- Christogenea Internet Radio
Book of Acts Chapter 2, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 05-10-2013
In the last segment of our presentation on the Book of Acts, we left off our discussion with Peter's quote from Joel chapter 2, and how we believe that James and Paul saw that prophecy of Pentecost in relation to the history of the ekklesia of God: that the endowment of the Spirit in the apostolic age was merely a deposit of that which all Christians should now expect: a greater outpouring of the Spirit of Yahweh culminating in the restoration of our race to the glorified state of our first parents which was also evident at the Transfiguration on the Mount as attested to in the Gospels. James referred to these two outpourings of the Spirit with his mention of the early and the latter rain. Paul tells us what to expect in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 where he says: “51 Behold I tell you a mystery, we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed. 52 In an instant, in a dart of an eye, with the last trumpet; for it shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 This decay wants to be clothed in incorruptibility, and this mortal to be clothed in immortality. 54 And when this decay shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then the word that has been written shall come to pass: 'Death has been swallowed in victory.' 55 'Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?' 56 Now the sting of death is guilt, and the power of guilt is the law; 57 but gratitude is to Yahweh, in whom we [the children of Israel] are being given the victory through our Prince, Yahshua Christ.” Here in the next part of his discourse, we continue Peter's appeal to the multitude at Judaea, to consider all of the things which had recently transpired there in connection with Yahshua Christ.
Additionally, in relation to where we left off in the first part of our presentation of Acts chapter 2, we shall quote here from Isaiah chapter 44: “1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: 2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: 4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.” Where we see the phrase “all flesh” in Acts 2:17, the reference is to all Israelite flesh, as that is the context of the original passage in Joel.
Joel 2: “27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Isaiah chapter 44 which we have just read, as well as other Scriptures, show that only the children of Israel are Yahweh's chosen and Yahweh's servants.
22 Men, Israelites, hear these words! Yahshua the Nazoraian, a man appointed for you by Yahweh with powers and wonders and signs which Yahweh had done through Him in your midst even as you yourselves know, 23 He by the appointed will and foreknowledge of Yahweh was surrendered, who crucifying through lawless hands you have slain!
The first perspective which must be noticed here is that Christ was “a man appointed” for Israel, all of the men Peter making this appeal to being Israelites, regardless of who else may have been present. For Peter says “Men,Israelites, hear these words!”
Secondly, because Christ was “a man appointed”, does not mean that He was not also Yahweh God Himself manifested in the flesh. [As a side note, the Codex Bezae has approved rather than appointed.] Peter is not refuting the exclamation of Thomas, who proclaimed of the risen Christ that He was his Lord and his God. Neither is Peter refuting the testimony of John, who informs us that the Word was with God in the beginning, that the Word was God, and that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Rather, Peter is only talking to these Judaean Israelite men from a worldly perspective, in order to get them to consider the ministry of Christ and what things had transpired in Jerusalem at that time.
Isaiah 9: “6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. 8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.”
All of those who would purport the idea that one part of the Scripture would somehow refute another part of the Scripture do not deserve the label Christian. If one Scripture seems to conflict with another, there is a problem either with the translation, or with the understanding of the context of the passage in question. In a very few instances the manuscripts themselves are demonstrably corrupt. After that, the only shortcoming is with the reader, and not with God. The only way that Yahshua Christ could be “the mighty God”, as Isaiah prophesied, is to be Yahweh manifest in the flesh. He is a man, and He is God.
