Home
Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Version Selector Up Arrow
KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NIV New International Version
ESV English Standard Version
HCSB Holman Christian Standard Bible
NASB New American Standard Bible
NET New English Translation
RSV Revised Standard Version
ASV American Standard Version
YLT Young's Literal Translation
DBY Darby Translation
WEB Webster's Bible
HNV Hebrew Names Version
RVR60 Reina-Valera 1960
VUL Latin Vulgate
WLC Westminster Leningrad Codex
LXX Septuagint
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebooktwitter

googlepluspinterest

reddittumblrlinkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

LexiConc
 [?]
 

Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
 [?]
 
Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
 
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x

Connect on TwitterConnect on FacebookConnect on InstagramConnect on PinterestConnect on Google Plus

Receive our Blue Letter Bible Newsletter

Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

Study Resources :: Dictionaries :: Acts of the Apostles, 9-Outline

Dictionaries :: Acts of the Apostles, 9-Outline

Below are articles from the following dictionary:
International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Acts of the Apostles, 9-Outline:

IX. Relation of Acts to the Epistles.

There is no real evidence that Luke made use of any of Paul's epistles. He was with Paul in Rome when Col was written (4:14), and may, indeed, have been Paul's amanuensis for this epistle (and for Eph and Philem). Some similarities to Luke's style have been pointed out. But Acts closes without any narrative of the events in Rome during the years there, so that these epistles exerted no influence on the composition of the book. As to the two preceding groups of Paul's epistles (1 and 2 Thess, 1 and 2 Cor, Gal, Roman) there is no proof that Luke saw any of them. The Epistle to the Romans was probably accessible to into while in Rome, but he does not seem to have used it. Luke evidently preferred to appeal to Paul directly for information rather than to his epistles.

This is all simple enough if he wrote the book or made his data while Paul was alive. But if Acts was written very late, it would be strange for the author not to have made use of some of Paul's epistles. The book has, therefore, the great advantage of covering some of the same ground as that discussed in the earlier epistles, but from a thoroughly independent stand-point. The gaps in our knowledge from the one source are often supplied incidentally, but most satisfactorily, from the other. The coincidences between Acts and Paul's epistles have been well traced by Paley in his Horae Paulinae, still a book of much value. Knowling, in his Witness of the Epistles (1892), has made a more recent study of the same problem. But for the apparent conflict between Ga 2:1-10 and Ac 15 the matter might be dropped at this point.

It is argued by some that Acts, written long after Gal, brushes to one side the account of the Jerusalem conference given by Paul. It is held that Paul is correct in his personal record, and that Acts is therefore unhistorical Others save the credit of Acts by arguing that Paul is referring to an earlier private conference some years before the public discussion recorded in Ac 15. This is, of course, possible in itself, but it is by no means required by the variations between the two reports. The contention of Lightfoot has never been really overturned, that in Ga 2:1-10 Paul gives the personal side of the conference, not a full report of the general meeting. What Paul is doing is to show the Galatians how he is on a par with the Jerusalem apostles, and how his authority and independence were acknowledged by them.

This aspect of the matter came out in the private conference. Paul is not in Ga 2:1-10 setting forth his victory over the Judaizers in behalf of Gentile freedom. But in Ac 15 it is precisely this struggle for Gentile freedom that is under discussion. Paul's relations with the Jerusalem apostles is not the point at all, though it in plain in Acts that they agree. In Galatians also Paul's victory for Gentile freedom comes out. Indeed, in Ac 15 it is twice mentioned that the apostles and elders were gathered together (15:4,6), and twice we are told that Paul and Barnabas addressed them (15:4,12). It is therefore natural to suppose that this private conference narrated by Paul in Galatians came in between 2:5 and 6. Luke may not, indeed, have seen the Epistle to the Galatians, and may not have heard from Paul the story of the private conference, though he knew of the two public meetings. If he did know of the private meeting, he thought it not pertinent to his narration. There is, of course, no contradiction between Paul's going up by revelation and by the appointment of the church in Antioch. In Ga 2:1 we have the second (Ga 1:18) visit to Jerusalem after his conversion mentioned by Paul, while that in Ac 15 is the third in Acts (9:28; 11:29 f; 15:2).

But there was no particular reason for Paul to mention the visit in Ac 11:30, which did not concern his relation to the apostles in Jerusalem. Indeed, only the "elders" are mentioned on this occasion. The same independence between Acts and Ga occurs in Ga 1:17-24, and Ac 9:26-30. In Acts there is no allusion to the visit to Arabia, just as there is no mention of the private conference in Ac 15. So also in Ac 15:35-39 there is no mention of the sharp disagreement between Paul and Peter at Antioch recorded in Ga 2:11 ff. Paul mentions it merely to prove his own authority and independence as an apostle. Luke had no occasion to record the incident, if he was acquainted with the matter. These instances illustrate well how, when the Acts and the epistles vary, they really supplement each other.

