each of these tongues came to rest on each of the persons who were then assembled.
Are these tongues the equivalent of the glory-cloud coming on each believer instead of on the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34–35) and temple (1 Kings 8:10–11)?
καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες Πνεύματος Ἁγίου, καὶ ἤρξαντο λαλεῖν ἑτέραις γλώσσαις καθὼς τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐδίδου ἀποφθέγγεσθαι αὐτοῖς.
And all were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, even as the Spirit was giving them to pronounce.
Paraphrase: This was the glorious baptism which Jesus had promised; and as a result, every believer was filled with the Holy Spirit. One result of the Spirit’s work was that the believers immediately received the ability to speak in different languages. The Holy Spirit went from person to person and gave them the immediate ability to speak languages which they had never studied.
See Schaff’s extensive note on the glossalia.
Ἦσαν δὲ εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ κατοικοῦντες Ἰουδαῖοι, ἄνδρες εὐλαβεῖς ἀπὸ παντὸς ἔθνους τῶν ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν.
Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devote men from all nations, those nations under heaven.
Paraphrase: Now at this time, there were many Jews living in Jerusalem who were not actually born and raised in Palestine.
These were “diaspora Jews”, and they reappear in Acts 6:1.
γενομένης δὲ τῆς φωνῆς ταύτης, συνῆλθεν τὸ πλῆθος καὶ συνεχύθη, ὅτι ἤκουον εἷς ἕκαστος τῇ ἰδίᾳ διαλέκτῳ λαλούντων αὐτῶν.
Now when this noise started, the multitude came together and were confused because they were hearing them speaking each one his own language.
Paraphrase: When these diaspora Jews heard the noise of everyone speaking in different languages, they came running to investigate. As they gathered, they were wondering why so many people were speaking at the same time. They were even more astonished, however, when through all the noise, each of them recognized their own language being spoken by someone. Everyone’s language was being spoken!
RWP says that the noise here was the different voices speaking in different languages, not the sound of the rushing wind.
Ἐξίσταντο δὲ καὶ ἐθαύμαζον, λέγοντες, Οὐχ ἰδοὺ πάντες οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ λαλοῦντες Γαλιλαῖοι;
They were amazed and marveled saying, “Look, are not all these speakers Galileans?”
Paraphrase: Their surprise was all the more when they observed that all the speakers of these different languages were men from Galilee! “How is it possible that all these uneducated rednecks can speak these languages!?” they asked.
When the question begins with ου, an affirmative answer is expected. source
The Galileans were considered to be illiterate and uneducated people. source
καὶ πῶς ἡμεῖς ἀκούομεν ἕκαστος τῇ ἰδίᾳ διαλέκτῳ ἡμῶν, ἐν ᾗ ἐγεννήθημεν;
and how we hear each our own language in which we were born?
Paraphrase: “How is it possible that each one of us can find someone in all this confusion who is speaking our native language?”
Πάρθοι, καὶ Μῆδοι, καὶ Ἐλαμῖται*· καὶ οἱ κατοικοῦντες τὴν Μεσοποταμίαν, Ἰουδαίαν τε, καὶ Καππαδοκίαν, Πόντον καὶ τὴν Ἀσίαν·
Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia
Paraphrase: “This is impossible,” they cried out. “There are people here from here from all corners of the globe…
Φρυγίαν τε καὶ Παμφυλίαν, Αἴγυπτον καὶ τὰ μέρη τῆς Λιβύης τῆς κατὰ Κυρήνην, καὶ οἱ ἐπιδημοῦντες Ῥωμαῖοι·
Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome,
Ἰουδαῖοί τε καὶ προσήλυτοι, Κρῆτες καὶ Ἄραβες— ἀκούομεν λαλούντων αὐτῶν ταῖς ἡμετέραις γλώσσαις τὰ μεγαλεῖα τοῦ Θεοῦ!
Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God.”
Paraphrase: …and every person, no matter what language they speak or where they may have been born, everyone can find someone who is proclaiming the great works of God in his or her own native language.”
Ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηπόρουν, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, Τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
and they were all amazed and perplexed saying to each other, “What does it intend to be?”
Paraphrase: All the onlookers were completely dumbfounded at this spectacle. They had no idea what to make of it.
See Meyer on Τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι.
