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Acts

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Acts is believed to be the second part of a two-volume work. The Book of Acts begins with a summary of the previous volume, the Gospel of Luke, and then introduces the second volume. In Acts 1:1-5, Luke describes Jesus' ministry and passion; volume two Acts describes events after Jesus' ascension and the giving of the Holy Spirit.
As a literary parallel to Luke-Acts Josephus writes a two-volume work, and introduces the second volume in a similar manner. He states the correct use of somewhat idiosyncratic political titles corroborates the view that the Book of Acts was written by someone historically close to the events narrated, such as Luke was. Lukan authorship of the Book of Acts explains the extensive linguistic agreement between the it and the Gospel of Luke and the details that Luke includes about the church in Antioch, the city from which he hailed. Several secondary sources confirm the Lukan authorship of the Book of Acts. The Muratorian canon states "Moreover the Acts of the Apostles are included in one book. For 'most excellent Theophilus' Luke compiled the individual events that took place in his presence.” The Anti-Marcionite Prologue identifies Luke as the author of a second volume, Acts: "And afterwards the same Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles." Origen identifies the author of Acts as Luke, the same who wrote the gospel: "Others that it was Luke, he who wrote the gospel and the Acts" (H.E. 6.25.14). Clement of Alexandria accepts Lukan authorship of Acts, as indicated by the following statement: "As Luke in the Acts of the Apostles relates that Paul said, 'Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious'" (Strom. 5.12). Similarly, Eusebius indicates that the view of Clement of Alexandria was that Luke wrote the Book of Acts. Jerome states that Luke wrote both a gospel and the Book of Acts: "He also wrote another excellent volume to which he prefixed the title Acts of the Apostles, a history which extends to the second year of Paul's sojourn at Rome, that is to the fourth year of Nero" (de vir. ill. 7).
The intended reader of the Book of Acts was Theophilus but Luke also had a larger readership in mind.
*********

B. The Muratorian canon offers an early and plausible explanation for why Luke omitted events that took place after Paul's first two years of imprisonment in Rome. It seems that the explanation is that Luke did not include accounts of Peter's death or Paul's further journeys after his release from his Roman incarceration because he was not an eyewitness of these events and presumably because he did not have access to other eyewitness accounts.
The Book of Acts is a selective history of the early church told from a Christian point of view; it focuses primarily on two figures: Peter and Paul. The title "Acts of the Apostles" was first used by Irenaeus in the late second century (Adv. Haer. 3.13.3).;

The Book of Acts can be organized according to a geographical and biographical structure. A. 1-12 From Jerusalem to Antioch focusing on Peter
In the prologue, Luke describes his work as the second volume of a two-volume work, which he has dedicated to Theophilus. 1:6-26 Jesus ascends to heaven, and the disciples remain in Jerusalem waiting the fulfillment of the giving of the Holy Spirit. Lots are drawn in order to replace Judas as one of the twelve; the lot falls to Matthias. 2:1-8:3 The spread of gospel within Jerusalem is described. 2:1-41 The Holy Spirit falls upon those gathered in upper room of a house, and they begin to speak in other languages, so that all foreigners who have come to Jerusalem for the festival of Pentecost hear the gospel in their native tongues. Peter explains what is happening as the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. He also cites Ps 16:8-11 as fulfilled by Jesus' resurrection: God did not allow his holy one to see corruption. Peter commands all to repent and be baptized in order that they may receive the Holy Spirit. 2:42-47 The early Jerusalem church is described as meeting regularly to hear the apostles' teaching, share common life, break bread and pray. The church met in the Temple, and broke bread in private homes; there was a communal sharing of all things. A sense of awe was upon all, and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles. Many were added day by day to the church. 3:1-26 Peter heals a lame man in the Temple and explains what he did to those who witnessed the healing. He explains that he healed the lame man by the power of Jesus, whom they handed over to Pilate to ne executed, but whom God raised from the dead. Peter exhorts his hearers to repent, and cites Deut 18, 15, 18-19 as fulfilled in Jesus: he is the prophet like Moses whom God has raised up. 4:1-22 Because of the healing of the lame man, Peter and John are brought before the Sanhedrin. Peter defends his action by saying that it was in the name of Jesus that this lame man was healed. He cites Ps 118:22 as fulfilled in Jesus: he is the rejected capstone. 