1. The early church in Jerusalem, 1:1-5:42

v] Peter's Pentecost sermon, 2:14-35

a) Introduction - no drunkenness here


We can't be certain, but it is likely the disciples are gathered in the temple precinct ("the outer court", Longenecker), and it is there that they are washed with Holy Spirit in tongues of fire, and begin speaking in "tongues". A crowd gathers, but confusion reigns; some are amazed, others mock. So, before proclaiming the God's kingdom message / gospel to the crowd, Peter sets out to explain what has just happened.


The promised outpouring of God's Spirit is fulfilled.


i] Context: See 1:1-11. Luke's account of life in the early church in Jerusalem continues with Peter's Pentecost sermon, his apologia. The sermon has three parts, first, an introduction, v14-21, an example of judicial rhetoric, a refutatio, a rejection of the charge of drunkenness. The body of the sermon continues in judicial form, v22-36, ending with a deliberative conclusion where Peter draws out the need for decision.


ii] Background: Herod's temple in the first century


iii] Structure: Sermon introduction:


Not drunkenness but the fulfilment of prophecy

Citation - Joel 3:1-5


iv] Interpretation:

The prophetic utterances of the disciples have prompted both amazement and confusion among the gathered crowd of worshippers in the outer court of the temple, with some even charging the disciples with drunkenness. So, Peter sets the record straight. Instead of drunkenness, the congregation is actually witnessing the fulfilment of a prophecy delivered by Joel (Joel 3:1-5). In his proclamation of the kerygma / gospel that follows, Peter will explain how Jesus has realised the long-promised blessings of the covenant for God's people Israel, but for the present, Peter wants his audience to recognise in the disciples' actions, not drunkenness, but a work of God's Spirit, a work prophesied by the prophet Joel.

Text - 2:14

Peter's sermon-introduction, v14-21: i] Explanation - not drunkenness, but the fulfilment of prophecy, v14-16. Although a larger group than the eleven apostles received the Spirit, it is only Jesus' chosen representatives who now stand before the gathered crowd. Peter serves as their spokesmen - as they were "filled" to speak in "tongues", now Peter is filled apofqeggomai, "to utter" (the word is used here of an inspired prophetic word, cf., 2:4).

staqeiV (iJsthmi) aor. pas. part. "stood up" - [but/and peter] having stood. The NIV takes this participle as attendant on the verb "to lift up, raise up", but it may just be adverbial, modal, expressing manner, "Peter, standing with the eleven", ESV. Although anarthrous (without an article), the participle may be treated as adjectival, attributive, "Peter, however, who was standing there with the eleven, raised his voice .....,", Cassirer.

sun + dat. "with" - with [the eleven]. Expressing association / accompaniment.

autoiV dat. pro. "the crowd" - [lifted up the voice of him and uttered] to them. Dative of indirect object.

oiJ katoikounteV (katoikew) pres. part. "all of you who live [in Jerusalem]" - [men, jews, and all] the ones inhabiting [jerusalem]. The participle serves as a substantive, and along with "Jews", is a vocative in apposition to "men". Given that the "men" are Jews (the diaspora contingent??), and those who inhabit Jerusalem the local Jews, then obviously the Ioudaioi are probably "Judeans."

uJmin dat. pro. "to you" - [let this be known] to you, Dative of direct object after the verb "to know." The pronoun touto, "this", serves as the subject of the verb "to know", not the direct object with "you" as the indirect object.

mou gen. pro. "[what] I say" - [pay close attention to the words] of me. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, "my words", or subjective, as NIV.


"It is far too short a time (after rising) to have gotten drunk off low-alcoholic cheap wine", Kellum. None-the-less, "the experience of glossolalia is ... sufficiently ambiguous to require interpretation", Johnson.

gar "-" - for. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the crowd should listen carefully, "because" what has occurred is not what they think.

wJV "as [you suppose]" - [these ones are not drunk] as [you suppose]. Here the comparative introduces a characteristic quality, not "like", but "exactly as." Their assumptions are baseless. "These men are not, as you suggest, drunk", Barclay.

gar "-" - for. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the disciples' behaviour is not what the crowd thinks.

thV hJmeraV (a) "[it's only nine in the morning]" - [it is third hour] of the day. The genitive is adjectival, partitive. "They haven't had time to get drunk; It's only nine o'clock in the morning", Peterson.


For Luke, the Pentecostal event is the fulfilment of prophecy, both now, realised, and not yet, eschatological; See Luke's eschatology in the Introduction.

alla "No" - but. Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction; "not what you think, but ......." "No, what this signifies has been foretold by the prophet Joel", Cassirer.

to eirhmenon (legw) perf. mid. part. "what was spoken" - [this is] the thing having been spoken. The participle serves as a substantive, predicate nominative of the verb to-be.

dia + gen. "by" - by [the prophet joel]. Expressing agency. The Western text does not name the prophet; Barrett thinks that this variant may well be original.