X. Chronology of Acts.

Here we confront one of the most perplexing questions in New Testament criticism. In general, ancient writers were not so careful as modern writers are to give precise dates for historical events. Indeed, it was not easy to do so in view of the absence of a uniform method of reckoning times. Luke does, however, relate his narrative to outward events at various points. In his Gospel he had linked the birth of Jesus with the names of Augustus as emperor and of Quirinius as governor of Syria (Lu 2:1 f), and the entrance of John the Baptist upon his ministry with the names of the chief Roman and Jewish rulers of the time (Lu 3:1 f) So also in the Acts he does not leave us without various notes of times. He does not, indeed, give the date of the Ascension or of the Crucifixion, though he places the Ascension forty days after the Resurrection (Ac 1:3), and the great Day of Pentecost would then come ten days later, "not many days hence" (Ac 1:5)

But the other events in the opening chapters of Acts have no clear chronological arrangement. The career of Stephen is merely located "in these days" (6:1). The beginning of the general persecution under Saul is located on the very day of Stephen's death (8:1), but the year is not even hinted at. The conversion of Saul comes probably in its chronological order in Ac 9, but the year again is not given. We have no hint as to the age of Saul at his conversion. So again the relation of Peter's work in Caesarea (10) to the preaching to the Greeks in Antioch (11) is not made clear, though probably in this order. It is only when we come to Ac 12 that we reach an event whose date is reasonably certain. This is the death of Herod Agrippa I in 44 AD. But even so, Luke does not correlate the life of Paul with that incident. Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler, 49) places the persecution and death of James in 44, and the visit of Barnabas and Saul to Jerusalem in 46. About 44, then, we may consider that Saul came to Antioch from Tarsus.

The "fourteen years" in Ga 2:1 as already shown probably point to the visit in Ac 15 some years later. But Saul had been in Tarsus some years and had spent some three years in Arabia and Damascus after his conversion (Ga 1:18). Beyond this it is not possible to go. We do not know the age of Saul in 44 AD or the year of his conversion. He was probably born not far from 1 AD. But if we locate Paul at Antioch with Barnabas in 44 AD, we can make some headway. Here Paul spent a year (Ac 11:26). The visit to Jerusalem in Ac 11, the first missionary tour in 13 and 14, the conference at Jerusalem in 15, the second missionary tour in 16-18, the third missionary tour and return to Jerusalem in 18- 21, the arrest in Jerusalem and two years in Caesarea in 21-26, all come between 44 AD and the recall of Felix and the coming of Festus. It used to be taken for granted that Festus came in 60 AD.

Wieseler figured it out so from Josephus and was followed by Lightfoot. But Eusebius, in his "Chronicle," placed that event in the second year of Nero. That would be 56, unless Eusebius has a special way of counting those years Mr. C. H Turner (art. "Chronology" in HDB) finds that Eusebius counts an emperor's regnal year from the September following. If so, the date could be moved forward to 57 (compare Rackham on Acts, lxvi). But Ramsay (chapter xiv, "Pauline Chronology," in Pauline and Other Studies) cuts the Gordian knot by showing an error in Eusebius due to his disregarding an interregnum with the reign of Mugs Ramsay here follows Erbes Todestage Pauli und Pertri in this discovery and is able to fix upon 59 as the date of the coming of Festus. Probably 59 will have to answer as a compromise date. Between 44 AD and 59 AD, therefore, we place the bulk of Paul's active missionary work.

Luke has divided this period into minor divisions with relative dates. Thus a year and six months are mentioned at Corinth (Ac 18:11), besides "yet many days" (Ac 18:18). In Ephesus we find mention of "three months" (Ac 19:8) and "two years" (Ac 19:10), the whole story summed up as "three years" (Ac 20:31) Then we have the "two years" of delay in Caesarea (Ac 24:27). We thus have about seven of these fifteen years itemized. Much of the remaining eight was spent in the journeys described by Luke. We are told also the times of year when the voyage to Rome was under way (Ac 27:9), the length of the voyage (Ac 27:27), the duration of the stay in Melita (Ac 28:11), and the times spent in Rome at the close of the book, "two whole years" (Ac 28:30). Thus it is possible to fix upon a relative schedule of dates, though not an absolute one. Harnack (The Acts of the Apostles, chapter i, "Chronological Data") has worked out a very careful scheme for the whole of Acts. Knowling has a good critical resume of the present state of our knowledge of the chronology of Acts in his Commentary, 38 ff, compare also Clemen, Die Chronologie der paulinischen Briefe (1893). It is clear, then, that a rational scheme for events of Paul's career so far as recorded in the Acts can be found. If 57 AD, for instance, should be taken as the year of Festus coming rather than 59 or 60 AD, the other dates back to 44 AD would, of course, be affected on a sliding scale. Back of 44 AD the dates are largely conjectural.

