In his commentary on the account of Paul’s address to the Jews of Antioch in Acts 13, Joseph Addison Alexander invited comparison between Paul’s speech, and Peter’s address to the Jews of Jerusalem in Acts 2, the subject of this post. Both apostles referred to Psalm 16, and employed similar reasoning to prove that Jesus is the promised Messiah, based upon the fact of his resurrection from the dead. The following is Alexander’s commentary on Acts 13:15-41. [J. A. Alexander, The Acts of the Apostles explained. Vol. 2. (1857) pp. 17-37.]
In Peter’s address to the Jews on Pentecost, he showed from the Scriptures that Jesus is the promised Messiah who would reign on the throne of David, because he rose from the dead. Since the One who was promised would reign forever, he must be immortal. David was still in his grave, Peter said, so he was not speaking of himself, when he wrote of the one who would not remain in the grave or see corruption. The following is Joseph Addison Alexander’s commentary on Acts 2:22-36, [from The Acts of the Apostles Explained, Vol 1. pp. 66-83] the section of his address in which Peter refers to Psalm 16:8-11 to prove that Jesus is the Messiah.
John the Baptist said to the Jews, “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” [Luke 3:8]
Dispensationalists say that the 70 weeks prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 applies to Jews, not the church, because the prophecy says “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,” in Daniel 9:24.
Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951) was the son of John and Sophia (Stafford) Ironside of Toronto, who were involved in the Plymouth Brethren. He had a strong interest in the Bible throughout his life. He was involved with the Salvation Army as a youth, and moved from that denomination to one of the sects of the Plymouth Brethren, known as open Brethren, and later he joined the closed Brethren, also known as the “Grant” section, or “Exclusive Brethren.” He was the author of A Historical Sketch of the Brethren Movement. His prophetic writings and commentaries promoted the interpretations and doctrines of John N. Darby and Dispensationalism. Through his preaching and books, Ironside had a considerable influence beyond the Brethren movement, and became the minister at the Moody Church, in Chicago, associated with the Moody Bible Institute.
Patrick Fairbairn observed, “There are many passages in the prophets in which the application to them of a strict and historical literalism would not only evacuate their proper meaning, but render them absolutely ridiculous and inconsistent one with another.”
In their interpretations of Isaiah 2:2, the prophecy that the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established at the top of the mountains, above the hills, dispensationalist commentators and expositors are torn between their commitment to their mantra of literalism, and their devotion to the idea that ethnic Jews will dominate other nations in the Millennium. The literal view says the prophecy means that mount Zion and Jerusalem will be literally raised up, by tectonic means. Contrasting with this approach is the interpretation of mountains as nations, which leads to the concept of Jews becoming a kind of master-race.