These notes are strictly on the text of Acts without regard to anything else the New Testament may say on the subject. This is my “first go through” on Acts in this manner (2.22.2012).

Chapter 1

  1. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, gave commandments. The apostles were to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father (cf. 2:2-3, 33), which is the baptism of the Holy Spirit as spoken by John (Luke 3:16). Who is the “then” (italics, 1:4, NKJV)? Clearly the ones mentioned in 1:2-3. They were to wait for Holy Spirit baptism, not pray for it. That which they will receive will be power “when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (1:1-8).
  2. Peter spoke about what the Holy Spirit said and that it was fulfilled with the actions of Judas (1:15-17).

Chapter 2

  1. Pentecost day arrives; the apostles are gathered together in one place. From heaven comes the Holy Spirit, and those present were filled with the Holy Spirit. Who were present? Context seems to demand the apostles.[1] The “filling” that took place gave the apostles the ability to speak in other languages (2:1-11).
  2. Peter declares that what had been seen and heard was a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. Peter stood up with the eleven (thus making twelve), and it was to the twelve that the Holy Spirit fell (2:2), and Peter said this was a fulfillment of Joel’s words. Was this the complete fulfillment or a partial fulfillment? The Spirit will be poured out on all flesh and those who receive the Spirit will be able to do certain things (2:17-18) and the material world will experience cataclysmic occurrences (2:19-20). When this occurs whosever calls on the Lord’s name will be saved (2:21). It was occurring now, Peter said (2:14-33).
  3. Peter declares their guilt, and they reply with what to do; submit to the Lord’s will and they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter calls this the “promise” that is from God. Exactly what is that promise? Does it refer to the Holy Spirit or something else? The natural interpretation would take one back to the previous verse (v. 38), and Bock says in relation to the Holy Spirit “the gift that is the Spirit (an epexegetical genitive)”[2] (2:38-39).

[1] “The referent could be either the band of apostles or the whole group of believer (1:15). In favor of the former view is the fact that (1) 1:15-26 functions as background information, with 2:1 resuming the main story line that left off in 1:14 where the focus was on the elven apostles (see 1:15 on [en de tais heemerais tautais]); (2) the focus of this periscope is on the apostles (see 2:14, 37); and (3) the expression ‘Galileans’ (2:7) links this group to the men of Galilee in 1:11, who were probably the apostles (Sweeney, 245-248)” (Acts, A Handbook on the Greek Text, Mikeal C. Parsons and Martin M. Cauly, Baylor University Press, 2003, p. 23)

[2] Darrell L. Bock (Acts, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, Baker, 2007, p. 144). Interestingly enough, Marshall said, “John had said that he baptized (only) in water but the Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit, and this gift accompanied water-baptism performed by the church in the name of Jesus. These two gifts are closely linked, since it is the Spirit who accomplishes the inner cleansing of which baptism is the outward symbol” (I. Howard Marshall, Acts (TNTC), Intervarsity Press, 1980 (2008 reprint),  p. 87).