Divine Empowerment of Leaders

Divine Empowerment of Leaders, Study of Luke(Page 15)

By Allen Quist 

Comparison and Contrast of Acts 2:17-21 to the Original Source, Joel 2:28-32
(part 8)

Examining Acts 2:20-21 compared and contrasted with Joel 2:31-32 we find within the two texts, the name for God is different, the “terrible” day of the LORD becomes the “glorious” day of the Lord, and the final thought of Joel 2:32 is not used. In Joel 2:31-32, the LORD referred to is, “Jehovah,” the proper name of the one true God (Brown-Driver-Briggs H3068). In Acts 2:20-21, Luke quotes the Septuagint (Witherington 123-124), which uses the word “kurios” for “Lord”, the title given to God, the Messiah (Thayer G2962). The two different words seem appropriate given the nature of their context. Joel focuses on Jehovah God, the God of Abraham and Acts focuses on God, the Messiah.

The Hebrew word “terrible” (“yare” H3372) in Joel 2:31 means “to fear” or “be afraid” (Brown-Driver-Briggs H3372) and the Greek word “glorious” (“epiphanes” G 2016) in Acts 2:20 means “conspicuous” or “illustrious” (Thayer G2016). This adjective, “epephanes” is used only once in the New Testament. However, the noun version of this word, “epiphaneia,” translated as an “appearing” or “appearance” (Thayer G2015) is linked to the second coming of Christ (Robertson Acts 2:20; 1Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13). From this, we can infer Luke had the intent to introduce his readers to an eschatological focus. From the previous two paragraphs, we can infer under the divine empowerment of Christian leadership theory, Spirit-empowered leaders are eternity focused—they perceive God’s eternal purpose in all life situations. Divine-empowerment is triadic—it involves God providing the power to see God’s eternal perspective (wisdom), the leader to use the God’s eternal perspective for leadership, and the follower as recipient of the wise leadership as the third member of the triad.

While Luke records Acts 2:21, he omits the latter half of Joel 2:32, “for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.” Omitting the last half of Joel 2:32 allows for a smooth transition for Luke from the message, “Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” to Luke’s recording of Peter’s accusation of the Jews for killing Jesus, the very Lord they are to call on to be saved (Acts 2:22-23). Luke records Peter’s switch from the defensive to the offensive in his speech:

You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know—this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.

Next PagePeter’s two major points of evidence are the “power, wonders, and signs” done through Jesus and the resurrection (Witherington 144). Luke concludes the Joel-Acts portion by asserting, in spite of the Jews crucifying Jesus, God raise Christ up, freeing him from death because death could not hold Christ.

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Download full paper The Divine Empowerment of Leaders (pdf) includes works cited.
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