Acts 2:23 NASB

23 This man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you executed by nailing him to a cross at the hands of Gentiles.

Many people in this huge crowd of which about 3.000 of them later got baptized, may not have near the scene of the execution.

1 Answer 1


The question perfectly illustrates the difference between the modern individualistic culture and the ancient collective culture.

In ancient times, if the leader(s) decided to do something then the whole nation/community had done it. We see this many times and is why Israel was referred to as such - called by the progenitor of the nation. Edom, Moab, Ammon, all are called by the founder.leader of the nation.

here is another example - Gen 32:3 - "Edom" is referred to as the "brother of Jacob" when talking about two huge nations; both individuals, Edom (= Esau) and Jacob we long dead.

Thus, in Acts 2:23, when Peter refers to "you" he is blurring (consistent with ancient idiom) he is obviously discussing the Jewish leadership at the time of the crucifixion in which the whole nation had some shared guilt.

However, we also see the beginning of a transition to individual responsibility in that Peter offers individual freedom from that guilt by the grace of forgiveness in Acts 2:38 -

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.