The term Nazarene only appears in the King James Version twice: in the singular in Matthew 2:23 and in the plural where Luke at Acts 24:5 attributes its use by certain Judaeans to describe the followers of Christ. There are two different Greek words which are both said by Strong to mean of Nazareth: Ναζαρηνός (3479), which is always Nazarene in the Christogenea New Testament, and Ναζωραῖος (3480), which is always Nazoraian in this translation. The King James Version often translates either word with the phrase of Nazareth, and Ναζαρηνός is the more proper of the two Greek forms conveying that meaning. Thayer does not put the phrase of Nazareth in his definition for Ναζωραῖος. According to the Moulton-Geden Greek Concordance to the New Testament, from which some manuscripts may vary, Ναζαρηνός is found only in Mark and Luke [at Mark 1:24, 10:47, 14:67, 16:6; Luke 4:34 and 24:19], and Ναζωραῖος is found in Matthew, Luke, John and Acts [Matthew 2:23 and 26:71; Luke 18:37; John 18:5 and 7, and 19:19; Acts 2:22, 3:6, 4:10, 6:14, 22:8, 24:5, and 26:9]. Paul did not use the term in his epistles. In Acts 24:5 it is evident that the sect of Christians was called Nazoraians by the Judaeans, and Josephus writes of the sect about the time concurrent with the latter parts of Acts, which Whiston translated Nazirites, in Antiquities,Book 19 [19.6.1 (19:294)], in a context where Josephus can only be referring to Christians. The term Nazarite appears in the King James Version of the Old Testament of the special priesthood ordained by Yahweh, in Numbers chapter 6; Judges 13:5 and 7 and 16:17; Lamentations 4:7; and Amos 2:11-12, where in the Septuagint Greek the word was translated from Hebrew as consecrated ones. However while claims may be made concerning the ancient Nazarite priesthood in relation to Christ, this term Nazarene being a name given to Christ is not directly related to the term Nazarite or to that priesthood which is found in the Old Testament. Rather, the term comes from His home, which was in Nazareth. Yet it seems to also fulfill another prophecy: for the name Nazareth apparently comes from the Hebrew term for branch, which is netser (5342), and Yahshua in certain other prophecies was called The Branch. Therefore the name being applied to Him indicates a fulfillment of those prophecies.
Zechariah 3: “8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.”
Zechariah 6: “12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”
Isaiah 11: “1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD”.
[From my presentation on Luke chapter 18:] Now in the passages of Zechariah, the word for branch is tsemach (6780), however the prophecy is nevertheless fulfilled in Christ. Calling Him “Yahshua the Nazoraian” is tantamount to calling Him “Yahshua the branch”. In Isaiah 11:1 the word for branch is indeed netser, where it says: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots”.
It appears in Acts chapter 24 as though the Judaeans used the phrase “sect of the Nazoraians” to describe Christians because they would not refer to the followers of Christ as Christians, nor would they call Jesus the Christ, because the very use of the name admitted the truth, that He was the Messiah! This is why Paul is called in Acts Chapter 24 “a leader of the sect of the Nazoraians”, and not “a leader of the sect of the Christians”. The Roman historian Tacitus, in his work The Annals of Imperial Rome, did use the terms Christ and Christian, as did Josephus in his Antiquities books 18 and 20.
Where Peter mentions “powers and wonders and signs which Yahweh had done through Him in your midst even as you yourselves know”, he obviously expects all of these Judaeans who were gathered from diverse places throughout the oikoumene to have heard of all of the marvellous things which Christ was accredited with having done, and which we read about in the Gospel accounts. Here I would like to discuss an account from the Roman historian, Tacitus, which many critics point to in order to discredit the miracles of the Gospel, but which I think helps to show that they did indeed occur just as the Gospels relate.
From Tacitus, The Histories, Book 4 Chapter 81, a section entitled “Signs and Wonders” (Penguin Classics edition, translated by Kenneth Wellesley):
In the course of the months which Vespasian spent at Alexandria, waiting for the regular season of summer winds when the sea could be relied upon, many miracles occurred. These seemed to be indications that Vespasian enjoyed heaven's blessing and that the gods showed a certain leaning towards him. Among the lower classes at Alexandria was a blind man whom everybody knew as such. One day this fellow threw himself at Vespasian's feet, imploring him with groans to heal his blindness. He had been told to make this request by Serapis, the favourite god of a nation much addicted to strange beliefs. He asked that it might please the emperor to anoint his cheeks and eyeballs with the water of his mouth. A second petitioner, who suffered from a withered hand, pleaded his case too, also on the advice of Serapis: would Caesar tread upon him with the imperial foot? At first Vespasian laughed at them and refused. When the two insisted, he hesitated. At one moment he was alarmed by the thought that he would be accused of vanity if he failed. At the next, the urgent appeals of the two victims and the flatteries of his entourage made him sanguine of success. Finally he asked the doctors for an opinion whether blindness and atrophy of this sort were curable by human means. The doctors were eloquent on the various possibilities. The blind man's vision was not completely destroyed, and if certain impediments were removed his sight would return. The other victim's limb had been dislocated, but could be put right by correct treatment. Perhaps this was the will of the gods, they added; perhaps the emperor had been chosen to perform a miracle. Anyhow, if a cure were effected, the credit would go to the ruler; if it failed, the poor wretches would have to bear the ridicule. So Vespasian felt that his destiny gave him the key to every door and that nothing now defied belief. With a smiling expression and surrounded by an expectant crowd of bystanders, he did what was asked. Instantly the cripple recovered the use of his hand and the light of day dawned again upon his blind companion. Both these incidents are still vouched for by eye-witnesses, though there is now nothing to be gained by lying.”