ii] Citation - Joel 3:1-5. Peter explains the violent blast of wind and the disciples prophetic utterances, as a fulfilment of Joel's last-days prophecy to the people of Israel. In the last days, when the Lord (here applied to Jesus??) will "rescue" his people, God's Spirit will fall on "all flesh" and they, in company with cosmic signs, will prophecy. For Luke, Gabriel's trumpet is sounding, the new age of the kingdom has dawned. Note also how the text supports Luke's universalism; the Spirit comes upon pasan sarka, "all flesh" = "all humanity", although for the present, the pentecostal blessings fall on "the sons and daughters" / Israel.

en + dat. "in [the last days]" - [and it will be] in [the last days, says god]. Temporal use of the preposition; "When the last days come", CEV. The LXX has meta tauta, "after these things", indicating that Luke has skewed the text for eschatological effect.

apo + gen. "-" - [i will pour out] from [the spirit of me upon all flesh, and the sons of you and the daughters of you will prophesy, and the young men of you will dream dreams]. The preposition is used in the place of a partitive genitive. Not in the sense of a disciple receiving some of the Spirit / part of the Spirit, but of there being a distribution of the Spirit. Probably not expressing source as this would separate the person of the Spirit from his power. It is not the pouring out of the Spirit's power, but his person

enupnioiV (on) dat. "[will dream] dreams" - [and the elders of you will dream] dreams. Dative of direct object after the en prefix verb "to dream." Kellum suggests the classification dative of manner; Culy suggests an instrumental classification.


Best viewed as a parallel statement to v17 - a typical feature of Hebrew poetry. In this, and the previous verse, there are three parallel statements, but it seems likely that it is the second and third that stand together. The blessings of the covenant are ultimately for all humanity, but with particular reference to the children of Israel / the servants of the Lord - all are now set free. Luke adds "and they will prophesy", reinforcing the link to v16b.

ge "even" - [and] indeed [upon the male slaves of me and upon the female slaves of me, in those days i will pour out from the spirit of me and they will prophesy]. Intensive particle; "Indeed, in those days ....", Cassirer.


Joel draws on Sinai imagery to describe God's last-days coming, a coming associated with "signs" (Luke's addition to the LXX) and "wonders." All this associated with God's prophet Moses, imaged in Jesus' ministry and now his disciples. As already noted, any scholarly debate between supporters of a realised eschatology and supports of a futuristic / inaugurated eschatology, need not be pursued given that both apply - the kingdom is now / not yet. So, not only were these signs evident on Mount Sinai, the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, as well as at Jesus' crucifixion, they are evident at Pentecost, will be evident at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, and of course, at the end of the age. As for the signs themselves, cosmic imagery is used to illustrate the dissolution of all powers, often with particular reference to civil powers and authorities / judgment upon the nations, eg., Isaiah 13, judgment on Babylon, cf., v10; ref., Lk.21:25.

en + dat. "in [the heavens]" - [and i will give wonders] in [the heaven above]. Local, expressing space.

epi + gen. "on [the earth]" - [and signs] upon [the earth below]. Spatial.

kapnou (oV) gen. "of smoke" - [blood and fire and a vapour] of smoke. The genitive is adjectival, possibly epexegetic, specifying the vapour, "a vapour which is made up of smoke", but probably just attributive, "smoky vapour." Peterson opts for attributed, where the lead noun functions as the attributive adjective, "blood and fire and billowing smoke", Peterson.


The cosmic signs of the dissolution of powers come "before" the day of the Lord is manifest (epifanh, "evident" rather than "glorious"). That day is now in the outpouring of the Spirit in these last days, and will be in the last day.

eiV + acc. "[turned] to [darkness]" - [the sun will be transformed] into [darkness, and the moon] into [blood]. Expressing direction of action and arrival at, the preposition is used here to indicate "a change in state", Culy.

prin + inf. "before [the coming]" - before [to come]. This construction, the temporal conjunction prin + the infinitive, introduces a temporal clause expressing subsequent time.

kuriou (oV) gen. "[day] of the Lord" - [the great and manifest (evident) day] of the lord. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, identifying the possession of a derivative characteristic; "the day pertaining to the Lord."


The conclusion of this text from Joel, proclaiming salvation for all who "call on the name of the Lord", leads comfortably into Peter's gospel sermon / his proclamation of the kerygma. The gospel calls for repentance, a turning to God in Christ for forgiveness, acceptance, and inclusion in the new age of the kingdom. God's call through Joel now becomes his call through Peter.

estai (eimi) fut. "-" - [and] it will be. The use here of the future verb to-be serves to link this verse to estai, v17; "And it will be that in the last days .....", "and it will be that all whoever call upon the name of the Lord ......"

paV adj. "-" - all. The adjective serves as the substantive "everyone", standing in apposition to o}V a]n, "whoever", subject of the future verb "will be saved." Its use is somewhat redundant, but emphatic, serving to reinforce "whoever"; "Whoever, and I mean everyone, who calls on the name of the Lord ...."

o}V a]n + subj. "everyone [who calls]" - whoever [calls upon the name of the lord, then he will be saved]. Introducing an indefinite relative clause which, in the present context, is conditional. Here the actions of indefinite individuals produce a definite future action. Anyone who invokes God's name (his person), seeking his mercy in and through Jesus Christ, will be saved. Although Joel understands "the Lord" to be YHWH, Jehovah, New Testament authors tend to apply the reference to the Lord Jesus Christ.


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