XI. Historical Worth of Acts.

It was once fashionable to discredit Acts as a book of no real value as history. The Tubingen school regarded Acts as "a late controversial romance, the only historical value of which was to throw light on the thought of the period which produced it" (Chase, The Credibility of Acts, 9). There are not wanting a few writers who still regard Acts as a late eirenicon between the Peter and Paul parties, or as a party pamphlet in the interest of Paul. Somewhat fanciful parallels are found between Luke's treatment of both Peter and Paul "According to Holtzmann, the strongest argument for the critical position is the correspondence between the acts of Peter and the other apostles on the one rode and those of Paul on the other" (Headlam in HDB). But this matter seems rather far fetched. Peter is the leading figure in the early chapters, as Paul is in the latter half of the book, but the correspondences are not remarkably striking.

There exists in some minds a prejudice against the book on the ground of the miracles recorded as genuine events by Luke. But Paul himself claimed to have wrought miracles (2Co 12:12). It is not scientific to rule a book out beforehand because it narrates miracles (Blass, Acta Apostolorum, 8). Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler, 8) tells his experience in regard to the trustworthiness of Acts: "I began with a mind unfavorable to it, for the ingenuity and apparent completeness of the Tubingen theory had at one time quite convinced me." It was by actual verification of Acts in points where it could be tested by inscriptions, Paul's epistles, or current non-Christian writers, that "it was gradually borne in upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth." He concludes by "placing this great writer on the high pedestal that belongs to him" (10). McGiffert (The Apostolic Age) had been compelled by the geographical and historical evidence to abandon in part the older criticism. He also admitted that the Acts "is more trustworthy than previous critics allowed" (Ramsay, Luke the Physician, 5). Schmiedel (Encyclopedia Biblica) still argues that the writer of Acts is inaccurate because he was not in possession of full information. But on the whole Acts has had a triumphant vindicatioin in modern criticism. Julicher (Einl, 355) admits "a genuine core overgrown with legendary accretions" (Chase, Credibility, 9). The moral honesty of Luke, his fidelity to truth (Rackham on Acts, 46), is clearly shown in both his Gospel and the Acts.

This, after all, is the chief trait in the true historian (Ramsay, Paul the Traveler, 4). Luke writes as a man of serious purpose and is the one New Testament writer who mentions his careful use of his materials (Lu 1:1-4). His attitude and spent are those of the historian. He reveals artistic skill, it is true, but not to the discredit of his record. He does not give a bare chronicle, but he writes a real history, an interpretation of the events recorded. He had adequate resources in the way of materials and endowment and has made conscientious and skillful use of his opportunity. It is not necessary here to give in detail all the points in which Luke has been vindicated (see Knowling on Acts, Ramsay's books and Harnack's Luke and Acts). The most obvious are the following: The use of "proconsul" instead of "propraetor" in Ac 13:7 is a striking instance. Curiously enough Cyprus was not a senatorial province very long. An inscription has been found in Cyprus "in the proconsulship of Paulus."

The 'first men' of Antioch in Pisidia is like the (13:50) "First Ten," a title which "was only given (as here) to a board of magistrates in Greek cities of the East" (MacLean in one-vol HDB). The "priest of Jupiter" at Lystra (14:13) is in accord with the known facts of the worship there. So we have Perga in Pamphylia (13:13), Antioch in Pisidia (13:14), Lystra and Derbe in Lycaonia (14:6), but not Iconium (14:1). In Philippi Luke notes that the magistrates are called strategoi or praetors (Ac 16:20), and are accompanied by lictors or rhabdouchoi (Ac 16:35). In Thessalonica the rulers are "politarchs" (Ac 17:6), a title found nowhere else, but now discovered on an inscription of Thessalonica. He rightly speaks of the Court of the Areopagus at Athens (Ac 17:19) and the proconsul in Achaia (Ac 18:12).

