John Kilgallen, «‘With many other words’ (Acts 2,40): Theological Assumptions in Peter’s Pentecost Speech», Vol. 83 (2002) 71-87
The complete effectiveness of Peter’s Pentecost speech implies that the Lucan audience, if not that of Peter, knows at least three assumptions that are needed to make the speech as logically convincing as possible. These three assumptions are: (1) that Jesus is physically Son of David; (2) that the kyrios of Ps 110,1 is the Messiah; (3) that only the titles ‘Son’ and ‘Father’ should be used when describing that it is Jesus who poured out the Spirit. As for Peter’s audience, the fact that Peter supported his speech with ‘many other words (arguments)’ might argue that his audience were introduced to these three assumptions. As for Luke’s audience, Luke 1,35 and its context play a major role in justifying the logic of this Pentecost speech.
the intent of God to bring about salvation. In simplest form, according to Peter, the crowd’s experience means that God has poured out His Spirit (divine cause), so that everyone who now calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (divine intent). Indeed, one can add that the recognition of the outpouring of the Spirit is the sign that God now wants and invites everyone to call on the name of the Lord to be saved.
The speech will be one element in the practical decision to convert; as such, it contains in itself this ultimate goal. But the speech itself falls short of this call to conversion; it has its own dynamism and self-contained purpose, which, once understood, will, with the help of many other arguments, contribute to move so many to the practical act of conversion11.
It is to this second purpose of the Pentecostal speech that we turn, in particular to study its argumentation and its presuppositions. From a perusal of what follows (vv. 22-36) upon the Joel citation, we can say in advance that the ultimate goal of the second part of the Pentecostal speech is clarity about the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth, so recently judged ungodly and worthy of death. It is this clarification, rather than a call to conversion, that leads one to understand the Pentecostal speech as a discourse of explanation — who is Jesus of Nazareth, and why is he introduced into a speech concerned with the outpouring of the Spirit, so that ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’? (v. 21). We seek clarification regarding the arguments Peter proposes in this section of his speech.
III. The Significance of Jesus of Nazareth
Complementing the Joel citation, and forming roughly a half of Peter’s speech, is a lengthy discussion about Jesus of Nazareth, all to end with the ringing (3rd person) command: ‘Let the house of Israel know with complete assurance that Jesus is Lord and Messiah’. One rightly asks the question, what does this lengthy presentation of Jesus have to do with the ‘meaning’ of the crowd’s experience? The answer is that, if one correctly understands that the gift of the Spirit signals the