Luke's Application of Joel 2:28-32


In Peter's Sermon in Acts 2


Roli G. dela Cruz





A lot of work has been done already about Acts, both as a historical document of the ancient church, and as a theological work. Numerous studies have been done about the function of the speeches in the narrative. Likewise, Pentecostal scholarship has progressed quickly in the right direction in approaching Acts. The fruit of the work of the scholars that labored and contributed to the study of Acts, in relation to the Pentecostal claim, should be used to articulate the author's intent in the use of Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2. The Lukan intent of depicting the charismatic empowerment of the Spirit is once again considered in terms of the purpose of the quotation of Joel's oracle in Peter's sermon.





The citation of Joel 2:28-32[1] gives a relevant eschatological significance to Peter's speech at Pentecost, which is pivotal to Luke's intent in the Acts narrative. For Luke, the eschatological outpouring of the Spirit is foundational for the notion that the gift of the Spirit is available to every believer.[2] Corollary to this universal outpouring is the fact that the reception of the Spirit of prophecy brings inspiration for the proclamation of the crucified Christ. The disciples' experience of the Spirit at Pentecost empowers them, as witnesses for Christ, to the challenge of encouraging others to call upon the name of the Lord for salvation. Thus, a closer examination of the Gospel writer's usage of Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2 shows the direction in which the Gospel writer perceives the outpouring of the Spirit of God as an eschatological fulfillment, prophetic manifestation, and universal gift for the people of God.[3]


The Pentecostal traditional belief concerning the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2--which is that, Spirit-baptism is for empowerment in witnessing--is the assumption followed in this essay. An attempt is made in this presentation to answer the problem of the application of Joel 2:28-32 in Peter's speech and its purpose in Luke's intent in his narrative. The question of the authenticity of Peter's sermon, however, is at stake also in understanding Acts 2. The debate centers on the question of whether the sermon is a free composition of the Gospel writer, or is a summary of what Peter has actually spoken. What would be the implication of Peter's speech employing Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2 in the light of Luke's uses of the speeches in Acts?





In the light of the context wherein the disciples received the empowering gift of the Spirit at Pentecost, the content of the gospel that they will bring to all the world was first announced by Peter in Acts 2:14-40.[4] Hence, Peter's sermon in Acts 2:14-40[5] is important in knowing the fundamental message of the early church, which is the context of the quotation of Joel 2:28-32.[6] Luke, in Peter's speech, connects the two significant events that have transpired; namely, Christ's death and resurrection, and the outpouring of the eschatological, universal and prophetic Spirit to the church.[7]


Peter articulates the connection of the two events in Acts 2:32-33. The apparent relationship of the two events indicates that the Spirit was poured out on the believers to equip them with power to testify with boldness.[8] The Gospel writer describes the experience as the "filling" with the Spirit in Acts 2:4,[9] so that the recipients can witness boldly to the death and the resurrection of Christ. This is the plain message of the Gospel that is being proclaimed in the Acts narrative.[10]


The Pentecost event was actually explained by the Gospel writer through the sermon of Peter.[11] In the speech, Peter explained the event.[12] Through the citation of Joel 2:28-32, Peter, as well as Luke, was able to portray the charismatic empowering aspect of the coming of the Spirit.[13] The speech of Peter is appropriately used by Luke to articulate the literary and historical implications of the Pentecost event.[14] The authorial intent of the Gospel writer surfaces as he employs Peter's sermon to interpret the event that he is narrating.





The occurrence of the event mentioned in the passage was during the important Jewish festival of Pentecost (Acts 2:1). The basis of the Pentecost account of the outpouring of Spirit, as indicated in Acts 2:1-13, is certainly grounded on traditional material from the apostolic church in Jerusalem.[15] Although there are several problems in the text's account,[16] the consequences of what occurred as presented is certain.[17] Pentecost is celebrated by the Jews fifty days after the Passover celebration.[18] So, by assuming that Jesus died during the period of Passover celebration, the time that Peter preached was just fifty days after the death of Jesus on the cross.[19] Perhaps, among Peter's audience were those who had witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus (cf. Acts 2:23, 36).


