Acts 2 by the Numbers

CalculatorI am studying the speech is in Acts.  The first is a gospel presentation on the Day of Pentecost.  It is by Peter given to an audience of Jews and some Gentile “God-fearers” in the Holy City on a Holy Day.

The speech from Acts 2:14-26; 38-39 contains 518 words in the ESV.  Of those 215 words are direct citations from the scriptures. v. 17-21 is Joel 2:28-32; v. 25-28 is Psalm 16:8-11 and v. 35-36 is Psalm 110:1  If we add to that number the introductory formulas before each citation we get an additional 26 words.

There are 241 words out of 574 that are scriptural citations.  That means that 42% of the sermon is taken up with scripture.

This shows that Peter was speaking to a specific Audience – Believers in the God of Abraham who were assembled in the City of David, to celebrate the feast of Pentecost from the books of Moses.

This is a people of the book!

How will Peter and later Paul speak to others?  We will check this out when Peter visits Cornelius and when Paul speaks to philosophers and polytheists.


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