Ἕτεροι δὲ διαχλευάζοντες ἔλεγον ὅτι, Γλεύκους μεμεστωμένοι εἰσίν.
but others, jeering, were saying, “They are full of fresh wine!”
Paraphrase: Others were having a good laugh at the whole situation. “I think they have had a little too much to drink,” they yelled.
Σταθεὶς δὲ ὁ Πέτρος σὺν τοῖς ἕνδεκα, ἐπῆρεν τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπεφθέγξατο αὐτοῖς· Ἄνδρες Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ οἱ κατοικοῦντες Ἰερουσαλὴμ πάντες, τοῦτο ὑμῖν γνωστὸν ἔστω, καὶ ἐνωτίσασθε τὰ ῥήματά μου.
Then, Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who are living in Jerusalem; let this be known to you and give ear to my words.
Paraphrase: Then, Peter knew he had to explain to the crowd what was happening since they had no way of knowing what was going on. “People of Jerusalem, listen to me, and I can help you understand what you are seeing.”
For ἔστω, see BBG 33.3.
οὐ γὰρ ὡς ὑμεῖς ὑπολαμβάνετε, οὗτοι μεθύουσιν· ἔστιν γὰρ ὥρα τρίτη τῆς ἡμέρας·
For these people are not drunk as you have assumed, for it is the third hour of the day.
Paraphrase: Don’t rashly conclude that these people are drunk. That makes no sense; it’s only nine in the morning.
ἀλλὰ τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ εἰρημένον διὰ τοῦ προφήτου Ἰωήλ·
but this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel.
Paraphrase: What you are seeing here is nothing else than what the prophet Joel said was going to take place.
Καὶ ἔσται ἐν ταῖς ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις, λέγει ὁ Θεός, ἐκχεῶ ἀπὸ τοῦ Πνεύματός μου ἐπὶ πᾶσαν σάρκα· καὶ προφητεύσουσιν οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν, καὶ αἱ θυγατέρες ὑμῶν· καὶ οἱ νεανίσκοι ὑμῶν ὁράσεις ὄψονται, καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι ὑμῶν ἐνυπνίοις ἐνυπνιασθήσονται·
and it shall be in the last days, says God, I will pour out from my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons will prophesy and your daughters and the your young men will see visions and your older men will dream dreams.
Paraphrase: Recall that Joel said that God would pour out His Spirit in the last days. Furthermore, God promised that this outpouring would come on every believer no matter where they might be from or what ethnicity they might be. Both men and women will receive the Spirit of God and will prophesy. Neither would this outpouring be restricted by age. “Your young men will also receive revelations from Me, and not just the older men.” said the prophet.
Why the change from ἐν πνεύματι βαπτισθήσεσθε ἁγίῳ (Acts 1:5) to ἀπὸ τοῦ πνεύματός μου here? Meyer says the meaning here is partitive; something of the Spirit of God is going to be bestowed on each believer. “a special partial emanation for the bestowal of divers gifts according to the will of God (Heb. 2:4; 1 Cor. 12)—will pass over to every individual (ἐπὶ πᾶσαν σάρκα).” source Winer says that ἁπό in this text indicates the source, material, mass, or body from which anything comes. source This too implies a partitive idea. Olshausen says that this phrase shows that “the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, powerful and mighty as it was, is yet characterized as a partial effusion; so that the prediction of Joel in its original form still remains for the future, when the complete fulness of the Divine Spirit is to be conferred upon the church, which shall then have received into her bosom the countless races of mankind.” bottom of this page Robertson notes that the Hebrew which Peter is quoting does not have this partitive idea. (see RWP on this verse)
ἐπὶ πᾶσαν σάρκα refers to believers from all the places mentioned previously in Acts 2:9-11.
καί γε ἐπὶ τοὺς δούλους μου, καὶ ἐπὶ τὰς δούλας μου, ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐκχεῶ ἀπὸ τοῦ Πνεύματός μου, καὶ προφητεύσουσιν.
and on my male-slaves and on my female-slaves, in those days, I will pour from my Spirit and they will prophesy.
Paraphrase: Even your slaves, both male and female, will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and will prophesy.