Besides the importance of the event, the initial proclamation of the early Christian kerygma by Peter in the said historical occasion is noteworthy.[20] The analysis of the content of Peter's sermon in Acts 2 will give a knowledge of the development of early Christian preaching and theology.[21] Accordingly, the pattern of the apostolic preaching is typified by Peter's preaching in Acts.[22]


Ancient Speeches as Historical Events


The question on the significance of the sermon of Peter in Acts 2 is a vital question to address. L. Goppelt recognizes that Peter's sermons in Acts 2-5 are the "oldest missionary kerygma."[23] The debate continues about the real nature of the speeches in Acts, whether they are Lukan inventions or summaries.[24] Thus the credibility of Peter's sermon in Acts is at stake.[25]


The antiquities may give some insights about the nature of published public speeches in a narrative. Thucydides, in The History of the Peloponnesian War (1.1.22), provides an adequate reference for the integrity of speeches in history:


With reference to the speeches in this history, some were delivered before the war began, others while it was going on; some I heard myself, others I got from various quarters; it was in all cases difficult to carry them word for word in one's memory, so my habit has been to make the speakers say what was in my opinion demanded of them by the various occasions, of course adhering as closely as possible to the general sense of what they really said. And with reference to the narrative of events, far from permitting myself to derive it from the first source that came to hand, I did not even trust my own impressions, but it rests partly on what I saw myself, partly on what others saw for me, the accuracy of the report being always tried by the most severe and detailed tests possible. My conclusions have cost me some labour from the want of coincidence between accounts of the same occurrences by different eye-witnesses, arising sometimes from imperfect memory, sometimes from undue partiality for one side or the other. The absence of romance in my history will, I fear, detract somewhat from its interest; but if it be judged useful by those inquirers who desire an exact knowledge of the past as an aid to the interpretation of the future, which in the course of human things must resemble if it does not reflect it, I shall be content. In fine, I have written my work, not as an essay which is to win the applause of the moment, but as a possession for all time.[26]


Thucydides makes it clear that his record of speeches in history heeds "as closely as possible to the general sense of what they really said." It is evident that the first class Greek historians of the antiquities was faithful to the original sense of their historical record "as a possession for all time." In fact, another first class Greek historian criticizes those people who are overstating and inventing historical records to generate misconception to the readers. Polybius, in The Histories (2.56.10-12), points out that:


A historical author should not try to thrill his readers by such exaggerated pictures, nor should he, like a tragic poet try to imagine the probable utterances of his characters or reckon up all the consequences probably incidental to the occurrences with which he deals, but simply record what really happened and what really was said, however commonplace. For the object of tragedy is not the same as that of history but quite the opposite. The tragic poet should thrill and charm his audience for the moment by the verisimilitude of the words he puts into his character's mouths, but it is the task of the historian to instruct and convince for all time serious students by the truth of the facts and the speeches he narrates, since in the one case it is the probable that takes precedence, even if it be untrue, the purpose being to create illusion in spectators, in the other it is the truth, the purpose being to confer benefit on learners.[27]


Elsewhere, Polybius, in The Histories (29.7-12), argues for a very high standard of recording events and speeches in his historical records, stating his belief that he should "simply give a true and unvarnished account" of "descriptions of battles, the reports of speeches, and the other parts of history."[28] Polybius, in The Histories (36.1), specifically maintains his high standard in recording the speeches in historical records:


But on the one hand neither do I think it is the proper part of a politician to display his ingenuity and indulge in discursive talk on any and every subject of debate that may arise, but simply to say what the situation demands, nor is it the proper part of a historian to practice on his readers and make a display of his ability to them, but rather to find out by the most diligent inquiry and report to them what was actually said, and even of this only what was most vital and effectual.[29]


Thucydides and Polybius have shown the characteristics of first class historians, by being faithful to the events that they were recording, whether incidents or speeches. In terms of speeches, it is apparent that they appropriated the meandering discourse into a synopsis of the truth of the speeches recorded to be relevant to the event presented. The speeches are taken by the two prominent Greek historians as a kind of expressing the essential and practical points of the circumstance of the historical facts.


Two other important resources in the usage of speeches in antiquities are the Roman historian, Tacitus, and the Jewish historian, Josephus. Although Tacitus is questioned about the way he reproduced the speech of Emperor Claudius, in The Annals (11.24),[30]--which is also recorded in an inscription[31] that probably contains the original wording of the speech--the conclusions of both C. Gempf[32] and W. Gasque[33] suggest that Tacitus was faithful to the content in a methodical and pertinent manner.