Are the miracles of Christ substantiated in this testimony of Tacitus concerning his own small-g god, Caesar? Although Christians certainly should not require secular substantiation of the Gospels, this is why I believe that Tacitus' assertions do qualify as such: The Romans worshipped their Caesar as a god incarnate, and Vespasian had renewed the imperial cult which was instituted in the days of Octavian, who was also known as Augustus Caesar. According to the Roman historian Suetonius, the deathbed words of Vespasian were puto deus fio, or “I think I'm becoming a god”. Many accept this statement as a product of Vespasian's wit, but it reflects Roman beliefs whether the emperor himself took them seriously or not. Some apologetic scholars claim that Tacitus' accounts of Vespasian's miracles are laced with sarcasm, however if that is the case, it is not conveyed well in the translations. Tacitus portrays Vespasian as shrewd and calculating, conferring with doctors and determining his chance of success, and how his possible failure may be perceived. Tacitus was not at all compelled to repeat these things if he had doubted them, and here he expresses no doubt. Tacitus, the traditionalist, certainly seems to have taken the imperial cult seriously. If these reports of the miracles of Christ were circulating around Rome, and they certainly were, then it seems natural that Tacitus wanted to report these miracles which were attributed to Vespasian, since they would place his god, the emperor, on a level of ability with that of Christ. These miracles which are here attributed to Vespasian are even very much like some of those which Christ had performed. Yet the apostle Peter testifies in his second epistle “For not following after cleverly devised myths have we made known to you the power and presence of our Prince Yahshua Christ, but having been spectators of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)
In his Annals of Imperial Rome, Tacitus spoke disparagingly of Christ and Christians. He described how the “notoriously depraved Christians” were by Nero “punished with every refinement”. The truth is that while Tacitus was a sycophant to the emperor and his divus cult, at the same time Christians were dying quite miserable deaths on account of their testimony of Christ. Tacitus described how Christians were arrested and how their executions were made spectacles in the circuses. It should be fully evident to the inquiring mind that sycophants are not punished as criminals, but that good men are indeed willing to make such ultimate sacrifices on behalf of Truth. The proof of the facts of Christ's ministry and its substance lies in the continual sacrifices which were made first by those men who were witnesses to it, and then by their successors for nearly three hundred years: for it is they who gave their lives and who had, in Tacitus' own words, “nothing to be gained by lying”, and everything to be lost – unless you know that Truth. Here Peter expected these men to have heard of the miracles which had been brought to them through Christ, and indeed we see that they should have no reason not to have heard of them.
1 Peter 4: “12 Beloved, do not be astonished by the burning among you taking place for a trial for you, as if a strange thing is happening to you, 13 but just as you partake in the sufferings of Christ you rejoice, in order that also in the revelation of His honor, exulting you would rejoice. 14 If you are reproached in the Name of Christ, you are blessed, because the honor and the Spirit of Yahweh rest upon you.” The sufferings which Peter mentions are those persecutions which Christians suffered on behalf of their testimony.
There is still one more aspect of this passage left to discuss, and here we shall repeat it anew:
22 Men, Israelites, hear these words! Yahshua the Nazoraian, a man appointed for you [for Israel] by Yahweh with powers and wonders and signs which Yahweh had done through Him in your midst even as you yourselves know, [and which apparently drove the pagans like Tacitus and Nero mad] 23 He by the appointed will and foreknowledge of Yahweh was surrendered, who crucifying through lawless hands you have slain!