Prophesy here is the delivery of messages received directly from God as is clear from the visions and dreams in the previous verse. Keener writes:
Prophecy is crucial for Luke’s apologetic and the church’s mission. As Hengel and Schwemer point out, “It is impossible to overestimate the importance of earliest Christian prophecy, as the most important phenomenon of the charismata given by the Spirit, for the extension of the new Jewish-eschatological movement.” For a Jewish audience, it constituted decisive evidence that God was fulfilling his eschatological promises.” on Acts 2:17
καὶ δώσω τέρατα ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ἄνω, καὶ σημεῖα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς κάτω, αἷμα καὶ πῦρ καὶ ἀτμίδα καπνοῦ.
and I will give wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
Paraphrase: This pouring out of the Spirit will be accompanied by marvelous signs and wonders both in heaven and on earth, signs of blood and fire and billowing smoke.
ὁ ἥλιος μεταστραφήσεται εἰς σκότος, καὶ ἡ σελήνη εἰς αἷμα, πρὶν ἐλθεῖν ἡμέραν Κυρίου, τὴν μεγάλην καὶ ἐπιφανῆ.
The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before the day of the Lord comes, the great and unforgettable.
Paraphrase: This will be the great “day of YHWH.” It will be of such massive importance that when it comes, the sun will go dark, the moon will be changed into blood.
καὶ ἔσται, πᾶς ὃς ἐάν ἐπικαλέσηται τὸ ὄνομα Κυρίου σωθήσεται.
and it will be, everyone who might call on the name of the Lord, will be saved.
Paraphrase: Now on that day, anyone who calls out to YHWH, the Great King, will be saved from whatever sin and rebellion He may have been guilty.
Ἄνδρες, Ἰσραηλῖται, ἀκούσατε τοὺς λόγους τούτους· Ἰησοῦν τὸν Ναζωραῖον, ἄνδρα ἀποδεδειγμένον ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰς ὑμᾶς δυνάμεσι καὶ τέρασι καὶ σημείοις, οἷς ἐποίησεν δι’ αὐτοῦ ὁ Θεὸς ἐν μέσῳ ὑμῶν, καθὼς αὐτοὶ οἴδατε,
Men, Israelites, hear these words; Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a man accredited by God to you by powerful signs and wonders and miraculous signs, which God did through Him in your midst, even as you yourselves know.
Paraphrase: Dear brother Israelites, you are the ones who know God and are in covenant with Him. Please listen carefully to what I am about to say. This God whom you fear and worship has clearly demonstrated to you who Jesus is. Jesus was from Nazareth but all the powerful miracles He did show that really, He was on a mission from God, Himself. You and I both know that no one can do signs like we saw Him do unless God sent Him. (John 3:2)
Page notes that ἀποδεδειγμένον is a strong word expressing certitude and clarity. source
See BBG 12.9 for καθὼς αὐτοὶ οἴδατε.
τοῦτον τῇ ὡρισμένῃ βουλῇ καὶ προγνώσει τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἔκδοτον διὰ χειρὸς ἀνόμων, προσπήξαντες, ἀνείλατε,
This Man, delivered up by the specific purpose and foreknowledge of God by lawless hands, you executed by fastening Him to a cross.
Paraphrase: This very Man, so demonstrated by God to be Israel’s King and Messiah, was betrayed into your hands by our colleague, Judas. Let me tell you the larger truth, however. The great unseen reality is this. In the never-begun ages of eternity-past, God had entered into covenant (Luke 22:29) with His Son. There God set Him up as the Savior of His chosen people and commissioned Him to come to earth and to give His life as a ransom for their lives. This Jesus was heartily willing to do and for this purpose, He took on human flesh, came to earth, was crucified and buried. The Jewish leaders had no idea that, in their rush to crucify Jesus, they were carrying out the very plan which God had fixed on so many ages before.
The participle προσπήξαντες appears to be used instrumentally; Robertson calls this usage “means”.
The promise the Father made here is said to be the Spirit in Acts 2:33.
ὃν ὁ Θεὸς ἀνέστησεν, λύσας τὰς ὠδῖνας τοῦ θανάτου, καθότι οὐκ ἦν δυνατὸν κρατεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ.
Who God raised, loosing the pains of death, even as it was not possible for Him to be held by it.
Paraphrase: The proof of all this is simple. Three days after Jesus was dead and buried, God brought Him out of the grave alive and well. Death had seemingly won the victory, but God, our Father, showed that He has the keys of death and hell. (Revelation 1:18)
See principle 23 for the infinitive.