Though Athens was a free city, the Court of the Areopagus at the times were the real rulers. Achaia was sometimes associated with Macedonia, though at this time it was a separate senatorial province. In Ephesus Luke knows of the "Asiarchs" (Ac 19:31), "the presidents of the 'Common Council' of the province in cities where there was a temple of Rome and the Emperor; they superintended the worship of the Emperor" (Maclean). Note also the fact that Ephesus is "temple-keeper of the great Diana" (Ac 19:35). Then observe the town clerk (Ac 19:35), and the assembly (Ac 19:39). Note also the title of Felix, "governor" or procurator (Ac 24:1), Agrippa the king (25:13), Julius the centurion and the Augustan band (Ac 27:1). Ac 27 is a marvel of interest and accuracy for all who wish to know details of ancient seafaring. The matter has been worked over in a masterful way by James Smith, Voyage and Shipwreck of Paul. The title "First Man of the Island" (Ac 28:7) is now found on a coin of Melita. These are by no means all the matters of interest, but they will suffice. In most of the items given above Luke's veracity was once challenged, but now he has been triumphantly vindicated.

The force of this vindication is best appreciated when one recalls the incidental nature of the items mentioned. They come from widely scattered districts and are just the points where in strange regions it is so easy to make slips. If space allowed, the matter could be set forth in more detail and with more justice to Luke's worth as a historian. It is true that in the earlier portions of the Acts we are not able to find so many geographical and historical corroborations. But the nature of the material did not call for the mention of so many places and persons. In the latter part Luke does not hesitate to record miraculous events also. His character as a historian is firmly established by the passages where outside contact has been found. We cannot refuse him a good name in the rest of the book, though the value of the sources used certainly cuts a figure. It has been urged that Luke breaks down as a historian in the double mention of Quirinius in Lu 2:2 and Ac 5:37.

But Ramsay (Was Christ Born at Bethlehem?) has shown how the new knowledge of the census system of Augustus derived from the Egypt papyri is about to clear up this difficulty. Luke's general accuracy at least calls for suspense of judgment, and in the matter of Theudas and Judas the Galilean (Ac 5) Luke as compared with Josephus outclasses his rival. Harnack (The Acts of the Apostles, 203-29) gives in his usual painstaking way a number of examples of "inaccuracy and discrepancy" But the great bulk of them are merely examples of independence in narration (compare Ac 9 with 22 and 26, where we have three reports of Paul's conversion). Harnack did not, indeed, once place as high a value on Luke as a historian as he now does. It is all the more significant, therefore, to read the following in Harnack's The Acts of the Apostles (298 f): "The book has now been restored to the position of credit which is its rightful due. It is not only, taken as a whole, a genuinely historical work, but even in the majority of its details it is trustworthy 6..... Judged from almost every possible standpoint of historical criticism it is a solid, respectable, and in many respects an extraordinary work." That is, in my opinion, an understatement of the facts (see Ramsay), but it is a remarkable conclusion concerning the trustworthiness of Luke when one considers the distance that Harnack has come. At any rate the prejudice against Luke is rapidly disappearing. The judgment of the future is forecast by Ramsay, who ranks Luke as a historian of the first order.

XII. Purpose of the Book.

A great deal of discussion has been given to Luke's aim in the Acts. Baur's theory was that this book was written to give a conciliatory view of the conflict between Peter and Paul, and that a minute parallelism exists in the Acts between these two heroes. This tendency theory once held the critical field, but it does not take into view all the facts, and fails to explain the book as a whole. Peter and Paul are the heroes of the book as they undoubtedly were the two chief personalities in apostolic history (compare Wendt, Apostelgeschichte, 17). There is some parallelism between the careers of the two men (compare the worship offered Peter at Caesarea in Ac 10:25, and that to Paul in 14:11; see also the punishment of Ananias and Sapphira and that of Elymas). But Knowling (Acts, 16) well replies that curiously no use is made of the death of both Peter and Paul in Rome, possibly at the same time. If the Acts was written late, this matter would be open to the knowledge of the writer.

There is in truth no real effort on Luke's part to paint Paul like Peter or Peter like Paul. The few similarities in incident are merely natural historical parallels. Others have seen in the Acts a strong purpose to conciliate Gentile(pagan) opinion in the fact that the Roman governors and military officers are so uniformly presented as favorable to Paul, while the Jews are represented as the real aggressors against Christianity (compare Josephus' attitude toward Rome). Here again the fact is beyond dispute. But the other explanation is the more natural, namely, that Luke brings out this aspect of the matter because it was the truth. Compare B. Weiss, Einl, 569. Luke does have an eye on the world relations of Christianity and rightly reflects Paul's ambition to win the Roman Empire to Christ (see Ro 15), but that is not to say that he has given the book a political bias or colored it so as to deprive it of its historical worth. It is probably true (compare Knowling, Acts, 15; J. Weiss, Ueber die Absicht und den literarischen Charakter der Apostelgeschichte) that Luke felt, as did Paul, that Jusaism realized its world destiny in Christianity, that Christianity was the true Judaism, the spiritual and real Israel. If Luke wrote Acts in Rome, while Paul's case was still before Nero, it is easy to understand the somewhat long and minute account of the arrest and trials of Paul in Jerusalem, Caesarea and Rome.

