Acts – The Church Goes Forth
Canonical Importance of Acts
Plan of the Book: Acts 1:8
Jerusalem – Judea 1-7
Judea – Samaria 8-12
Uttermost Part 13-28
Fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant
Selection of Materials - How do you write history?
1) Paul’s 3 yrs. in Arabia-Gal. 1:17;
2) Mark/Barnabas to Cyprus,
3) other 12 apostles—e.g. Thomas à India, Mark to Egypt
Summaries key transition points and opposition highlights: 2:42; 6:7; 9:31; 13:46-50, 17:1ff, 22:23
Jews trouble –13:46, 50; 14:1-2; 22:23
What was the early church like? –POPU
Prayer – when do people pray? 2:42
Organization – simple – ADEP
Apostles -- Acts 1: 12 (Matthias)
Deacons -- Acts 6: Stephen
Elders/Overseers/Pastors: Acts 20:17, 28
Prophets/prophetesses: Acts 11:27f; 21:8f
Providing for physical
needs: 2:45; 4:32ff.
Annanias and Saphira (Acts 5) Today?
Unity: Acts 2:44
What sources did Luke use?
Not present for Acts 1-15 personally
With Paul during Caesarean imprisonment
Travel diary during some of the Missionary journeys
Stephen’s speech from Paul (Acts 7)
Peter’s speeches and I Peter:
set purpose and foreknowledge, Acts 2:23 // 1 Pet 1:2
silver or gold, Acts 3:6 // 1 Pet 1:18
judge of the living and the dead. Acts 10:42 // 1 Pet 4:5
Peter and Paul paralleled (Witherington)
2:22ff 13:26ff both preach resurrection
3:1ff 14:8ff both heal cripple person
8:17 19:6 both lay hands on & H.S.
5:15 19:12 special healing, crowds
12:6ff 16:25ff both angel freed from jail
Emphasis in the Book: 3 conversions of Paul, 3 stories of Cornelius’ conversion, 3 stories of Paul’s trial…
Contradiction: Judas field/death (Acts 1:18//Mat 27:5ff)
Did Luke really write this book?
“3 We” passages:
2MJ Troas to Philippi,
3MJ Philippi to Jerusalem (2 yrs. In Israel while Paul in Prison)
Journeyed to Rome with Paul: Acts 27
2 Tim 4:11 Luke with Paul during Roman imprisonment
Vocab and Style=Luke
Theophilus Lk 1:1-4; Acts 1:1
Why did Luke write it? CHAMPSS
Catechetical Instruction for Theophilus
History: Not a complete history of church
Apologetic –meet charges of Jews:
Why were Christians persecuted? Atheists, incest, cannibals
Missionary concern—gospel fulfillment “to all peoples”
Paul’s Defense –help from Theophilus?
24 speeches: 9 Peter; 9 Paul, Stephen ch. 7
Spirit coming 4x on different groups
When did he write it?
63 AD—Why? 2 silences
No outcome of Paul’s trial in Rome (63 AD) or mention of his death (ca. 68 AD)
No mention of the destruction of the temple (70 AD)
View of Rome favorable—Nero (54-68 AD; Rome fire 64) not yet bad
Is Acts normative for modern church?
Acts as an historical document: What is the difference between historical and normative material? Indicative versus Imperative? A record of what happened versus what should happen (“is” versus “ought”)?
Descriptive versus prescriptive
Examples of non-normative material:
How do you tell what is historical or what is a universal principle?