In the case of Josephus, his reporting of speeches is questioned in terms of its validity in comparison to the record of the Old Testament. An example is Josephus, in The Antiquities (1.13.3),[34] placing extended speech in the mouth of Abraham on the scenario of Isaac's sacrifice in Genesis 22. Another illustration of an obvious problem in Josephus' record of speeches is that of the speech of Herod the Great, recorded both in The Antiquities (15.5.3), and in The Wars (1.19.4), in two different versions.[35] Josephus, however, should be taken as presenting an accurate record in his own right. Josephus, in The Wars (Preamble, 1.5), claims:


The ancient historians had set themselves exclusively to record the history of their own times. Their connections with contemporary events added clarity to their writings, and any misrepresentations on their part could have been detected and denounced by their contemporaries. . . . A diligent writer is not one who edits the material and arrangement of other authors, but who contributes fresh data and constructs a historical edifice of his own. . . . Let us then honor historical truth, since it is disregarded by the Greeks.[36]


Josephus has shown his own standard of recording history and his commitment to the truth. Whereas his record differs from that of the Old Testament speech of the Patriarch, showing freedom than what is allowed in the narrative, his style is considered different from that of the Old Testament writers with a literary ambition.[37] Josephus' approach is to relate a Hebrew tradition to a Greco-Roman style.[38] Although his two records of Herod's speech are different, they have the same essence.[39]


Thus, regarded in its totality, the work of Josephus may follow the Greek historiography, but cannot be considered a typical Greek historical work, such as that of Thucydides and Polybius.[40] Nevertheless, the faithfulness of the speeches in the historical event is clearly appropriated in Josephus as exemplified above.[41] While the speeches in Josephus can be criticized as tactless, they do express the meaning of the event in an applicable way.


Thus, the Jewish historian Josephus, together with the Roman Tacitus, and the Greeks Thucydides and Polybius, are in the similar notion that the published speeches in the antiquities allocate the incidents and circumstances in the entire context of the historical event.



Acts Speeches as Theological Mechanisms


As a consequence of what I have said up to now, in this modern period of scholarship regarding the contents of Acts--whether one is arguing with M. Dibelius,[42] who maintains that the speeches in Acts as compositions of the writer, or with F. F. Bruce,[43] who contends that they are digested records of speeches generated in reality--the use of Peter's sermon in Acts 2 shows that it is indeed used appropriately by Luke to express the meaning of the event.[44]


It has been suggested that speeches in Acts are actually literary, historiographic, or theological devices of Luke.[45] In all of the interpretation given to the speeches in Acts, there is a reasonable basis to think that the speeches are used by Luke for "literary and historical appropriateness."[46] C. Gempf summarizes his studies on the speeches that are published in the ancient world relating his findings to Luke's speeches in Acts:


In ancient world, rhetoric was power and speech was a type of action. Ancient historians, in their recording speeches in their works, were giving records of event rather than transcripts of words. Their statements of method indicate that they took this task seriously. The modern categories of `accurate' versus `invention' for these accounts are the wrong conceptual tools, judging the accounts as a transcript. These accounts should be regarded as either `faithful' or `unfaithful' to the historical event. A public speech included in an ancient history should be seen as having a two-pronged goal: being appropriate to the historical event and being appropriate to the historical work as a whole. These goals were pursued in tandem by the best of the historians, and probably also by the author of Luke-Acts.[47]


It is of great importance that recognition be given to the close connection between the Pentecost event and Peter's speech, which shows how the phenomenon of the Spirit is interpreted in the sermon.[48] The Gospel writer utilized the speech of Peter as the explanation to the Pentecost event that he portrays. Consequently, the speech of Peter in Acts 2 is a faithful abstract[49] of his real speech, which is the expression of the actual event that was presented by Luke.[50] Thus, it can be maintained that the Lukan representation of Peter's speech is authentic, because it encompasses the true essence of what the apostle actually spoke at Pentecost.


E. Hilgert evaluates the mechanism of Luke in terms of meeting the standard of ancient historiography:


When Luke's speeches are evaluated in terms of the Hellenistic canons of "appropriateness" (t prXpon) and "genuine contests" (lh'ino gneV), it is clear that they meet both standards. Luke presents speeches reflective of situations of tension and is concerned to relate his speeches to their contexts both in terms of general situation and of inner thematic ties.[51]


The quotation of Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2, as the main text of Peter's sermon, becomes pivotal in understanding the Pentecost event and its meaning as a theological agenda of the Gospel writer in Acts.[52] The Pentecost event is strategically placed by Luke in the outset of his Acts narrative, in order to show that the task of evangelization started with the empowering of the disciples by the Spirit in Acts 2. Luke's theological intent becomes very obvious: the narration of the Pentecost event, and the quotation of Joel's prophecy in relation to the event, point to the charismatic empowering of the church to become Christ's witness, as a fulfillment of the promise of the Father which was reiterated by Christ before he ascended.[53]





The reception by the disciples of the gift of the Spirit in Acts 2 indicates that they received the prophetic gift. The missiological significance of the experience of the Spirit is underscored, and the prediction of Jesus was fulfilled, when the early church was filled and empowered by the Spirit. The motif of empowerment to witness underlies the main theme of Luke in portraying the expansion of the Gospel into all the world through the empowered church as the prophetic witness of Christ, who sent the gift of the Spirit.