The Codex Bezae and the Majority Text have “who being taken by lawless hands you crucifying have slain!” The text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B) and Ephraemi Syri (C). The Greek verb for crucify here is προσπήγνυμι, “to fix to or on” (Liddell & Scott), which is not the usual word and which appears only here in the New Testament manuscripts. The usual word is σταυρόω (4717) which is to fence with a pale, or to impalisade or to crucify as Polybius also used the word (Liddell & Scott). Many scoffers doubt that the word σταυρόω means to crucify as the popular accounts of the death of Christ depict. However the Greek historian Polybius, who wrote in the 2nd century BC, clearly used both that same word and its corresponding noun σταυρός in that same manner in his Histories in Book 1 chapter 86 (1.86.4, 6) where certain men in Carthage were executed in such a fashion, having been hung on stakes or crosses.
“Lawless hands” are hands outside of the law, meaning hands not subject to the laws of God. But Peter tells these Judaean Israelites that they were responsible for the death of Christ, where he says “who crucifying through lawless hands you have slain!” Again in verse 36 at the end of this address Peter exclaims that “Therefore all the house of Israel must know with certainty, that Yahweh also has made both His Prince and Christ that Yahshua whom you crucified!” In Acts chapter 3, in a separate discourse which he gave in the temple after the healing of a lame man, Peter helps to clarify the substance of the charge which he lays against the entire Judaean nation, where he says “Men, Israelites, why do you wonder at this? Or why do you gaze at us as if our own power or piety made him to walk? 13 The God of Abraham and Isaak and Jakob, the God of our fathers, has honored His servant Yahshua whom you indeed handed over and denied in the presence of Pilatos who determined to release him. 14 But you denied the holy and righteous man and requested a murderous man [Barabbas] to be pardoned for you. 15 Then you killed the Founder of Life whom Yahweh raised from among the dead, of whom we are witnesses.... 17 And now, brethren, I know that you acted ignorantly, just as also your rulers. 18 But Yahweh, the things which He announced beforehand through the mouths of all the prophets for His Christ to suffer, has fulfilled thusly.” Therefore through the ignorance of the people the will of Yahweh God was accomplished, however the mystery of iniquity is greater than that alone.
From Leviticus chapter 5: “1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.” Therefore the people who consented with the priests, or even those who did not object to the execution of an innocent man but who witnessed it and remained silent, were just as responsible for the crime as those who were its authors and instigators.
Matthew 27: “20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. 22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.”
Mark 15: “11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? 13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.”
Luke 23: “23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.”
Peter blames the nation in general, because the entire nation was at least in part guilty for what had been done by those chief priests and the multitude which had gathered before Pilate on the day of the crucifixion. The crucifixion occurred on the Passover, when all Israel was obliged to be present. The multitude agreed with the intent of the high priests, and therefore because they did not resist the injustice, they were just as guilty of the crime.
Again in Acts chapter 4, in verses 8 and 10, Peter addresses the “leaders of the people and elders” in reference to “Yahshua Christ the Nazoraian, whom you crucified”. In Acts chapter 5, addressing the high priest who had been questioning him directly, Peter more pointedly says “30 The God of our fathers raised up Yahshua, whom you had taken in hand, hanging upon a timber. 31 Him, Founder and Savior, Yahweh elevated to His right hand for which to give repentance and a remission of errors to Israel. 32 And we are witnesses of these words and the Holy Spirit which Yahweh has given to those who are obedient to Him.” Peter states that the salvation of Christ is only to those in Israel who are obedient to Yahweh. Peter also infers that this high priest is not among those who would be obedient to God. The Book of Acts, as we have said, is a book of transition, and it clearly took the apostles quite some time to sort out the events surrounding the ministry, death and resurrection of Christ in relation to the Scripture, in relation to the children of Israel, and in relation to the rulers and the people of Judaea. By the time in which he wrote his epistles, Peter demonstrates and relates a much deeper understanding of the iniquity in Israel, where in 2 Peter chapter 2 he relates that iniquity to those eternal enemies of Yahweh our God:
From 2 Peter chapter 2: “4 For if Yahweh did not spare the messengers who had done wrong but having cast them into Tartaros into a pit of darkness He had delivered them being kept for judgment, 5 and He did not spare of the old society but He had kept Noah, the eighth proclaimer of righteousness, having brought a deluge upon the society of the impious, 6 and the cities of Sodom and Gomorra burning to ashes He had condemned to destruction, having been set forth for an example of those who are going to be impious, 7 and He delivered the righteous Lot who had been oppressed by the licentious conduct of the lawless 8 (for with sights and reports the righteous one dwelling among them day by day tormented a righteous soul with their lawless deeds), 9 the Prince knows to deliver the pious from trial, but to keep the unrighteous being punished for a day of judgment – 10 and especially those going after the flesh with desires of defilement and despising authority, presumptuous adventurers, not fearing honor they blaspheme, 11 where the messengers being greater in power and ability do not bring against them a judgment for blasphemy as appropriate. 