Walking Thru The Bible

New Testament -- Acts

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AUTHOR: Acts is indeed a continuation of Luke's Gospel. We could well refer to the Gospel as Volume One and Acts as Volume Two. In Acts 1:1 "the former treatise" addressed to Theophilus (Luke 1:3) is a reference back to Luke's Gospel.

Internal evidence, particularly the "we" passages of Acts (16:10-17; 20:5-21; 18; 27:1-28:16) confirm Luke as the author. Luke by profession was a physician. He is the only gentile author in the New Testament. He was an eyewitness to many of the events in the book and was Paul's co-worker.

BACKGROUND: The book of Acts begins where the gospel left off at the resurrection and ascension of Jesus into heaven. It takes up the story there and shows the establishment of the Kingdom (the church) and its growth. It is often called "the book of conversions" because it shows how people in the first century became Christians.

Various titles given the book include:

CHARACTER: The book is historical and written in narrative form. The history of the Bible is HIS STORY and the pivot point of the Bible around which all things revolve is the Cross.
Creation - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - // - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - Consummation

One "over-all" outline of the Bible is:

The Old Testament says "Someone is coming."
The Gospels say "Someone has come."
The Epistles say "Someone is coming again."

The Book of Acts is a very important book in the New Testament. From the book we glean much background material for the epistles. We see the important theme of early preaching (the resurrection), fulfillment of prophecy and a number of miracles.
DESIGN: The book shows the progress of Christianity from Jerusalem to all Judea, and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The commission of the risen Lord had already been reported by Luke (Luke 24:46-49) and here is the description or how it was accomplished.

  • The key verse of the book is Acts 1:8. This verse is actually like Luke's Table of Contents, or outline for the book.
  • The book was probably composed in about AD 61/62. It begins with the history of AD 29/30, the year of our Lord's death, and ends following two years of Paul's imprisonment at Rome about AD 62.

    I. Spread of the Gospel in Palestine with Peter as leader.
    Ch. 1-12

    II. Spread of the Gospel Outside Palestine with Paul as leader.
    Ch. 13-28