The Gospel writer dramatically depicts the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost in his narrative. The appropriateness of his use of Peter's speech at Pentecost is made clear by the recognition of how it meets the writer's dual purpose. First, the sermon of Peter represents the historical circumstance of the Pentecost event itself. Secondly, the quotation of Joel's oracle in Peter's sermon is used by Luke as a means of explaining the historical significance of the event by equating it with the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 in the Pentecost event of Acts 2 narrative.



[1] The reference in the Hebrew or Masoretic Text is 3:1-5.

[2] Richard D. Israel, "Joel 2:28-32 (3:1-5 MT): Prism for Pentecost," in Charismatic Experiences in History, ed. Cecil M. Robeck, Jr. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1985), p. 12, notes that the deletion of Joel 3:5b [2:32b] in Acts 2 that talks about the Lord calling from Jerusalem is prescribed by Acts 1:8. Israel regards that "Luke is careful to strip all vestiges of Jerusalemite particularism from the universal scope of his proclamation." Nevertheless, the "divine call" in Joel 3:5b [2:32b] though omitted in the quote reappears in Acts 2:39 in relation to the universal promise of the Spirit.

[3] Robert P. Menzies, The Development of Early Christian Pneumatology: With Special Reference to Luke-Acts, Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series, ed. David Hill (Sheffield, England: JSOT Press, 1991), pp. 224-229, sees three things surfacing in Luke's usage of Joel: (1) "the Spirit of Pentecost is the Spirit of prophecy;" (2) "the Spirit of Pentecost is universally available to the people of God;" and (3) "the Spirit of Pentecost is an eschatological sign." Roger Stronstad, "The Prophethood of All Believers: A Study in Luke's Charismatic Theology," in Contemporary Issues in Pentecostal Theology, Asia Pacific Theological Seminary First Annual Pentecostal Lectureship Series (Baguio, Philippines: APTS, 1993), pp. 22-23, sees three points in the application of Joel: (1) "the pouring forth of the Holy Spirit is the eschatological gift of the Spirit;" (2) "the pouring forth of the eschatological gift of the Spirit is the Spirit of prophecy;" and (3) "the pouring forth of the eschatological Spirit of prophecy is for the community of God's people." Cf. Roger Stronstad, The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1984), pp. 55-57. Both Menzies and Stronstad recognize that Joel's prophecy relates to the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost with the notion that the disciples received the eschatological, prophetic and universal Spirit of God.

[4] It appears that the climax of Peter's proclamation is stated in Acts 2:24: "But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him." It is important to recognize this point since the climax of Peter's sermon, that started in Acts 2:14 explaining the phenomenon of the Spirit, suddenly shifted as it picked up the Christ event and highlighted verse 24 that emphasizes Jesus' resurrection that was done by the Father. David J. Williams, Acts, New International Biblical Commentary, ed. W. Ward Gasque (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1990), p. 51, concurs that: "With the declaration of verse 24, the speech had reached its climax. It only remained now to show that a resurrection had been foretold in Scripture, that its reference was to the Messiah, and that by fulfilling the prophecy, Jesus 'was declared with power' to be the Messiah."

[5] Marion L. Soards, The Speeches in Acts: Their Content, Context, and Concerns (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994), p. 31, perceives that verses 14-40 contains the sermon of Peter ("with some interaction with the crowd"). Soards further notes that verse 41 recapitulates the speech scenario by giving a conclusion, and then Luke comes up with a synopsis of the church's beginning days at Jerusalem.

[6] Ernst Haenchen, The Acts of the Apostles: A Commentary, trans. B. Noble and G. Shinn, rev. and updated R. McL. Wilson (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1971), p. 178, argues correctly that basically the citation of Joel is to explain the prophesying.

