Peter on the Day of Pentecost

On the day of Pentecost, Peter declared that God had raised Jesus to his right hand, in fulfilment of the messianic interpretation of Psalm 110:1 .

The Acts of the Apostles depicts the Apostles, and the rest of the Christians, firmly believing from the very beginnings of the Church, that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is to be understood in the light of their messianic expectations. These had already been shaped by a messianic interpretation of the Old Testament, which believed were being fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

It can be shown that Peter’s presentation on the Day of Pentecost was constructed as a chiasmus (χ – chai – chiasmus). This represents a method of structuring an  argument to ensure that both speaker and listener can focus on the main points to be made. It involves starting and ending at the same point, with the central point of the argument occupying the central point in the rhetorical structure.

  • Joel prophesied of a day of when the Holy Spirit would be manifest.
    • Jesus of Nazareth is a man approved by God.
      • Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was crucified.
        • Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was raised from the dead.
      • David is dead, but Jesus is alive.
    • Jesus of Nazareth, a man who has been exalted to God’s right hand.
  • David prophesied about Jesus’ exaltation.

This highly rhetorical speech was designed to show that God had raised up Jesus Christ, who the people had allowed to be crucified, to be both Lord over all things, and Messiah (Christ).

This form of speech is characteristic of Peter’s recorded speeches, and of his two letters. It shows Peter to be more than just a “dumb fisherman,” but rather someone who was able to organize his thoughts quickly and effectively.