Survey of the Bible - Acts

Survey of the Bible - Acts

Text: Acts 1:1-11

 

I.         The book of Acts is a continuation of Luke’s earlier account - Acts 1:1-3

            A.        All early manuscripts use the title “Acts” or “Acts of the Apostles”

            B.        The author is not named, but continuation and the style makes it clear that Luke and Acts are by the same author.

            C.        Luke’s participation is seen when he switches to the pronoun “we.”

                        1.         Acts 16:1-17

                        2.         Acts 20:5-21:18

                        3.         Acts 27:1-28:16

            D.        Like the book of Luke, Luke would have interviewed eyewitnesses to events and be able to include his own witness. In addition he cites records:

                        1.         Acts 15:23-29 - Letter from Jerusalem

                        2.         Acts 23:26-30 - Letter from Felix to the emperor

                        3.         24 speeches are given in a book that has only 28 chapters.

            E.        Dating

                        1.         Because Acts ends with Paul’s first imprisonment, without giving the outcome or hints of what we know came later from Paul’s letters tells us that Acts was written about A.D. 63.

                        2.         There is no mention of Nero’s persecution in A.D. 64, Paul’s death in A.D. 68, or the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

            F.        Accuracy

                        1.         Acts mentions about 80 geographical places

                        2.         Over 100 people are mentioned by name

                        3.         Luke is precise in locations and the proper terms.

                        4.         He is precise in people’s titles

II.        Purpose

            A.        Acts traces the development of the church from Jesus’ resurrection, providing the historical framework that the letters of the Apostles then hang upon.

            B.        It covers the first generation of Christians (about 30 years) and shows the transition from a Jewish born religion to a worldwide religion.

            C.        It details how people were taught and converted to Christians

III.       The outline of the book is summarized in Acts 1:8

            A.        Witnesses in Jerusalem - Acts 1-7

                        1.         Immediately after the Resurrection - Acts 1 (A.D. 30)

                        2.         Establishment of the Church - Acts 2 (A.D. 30)

                        3.         Growth of the Church - Acts 3 (A.D. 30-31)

                        4.         Resistence to the Church - Acts 4-5 (A.D. 30-31)

                        5.         Growing Pains and Organizing - Acts 6:1-8 (A.D. 30-31)

                        6.         First Christian Martyr: Stephen - Acts 6:9 -7:60 (A.D. 31-32)

            B.        Witnesses in Judea and Samaria - Acts 8-12

                        1.         Scattering of the church - Acts 8:1-4 (A.D. 31-32)

                        2.         Philip - Acts 8:5-40 (A.D. 32-33)

                                    a.         Samaria - Acts 8:5-25

                                    b.         Ethiopian Eunuch - Acts 8:26-40

                        3.         The conversion of Saul - Acts 9:1-31 (A.D. 33)

                                    a.         Saul’s conversion - Acts 9:1-19

                                    b.         Arabia - Galatians 1:17

                                    c.         Saul preaches in Damascus - Acts 9:20-22 (AD 36)

                                    d.         Saul preaches in Jerusalem - Acts 9:23-31 (AD 37)

                                    e.         Cilicia and Syria - Galatians 1:21

                        4.         Peter (between AD 35 and 40)

                                    a.         Heals Aeneas at Lydda - Acts 9:32-35

                                    b.         Raises Dorcus at Joppa - Acts 9:26-43

                                    c.         Converts Cornelius and his household (first Gentiles) - Acts 10

                                    d.         Defense for teaching the Gentiles - Acts 11:1-18

                        5.         Church in Antioch - Acts 11:19-30 (AD 43)

                        6.         Persecution by Herod (James dies) - Acts 12 (AD 44)

            C.        Witnesses in the World - Acts 13-28

                        1.         Each journey starts in Antioch of Syria

                        2.         First journey of Paul - Acts 13-14 (AD 45-48)

                                    a.         Covers Cyprus, Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra

                        3.         Meeting at Jerusalem to handle Judaizing teachers - Acts 15:1-35 (AD 49)

                        4.         Second journey of Paul - Acts 15:36-18:22 (AD 50-53)

                                    a.         Asia minor: Derbe, Lystra, Troas

                                    b.         Macedonia: Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea

                                    c.         Achaia : Athens, Corinth

                        5.         Third journey of Paul - Acts 18:23-21:16 (AD 54-57)

                                    a.         Covers Galatia, Phrygia, Ephesus

                                    b.         Macedonia

                                    c.         Troas, Miletus

                                    d.         Tyre, Caesarea

                        6.         Paul’s arrest - Acts 21:17-28:31

                                    a.         Jerusalem - Acts 21:17-23:33 (AD 58)

                                    b.         Caesarea - Acts 23:34-26:32 (AD 58-60)

                                    c.         Travel to Rome and shipwreck - Acts 27 (AD 60)

                                    d.         Malta - Acts 28:1-15 (AD 61)

                                    e.         Rome - Acts 28:16-31 (AD 61-63)