The point would be that the legal aspect of Christianity before Roman laws was involved. Hitherto Christianity had found shelter as a sect of Judaism, and so was passed by Gallio in Corinth as a religio licita. If Paul was condemned as a Christian, the whole aspect of the matter would be altered. Christianity would at once become religio illicita. The last word in the Acts comments on the fact that Paul, though still a prisoner, was permitted to preach unhindered. The importance of this point is clearly seen as one pushes on to the Neronian persecution in 64. After that date Christianity stood apart from Judaism in the eye of Rome. I have already stated my belief that Luke closed the Acts when he did and as he did because the events with Paul had only gone thus far. Numerous scholars hold that Luke had in mind a third book (Ac 1:1), a possible though by no means necessary inference from "first treatise." It was a climax to carry the narrative on to Rome with Paul, but it is rather straining the point to find all this in Ac 1:8. Rome was not "the nethermost part of the earth," Spain more nearly being that. Nor did Paul take the gospel to Rome.

Besides, to make the arrival of Paul in Rome the goal in the mind of Christ is too narrowing a purpose. The purpose to go to Rome did dominate Paul's mind for several years (Ac 19:21), but Paul cuts no figure in the early part of the book. And Paul wished to push on from Rome to Spain (Ro 15:24). It is probably true that Luke means to announce his purpose in Ac 1:1-8. One needs to keep in mind also Lu 1:1-4. There are various ways of writing history. Luke chooses the biographical method in Acts. Thus he conceives that he can best set forth the tremendous task of interpreting the first thirty years of the apostolic history. It is around persons (compare Harnack, The Acts of the Apostles, 117), two great figures (Peter and Paul), that the narrative is focused. Peter is most prominent in Ac 1-12, Paul in 13-28. Still Paul's conversion is told in Ac 9 and Peter reappears in Ac 15. But these great personages do not stand alone. John the Apostle is certainly with Peter in the opening chapters. The other apostles are mentioned also by name (Ac 1:13) and a number of times in the first twelve chapters (and in Ac 15). But after Ac 15 they drop out of the narrative, for Luke follows the fortunes of Paul.

The other chief secondary figures in Acts are Stephen, Philip, Barnabas, James, Apollos, all Hellenists save James (Harnack, 120). The minor characters are numerous (John, Mark, Silas, Timothy, Aquila and Priscilla, Aristarchus, etc.). In most cases Luke gives a distinct picture of these incidental personages. In particular he brings out sharply such men as Gallio, Claudius, Lysias, Felix, Festus, Herod, Agrippa I and II, Julius. Luke's conception of the apostolic history is that it is the work of Jesus still carried on by the Holy Spirit (Ac 1:1 f). Christ chose the apostles, commanded them to wait for power from on high, filled them with the Holy Spirit and then sent them on the mission of world conquest. In the Acts Luke records the waiting, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the planting of a powerful church in Jerusalem and the expansion of the gospel to Samaria and all over the Roman Empire. He addresses the book to Theophilus as his patron, a Gentile Christian plainly, as he had done with his gospel. The book is designed for the enlightenment of Christians generally concerning the historic origins of Christianity. It is in truth the first church history. It is in reality the Acts of the Holy Spirit as wrought through these men. It is an inspiring narration. Luke had no doubt whatever of the future of a gospel with such a history and with such heroes of faith as Peter and Paul.

XIII. Analysis.

1. The connection between the work of the apostles and that of Jesus (Ac 1:1-11).

2. The equipment of the early disciples for their task (Ac 1:12-2:47). (a) The disciples obeying Christ's parting command (Ac 1:12-24). (b) The place of Judas filled (Ac 1:15-26). (c) Miraculous manifestations of the presence of the Holy Spirit (Ac 2:1-13). (d) Peter's interpretation of the situation (Ac 2:14-36). (e) The immediate effect of the sermon (Ac 2:37-41). (f) The new spirit in the Christian community (Ac 2:42-47).

3. The development of the work in Jerusalem (Ac 3:1-8:1). (a) An incident in the work of Peter and John with Peter's apologetic (Ac 3). (b) Opposition of the Sadducees aroused by the preaching of the resurrection of Jesus (Ac 4:1-31). (c) An internal difficulty, the problem of poverty (Ac 4:32-5:11). (d) Great progress of the cause in the city (Ac 5:12-16). (e) Renewed hostility of the Sadducees and Gamaliel's retort to the Pharisees (Ac 5:17-42). (f) A crisis in church life and the choice of the seven Hellenists (Ac 6:1-7). (g) Stephen's spiritual interpretation of Christianity stirs the antagonism of the Pharisees and leads to his violent death (Ac 6:8-8:1).