[7] Ralph P. Martin, New Testament Foundations: A Guide for Christians Students, vol. 2, The Acts, The Letters, The Apocalypse, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978), p. 75, notes the two main purposes of Luke in citing the Pentecostal experience of the disciples: (1) the "universal" coming of the Holy Spirit as a "divine gift" which is linked to the "exaltation" of Christ (2:33) wherein "the new age begun by Spirit's presence and power;" and (2) the focus on Peter's message that the messianic age is confirmed by God through signs and that he is "acting in a new way and in decisive power."

[8] The issue of the transfer motif of Luke is very crucial at this point. It states in Acts 2:32-33: "This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear." (NRSV) Stronstad, The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke, p. 49, points out that the explanation of Peter is utilized by Luke to describe "the charismatic Spirit from Jesus to the disciples." It is logical then to maintain with Stronstad that "having become the exclusive bearer of the Holy Spirit at His baptism, Jesus becomes the giver of the Spirit at Pentecost." Stronstad further explains that "this transfer of the Spirit, the disciples become the heirs and successors to the earthly charismatic ministry of Jesus; that is, because Jesus has poured out the charismatic Spirit upon them the disciples will continue to do and teach those things which Jesus began to do and teach (Acts 1:1)." See also Richard F. Zehnle, Peter's Pentecost Discourse: Tradition and Lukan Reinterpretation in Peter's Speeches of Acts 2 and 3, Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series, ed. Robert A. Kraft, vol. 15 (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1971), p. 123.

[9] James B. Shelton, Mighty in Word and Deed: The Role of the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1991), p. 128, observes that since it is notable that Luke emphasizes the empowerment aspect of the gift of the Spirit in the ascension scenes in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8: "Clearly, in the fulfillment of the promise Luke emphasizes not repentance, initial confession of Jesus as Lord, or baptism of the disciples, but witness inspired by the Holy Spirit." Shelton further notes that the infilling with the Spirit in Luke-Acts consistently represents "inspired witness." Cf. Stronstad, The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke, pp. 50-52. For an additional discourse on the synonymous Lukan expressions of the "filling" and "baptism" with the Spirit see C. K. Barrett, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Acts of the Apostles, 2 vols., The International Critical Commentary, eds. J. A. Emerton, C. E. B. Cranfield and G. N. Stanton (Edinburgh, Scotland: T. & T. Clark, 1994), vol. 1, pp. 115 ff. See also French L. Arrington, "The Indwelling, Baptism, and Infilling With the Holy Spirit: A Differentiation of Terms," Pneuma 3 (Fall 1981): 1-10.

[10] So also James D. G. Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit: A Study of the Religious and Charismatic Experience of Jesus and the First Christians as Reflected in the New Testament (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1975), p. 155, who concludes that the disciples' experience of the Spirit of God on Pentecost after Jesus death gave them "both impulse and urgency to testify for him." The "impulse" and "urgency" to be a witness for Christ as Dunn describes is correct. Nevertheless it should be appreciated in terms of the empowering aspect of the gift of the Spirit which is the stress of Luke's pneumatology. See also Barrett, pp. 78 ff.; and Stronstad, The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke, pp. 49 ff. Cf. Robert Maddox, The Purpose of Luke-Acts, Studies of the New Testament and Its World, ed. John Riches (Edinburgh, Scotland: T. & T. Clark, 1982), p. 106, in his contention of the kingdom of God as the concern of Jesus and not the kingdom of Israel emphasizes the empowering of the disciples to be witnesses for him.

[11] Israel, pp. 10-11, observes that Luke shows consideration in the short account of the Pentecost event and illuminates the significance of the event by using Peter's reply to the response of the public.

[12] E. Earle Ellis, The Old Testament in Early Christianity: Canon and Interpretation in the Light of Modern Research (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1991), p. 100, comments that the development of Peter's sermon is from midrash to testimonia. Ellis points that explicit midrash was "a means to establish a particular interpretation of Scripture while isolated proof-texts did not." He suggests further that it is plausible that "a midrash of a given text preceded its use as an isolated 'testimony' in which a Christian understanding of the text is assumed."

[13] Zehnle, p. 123, remarks the with the aid of the quote from Joel, Peter distinguishes the phenomenon as "the eschatological outpouring of the Spirit."

[14] Menzies, p. 215, asserts that "Luke has placed his unique stamp on the text." Here the pesher of Joel 2:28-32 represents "Luke's understanding of the Pentecostal bestowal of the Spirit."

