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.
2. Jesus: (Messiah and) Lord
The Petrine argument that Jesus has been invited by God to sit at His right hand as Lord in royal supremacy — this claim is based on Jesus’ most recent experience: he has been taken up to God’s right hand (Acts 2,33). It is only a logical step to conclude that the ascension of Jesus completes the resurrection to which Peter bears absolutely trustworthy witness. Why, then, has Peter not directly argued this way: the resurrected Jesus has, logically, been taken to God’s right hand, and, once there, has been asked to sit at God’s right hand? To what end does the identification of Jesus as Messiah serve? Is not the eye-witness of Jesus’ being taken up sufficient argument to show that Jesus has to be the Lord about whom David spoke?
Actually, no, it is not sufficient. That Jesus is ascended does not make it certain that Jesus should be known as the Lord about whom David spoke, the Lord of all Israel; ascension need not translate into Lordship. One looks anxiously in Peter’s words for the logical and explicit connection which would link Jesus of Nazareth inexorably with the ‘Lord’ of David, and does not find it.
If, however, one could assume that Jesus, now shown to be Messiah of Israel, is thereby Lord of Israel, one would have the desired logical link between the risen and ascended Jesus and the Jesus called Lord at God’s right hand. That is, if it could be argued that the Lord of Israel is Messiah, then one can see the purpose in identifying Jesus as Messiah before presenting him as Lord21.
The link we need and look for can be found, not in the speech of Peter, not in Acts, but in the Gospel of Luke. In Luke 20,41-44, Luke presents a story in which Jesus challenges the wise men of Israel through the means of a question, the answer to which must, as the argument makes clear, cohere with a popular citation from Psalms. The question is: ‘How do they say that the Messiah is Son of David’ (v. 41). What stands in the way of this association of Messiah with Son of David is the contradiction raised by the words of Ps 110, which bear witness that David calls this Messiah his Lord. Cannot the Messiah be both Lord of David, which he certainly is, and Son of David, which apparently he is not? Jesus puts the question in a