BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 2, Day 2: Acts 2:1-13

Summary of passage:  On the day of Pentecost the 120 were all in one place (presumably praying still and waiting for the gift).  A sound like a blowing violent wind came from heaven and filled the house where they were sitting.  They saw tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues through the power of the Holy Spirit.

A lot of people in Jerusalem heard this sound and came together to see what was happening.  They were bewildered because each was speaking in his own language.  They asked, “Aren’t these all Galileans?  How is it we hear them in our own language?  What does this mean?”

Some made fun of them and said they were drunk.


2a) Blowing of a violent wind

b) Tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them

c) All spoke in other tongues (foreign languages)

d) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit

3a) In Acts, the Holy Spirit brought understanding.  The believers (the 120 whom God blessed with the Holy Spirit) spoke in different languages so everyone could understand what was happening.  In Genesis, the Lord gave the people different languages so they could not understand.

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  God is in control.  God will use all His powers to reward and rebuke men.  God will us all His powers to be understood; to be clear in what He likes and doesn’t like; to show He alone is God, omnipotent.

4)  Because there were so many different nationalities with no common language.  It was important God’s message and actions of giving the Holy Spirit was understood so its ramifications would be understood by all.

Conclusions:  I found this lesson fairly straight-forward although I did read online different interpretations of the speaking in tongues, which albeit interesting, I didn’t quite believe.

One interesting thing I learned was Galileans were considered at that time to be poor speakers and uncultured, which contributed to the shock of the Jews when they could understand these believers.

We tend to think of speaking in tongues today as weird (which when overused or used incorrectly or is not from God is) but this example shows clearly it was originally from God and is acceptable as long as it remains so.

End Note:  Yeah!  Map Time!  My favorite!

In my Bible Atlas (Zondervan’s Atlas of the Bible by Carl Rasmussen P. 218) there is a great map called “The Near East at the Time of Pentecost” with all the locations mentioned in this passage marked.

This map is the best one I can find and looks like the one in my Atlas:

My Atlas says these pilgrims had come to celebrate three Jewish festivals: Passover/Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles.


4 comments on “BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 2, Day 2: Acts 2:1-13

  1. Jann Ballard Patterson says:

    Hi… I just received my first email notice of your blog(s). I was wondering about the statement you made at the conclusion of this blog, concerning the three festivals that you mentioned, and that your Atlas stated that ‘the Jews HAD COME to celebrate three Jewish festivals. Did it imply or state that these were simultaneously celebrated of did it give distinct times of these festivals? The reason I am asking this is because the Feast of Tabernacles is a fall festival that was celebrated around September/October, where as the feast of Passover and Pentecost were celebrated at the time of the event recorded in Acts, especially Pentecost which was fifty days after Passover, in the spring. I was just curious because of the way it was worded ‘had come’, implying that they came one time for all three.
    I do enjoy your blogs. Came upon them through a link somehow, but was really refreshed by your writing. Keep up the good work.
    In His Love and Peace,
    Jann Patterson (Alabama USA)

    • atozmom says:

      Hey Jann,

      It says they had come for these three Jewish festivals and were staying for a period of several months. P. 216 Zondervan Atlas of the Bible by Carl G Rasmussen. I would assume they were celebrated over different times but stayed throughout the time period for each. Probably people coming and going.

      Hope that helps.

  2. DMR says:

    In question 3a….i put that God confused their language so they wouldn’t understand. but wasn’t the building of Babel etc. a sign of man’s rebelliousness and this was an effort to block man’s effort to put himself (may not be the best way to say it) or try to rule over creation rather than be God’s faithful servants? jr26416

  3. Sweet Mama says:

    I agree. I think that not only was the building of the Tower of Babel rebelliousness but was also arrogance on the part of the people so God was forced to disperse them all over the earth. The annointing with the gift of the Holy Spirit and the individual ability to speak in many languages to begin the spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ when the Jewish people had come to Jerusalem for Pentecost (to celebrate the giving of the Law) was planned and not just serendipity. I read this in many different translations and most were almost identical and the NIV, KJV, NASV, RSV, ESV, etc.
    implied that each was individually filled with the Spirit. The Message (I know, not a word for word translation) had a really neat take on it though…it “spread like a wildfire.” I really like that imagery of the Spirit among them spreading like wildfire….empowering them, emboldening them, exhorting them to preach the Good News to all nations.

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