[15] See Andrew T. Lincoln, "Theology and History in the Interpretation of Luke's Pentecost," Expository Times 96 (1984-85): 209. Contra Haenchen, pp. 172-175.

[16] See Zehnle, pp. 111-112, e.g. in his survey of some of the "difficulties to historicity" of the Pentecost event.

[17] See Dunn, pp. 135-156; and I. Howard Marshall, "The Significance of Pentecost," Scottish Journal of Theology 30 (1977): 360-65, who both persuasively argue for the historicity of the account that creates a marvelous relevance for the growth of the church in Acts. Contra Haenchen, pp. 172-175, who maintains that the description of the Pentecost event is a fictional literary construction made by Luke. Lincoln, p. 209, contends that Luke appropriated the traditions and "reworked and reinterpreted them to create his own history-like narrative."

[18] See Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:15-16; Numbers 28:26; and Deuteronomy 16:9-12; cf. Acts 20:16; and 1 Corinthians 16:8.

[19] A good discussion on the reckoning of the Jewish and Christian view of Pentecost in Acts 2 is given by Kirsopp Lake and Henry J. Cadbury, The Acts of the Apostles, vol. 4, The Beginnings of Christianity, part 1, eds. F. J. Foakes Jackson and Kirsopp Lake (London, England: Macmillan, 1933; reprint ed., Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1979), pp. 16-17.

[20] It appears that Peter's discourse is Luke's "keynote address" which defines the theological position explaining the following acts of the apostles on missions that led to the growth of the church on which Luke and his contemporaries are accustomed. See Zehnle, pp. 130-131.

[21] The concept of Peter's preaching in Acts 2 obviously corresponds to the situation and the moment of conveying. However, similar pattern can be sketched in the kerygmatic discourses of Acts 3:12-26; 5:30-32; 10:36-43; 13:16-41. See F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text With Introduction and Commentary, 3rd rev. and enl. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), p. 120.

[22] C. H. Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching and Its Development (London, England: Hodder & Stoughton, 1936; reprint ed., Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1980), pp. 20-24, analyzes the apostolic preaching in Acts according to the following manner: (1) the commencement of the time of fulfillment of the prophecy (2:16; 3:18, 24); (2) the fulfillment was through the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus that was predetermined by God--(a) Davidic descent (2:30-31 from Ps. 132:11); (b) ministry (2:22; 3:22); (c) death (2:23; 3:13-14); (d) resurrection (2:24-31; 3:15; 4:10); (3) the resurrection exalted Jesus as Christ placed at God's right hand and head of the new Israel (Ps. 110:1; 2:33:36; 3:13: 4:11 from Ps. 118:22, cf. 31); (4) the Holy Spirit as sign of Christ's present glory and power is in the church (2:17-21 from Joel 2:28-32 [3:1-5], 32, 33); (5) the consummation of the Messianic era will be on Christ's imminent return (3:21; 10:42); and (6) the appeal to repentance for forgiveness of sins and promise of salvation and the offer of the Holy Spirit (2:38-39 citing Joel 2:32 [3:5] and Isa. 57:19; 3:19, 25-26 quoting Gen. 12:3; 4:12; 5:31; 10:43).

[23] "The design of the sermons, however, offers an astonishing congruence with the earliest kerygma in I Cor. 15:3-5 and turns out to be, therefore, historical at its base." See the discussion of Leonhard Goppelt, Theology of the New Testament, 2 vols., The Variety and Unity of the Apostolic Witness to Christ, vol. 2, trans. John E. Alsup, ed. Jrgen Roloff (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1982), p. 6.

[24] E.g. Henry J. Cadbury, F. J. Foakes Jackson, and Kirsopp Lake, "The Greek and Jewish Traditions of Writing History," in The Acts of the Apostles, vol. 2, The Beginnings of Christianity, part 1, eds. F. J. Foakes Jackson and Kirsopp Lake (London, England: Macmillan, 1933; reprint ed., Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1979), p. 13, maintains that: "From Thucydides downwards, speeches reported by the historians are confessedly pure imagination. They belong to the final literary stage. If they have any nucleus of fact behind them, it would be the nearest outline in pomnZmata." For more thorough discussion on the relation between Thucydides and the speeches in Acts see T. Francis Glasson, "The Speeches in Acts and Thucydides," The Expository Times 76 (February 1965): 165. See also Colin J. Hemer, The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History, ed. Conrad H. Gempf (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990), pp. 415-427, for the answer to the issues raised on the reliability of Lukan summaries of the speeches.