4. The compulsory extension of the gospel to Judea, Samaria and the neighboring regions (Ac 8:1-40). (a) The great persecution, with Saul as leader (Ac 8:1-4). (b) Philip's work as a notable example of the work of the scattered disciples (Ac 8:5-40).

5. The conversion of Saul changes the whole situation for Christianity (Ac 9:1-31). (a) Saul's mission to Damascus (Ac 9:1-3). (b) Saul stopped in his hostile course and turns Christian himself (Ac 9:4-18). (c) Saul becomes a powerful exponent of the gospel in Damascus and Jerusalem (Ac 9:19-30). (d) The church has peace (Ac 9:31).

6. The door opened to the Gentiles, both Roman and Greek (Ac 9:32-11:30). (a) Peter's activity in this time of peace (Ac 9:32-43). (b) The appeal from Cornelius in Caesarea and Peter's response (Ac 10). (c) Peter's arraignment before the Pharisaic element in the church in Jerusalem (Ac 11:1-18). (d) Greeks in Antioch are converted and Barnabas brings Saul to this work (Ac 11:19-26). (e) The Greek Christians send relief to the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem (Ac 11:27-30).

7. Persecution from the civil government (Ac 12). (a) Herod Agrippa I kills James and imprisons Peter (Ac 12:1-19). (b) Herod pays the penalty for his crimes (Ac 12:20-23). (c) Christianity prospers (Ac 12:24 f).

8. The Gentilepropaganda from Antioch under the leadership of Barnabas and Saul (Ac 13-14). (a) The specific call of the Holy Spirit to this work (Ac 13:1-3). (b) The province of Cyprus and the leadership of Paul (Ac 13:4-12). (c) The province of Pamphylia and the desertion of John Mark (Ac 13:13). (d) The province of Galatia (Pisidia and Lycaonia) and the stronghold of the gospel upon the native population (Ac 13:14-14:24). (e) The return and report to Antioch (Ac 14:25-28).

9. The Gentilecampaign challenged by the Judaizers (Ac 15:1-35). (a) They meet Paul and Barnabas at Antioch who decide to appeal to Jerusalem (Ac 15:1-3). (b) The first public meeting in Jerusalem (Ac 15:4 f). (c) The second and more extended discussion with the decision of the conference (Ac 15:6-29). (d) The joyful reception (in Antioch) of the victory of Paul and Barnabas (Ac 15:30-35).

10. The second great campaign extending to Europe (Ac 15:36-18:22). (a) The breach between Paul and Barnabas over John Mark (Ac 15:36-39). (b) From Antioch to Troas with the Macedonian Cry (Ac 15:40-16:10). (c) In Philippi in Macedonia the gospel gains a foothold in Europe, but meets opposition (Ac 16:11-40). (d) Paul is driven also from Thessalonica and Berea (compare Philippi), cities of Macedonia also (Ac 17:1-15). (e) Paul's experience in Athens (Ac 17:16-34). (f) In Corinth Paul spends nearly two years and the cause of Christ wins legal recognition from the Roman governor (Ac 18:1-17). (g) The return to Antioch by way of Ephesus, Caesarea and probably Jerusalem (Ac 18:18-22).

11. The third great tour, with Ephesus as headquarters (Ac 18:23-20:3). (a) Paul in Galatia and Phrygia again (Ac 18:23). (b) Apollos in Ephesus before Paul comes (Ac 18:24-28). (c) Paul's three years in Ephesus (Ac 19:1-20:1). (d) The brief visit to Corinth because of the troubles there (Ac 20:1-3).

12. Paul turns to Jerusalem again with plans for Rome (Ac 20:4-21:16). (a) His companions (Ac 20:4). (b) Rejoined by Luke at Philippi (Ac 20:5). (c) The story of Troas (Ac 20:7-12). (d) Coasting along Asia (Ac 20:13-16). (e) with the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Ac 20:17-38). (f) From Miletus to Tyre (Ac 21:1-6). (g) From Tyre to Caesarea (Ac 21:7-14). (h) From Caesarea to Jerusalem (Ac 21:15 f).

13. The outcome in Jerusalem (Ac 21:15-23:30). (a) Paul's reception by the brethren (Ac 21:15-17). (b) Their proposal of a plan by which Paul could undo the work of the Judaizers concerning him in Jerusalem (Ac 21:18-26). (c) The uproar in the temple courts raised by the Jews from Asia as Paul was carrying out the plan to disarm the Judaizers (Ac 21:27-30). (d) Paul's rescue by the Roman captain and Paul's defense to the Jewish mob (Ac 21:31-22:23). (e) Examination of the chief captain (Ac 22:24-29). (f) Brought before the Sanhedrin (Ac 22:30-23:10). (g) Cheered by the Lord Jesus (Ac 23:11). (h) Paul's escape from the plot of Jewish conspirators (Ac 23:12-30).

