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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Acts

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(Sometimes called the 5th Gospel, it is
a continuation of the Gospel of Luke.)

Last recorded fact about Jesus in the Gospels:

Acts 1 brings all 4 together

The great missionary commission given in the 4 Gospels is confirmed in Acts.

Acts furnishes a ladder on which to place the Epistles.
Acts is a bridge between the Gospels and the Epistles.

The New Testament without Acts leaves a great, yawning gap. “If the Book of Acts were gone, there would be nothing to replace it” (Howson).

WRITER: Dr. Luke, who also wrote the third Gospel (Acts 1:1). Sir William Ramsay says that Luke is the greatest of all historians, ancient or modern (The Church in the Roman Empire before A.D. 170; St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen).

DATE: About A.D. 63
Acts covers a period of approximately 30 years. This is the inspired record of the beginnings of the church. While Genesis records the origin of the physical universe, Acts records the origin of the spiritual body.


But ye shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)


1. Prominence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Prominence of the Holy Spirit. Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39; John 14:16, 17; John 20:22; Acts 1:8). This is the age of the Holy Spirit. The great fact of this age is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

3. Power of the church.

4. Prominence of the church, visible and invisible (a new institution).

5. Prominence of places — begins in Jerusalem, ends in Rome.
(Ramsay checked the many places referred to.)

6. Prominence of persons — Dr. Luke mentions 110 persons by name.

7. Prominence of the resurrection, the center of gospel preaching.

8. Prominence of Peter in the first section, and Paul in the last section.
(There is a strange omission of the other apostles.)

TITLE: The proper title for this historical book is the supreme problem.

“The Acts of the Apostles” — Authorized and Revised Versions
“The Acts of the Apostles” — Codex Vaticanus (MSS)
“The Acts of the Ascended and Glorified Lord” — Robert Lee
“Words Concerning Deeds” — Bantu title

Acts 1:1, 2 gives the key to the problem: “The Lord Jesus Christ at work by the Holy Spirit through the apostles” (human instrumentalities).

Outline for John ← Prior Section
Outline for Acts Next Section →
Notes for John ← Prior Book
Notes for Romans Next Book →
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