Δαυὶδ γὰρ λέγει εἰς αὐτόν· Προορώμην τὸν Κύριον ἐνώπιόν μου διὰ παντός, ὅτι ἐκ δεξιῶν μού ἐστιν, ἵνα μὴ σαλευθῶ.
For David says about Him, “I was seeing the Lord before me through all time because He is at my right hand, that I might not be toppled.”
διὰ τοῦτο ηὐφράνθη μου ἡ καρδία, καὶ ἠγαλλιάσατο ἡ γλῶσσά μου· ἔτι δὲ καὶ ἡ σάρξ μου κατασκηνώσει ἐπ’ ἐλπίδι,
On account of this, my heart is made glad and my tongue rejoiced; and furthermore, even my flesh will dwell in hope
Paraphrase: Because I saw the Lord before me, I was filled with rejoicing. My heart and my tongue praised God! And not just this, but further; my body now lives in the glorious promise that I will be raised one day.
ὅτι οὐκ ἐνκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ᾅδην, οὐδὲ δώσεις τὸν Ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν.
because you will not abandon my soul in Hades, neither you will give your Holy One to see decay.
Paraphrase: The reason I am so full of joy is because I know that You will not leave me behind in the grave. I know that one day, I must die and enter into the realm of the dead, but I also hold tightly to this promise that this will not be the end of me. You will not allow my body to decay and return to the ground. On the contrary, I shall not remain dead, but I will live again and declare the works of YHWH. (Psalm 118:17)
ἰδεῖν = complementary infinitive with δώσεις.
ἐγνώρισάς μοι ὁδοὺς ζωῆς· πληρώσεις με εὐφροσύνης μετὰ τοῦ προσώπου σου.
You revealed to me the ways of life; You fill me with joy with Your Face.
Paraphrase: You have taught me those ways which lead to a flourishing life; when I am in Your presence, You fill my soul with joy.
Ἄνδρες, ἀδελφοί, ἐξὸν εἰπεῖν μετὰ παρρησίας πρὸς ὑμᾶς περὶ τοῦ πατριάρχου Δαυὶδ, ὅτι καὶ ἐτελεύτησεν καὶ ἐτάφη, καὶ τὸ μνῆμα αὐτοῦ ἔστιν ἐν ἡμῖν ἄχρι τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης.
Men, Brothers, it is allowed to speak with boldness to you concerning the patriarch, David, that even he came to an end and was buried and his memorial is with us until this day.
Paraphrase: Now brothers, permit me to be perfectly frank with you. Our father, David, died and was buried, and we all know where his grave is. Anyone of us can go and visit it.
προφήτης οὖν ὑπάρχων, καὶ εἰδὼς ὅτι ὅρκῳ ὤμοσεν αὐτῷ ὁ Θεὸς ἐκ καρποῦ τῆς ὀσφύος αὐτοῦ καθίσαι ἐπὶ τὸν θρόνον αὐτοῦ.
Therefore, being a prophet and seeing that on oath, God swore to him, from the fruit of his loins, to sit on his throne.
Paraphrase: The meaning of this is clear. David was a prophet and was speaking of the future. Recall as well that God had made a covenant with David in which covenant, God had promised that David’s dynasty would never come to an end. One of his sons would sit on the throne of Israel forever and ever. Now this Son of David who will sit on the throne of Israel is the great Messiah-King for whom we have been waiting for so many years.
προϊδὼν, ἐλάλησεν περὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅτι οὔτε ἐνκατελείφθη εἰς ᾅδην, οὔτε ἡ σὰρξ αὐτοῦ εἶδεν διαφθοράν.
Foreseeing, he spoke about the resurrection of the Messiah that He would not be left in Hades neither would His flesh see decay.
Paraphrase: When David was writing Psalm 16, he was not speaking about himself. That is impossible; as I said previously, we all know where David’s grave is. The truth is that David was speaking prophetically here. He was speaking about the Messiah to come. He was prophesying that the Messiah would come and would die but would not be abandoned in the grave. On the contrary, God Himself would raise Him up and raise Him to a place of glorious triumph.
Τοῦτον τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀνέστησεν ὁ Θεός, οὗ πάντες ἡμεῖς ἐσμεν μάρτυρες.