[25] For more discussion on the credibility of Peter's sermon in Acts 2 see Jerry Horner, "The Credibility and the Eschatology of Peter's Speech at Pentecost," Pneuma 1 (Spring 1980): 22-31. George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, rev. ed. Donald A. Hagner (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1993), p. 349, argues that although "a basic pattern can be detected in the speeches in Acts, there is also considerable variety, which lends them historical verisimilitude." Ladd, p. 350, further points out that Luke apparently gave a reliable portrayal of the primitive theology of the early church showing the historical authenticity of the speeches in Acts.

[26] "Thucydides: The History of the Peloponnesian War," in The Great Books of the Western World, eds. Robert Maynard Hutchins et al., Herodotus Thucydides, vol. 6 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, 1952), p. 354.

[27] Polybius, The Histories, 6 vols., trans. W. R. Paton, The Loeb Classical Library, ed. T. E. Page et al (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967-68), vol. 1, pp. 377-379.

[28] Ibid., vol. 6, pp. 66-69, describes his ideals in recording history as follows: "For those authors, when in the course of their work they describe, for instance . . . adding inventions of their own; and they by no means approve of me, when I simply give a true and unvarnished account of such matters. The same remarks apply to descriptions of battles, the reports of speeches, and the other parts of history. In all these--I include also subsequent portions of my works--I may be justly pardoned if I am found to be using the same style, or the same disposition and treatment, or even actually the same words as on previous occasion; or again should I happen to be mistaken in the names of mountains and rivers or in my statements about the characteristics of places. For in all such matters the large scale of my work is a sufficient excuse. It is only if I am found guilty of deliberate mendacity or if it be for the sake of some profit, that I do not ask to be excused, as I have already stated several times in the course of this work when speaking on this subject."

[29] Ibid., pp. 354-357.

[30] See the complete speech of Claudius in Tacitus, The Annals, in The Complete Works of Tacitus, trans. Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, ed. Moses Hadas, The Modern Library (New York, NY: Random House, Inc., 1942), pp. 240-242.

[31] The inscription was found in early sixteenth century is a bronze tablet discovered in Lyons known as Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum xiii, 1668. The published version of the inscription compared to that of Tacitus is in Cornelii Taciti Annalium, ed. with intro. and notes by H. Furneaux, 2nd ed. rev. by H. F. Pelham and C. C. Fisher (Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1907), pp. 55-60. Furneaux, pp. 54-55, claims: "On the whole, the substance of the existing portions [of the inscribed speech] may be said to have been given [by Tacitus], and the fact that they are represented by but a few sentences would go to prove that the whole speech (as indeed the fragments themselves suggest) was long and discursive, and could only be brought into a space proportionate to the narrative of the Annals by much omission and abridgement." As quoted by W. Ward Gasque, "The Speeches of Acts: Dibelius Reconsidered," in New Dimensions in New Testament Study, eds. R. N. Longnecker and M. C. Tenney (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1974), p. 244.

[32] Conrad Gempf, "Public Speaking and Published Accounts," in The Book of Acts in Its First Century Setting, vol. 1, eds. Bruce W. Winter, I. Howard Marshall, and David Gill, The Book of Acts in Its Ancient Literary Setting, eds. Bruce W. Winter and Andrew D. Clarke (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1993), pp. 284-285, comments: "Overall, we may say that although the historian used considerable freedom in reporting the text of the speech, it is yet evident that quite a lot of effort must have been put in to understand Claudius' original and reproduce its main points in an orderly fashion. Tacitus conveyed the general sense of the original speech and something of the character of the speaker."

[33] Gasque, p. 245, remarks: "Thus the style and expression of the speech as found in the Annals belong (with the exception of a few verbal parallels) to Tacitus. The matter of the speech has been condensed, re-arranged, and adapted. But the ancient historian has remained true to the essential ideas of the original."

[34] See Flavius Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, in The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus, trans. William Whiston (Philadelphia, PA: David McKay Co., n.d.), p. 49.

[35] Ibid., see pp. 453-455; cf. pp. 638-639.

[36] Josephus, The Jewish War, ed. Gaalya Cornfeld (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982), p. 10. Cf. Josephus as translated by Whiston, p. 605.

[37] See the discussion of Gasque, pp. 245-246.

[38] Gempf, p. 291.

[39] So with Cornfeld, p. 70, who observes that: "Josephus provides a different speech in Antiquities XV, 127-146, with echoes of classical Greek rhetoric; but both versions of Josephus contain similar themes of hope for victory, with the help of God, and harsh condemnation of the Nabateans' ritual atrocity."