14. Paul a prisoner in Caesarea (Ac 23:31; 26:32). (a) The flight to Caesarea and presentation to Felix (Ac 23:31-35). (b) Paul's appearance before Felix (Ac 24). (c) Paul before Festus (Ac 25:1-12). (d) Paul, as a matter of curiosity and courtesy, brought before Herod Agrippa II (Ac 25:13-26:32).

15. Paul going to Rome (Ac 27:1-28:15). (a) From Caesarea to Myra (Ac 27:1-5). (b) From Myra to Fair Havens (Ac 27:6-8). (c) From Fair Havens to Malta (Ac 27:9-28:10). (d) From Malta to Rome (Ac 28:11-15).

16. Paul in Rome at last (Ac 28:16-31). (a) His quarters (Ac 28:16). (b) His first interview with the Jews (Ac 28:17-22). (c) His second interview with the Jews (Ac 28:23-28). (d) Two years afterward still a prisoner, but with freedom to preach the gospel (Ac 28:30 f).

LITERATURE

Besides the works referred to above see Wendt's edition of Meyer's Kommentar (1899); Headlam in HDB; Knowling on Acts in Expositor's Greek Testament (1900); Knowling, Witness of the Epistles (1892), Testimony of Paul to Christ (1905); Moffatt, Historical New Testament (1901).

Here is a selected list of important works:

1. Introduction:

Bacon, Introduction to the New Testament (1900); Bennett and Adeney, Biblical Introduction (1899); Bleek, Einleitung in das New Testament (4 Aufl, 1900); S. Davidson, (3rd edition, 1894); C. R. Gregory, Canon and Text of the New Testament (1907), H. J. Holtzmann, Einleitung in das New Testament (3 Aufl, 1892), Jacquies, Histoire des livres du New Testament (1905-8); Julicher, Introduction to the New Testament (translation, 1904); Peaks, Critical Introduction to the New Testament (1909); Reuss, Canon of the Holy Scriptures (translation, 1886); Salmon, Hist Introduction to the Study of the Books of the New Testament (7th edition, 1896), von Soden, The History of Early Christian Lit. (translation, 1906), B. Weiss, A Manual of Introduction to the New Testament (translation, 1889), Westcott, History of the Canon of the New Testament (1869), Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament (translation, 1909), Moffatt, Introduction to the Lit. of the New Testament (1911).

2. Text:

See general works on textual criticism of the New Testament (Gregory, Kenyon, Nestle, Tischendorf, Scrivener, von Soden, B. Weiss, Westcott, etc.). Of special treatises note Blass, Philology of the Gospels (1898). Acta Apostolorum (1895); Bornemann, Acta Apostolorum (1848); Chase, Old Syriac Element in the Text of Codex Bezae (1893), Corssen, Der cyprianische Text der Acta Apostolorum (1892); Klostermann, Probleme im Apostel Texts (1883), Klostermann, Vindiciae Lucanae (1866); Nestle, Philologia (1896); J. Rendel Harris, Study Codex Bezae (1891).

3. Apostolic History:

For literature on the life of Paul see Robertson, Epochs in the Life of Paul (1909), 321-27, and article PAUL in this encyclopedia. Important general works are the following: Bartlet, The Apostolie Age (1899); Baumgarten, The Apostolic History (translation, 1854); Blunt, Studies in the Apostolic Age (1909); Burton, Records and Letters of the Apostolic Age (1895); Doellinger, The First Age of the Church (translation, 1867); Dobschutz, Christian Life in the Primitive Church (translation, 1904); Ewald, History of the Apostolic Times (translation, Vol VI in History of Israel); Farrar, Early Days of Christianity (1887); Fisher, The Beginnings of Christianity (1877); Gilbert, Christianity in the Apostolic Age (1908); Harnack, The Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries (translation, 1904-5); Hausrath, Neut. Zeitgeschichte (Bd. 2, 1872); Heinrici, Das Urchristentum (1902); Holtzmann, Neut. Zeitgeschichte (1895); Hort, Judaistic Christianity (1898); Organization of the Early Christian Churches (1895); Lechler, The Apostolic and Post-Apostolic Times (translation, 1886); Lightfoot, Dissertations on the Apostolic Age (1892); Lindsay, The Church and the Ministry in the Early Centuries (1902); McGiffert, A History of Christianity in the Apostolic Age (1897); Neander, History of the Planting and Training of the Christian Church (1889); Pfleiderer, Christian origins (1906), Pressonse, The Early Years of Christianity (1870); Purves, Christianity in the Apostolic Age (1901), Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire (1893); Ritschl, Die Entstehung der altkath. Kirche (1857); Ropes, The Apostolic Age in the Light of Modern Criticism (1906); Weizsacker, The Apostolic Age of the Christian Church (translation, 1894-95); Pictures of the Apostolic Church (1910).

