Acts 2:37 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 2:37, NIV: When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?'

Acts 2:37, ESV: Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Acts 2:37, KJV: 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?

Acts 2:37, NASB: Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brothers, what are we to do?'

Acts 2:37, NLT: Peter's words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, 'Brothers, what should we do?'

Acts 2:37, CSB: When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what should we do? "

What does Acts 2:37 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A large group of people who are in Jerusalem for Pentecost have just heard Peter give the first Christian sermon. These are particularly God-fearing Jews and proselytes (Acts 2:5, 11) who have been presented with historical and theological proofs that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah. Peter's last point, still ringing in the air, is that the Jews killed their own Savior.

"Cut," or "pierced" in other translations, is from the Greek root word katanusso and means to receive a sharp pain in concert with great sorrow. That they were "cut to the heart" means they understand that they crucified David's heir, the Messiah. Their horror delves past their surface emotions and thoughts and deep into their being.

Undoubtedly, not every person in Peter's audience was in Jerusalem when Jesus was killed. Even fewer, if any, were in the crowd that called to crucify Him (Mark 15:12–14). But God's primary relationship with the nation of Israel has always been communal. Salvation has always been an individual issue based on faith (Hebrews 11:1–2). But the Old Testament is filled with stories of how God blessed or punished Israel as a group for the obedience or disobedience of the nation as a whole. Even Daniel, an extremely godly man, repented for the sins of his people as if he had committed them himself (Daniel 9:1–19).

Their question is the most important we can ask when faced with our own rebellion against God. It is by the grace of Jesus and the work of His death and resurrection that we can be assured there is an answer. "Repent…" Peter says, "for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). That is the answer for us, as well.