Acts 17:3
Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach to you, is Christ.
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(3) Opening and alleging.—The latter word is used in the sense of bringing forward proofs, and the two words imply an argument from the prophecies of the Messiah, like in kind to that at the Pisidian Antioch. In the intervals between the Sabbaths, the Apostle worked, as usual, for his livelihood, probably, of course, as a tent-maker (2Thessalonians 3:8).

That Christ must needs have suffered.—Better, that the Christ, as pointing to the expected Messiah, the Anointed of the Lord, whom all Jews were expecting, but whom they were unwilling to recognise in the crucified Jesus. The argument was, therefore, to show that prophecy pointed to a suffering as well as a glorified Messiah, and that both conditions were fulfilled in Jesus.

17:1-9 The drift and scope of Paul's preaching and arguing, was to prove that Jesus is the Christ. He must needs suffer for us, because he could not otherwise purchase our redemption for us; and he must needs have risen again, because he could not otherwise apply the redemption to us. We are to preach concerning Jesus that he is Christ; therefore we may hope to be saved by him, and are bound to be ruled by him. The unbelieving Jews were angry, because the apostles preached to the Gentiles, that they might be saved. How strange it is, that men should grudge others the privileges they will not themselves accept! Neither rulers nor people need be troubled at the increase of real Christians, even though turbulent spirits should make religion the pretext for evil designs. Of such let us beware, from such let us withdraw, that we may show a desire to act aright in society, while we claim our right to worship God according to our consciences.Opening - διανοίγων dianoigōn. See Luke 24:32. The word means to explain or to unfold. It is usually applied to what is shut, as the eye, etc. Then it means to explain what is concealed or obscure. It means here that he explained the Scriptures in their true sense.

And alleging - παρατιθέμενος paratithemenos. Laying down the proposition; that is, maintaining that it must be so.

That Christ must needs have suffered - That there was a fitness and necessity in his dying, as Jesus of Nazareth had done. The sense of this will be better seen by retaining the word "Messiah." "That there was a fitness or necessity that the Messiah expected by the Jews, and predicted in their Scriptures, should suffer." This point the Jews were unwilling to admit; but it was essential to his argument in proving that Jesus was the Messiah to show that it was foretold that he should die for the sins of people. On the necessity of this, see the notes on Luke 24:26-27.

Have suffered - That he should die.

And that this Jesus - And that this Jesus of Nazareth, who has thus suffered and risen, whom, said he, I preach to you, is the Messiah.

The arguments by which Paul probably proved that Jesus was the Messiah were:

(1) That he corresponded with the prophecies respecting him in the following particulars:

(a) He was born at Bethlehem, Micah 5:2.

(b) He was of the tribe of Judah, Genesis 49:10.

(c) He was descended from Jesse, and of the royal line of David, Isaiah 11:1, Isaiah 11:10.

(d) He came at the time predicted, Daniel 9:24-27.

(e) His appearance, character, work, etc., corresponded with the predictions, Isaiah 53:1-12.

(2) his miracles proved that he was the Messiah, for he professed to be, and God would not work a miracle to confirm the claims of an impostor.

(3) for the same reason, his resurrection from the dead proved that he was the Messiah.

3. Opening and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered, &c.—His preaching, it seems, was chiefly expository, and designed to establish from the Old Testament Scriptures (1) that the predicted Messiah was to be a suffering and dying, and therefore a rising, Messiah; (2) that this Messiah was none other than Jesus of Nazareth. Opening the scriptures which he had quoted. The very entrance into God’s word giveth light, Psalm 119:130.

And alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered; making the truth concerning our Saviour, which he preached, so plain to the eye of their understanding, as any thing which is exposed to the view of our bodily eyes. Comparing the words of the prophets concerning Christ, with those things which were done and suffered by him, Psalm 22:6 Isaiah 53:1-12 Matthew 16:21 Luke 24:26,46.

That this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ; that Jesus whom Paul preached was the true and only Messiah, and that what was written of the Messiah was fulfilled in him. Opening,.... That is, the Scriptures of the Old Testament, explaining and expounding them, giving the true sense of them; so this word is frequently used in Jewish writings (e), as that such a Rabbi "opened", such a Scripture:

and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; he set this matter in a clear light, and made it plain and manifest, from the writings of the Old Testament, that there was a necessity of the Messiah's suffering and rising from the dead; or otherwise these Scriptures would not have been fulfilled, which have said that so it must be; for these things were not only necessary on account of God's decrees, and the covenant transactions the Son of God entered into, and on the account of the salvation of his people; but because of the types, promises, and prophecies of the Old Testament: the Scriptures which the apostle opened and set before them, and reasoned upon, showing the necessity of these things, very likely were such as these, Genesis 3:15 Isaiah 53:1 with many others:

and that this Jesus whom I preach unto you is Christ; he showed that all the things which were spoken of Christ, or the Messiah, in those Scriptures, were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, who was the subject matter, the sum and substance of his ministry; and therefore he must be the Messiah, and the only Saviour and Redeemer of lost sinners.

(e) Zohar passim.

{2} Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

(2) Christ is therefore the mediator, because he was crucified and rose again: and he is certainly not to be rejected because the cross is shameful.