4. Special Treatises on the Acts:

Belser, Beitrage zur Erklarung der Apostelgeschichte (1897); Benson, Addresses on the Acts of the Apostles (1901); Bethge, Die paulinischen Reden der Apostelgeschichte (1887); Blass, Acta Apostolorum secundum Formam quae videtur Romanam (1896); Chase, The Credibility of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles (1902); Clemen, Die Apostelgeschichte, im Lichte der neueren Forschungen (1905); Fiene, Eine vorkanonische Nebenlieferung des Lukas in Evangelium und Apostelgeschichte (1891); Harnack, Luke, the Physician (translation, 1907); The Acts of the Apostles (1909); Hilgenfeld, Acta Apostolorum Graece et Latine (1899); Jungst, Die Quellen der Apostelgeschichte (1895); Krenkel, Josephus und Lucas (1894); Luckok, Footprints of the Apostles as Traced by Luke in the Acts (1897); J. Lightfoot, Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations on the Acts of the Apostles (1768); Paley, Horae Paulinae (Birks edition, 1850); Ramsay, Paul the Traveler (1896); Pauline and Other Studies (1906); Cities of Paul (1908), Luke the Physician, and Other Studies (1908); J. Smith, Voyage and Shipwreck of Paul (4th edition, 1880); Sorof, Die Entstehung der Apostelgeschichte (1890); Spitta, Die Apostelgeschichte, ihre Quellen und deren geschichtlicher Worth (1891); Stiffler, An Introduction to the Book of Acts (1892); Vogel, Zur Characteristik des Lukas nach Sprache und Stil (1897); J. Weiss, Ueber die Absicht und die literarischen Charakter der Apostelgeschichte (1897); Zeller, The Contents and Origin of the Acts of the Apostles (translation, 1875); Maurice Jones, Paul the Orator (1910).

5. Commentaries:

There are the great standard works. like Bede, Bengel, Calvin, Chrysostom, Grotius. The chief modern commentaries are the following: Alexander (1857), Alloral (6th edition, 1868), Bartlet (1901), Blass (Acta Apostolorum, 1895), Ewald (Apostelgeschichte, 1871), Felten (Apostelgeschichte, 1892), Hackett (1882), Holtzmann (Hand-Commentar, 3 Aufl, 1901), Knabenbauer (Actus Apostol, 1899), Knowling (Expositor's Greek Text, 1900), Luthardt and Zoeckler (Apostelgeschichte, 2nd edition, 1894), McGarvey (1892), Meyer (translation by Gloag and Dickson, 1885), Meyer-Wendt (Apostelgeschichte, 1888). Noesgen (Apostelgeschichte, 1882), Olshausen (1832), Page (1897), Rackham (1901), Rendall, (1897), Stokes (1892), B. Weiss (Apostelgeschichte, 1892, 2nd edition).

Written by A. T. Robertson

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Search

Bible Search

Multiverse Retrieval

LexiConc Search

FAQ Search

Browse Dictionary Topics

Bible Reference

Encyclopedias / Dictionaries

Introductions to the Bible

Topical Indexes

Charts and Outlines

Timelines

Maps / Images

Bible Commentaries

Text Commentaries

Audio & Video Commentaries

Theological Resources

Articles / Books

Women's Resources

Don Stewart

BLB Theological

Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions

Multimedia

Video

Music

Products

Digital Books

Mobile Apps for iPhone / iPad

Mobile blb.org

BLB Offline CDs

Free Web Tools

Devotionals

Email Devotional Sign-Up

BLB Daily Promises

Day by Day by Grace

Morning and Evening

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Help

Video Tutorials

Support

Theological Questions

Website Support

iApp Support

General Questions

Ministries

Sowing Circle

Co-Laboring Ministries

About

About the BLB

Statement of Faith

History

Newsletter

Partnerships

Ministry FAQs

Donate

Donation Information

Contact the BLB

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites


BLB Institute

BLB Blog

Email Newsletters

Facebook

Twitter


Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

©2017 Blue Letter Bible

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

Enter Your
Email or Username

Password

 [?]

 

Why won't my login from the old site work?

Did you forget your password?

Register a new BLB account

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

Enter Your EmailUsername

First Name

PasswordRe-enter

[ Cancel ]

 

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or Username

 

Return to Login

Close Login