Sunday, May 19, 2013

Understanding Acts 2:24

"Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it" (KJV).

"But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him" (NIV).

The more I look at this passage, the more it seems that it could be an example of deliberate ambiguity. WDINAS can refer to either "cords" or "pains," and both meanings seem appropriate here. But the stress may be on the cords--without excluding the notion of "birth pangs."

In this regard, Richard Longenecker writes: "The imagery is of 'death pangs' (WDINAS TOU QANATOU; NIV, 'agony of death') and their awful clutches (cf. 2 Sam. 22:6; Pss. 18:4-6; 116:3), from which God is 'freeing' Jesus 'because it was impossible to keep its hold on him' (Acts. The Expositor's Bible Commentary. P. 75).

The last part of 2:24 that is marked by KAQOTI seems to show where Peter placed the stress at, namely, on the idea of cords constricting Jesus while at the same time causing figurative pain (i.e., Jesus, did not literally suffer while in hADHS).

Louw-Nida note: "hOTI, KAQOTI: markers of cause or reason, based on an evident fact - 'because, since, for, in view of the fact that'" (Sec. 89.33). See Luke 1:7.

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