Re: Acts 2:36

Cindy Smith writes:

> Recently, on a newsgroup, someone wrote the following
>concerning Acts 2:36.  The discussion involved who is
>responsible for the death of Jesus.

>>      Secondly, the translation says "WHOM YOU HAVE
>>CRUCIFIED", but the question we are dealing with was who
>>took Yeshua's life.  I contend with Scripture that Yeshua
>>gave up his life of his own accord and that no one took
>>it.  Yes, crucifixion can lead to death, but in the case
>>of Yeshua, he gave up his life on his own.  Every spring
>>there are Phillipinos who crucify themselves, but they
>>don't die from it.
>>      The third issue to consider is whether the phrase ON
>>HUMEIS ESTAUROOSATE is being dealt with properly here.
>>Can it for example be translated not only as "whom you
>>crucified" but as "who for you was crucified"?

> It seems clear to me that because humeis is nominative the
>correct translation is "whom you crucified."  Is there a
>case in the NT text where the latter phrase would occur?

Cindy, you are write -- the nominative can never be read as
a dative as the posting you includes suggests.  Clearly, a
theological agenda, instead of an exegetical one, is behind
his or her proposal.

If the issue that the other newsgroup is discussing is who
killed Jesus, according to Luke-Acts the Jews are
responsible for Jesus' death because they asked the secular
authorities to execute him.  This is a
theological/narrative/rhetorical device that Luke is using.
The phrase, or an equivalent, occurs not only in 2:36.
Actually 2:36 is drawing to a close Peter's Pentecost speech
that begins in v. 14.  Notice vv. 23-24,32 where a
rhetorical pattern is set up:
	YOU crucified
	GOD raised
	WE are witnesses.
This appears again when Peter is speaking in 3:13-15:
	YOU handed over, rejected, killed
	GOD raised
	WE are witnesses.
In 4:10, where Peter is speaking:
	YOU crucified
	GOD raised.
The language appears again 5:30-32 and guess who is
speaking, Peter:
	GOD raised
	YOU crucified
	GOD exalted
	HE gives repentance and forgiveness
	WE are witnesses.

All of these speeches are addressed to Jews in Jerusalem.
Compare the rheotorical shift when Paul becomes the speaker
in 13:28-32:
	THEY [i.e., residents of Jerusalem & their leaders 	
		(v.27)] asked Pilate to have him killed
	GOD raised
	THEY [i.e., those who came with Jesus from Galilee to 	
		Jerusalem] are witnesses
	WE bring the good news!

Wes Allen
Emory University