Luke’s Use of the Old Testament, Part 3 -- By: Bruce A. Baker
CTJ 8:23 (March 2004) p. 29
Luke’s Use of the Old Testament, Part 3
Baptist Bible Seminary
In this third and final article, Baker concludes his discussion of the NT use of the OT, especially the use of Psalms in Acts. A bibliography is also included.
Psalm 2:1–2 … Acts 4:25–26
While there are many excellent reasons for holding to the Davidic authorship of this psalm,1 the most compelling argument
is the Apostle Peter’s comment that this psalm was penned by the Holy Spirit through David (Acts 4:25). For those who hold to an inerrant Scripture, this should settle all arguments.
The psalm revolves around three principle players: (1) the nations, (2) Yahweh, and (3) his Anointed One. The nations are in joint rebellion against both Yahweh and his Anointed One,2 who is identified as the declared Son of Yahweh (vv. 7 and 11)3 who is
CTJ 8:23 (March 2004) p. 30
installed as King (v. 6) and whose rule will extend to the ends of the earth (v. 8).
Peter’s application of this psalm to the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus (Acts 4:25–26) is certainly appropriate. While there is disagreement among commentators concerning whether or not this was the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy,4 there can be no doubt that a rebellion of the nations did occur so that, “They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen” (Acts 4:28).
Peter’s application of this portion of Psalm 2 remains consistent with the Psalmist’s intent, namely to show the open rebellion of the kings of the earth against the Messiah. In fact, the introductory statement found in Acts 2:25 lends itself to a generic rather than a specific prediction. The formula “You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David” actually says little about the quotation itself except for its authenticity as Scripture. It is not called a prediction, neither is there any language of fulfillment. Rather it seems to say that this is a statement that, while uttered in t...
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