This Jesus, God raised of whom we all are witnesses.
Paraphrase: Well then, who is this Messiah who died and was raised by the power of God? Who is this King of whom David prophesied and said that death had no power to hold Him? It can only be one Person. It can only be that Man whom we all watched being crucified, that Man who was buried and who rose again. You all saw His empty grave. This Man is Jesus, and He is Israel’s Messiah, and the only one who can save Israel from their sin. (Matthew 1:21)
τῇ δεξιᾷ οὖν τοῦ Θεοῦ ὑψωθεὶς, τήν τε ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου λαβὼν παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς, ἐξέχεεν τοῦτο ὃ ὑμεῖς καὶ βλέπετε καὶ ἀκούετε.
Therefore, to the right of God being exalted and receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He poured out this what you even see and hear.
Paraphrase: After being raised from the dead, Jesus was given a place of the highest honor and glory at God’s right hand. (1 Kings 2:19) From this place in glory, He has poured out on us the Holy Spirit which the Father had promised Him in the far reaches of eternity past. This is what you are seeing and hearing today.
When did God the Father promise to give the Spirit to Jesus? The Bible is not explicit on this point.
Οὐ γὰρ Δαυὶδ ἀνέβη εἰς τοὺς οὐρανούς· λέγει δὲ αὐτός· Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος τῷ Κυρίῳ μου, Κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου,
For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself said, “The Lord spoke to My Lord, sit at My right hand.”
Paraphrase: Consider what God teaches us in Psalm 110: “YHWH said to my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand.” Clearly David is not writing about himself here; we know that David did not enter heaven to sit at God’s right hand. As I said previously, we all know where David’s body lies. Well then David must be writing here about the Messiah-King, a point on which we all agree. So then, God in this text is teaching us about the glory and exaltation of the Messiah. YHWH, our Great King, is giving the seat of highest honor to His Son whom He here calls “My Lord.” Now Jesus of Nazareth is this Messiah, and this is the glory into which He has entered.
Nearly all Jews understood Psalm 110 to be speaking of the Messiah. This was not a point Peter needed to prove.
ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου, ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου.
until I position your enemies as a stool for your feet.
Ἀσφαλῶς οὖν γινωσκέτω πᾶς οἶκος Ἰσραὴλ ὅτι καὶ Κύριον αὐτὸν καὶ Χριστὸν ἐποίησεν ὁ Θεός— τοῦτον τὸν Ἰησοῦν ὃν ὑμεῖς ἐσταυρώσατε.
Assuredly, therefore, let all the house of Israel know, that God has made Him, this Jesus whom you crucified, even Lord and Christ.
Paraphrase: Now let’s wrap this up. Joel’s prophecy is fulfilled. Jesus has poured out the Spirit of God upon all His people. They have received the glorious Spirit-baptism which He promised His disciples. In all this, God has identified Jesus as the great, Messiah-King for whom we all were waiting. He is the One to whom we must submit. Our waiting is at an end. Now is come the salvation, the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. (Revelation 12:10) The Spirit of YHWH is now on Jesus. He has been anointed to preach good news to the meek; He will bind up the broken-hearted and proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the year of YHWH’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of YHWH, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:1-3) Now this is who Jesus is and what have you done with Him? You arrested your own Savior and nailed Him to a cross! In short, you have put to death the Lord of glory! (1 Corinthians 2:8) At this, Peter ended his address and sat down.
Ἀκούσαντες δὲ, κατενύγησαν τὴν καρδίαν· εἶπόν τε πρὸς τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τοὺς λοιποὺς ἀποστόλους, Τί ποιήσωμεν, ἄνδρες, ἀδελφοί;
Then when they heard, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Men, brothers, what shall we do?”
Paraphrase: When those listening to Peter’s address heard this, they were stunned. The truth of what they had done to Jesus slowly began to take shape in their minds. They became very alarmed. They looked earnestly at the apostles and began to cry out, “Brothers, if all this is true, then what can we do? Can there possibly be any hope for us who were the very ones who called for and participated in the crucifixion of our Messiah-King? Can God possibly show mercy to those of us who killed His Son?!” (Matthew 21:38)
Πέτρος δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς, Μετανοήσατε, [φησίν], Καὶ βαπτισθήτω, ἕκαστος ὑμῶν, ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ὑμῶν, καὶ λήμψεσθε τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος.