Acts 17:3. διανοίγων, sc., αὐτάς, a favourite word with St. Luke, cf. Luke 16:14; here, as in Luke 24:32; Luke 24:45, he alone uses it of making plain to the understanding the meaning of the Scriptures, “opening their meaning”.—καὶ παρατιθ. “and quoting to prove” (Ramsay), i.e., bringing forward in proof passages of Scripture; so often amongst profane writers in a similar way, instances in Wetstein; lit[304], the word means “to set forth,” and this was the older English meaning of allege; in middle voice, to set forth from oneself, to explain; to quote in one’s own favour, as evidence, or as authority, “Non other auctour allegge I,” Chaucer, Hours of Fame, 314.—τὸν Χ. ἔδει παθεῖν: “that it behoved the Christ to suffer,” R.V., cf. Luke 24:25; Luke 24:46; now as ever “to the Jews a stumbling-block,” see above on p. 113, and cf. Acts 26:23; so also in writing to the Thessalonian Church the Apostle insists on the same fundamental facts of Christian belief, 1 Thessalonians 4:14.—καὶ ὅτι οὗτος κ.τ.λ.: “and that this Jesus whom, said he, I proclaim unto you is the Christ,” R.V. adds before . The words said he are inserted because of the change of construction, cf. Acts 1:4, Acts 23:22, Luke 5:14, specially frequent in Luke. On St. Paul’s preaching that “Jesus was the Christ,” and what it involved, see Witness of the Epistles, p. 307 ff.

[304] literal, literally.3. opening] St Luke (and he only in the N. T.) Luke 24:32 uses this verb of making plain what before was not understood. We may see from that passage what had been St Paul’s work in Thessalonica, “He began at Moses and all the prophets and expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Christ.”

and alleging] The more modern use of allege,=to assert, has somewhat obscured the older English meaning, which was merely “to set forth.” The Greek verb here translated by it signifies primarily “to set out food, &c. on a table,” and then figuratively “to set out arguments,” but without the idea of assertion. St Paul reasoned but only out of the Scriptures. For the English word, cf. Coverdale, Works (Parker Soc.), p. 14, “We will first declare our mind out of Scripture and allege (i.e. set before you) somewhat more for the better understanding of the matter.”

that Christ must needs have suffered] Better, “that it behoved the Christ to suffer,” i.e. the Messiah, whom the Jews expected, but whom they looked for in New Testament days only as a mighty conqueror who should deliver them from their oppressors. Their wishes had been father to their thoughts, and they overlooked all that spake of the Messiah as the “Man of sorrows.” This portion of the Scriptures it was which St Paul opened.

and risen again from the dead] Better, “and to rise again from the dead.” For they like the disciples themselves in earlier days (John 20:9) “understood not the scriptures (such as Psalm 16:10) that he must rise again from the dead.”

and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ] The force of the words will be improved if “said he” be inserted to introduce the direct address. Read (as R. V.) “this Jesus, whom (said he) I proclaim unto you is the Christ.” For He has both suffered and risen again in accordance with the teaching of the Scriptures, and we are witnesses of His resurrection and ascension into heaven.Acts 17:3. Διανοίγων καὶ παρατιθέμενος, opening up the truth and setting before them) Two steps in succession, as if one, having broken the outer shell (rind), were to both throw open and set in the midst the inner kernel. Faith is the key that opens. To this pair of words presently corresponds, ὅτι, καὶ ὅτι, that, and that. He discussed these two heads in order; 1. What were the characteristics predicated of the Messiah in the Old Testament: 2. that these were peculiarly found in Jesus. Comp. on Matthew 16:21 (The Gospel may be divided into two parts; the first, Jesus is the Christ; the second, Christ must suffer, die, and rise again).—παθεῖν, suffer) even to death.—οὗτος, This) The subject: He, JESUS, whom I announce (preach) to you. The predicate is Christ.Verse 3. - It behooved the Christ to suffer, and to rise for Christ must needs have suffered, and risen, A.V.; whom, said he for whom, A.V.; proclaim for preach. A.V.; the Christ for Christ, A.V. The line of reasoning adopted by St. Paul in his preaching to the Thessalonian Jews was the same as that of our Lord to the disciples and apostles on the day of his resurrection, as recorded in Luke 24:26, 27; 44-47, and that of St. Peter (Acts 2:22-36; Acts 3:18; Acts 4:11, etc.), and it is irresistible. The fulfillment of prophecies relating to the Messiah in the person of Jesus is like the fitting of a key to the intricate wards of the lock, which proves that it is the right key. The preacher of the gospel should carefully study and expound to the people the word of prophecy, and then show its counterpart in the sufferings and glory of Christ. This did St. Paul. Opening (διανοίγων); as our Lord had done (διήνοιγεν ἡμῖν τὰς γραφάς, Luke 24:32), the hidden meaning of the prophecies, and then alleging (παρατιθέμενος), setting before them the propositions which had thus been established. The process is described in Luke 24:27 as interpreting ("expounded," A.V.). In this verse the opening was showing from the prophets that the Messiah was to die and rise again; the alleging was that Jesus was that very Christ. Opening and alleging

The latter word is rather propounding, or setting forth (παρατιθέμενος). See on set before, Luke 9:16; and commit, 1 Peter 4:19. Bengel remarks, "Two steps, as if one, having broken the rind, were to disclose and exhibit the kernel."

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