12 But these, having been born as natural irrational animals into destruction and corruption in which blaspheming they are ignorant in their corruption they also shall perish, 13 doing injustice for the wages of injustice, regarding luxury a pleasure by day, stains and disgraces reveling in their deceits feasting together with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and unable to cease from wrongdoing, enticing unstable souls, having hearts exercised for greediness, cursed children, 15 abandoning the straight road they have wandered astray, following in the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who had loved the wage of unrighteousness, 16 but he had a rebuke for his own transgression: a dumb beast of burden with the voice of a man having spoken clearly had curbed the derangement of the prophet. 17 These are streams without water and clouds being driven by a tempest, for whom the gloom of darkness is kept. 18 For uttering excessive vanity they entice with the licentious desires of the flesh those nearly escaping who are returning to error. 19 Proclaiming for themselves freedom they become slaves of corruption. For by that which one is overcome, to this he is enslaved. 20 For if escaping the pollutions of Society by the knowledge of our Prince and Savior Yahshua Christ, and these being entangled again are overcome, the ends of them become worse than the beginnings! 21 For it was better for them not having known the way of righteousness than they know turning away from the holy commandment having been delivered to them. 22 But the truth of the proverb happened to them: 'A dog returns to its own vomit', and 'a sow being cleansed to rolling in mud'.
The angels that sinned, those going after the flesh with desires of defilement, those who despise the authority of God, the presumptuous adventurers who blaspheme not fearing God, those who were born as “natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed”, as the King James Version has it, “in which blaspheming they are ignorant in their corruption they also shall perish”, which are “stains and disgraces reveling in their deceits feasting together with you”, here Peter must mean that they are not of Israel in the first place because obviously there is no chance of repentance for them, and no offer for repentance to them. These are “unable to cease from wrongdoing” being “cursed children” and “streams without water” because they are broken cisterns, those race-mixed people of Jeremiah chapter 2 who are unable to wash off their iniquity. Even when they see the way of righteousness they are like dogs who return to their own vomit because that is where they originated. They are sows rolling in mud because they are swine, and not sheep: they did not originate with the sheepfold. Here, approximately 30 years after the first Pentecost, Peter reveals that the mystery of iniquity is genetic, as he evidently learned over the course of the events following the resurrection of Christ. The Book of Acts is indeed a book of transition, and the epistles reveal.
The apostle Paul also warned about the Judaeans, or perhaps by this time more appropriately Jews: “Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men”, at 2 Thessalonians 2:15. Paul says at Philippians chapter 3: “2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” They are dogs returned to their own vomit, even if they had the benefit of the law and the prophets. From Psalm 50: “16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?” In Romans chapter 9 Paul explains that the vessels of mercy are the children of Jacob-Israel, and the “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” are the descendents of Esau-Edom, who can indeed be traced back through the Old Testament to those same “angels that sinned”. It is the Gospel of Christ which is to divide the wheat from the tares, and that process began in Judaea at its very beginning.
Peter, and Jude in his epistle - parts of which very closely parallel 2 Peter chapter 2, take a very esoteric approach to this mystery of iniquity. Yet in their own way both attribute it to the angels that sinned, or the angels that left their first estate. John also speaks somewhat esoterically of these anti-Christs where in his first epistle, in chapter 2, he says “18 Little children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that the Antichrist comes, even now many Antichrists have been born, from which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They came out from us but they were not from of us. For if they were from of us, they would have abided with us, but so that they would be made manifest that they are all not from of us.” John's epistle can only refer to those mixed-race Canaanite and Edomite Judaeans, known today as jews. Paul's pragmatic and historical approach combined with these testimonies should give us all of understanding that we require to ascertain these things. As John says that “they came out from us but they were not from of us”, Paul says “not all those who are from Israel are those of Israel” in Romans 9:6, where he proceeds to compare Jacob and Esau. It is a fact of both Scripture (i.e. Ezekiel chapter 35) and history (i.e. Josephus, Antiquities Book 13; Strabo, Geography Book 16) that the Judaeans of the first century were primarily comprised of both Israelites and Edomites. It is also a fact that the high priests who had Christ put to death were Sadducees and Edomites, which we shall discuss at length in Acts chapter 5. Paul called Esau a fornicator and a profane person in Hebrews 12:16, and that is why the Edomites were “cursed children” and “vessels of wrath fitted for destruction”, because their race-mixing father had sired them from the daughters of Canaan, who themselves were in part descended from both the Rephaim and the children of Cain, who were all the seed of “the angels that sinned”.
