What does Acts 3:15 mean?
ESV: and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
NIV: You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
NASB: but put to death the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.
CSB: You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this.
NLT: You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!
KJV: And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
Peter is explaining to a crowd of Jews that they—like all people of all nations—are responsible for the death of the Holy One whom God sent.
"Author" is from the Greek root word archēgos and has the double-meaning of both originator and leader; in the New American Standard Bible, it is translated "Prince." Jesus is the originator of life; John 1:3 says of Him, "All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." He also maintains creation: "And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17). Jesus is also ultimately the ruler of creation: "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:16).
It's significant that the Bible states God raised Jesus from the dead (Galatians 1:1); Jesus did not raise Himself. Jesus died as an act of submission to God and God's plan (Philippians 2:5–8). He submitted to the burden of sin that made God turn His face away (1 Peter 2:24; Mark 15:34). He submitted Himself to death and burial. That God raised Him from the dead proves that He was the perfect, sinless sacrifice who died for the sins of the world (Romans 4:24–25).
Shortly before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told His disciples they would be His witnesses "in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). "Witness" is from the Greek root word martys. As witnesses, the disciples gave first-hand testimony about Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. But as persecution against the church rose, martys took on a different meaning and is now the base of our word "martyr." A witness in this context, then, is someone who will speak the truth about Jesus, even at the expense of their own life. Church tradition says that all of the apostles, except John, died as martyrs.
Acts 3:11–26 transcribes the sermon Peter gives at the temple. While Peter and John enter the temple to pray, Peter heals a lame beggar who has asked for alms. The man is healed and leaps up, praising God (Acts 3:1–10). When this catches the crowd's attention, Peter explains that the healing power did not come from them but from Jesus of Nazareth whom the Jews killed. The results are mixed; the Jesus-followers gain unwanted attention from the Jewish officials (Acts 4:1–3), but five thousand men plus women find faith in Jesus (Acts 4:4).
Acts 3 is comprised of two sections: the healing of a lame man and the explanation of that healing. First, a man who has been lame his whole life approaches Peter and John to beg from them at the temple. When Peter heals him in Jesus' name, a crowd gathers around. Peter gives witness to Jesus (Acts 1:8) and tells the crowd that Jesus' authority and power healed this man. Looking back as modern readers, we see how, as the man's body symbolically ''repented,'' or turned away, from its broken form into freedom of movement, so the people can repent from their broken thoughts, actions, and beliefs, and find freedom from sin.
Acts 3 contains the second major speech of Jesus' followers. In Acts 1, Jesus ascended into heaven. In Acts 2, His followers received the Holy Spirit and gave such witness to Him that three thousand people believed in Him. Here, Peter explains that Jesus' power and authority have healed a lame man, and Jesus can heal sinful hearts, as well. This moment will bring the fledgling church to the attention of the Sanhedrin: the Jewish ruling court. There, Peter and John will set the example for all Jesus-followers. Jesus told them to be His witness (Acts 1:8); nothing a human authority can say will stop them.
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 3/1/2024 9:24:27 PM
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