Acts 26:23

How that the Christ must suffer (ei paqhto o Cristo). Literally, "if the Messiah is subject to suffering." Ei can here mean "whether" as in Hebrews 7:15 . This use of a verbal in -to for capability or possibility occurs in the N.T. alone in paqhto (Robertson, Grammar, p. 157). This word occurs in Plutarch in this sense. It is like the Latin patibilis and is from pasch. Here alone in N.T. Paul is speaking from the Jewish point of view. Most rabbis had not rightly understood Isaiah 53:1 ff. When the Baptist called Jesus "the Lamb of God" ( John 1:29 ) it was a startling idea. It is not then "must suffer" here, but "can suffer." The Cross of Christ was a stumbling-block to the rabbis. How that he first by the resurrection of the dead (ei prwto ex anastasew nekrwn). Same construction with ei (whether). This point Paul had often discussed with the Jews: "whether he (the Messiah) by a resurrection of dead people." Others had been raised from the dead, but Christ is the first (prwto) who arose from the dead and no longer dies ( Romans 6:19 ) and proclaims light (pw mellei kataggellein). Paul is still speaking from the Jewish standpoint: "is about to (going to) proclaim light." See verse Romans 18 for "light" and Luke 2:32 . Both to the people and to the Gentiles (twi te lawi kai toi eqnesin). See verse Luke 17 . It was at the word Gentiles (eqnh) that the mob lost control of themselves in the speech from the stairs ( Luke 22:21 ). So it is here, only not because of that word, but because of the word "resurrection" (anastasi).