24 Whom Yahweh has resurrected, having undone the travails of death, in which manner it was not possible for Him to be held by it.
Isaiah 25: “8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. 9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
25 Indeed David said for Him: ‘I saw Yahweh before my face continually, for He is on my right hand, that I am not shaken.
The Greek word προοράω (4308) may be “to foresee”, as Brenton has it in his Septuagint rendering of this very same text at Psalm 15 (16):8, and as the King James Version has it here. Yet in the Christogenea New Testament it is “to see something before one”, which is after the primary definition of the word provided by Liddell & Scott, and so with the phrase ἐνώπιόν μου (“my face”) it is “to see...before”, or here in the first person singular it is “I saw...before” in the appropriate tense. The sense of the word here is spatial and not necessarily temporal, as the other versions read it, necessarily repeating the word before a second time which is not in the Greek.
In the Christogenea New Testament, the Greek word κύριος is usually rendered as Yahweh where the context is set in the Old Testament, because it was the Tetragrammaton from Hebrew which represents the name Yahweh which became κύριος in the Septuagint. Here the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Bezae (D) have the word μου (my) after τὸν κύριον (Yahweh), where I would write “I saw my Prince”.
26 On account of this my heart has rejoiced, and my tongue has exulted, and further even my flesh shall rest in hope[Or literally shall settle upon hope] 27 because You shall not leave my soul behind in Hades, nor give over Your Sanctioned One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life. You shall fill me with gladness with Your presence.’
Verses 25 through 28 contain a nearly verbatim quote of the Septuagint Greek version of Psalm 16:8-11. There are only minute differences in these verses among all of the Greek manuscripts, namely the addition of the word for my in verse 25 already mentioned here, and a minor but irrelevant difference in word order in verse 26. Except for these, the New Testament manuscripts have a difference of only one letter with the Septuagint Greek text, which is an omega rather than an omicron in the very first verb, προοράω, which makes for no difference in translation.
Hades is a transliteration of the Greek word Ἅιδης (86) for the underworld abode of the dead, and it also appears in the New Testament at Acts 2:31, twice in Luke, twice in Matthew, and four times in the Revelation.
The phrase “Your Sanctioned One” is from a Substantive use of the Greek word ὅσιος (3741), an adjective which means “hallowed, sanctioned by the law of God...1. opposed to δίκαιος (sanctioned by human law)” (Liddell & Scott). Usually rendered as holy in the King James Version, it is not there distinguished from ἅγιος (39, 40), which is “devoted to the gods, sacred, holy” (Liddell & Scott). Because ὅσιος is used to denote something which is sanctioned by the law of God, as opposed to man, here with the possessive pronoun referring to God it must be, as a Substantive, “Your Sanctioned One”. It refers to David himself in the Psalm, and it also refers prophetically to Christ, as Peter is about to explain. David, being the temporal anointed King, was a type for Christ, the eternal anointed King, and many of David's writings clearly applied both to events in his own life, and as prophecies in reference to Christ. Therefore Christ is also often termed David, speaking prophetically, in the prophets Ezekiel and Hosea.
Ezekiel 37: “24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.”
Hosea 3: “5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.”
29 Men, brothers, I had to speak with frankness to you concerning the patriarch David, because he also has died and is buried, and his tomb is among us unto this day.
That the tomb of David was known at the time of Christ is evident from the pages of Josephus, who in his Antiquities at 13.8.4 (13:249) and 16.7.1 (16:179-183) describes how David's tomb was pillaged first by Hyrcanus circa 130 B.C. where he removed 3000 talents of silver, and then by the Edomite king Herod nearly 100 years later where he took all of the gold furnishings and other implements. Josephus described how Herod needed the money due to his lavish spending which he undertook to curry favor in all of the various cities of Judaea. How typical of the Edomite, redistributing wealth that belongs to others for his own political gain! When you study history, you see the same repetitive patterns.