4:23-31 Upon their release, Peter and John pray citing Ps 2:1-2 as fulfilled of Jesus: he is the anointed one installed by God against whom and the Lord the nations rage and the kings and rulers oppose. After the prayer the place where they prayed was filled with the Holy Spirit. 4:32-37 The Jerusalem church is described as living communally, sharing everything in common. 5:1-11 Ananias and Sapphira die under God's judgment, because they lied to the Holy Spirit about the value of some land that they sold. 5:12-16 It is said that the apostles performed many signs and wonders and that the church met in Solomon's portico and was held in high regard by the people. Many were added to the church and people brought their sick and demon possessed to be healed. 5:17-42 The apostles are arrested by the high priest, but are released by an angel and commanded to preach in the Temple. When later told not to teach in Jesus' name, Peter replies that they must obey God rather than men. Gamaliel convinces the Sanhedrin to take a "wait and see" attitude towards the Christian movement, because, if it is of man, it will founder, but, if it is of God, they will be found to be opposing God. 6:1-7 The apostles chose seven men to take care of the daily distribution of food to the widows. One of these is Stephen. 6:8-7:60 Stephen is brought to the Sanhedrin because he allegedly speaking against the Temple and the Law. He defends himself in a long discourse, in which he tries to prove from scripture God does not dwell in houses made with human hands and that Jesus is the Righteous One, whom his generation put to death. Stephen's hearers are enraged and stone him; a certain Saul is complicit in this. 8:1-3 After Stephen's martyrdom, a persecution breaks out against the church in Jerusalem. Many are scattered to other parts of Judea and to Samaria. Unexplainably, only the apostles remain behind.
8:4-11:18 The spread of the gospel into Samaria and coastal regions is described. 8:4-25 Philip preaches "the Christ" in Samaria with much success, healing and exorcising. Even Simon the sorcerer believes, who later tries to buy the gift of the Spirit from the apostles, who arrived in Samaria after hearing of Philip's success. Peter rebukes Simon, who repents. 8:26-40 An angel of the Lord commands Philip to go to the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza, where he encounters an Ethiopian eunuch, puzzling over the meaning of Isa 53. Philip explains that this passage speaks of Jesus, proclaims to the eunuch the gospel about Jesus and then baptizes him. Philip is snatched away by the Spirit, finding himself at Azotus, where he preaches the gospel. 9:1-31 Saul (Paul) pursues believers from Jerusalem who fled to Damascus. On his way, he sees a vision of the risen Christ and hears him ask why Paul is persecuting him. Saul is struck blind, but continues to Damascus, where a certain Ananias, being commanded by God, reluctantly goes and prays for Saul, whereupon his sight is restored. Paul is said to be God's chosen instrument to bring God's name before the gentiles. Saul is then baptized and begins to preach that Jesus is the son of God and the Christ in Damascus. Because of hostility from unbelieving Jews, Saul must secretly escape from the city and goes to Jerusalem. Because the church still feared Saul, Barnabas takes Saul to the apostles. Saul disputes with the Hellenistic Jews in Jerusalem and they plot against him. Thus he escapes to Caesarea. 9:32-42 Peter preaches the gospel in Lydda, Sharon and Joppa. He heals Aeneas in Lydda and Tabitha in Joppa. In Joppa many believed because of this Tabitha's healing. 10:1-11:18 The "god-fearing" Roman Cornelius receives an angelic command to send to Joppa for Peter. In Joppa, Peter has a vision in which God tells him not to call unclean what God has called clean. When Cornelius's emissaries arrive Peter understands that the vision refers to gentiles, so he travels to Caesarea, where he preaches the gospel to Cornelius and his household. While Peter is preaching, the Holy Spirit falls upon Cornelius and others. In amazement, Peter concludes that he cannot withhold baptism from these gentiles whom God has poured out his Holy Spirit. 11:19-15:35 The spread of the gospel to Antioch and beyond is described. 11:19-30The founding of the church in Antioch is described. When news of this came to them, the apostles in Jerusalem sent Barnabas, who went to Tarsus and brought Saul to Antioch. The prophet Agabus came to Antioch from Jerusalem and foretold of a severe famine. 12:1-19 Herod Agrippa martyrs James the apostle. Peter is also arrested and placed in prison in order to be executed after Passover. Peter escapes, however, from prison by the assistance of an angel.