Then Peter said to them, “Repent and let each one of you be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Paraphrase: Peter quickly stood up again and addressed the desperate crowd. “Men, brothers listen to what I have to say. You see these people here who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. What you must know, however, is that God has made a promise that you too can recieve this blessed Spirit. Listen to God’s glorious promise. If you will repent of your sin and cry out to Jesus for mercy (Luke 18:13), He will fully and freely forgive all your sin, even the sin of crucifying His Son. Then, having believed the gospel, ask to receive baptism in order that you might publicly identify yourself with Jesus and His people. Then, you too will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit just as these have.
For βαπτισθήτω, see BBG 33.3.
ὑμῖν γάρ ἐστιν ἡ ἐπαγγελία, καὶ τοῖς τέκνοις ὑμῶν, καὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς εἰς μακρὰν, ὅσους ἂν προσκαλέσηται Κύριος, ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν.
For you is the promise and for your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord, our God, will call.
Paraphrase: I know you will have great difficulty believing that this promise can really be for you. Some of you may have been among those who mocked and insulted Jesus when He was crucified. Perhaps you called out, “His blood be on us and our children!” (Matthew 27:25) But dismiss this thought. God assures you today that this promise really is for you. Even as your conscience accuses you of having committed the most dreadful crimes against the mercy of God, you can be assured that God sincerely calls you to fall on this promise and be saved. Neither does God exclude your infants and little children. God included them in His covenant mercies under the previous covenants, and He does not exclude them now. Even those who have never heard the gospel or ever read the Scripture may participate in these promised blessings. Indeed, no one can exclude him or herself from God’s promise of salvation. This good news really is for everyone who calls on the Name of Jesus as the prophet Joel said.
Notice the position of ὑμῖν in this clause; it receives the emphasis.
Ἑτέροις τε λόγοις πλείοσιν διεμαρτύρατο, καὶ παρεκάλει αὐτοὺς, λέγων, Σώθητε ἀπὸ τῆς γενεᾶς τῆς σκολιᾶς ταύτης.
With many other words, he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this twisted generation.”
Paraphrase: Peter had a great deal more to say to the crowd on this unforgettable day. He and the other apostles continued to press the Jews to turn from their religion and to get in behind Jesus and to follow Him. They showed the Jewish people just how badly their teachers had misunderstood and even perverted the teaching about the coming Messiah. “Get out from under these teachers,” (Numbers 16:26) cried Peter. “They are leading you astray and perverting the truth of God. Jesus is the Messiah-king, and it is only by coming and submitting to Him that we can ever be saved from God’s wrath.”
Louw and Nida say about γενεά that it often indicates people of the same kind; but in this context, it is not the same ethnically but the same morally. This is akin to saying that Noah was righteous before God in his generation. (Genesis 7:1) σκολιᾶς comes from Deuteronomy 32:5.
οἱ μὲν οὖν ἀποδεξάμενοι τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ ἐβαπτίσθησαν· καὶ προσετέθησαν ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ, ψυχαὶ ὡσεὶ τρισχίλιαι.
Then, those who received his word were baptized and they added in that day, roughly three thousand souls.
Paraphrase: As Peter and the apostles were speaking, more and more people came to accept what Peter was saying. With many tears, they confessed their sin of crucifying their Messiah-king. They recognized the wrath of God against them and acknowledged His justice. With great joy, they turned from their sin and embraced with all their heart the promise of the gospel which Peter had set before them. With their wives and children, they came confessing the Name of Jesus and asked for baptism. What joy there was in Jerusalem that day when roughly 3000 people turned their backs on Judaism, embraced the Savior, and came under the cleansing waters of baptism. What joy there was in so many families when they woke the next morning with the new life of Christ filling their souls. What an eternal wonder it was for them as the assurance began to dawn on them that all their guilt had really been forgiven. The old things had passed away; behold, all things had become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Ἦσαν δὲ προσκαρτεροῦντες τῇ διδαχῇ τῶν ἀποστόλων, καὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ, τῇ κλάσει τοῦ ἄρτου, καὶ ταῖς προσευχαῖς.
and they committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, and to fellowship, and to breaking of bread and to prayers.