30 Therefore being a prophet [Peter here considers David a prophet, which he certainly was] and one who knows that Yahweh had sworn an oath to him that one from the fruit of his loins is to sit upon his throne,
The Codex Bezae (D) has “the fruit of his heart”, surely an anomaly. After heart this same Codex inserts the words “according to the flesh to resurrect the Christ and” (followed by “to sit upon His throne”). After loins the Majority Text inserts a similar phrase, “that according to the flesh to resurrect the Christ who” (followed by “is to sit upon His throne”). The text of the Christogenea New Testament follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus, Vaticanus (B) and Ephraemi Syri (C).
31 having foreseen he had spoken concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that He would not be left behind in Hades nor His flesh see corruption. 32 This is Yahshua whom Yahweh has resurrected, of whom all of us are witnesses.
The Majority Text has “His soul would not be left behind”, where P91 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus, Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Bezae (D) all want the word for soul. Peter explains that David, being a prophet, had written these things and had nevertheless died - his tomb in Jerusalem being the proof of his death. Whereas Christ, who was resurrected, must be He whom David had spoken of when he had written this passage which Peter has cited here from Psalm 16.
33 Therefore having been exalted with the right hand of Yahweh, and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He has poured forth this [referring to the gifts of the Spirit at Pentecost], which you also see and hear. 34 For David had not gone up into the heavens, but he himself says: ‘Yahweh said to my Master, sit at My right hand, 35 until I shall place Your enemies as a footstool for Your feet.’ 36 Therefore all the house of Israel must know with certainty that Yahweh also has made both His Prince and Christ that Yahshua whom you crucified!”
Peter makes an analogy because the body of David was dead and buried, and not resurrected. But the body of Christ was resurrected and He had ascended into heaven, and with Peter all of these other apostles accompanying him are witnesses to these things. Therefore he asserts that Christ must be the promised Messiah, the Lord which David himself spoke of in Psalm 110:1, which Peter quotes here in verses 34 and 35.
This quote from Psalm 110:1, and the Greek text of Acts except for one minor variation in a few manuscripts which want a single letter, an article, is identical to that of the Septuagint. The first few words of the Greek phrase in the quote from the Psalm is εἶπεν [ὁ] κύριος τῶ κυρίῳ μου, which is rendered in the King James Version as “The Lord said unto my Lord”. In both the Greek and English versions it is the same in the Psalms and here in Acts. However to render the phrase so that it makes sense in English while maintaining the sense of what was apparently said in the original Hebrew, I have resorted to the Masoretic Text. The first occurrence of “lord”, the Greek κύριος, in the Masoretic Text is from Strong’s Hebrew #3068 which is the Tetragrammaton, Yahweh, and the second occurrence is from Strong’s Hebrew #113, adon, which is therefore rendered here as Master. The context surely supports the rendering supplied here. It must also be noted that the continued use of the Greek word κύριος referring to Christ shows that Yahshua was not disagreeable to the Septuagint usage of the term, which was so often applied to Him by the apostles.
Yahshua Christ challenged the Pharisees with this same citation, Psalm 110:1, concerning the nature of the Messiah, and they could not answer Him. This is recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Here it is from Matthew chapter 22: “41 Then upon the Pharisees’ gathering together, Yahshua questioned them, 42 saying: 'What do you think concerning the Christ? Whose son is He?' They say to Him 'That of David!' 43 He says to them: 'Then how does David by the Spirit call Him ‘Master’, saying: 44 ‘Yahweh has said to my Master, sit at My right hand, until when I should place Your enemies beneath Your feet’? 45 So if David calls Him ‘Master’, how is He his son?' 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone venture from that day to question Him any longer.”
The answer to Yahshua's question to the Pharisees is evident at Isaiah 11: “1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD”. In Revelation chapter 22 Yahshua Christ calls Himself “the root and the offspring of David”, and the only way that this could be is for Him to be both God and man. Thus Peter uses this Psalm to demonstrate to these Judaeans that Yahshua Christ was indeed their promised Messiah. The extraordinary gift of tongues accompanying this testimony made it believable, that it was a portent from God Himself that these things which Peter attests must be true.
