What would it mean to speak of the "author of life"? Is this even the
"αρχηγος, . .
.beginning, originating a thing, c. gen., Eur. II. as Subst.,
like αρχηγετης, founder, of a tutelary hero, Soph. 2. a prince, chief, Aesch., Simon. Thuc. 3. a first cause, originator, του πραγματος Xen."
(An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, Liddell and Scott, p. 121).
The image of the "author of life," murdered, is so jarring that
some translators choose the less shocking political route. Can Peter
really have said this, and meant it? He did if he believed his
master was who He said He was:
"But the Prince of life ye killed
(τον δε αρχηγον της ζωης απεκτεινατε). "The magnificent antithesis"
(Bengel) Peter here draws between their asking for a murderer and
killing the Prince (or Author) of life. Peter pictures Jesus as
the source of all life as is done in John 1:1-18; Col 1:14-20; Hebrews 1:2.
αρχηγος (αρχη, beginning, αγω, to lead) is an adjective "furnishing
the first cause or occasion" in Euripides, Plato. Thence
substantive, the originator, the leader, the pioneer as of Jesus
both Beginner and Finisher (Hebrews 12:2). See also Hebrews 2:10; Ac 5:31
where it is applied to Jesus as "Prince and Saviour." But God raised
him from the dead in contrast to what they had done."
(Robertson's Word Pictures, Acts 3:15).
The Way, the Truth and the Life
What does Jesus Himself say on this topic? Where does He stand relation
to life? Is He with us, hoping and praying to hold onto this thing which we
cannot create or call into existence? We defend our precious lives
against the myriad picayune and sometimes preposterous threats the world
throws against us, taking care not to drown in the bath-tub, knowing
once it's lost we cannot get it back. Does He stand with us on this? Or
is it He who bestows this unearned benefit upon all living things?
Does He give life to those who love and follow Him?
The Rabbis said, "Elijah prayed that the keys of resurrection
might be given him, but was answered, Three keys have not been
entrusted to an agent: of birth, rain, and resurrection."
(Babylonian Talmud, Tract Sanhedrin 113a). See who holds the key of