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.
negative way: surely the Messiah, known to everyone as Lord of David, cannot at the same time be Son of David! The important thing to note about this argument, for our purposes, is that this entire argument hangs on everyone’s acceptance of the statement that the Messiah is Lord of David, or, to put it another way, the entire argument hangs on the correctness of the statement that the Messiah is Lord. No one present at this argument of Jesus denies or even questions the assertion of Jesus, that the Messiah is the Lord of David. More positively, everyone acknowledges that the Lord of Ps 110, who is asked to sit at God’s right hand, is the Messiah.
The common teaching (however it was arrived at) in Jesus’ Israel is that the Messiah, he who is invited to sit at God’s right hand, is the Lord. Mark had witnessed to this interpretation before Luke, in Mark 12,35-37, and Matthew reveals the same teaching, Matthew 22,41-4622. These authors indicate the breadth and certainty of everyone in Jesus’ contemporary society that Lord is Messiah.
Here, then, is the presumption that undergirds Peter’s lengthy argument that Jesus qualifies to be Lord of Israel. Having shown Jesus to be Messiah, Peter can now talk about ‘this Jesus’ (v. 31) as having been taken to God’s right hand. To this Jesus, the Messiah — to this one God speaks the wonderful words: ‘Sit at my right hand’. With the association of Messiah with Lord already common currency among his audience, and with Jesus shown to be Messiah, Peter need only recall the ascension of Jesus (to which Peter was eye-witness) to complete the argument: Jesus is Lord of Israel.
Luke willingly takes over this story from Mark, in order to bring the public, contentious part of the Jerusalem experience to an end, with a challenge, within the Gospel, to plumb deeply the true identity of Jesus; the story (Luke 20,41-44) has its own vital function within the Gospel. But, as it serves to resume what was said in the opening infancy narratives, so it can extend to prepare, as a prolepsis, an explanation of the logic of Peter’s argument in Acts 2: if one wishes to find the Lord (upon whom one calls for salvation), one need only find him who is Messiah, for he, everyone knows, is Lord.
Of course, it can be well and justly argued that Luke, through Peter, has a particular, long-range interest in the title Messiah as Luke