Paraphrase: The new disciples could scarcely contain their excitement for their new found faith. Eagerly, they took every opportunity to sit at the apostles feet and to learn all they could. At these gatherings, there was also an increased concern for the poor and less fortunate. A collection was always taken, and the disciples did all they could to relieve those who were suffering. After this collection, they would have a meal together where again they would share all around and enjoy fellowshipping with each other. At the close of these meals, they remembered the words of Jesus who had instructed His people to break bread in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19) and to share a cup of wine which was the sign of God’s new and better covenant of grace which He had made with all His people in Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 8:13) Finally, they closed the service with several of the disciples leading in prayer.
See Mosheim’s interesting remarks on the above list. He takes these four items as the component parts of their public worship services.
Ἐγίνετο δὲ πάσῃ ψυχῇ φόβος, πολλά τε τέρατα καὶ σημεῖα διὰ τῶν ἀποστόλων ἐγίνετο.
And there was a fear in all souls; many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
Paraphrase: Throughout the Christian community, there was a feeling of great awe and wonder at what God was doing. Some of this was because of the powerful gifts God had given to the apostles for performing miracles. When people saw these miracles, they were struck with amazement. Everyone felt that something very unique was taking place.
Πάντες δὲ οἱ πιστεύοντες ἦσαν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ καὶ εἶχον ἅπαντα κοινά·
Now all the believers were in one place and they had all things common.
Paraphrase: The enthusiastic disciples continued to gather almost daily in one place for worship and study. Furthermore, their generosity was such that it seemed like no one regarded their property as their own. They shared so generously with each other that it seemed as if everyone had become a communist.
Gilbert points out that the “communism” here was voluntary and partial. Furthermore,
An external occasion for it existed in the fact that a number of Christian disciples, perhaps most of the one hundred and twenty (Acts 1:15), perhaps also some of the Hellenists from afar, were temporarily in Jerusalem, separated from their customary employments and from their homes. How long it continued we do not know, but we hear nothing about it beyond the sixth chapter of Acts. See the very bottom of this page.
καὶ τὰ κτήματα καὶ τὰς ὑπάρξεις ἐπίπρασκον καὶ διεμέριζον αὐτὰ πᾶσιν, καθότι ἄν τις χρείαν εἶχεν.
And they began selling their land and possessions and divvied them up to all, even as anyone had need.
Paraphrase: With complete disregard to their own advantage or profit, they began selling off land and other items. They then took the money from these sales and gave to anyone who was in need. (Deuteronomy 15:4)
Καθ’ ἡμέραν τε προσκαρτεροῦντες ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, κλῶντές τε κατ’ οἶκον ἄρτον, μετελάμβανον τροφῆς ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει καὶ ἀφελότητι καρδίας,
Each day, they committed themselves, with one mind, in the temple, breaking in each house, they took their food with great joy and unity of heart,
Paraphrase: Every day again, they would come together with a single purpose. Some days, they would meet at the temple for prayer or some other religious service. At other times, they went from house to house, discussing the kingdom of God. These house meetings always included a love feast where everyone would share what they had, and more fellowship took place. These meals closed with breaking bread in remembrance of Jesus’ death and sharing a cup of wine in thanksgiving for God’s new covenant of grace. Day after day, the joy and unity of the disciples radiated through the community.
αἰνοῦντες τὸν Θεὸν καὶ ἔχοντες χάριν πρὸς ὅλον τὸν λαόν. ὁ δὲ Κύριος προσετίθει τοὺς σῳζομένους καθ’ ἡμέραν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό.
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding saved people each day in one place.
Paraphrase: Their constant singing and praising God, their unity and joy brought them into favor with all the people. The growth of the community continued, and God was adding new disciples every day.
The phrase ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό, which is common enough in classical Greek and in the Septuagint, acquired a quasi-technical meaning in the early church. This meaning, which is required in Acts 1:15; 2:1, 47; 1 Corinthians 11:20; 14:23, signifies the union of the Christian body, and perhaps could be rendered “in church fellowship.” Not perceiving this special usage of the word in v47, scribes attempted to rearrange the text, either by moving the phrase to the following sentence (Acts 3:1) or by glossing it with an equivalent phrase, ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ. A Textual Commentary, 265.