37 Now hearing they had pierced their hearts, and said to Petros and the rest of the ambassadors “Men, brothers, what should we do?” 38 And Petros to them: “Repent, it says, and each of you must be immersed in the Name of Yahshua Christ for remission of your errors and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
They had pierced their hearts, meaning that they were truly sorrowful that these things had happened, and therefore they must be accepting of Peter's testimony. The Majority Text inserts the phrase “And Peter said to them” at the beginning of verse 38; both the Codex Vaticanus (B) and the Majority Text want the Greek word rendered “it says”.
It is clear until Acts chapter 10 that the apostles were still baptizing after the baptism of John, which meant using a body of running water, such as a river or stream, as a part of a baptism ritual. However in Acts chapter 11 Peter realizes that such a ritual was not necessary in order to receive the Holy Spirit. From that point, water was no longer mentioned in connection with the idea of baptism, and both Peter and Paul later dismiss its use in their epistles. For this reason, Luke opens this Book of Acts with the statement by Christ that “Iohannes immersed in water, but you shall be immersed in the Holy Spirit after not many days hence”, referring to this baptism of the Spirit which first occurred at Pentecost. These things shall be discussed more fully when we arrive at our presentation of those later chapters of Acts.
39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those in the distance, as many as the Prince our God should call.”
The Codex Bezae (D) has “to us and to our children”. The phrase “Prince our God”, referring to Christ, may have been rendered “Yahweh our God”. The Greek word κύριος was used in the New Testament both as a replacement for the Tetragrammaton in quotes from the Old Testament, hence Yahweh, and as a title for Christ, Lord in the King James and most other versions, but Prince in the Christogenea New Testament.
As many as Yahweh our God should call. People do not call or choose God. Rather, the Scriptures teach everywhere that God chooses people: and the Scriptures also teach everywhere that God has only chosen, and only recognizes, the Adamic people of the children of Israel.
Psalm 105: “6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. 7 He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth. 8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. 9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; 10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant.”
Psalm 135: “ 2 Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God, 3 Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. 4 For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. 5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.”
Isaiah 41: “8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. 9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Isaiah 43: “10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. 13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? 14 Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. 15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.”
These words cannot be broken. Peter, here in this very passage, is addressing men of Israel, and tells them that “the promise is to you and to your children” and a mention of children would be unnecessary to repeat f the promise were to anyone else and anyone's children. The reference to “all those in the distance, as many as the Prince our God should call” is a reference to as many of dispersed Israel which Yahweh had promised to call in the law and the prophets!
Again, from Isaiah 43 where Yahweh addresses the children of Israel: “5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
And from Luke chapter 1, where the purpose of the ministry of Christ is expressed by Mary: “54 He has come to the aid of His servant Israel, to call mercy into remembrance, 55 just as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring for the age.” And again from that same chapter where the purpose of the ministry of Christ is expressed by Zacharias: ““Blessed is Yahweh the God of Israel, that He has visited and brought about redemption for His people, 69 and has raised a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant, 70 just as He spoke through the mouths of His holy prophets from of old: 71 preservation from our enemies and from the hand of all those who hate us! 72 To bring about mercy with our fathers and to call into remembrance His holy covenant, 73 the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, which is given to us: 74 being delivered fearlessly from the hands of our enemies to serve Him 75 in piety and in righteousness before Him for all of our days.”
40 And with many other words he affirmed and exhorted them saying “You must be saved from this crooked race!” 41 So then those accepting his account were immersed and they added in that day about three thousand souls.
How could one be saved from a “generation”, that one was born into and has no choice but to be a part of? One need not be saved from a period of time, however one can indeed be saved from a crooked race. This substantiates the assertions made here earlier, that a portion of Judaea was not of Israel, but were indeed “cursed children” and “natural brute beasts”, whether or not Peter understood exactly why this was so at the time when he uttered these words. Where in the King James Version Paul spoke of “a crooked and perverse nation” in Philippians 2:15, we see the same Greek word, γενεά (1074), which was translated here in the King James Version as generation was translated there as nation! The word “untoward” in the King James Version is σκολιός (4646), which is quite literally crooked. The mystery of this iniquity, as Paul explains, was that the substance of the population was for the most part divided among the offspring of both Jacob and Esau.
Here we shall end our presentation of this part of Acts chapter 2, and we shall commence next week by further elaborating on Peter's words here in connection with this same theme.