[40] Cf. Gempf, pp. 290-291.

[41] The fabrication of speeches may be an accepted practice at that time but it is not prevalent. Thucydides and Polybius were against it. Regardless, the speech should be timely and relevant to the incident. Cf. Gasque, pp. 245-246.

[42] Martin Dibelius, Studies in Acts of the Apostles, ed. Heinrich Greeven, trans. M. Ling and P. Schubert (London, England: SCM Press Ltd., 1956), pp. 138-185. Dibelius, p. 139, insinuates that "ancient historian was not aware of any obligation to reproduce only, or even preferably, the text of a speech which was actually made." Dibelius, p. 175, further points out that the speeches execute their role in cultivating the theme of the book of Acts. Finally, Dibelius, p. 183, concludes that Luke "made new use of the traditional art of composing speeches." Luke utilized this method to explain the circumstances and "to make clear the ways of God." The work of Dibelius is followed by a few other scholars such as Haenchen (1965), e.g. pp. 104, 185; Zehnle (1971), e.g. pp. 60, 136 ff.; H. Conzelmann, Acts of the Apostles, trans. J. Limburg, A. T. Kraabel, and D. H. Juel, ed. E. J. Epp and C. R. Matthews, Hermeneia, NT ed. H. Koester et al (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1987, German ed. 1972), e.g. p. xliv; and Goppelt (1976), e.g. p. 6. See also the latest work of C. K. Barrett (1994), e.g. vol. 1, p. 133.

[43] F. F. Bruce, "The Speeches in Acts: Thirty Years After," in Reconciliation and Hope, ed. Robert Banks (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1974), pp. 53-68. See Gasque, pp. 232-250; cf. W. Ward Gasque, "The Book of Acts and History," in Unity and Diversity in New Testament Theology, ed. R. A. Guelich (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978), pp. 58-63. See also Hemer, pp. 415-427.

[44] I. Howard Marshall, Luke: Historian and Theologian (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970), p. 55, claims that Luke's utilization of the speeches is "to give his reader an insight into particular issues involved at crucial points in his narrative."

[45] For a thorough survey on these differing views see Soards, pp. 1-11.

[46] Gempf, p. 303. See also pp. 259-303.

[47] Ibid., p. 259.

[48] See footnote number 86 of Ellis, p. 100, who notes the sermon pattern in Acts as typified by Peter's sermon in Acts 2: "Acts 2:14-36: Theme and initial text (14-21; Joel 2:28-32 = 3:1-5) + Exposition (22-24) + Supplementary text (25-28; Ps 16:8-11) + Exposition (29-34) + Final text and application (34 ff.; Ps 110:1)."

[49] Gasque, "The Speeches of Acts," p. 249, claims that the speeches in Acts are "more probably--and this would be likely even in terms of the view that they are the author's own composition--they are intended to be regarded by the reader as the author's synopses of actual addresses."

[50] Soards, p. 31, claims that: "Whatever the original form or forms of this story, Luke offers an account of the spread of the gospel as the result of an eschatological (miraculous) act of God. Verses 14-40 are the speech by Peter on Pentecost." See also Menzies, pp. 214-215, who acknowledges that Luke's "unique stamp on the text" is noteworthy and that "understanding of the Pentecostal bestowal of the Spirit" in Luke's pneumatology cannot be bypassed in the way Joel text is cited.

[51] Earle Hilgert, "Speeches in Acts and Hellenistic Canons of Historiography and Rhetoric," in Good News in History: Essays in Honor of Bo Reicke, ed. Ed. L. Miller (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1993), p. 107.

[52] Here the Lukan understanding of the eschatological bestowal of the Spirit comes into surface. Barrett, vol. 1, pp. 132-133, hints that the speech is very much related to Pentecost event. The use of Joel in Acts 17-21 "which is little more than a proof text intended to bring out the eschatological significance of the event, are probably Luke's own work and go with his narrative of a creative event which makes possible, in several senses, the universal testimony which believers are to bear."

[53] Horner, p. 24, proposes that each of the Acts speeches has a function in the geographical progress of the gospel. The Spirit empowered servants continued the ministry of the Lord. Horner, pp. 24-25, continues to suggest that: "Throughout the book of Acts Luke depicts the confirmation of the gospel in the deeds and in the preaching of the apostles. Hence the content of the preaching and the manner in which it was done were of equal importance to its geographical extension."