1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Acts 2 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Acts 2 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost." When was the Holy Ghost given?
The Holy Ghost always was, see Mark 12:36. He also dwelt in certain persons in the Old Testament for certain times. But in the New Testament the dispensation changes. Now the Holy Ghost always dwells in all believers as their bodies are said to be the temple of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 6:19.

5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

"These men are full of new wine."
Those who heard the apostles speaking in tongues thought they were drunk.
Luke doesn't tell us what they thought, but he tells us they mocked. And it must have been interesting spirits they had drunk if it allows you to speak other languages. As far as I know drunkenness does not cause speech to become clearer.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

"It shall come to pass in the last days."
Peter says that their strange behavior (speaking in tongues, etc.) was to be expected since they were living in "the last days."
The meaning of the phrase “last days” is the days of the New Testament. It is the remaining time before Jesus returns.

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

"Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Will those who call on the Lord be saved?
What must you do to be saved?
On calling on the Lord, see Matthew 7:21.
On what one must do, see John 5:24.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

"By miracles and wonders and signs"
Peter claims that Jesus performed many signs and wonders. But Jesus said that he would not perform any (Mt.12:39, 16:4; Mk.8:12; Lk.11:29).
Did Jesus perform many signs?
As Peter says, indeed, Jesus did many signs. See Matthew 12:39 where the author of the SAB reads something different.

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

"The fruit of his loins, according to the flesh"
Peter claims that Jesus is the "fruit of his [David's] loins, according to the flesh." But this is denied in Matthew (1:18, 22:41-45) and Luke (1:34) where it is said that Joseph was not the father of Jesus.
Was Joseph the father of Jesus?
Jews trace their lineage through their mother:

According to Halakha (Jewish law), only a convert or a child born to a Jewish mother is counted as Jewish.

The reason is that one can be sure who the mother is, but not always sure who the father is.

31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

"His [Jesus'] soul was not left in hell."
Jesus did a little time in hell. I'm not sure what for.
Why does the author of the SAB not mention that “the oldest and best manuscripts” don't have these words? Perhaps else he couldn't take this shot?
The author of the SAB reads hell as meaning the place of the damned. But that is not the meaning of the word hell in this verse nor in many others. The Greek word used here is Hades. It is the word used by the Septuagint (LXX) translators when they translated the Hebrew word Sheol. We have to consider the Hebrew as well, because Peter here quotes Ps. 16:10. The Hebrew word always means grave, or the place of the dead. It never means hell. For example Job desired to be in Sheol, Job 14:13, surely Job did not mean to say he would rather be in hell fire and torment! What Job means here that it would be better to depart from this life and to be with God, Job 19:26-27.
The Septuagint translates the word Sheol in Job 14:13 with Hades. And there are many more locations in the Old Testament that could be cited for similar proof.
So the meaning of Sheol means the abode of the death. And Hades means that as well. Even in Homerus. We read there about expressions as “He shall knock at the gates of Hades,” which should not be taken literally of course, but simply as meaning “He shall die, ” go to the grave.
So the meaning here is that Jesus soul was not left in the grave. But we can say more about the word soul. The Greek word uses here is psyche. It is the translation of the Hebrew word nephesh. The meanings are similar: life. So again if we take the words grave and life together, we clearly see that the meaning of this verse is that Jesus would not remain in the grave, his life would not end there.
Lastly, if a writer explicitly wanted to designate the place of the damned, he had another Greek word at his disposal, namely geenna. See for example Matthew 5:22 where this word is used.
Looking around on the Internet I saw an enormous amount of confusion. It is unfortunate that in our days people are so arrogant that they disregard the wisdom and study of previous ages. Commentators are no longer consulted and people just start writing the most irresponsible nonsense. For this verse I have consulted an article written by Dr. Whitby that appeared as an appendix on a 1753 Dutch commentary. There does not seem to be an online commentary that comes even close, but I can recommend Did Jesus go to hell between His death and resurrection. This articles also discusses a subject I didn't discuss, namely where did Jesus soul go. He was not only God, but man as well. And a man's soul is not omnipresent. Jesus soul wasn't in the grave and didn't die, but like the soul of the malefactor on the cross went to the abode of the death, paradise in their case, Luke 23:43.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

"This Jesus hath God raised up." Who raised Jesus from the dead?

33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

"Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ."
In whose name are we supposed to be baptized? "In the name of Jesus Christ," or "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Mt.28:19)?
In whose name is baptism to be performed?
BOM: 2 Nephi 31:11, Mormon 7:8
The intention of Peter here is not to give the baptismal formula as is clear from the occasion and audience he addresses. As John Gill says:

not to the exclusion of the Father, and of the Spirit, in whose name also this ordinance is to be administered, Matthew 28:19, but the name of Jesus Christ is particularly mentioned, because of these Jews, who had before rejected and denied him as the Messiah; but now, upon their repentance and faith, they are to be baptized in his name, by his authority, according to his command; professing their faith in him, devoting themselves to him, and calling on his name.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

(2:44-45) "All ... had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need."
The early Christians were the first communists, living a life that was the exact opposite of George Bush's " ownership society."
BOM: 4 Nephi 3
The author of the SAB interprets the phrase “had all things in common” as “the first Christians didn't have private property.” But that is not the intended meaning as we see in the next verse. They sold their goods, i.e. they had private property, when there was a need. They realized that what they had, they had received from God. That's why they freely gave to others. Also in the story of Ananias and Sapphira we read they had possessions, chapter 5:1. They were not rebuked by the apostles for having possessions, but for lying, chapter 5:3.

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.