12:19-25 Herod Agrippa dies under the judgment of God because he did not give glory to God when the people of Sidon and Tyre proclaimed him as a god. have a falling out because Barnabas wants to bring John Mark against Paul's better judgment. Paul joins with Silas and travel through Cilicia and Syria strengthening the churches.
Luke wrote the book of Acts to inform Theophilus about events that ook place after Jesus's assension and after the baptism of th eHoly Spirity. 1.3. Lukan authorship of the Book of Acts explains the extensive linguistic agreement between the it and the Gospel of Luke and the details that Luke includes about the church in Antioch, the city from which he hailed.
1.4.4. Clement of Alexandria accepts Lukan authorship of Acts, as indicated by the following statement: "As Luke in the Acts of the Apostles relates that Paul said, 'Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious'" (Strom. 5.12). Similarly, Eusebius indicates that the view of Clement of Alexandria was that Luke wrote the Book of Acts, and from this concluded further that Luke may also have translated Hebrews since it is so much like Acts in style and vocabulary. He writes, "And he says that the Epistle to the Hebrews is Paul's, and was written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language; but that Luke, having carefully translated it, gave it to the Greeks, and hence the same coloring in the expression is discoverable in this letter and the Acts" (H.E. 6.14.2-3).
1.4.5. Jerome states as an accepted fact that Luke wrote both a gospel and the Book of Acts: "He also wrote another excellent volume to which he prefixed the title Acts of the Apostles, a history which extends to the second year of Paul's sojourn at Rome, that is to the fourth year of Nero" (de vir. ill. 7). 5. What is the Book of Acts?
5.1. Introduction
The Book of Acts is a selective history of the early church told from a Christian point of view; it focuses primarily on two figures: Peter and Paul. The title "Acts of the Apostles" was first used by Irenaeus in the late second century (Adv. Haer. 3.13.3);. hypothesis that Luke used other written sources is unnecessary. This is because Luke had access to many people who were eyewitnesses of the events that he described in the Book of Acts, which means that he would not need written sources, even if they existed. Based on the following passages, what might Luke's network of eyewitness sources have been?

Outline of the Book of Acts
Acts 1:1-5 In the prologue, Luke describes his work as the second volume of a two-volume work, which he has dedicated to Theophilus.
Acts 1:6-26 Jesus ascends to heaven, and the disciples remain in Jerusalem waiting the fulfillment of the giving of the Holy Spirit. Lots are drawn in order to replace Judas as one of the twelve; the lot falls to Matthias.
Acts 2:1-8:3 The spread of gospel within Jerusalem is described.
Acts 2:1-41 The Holy Spirit falls upon those gathered in upper room of a house, and they begin to speak in other languages, so that all foreigners who have come to Jerusalem for the festival of Pentecost hear the gospel in their native tongues. Peter explains what is happening as the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. He also cites Ps 16:8-11 as fulfilled by Jesus' resurrection: God did not allow his holy one to see corruption. Peter commands all to repent and be baptized in order that they may receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:42-47 The early Jerusalem church is described as meeting regularly to hear the apostles' teaching, share common life, break bread and pray. The church met in the Temple, and broke bread in private homes; there was a communal sharing of all things. A sense of awe was upon all, and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles. Many were added day by day to the church.
Acts 3:1-26 Peter heals a lame man in the Temple and explains what he did to those who witnessed the healing. He explains that he healed the lame man by the power of Jesus, whom they handed over to Pilate to ne executed, but whom God raised from the dead. Peter exhorts his hearers to repent, and cites Deut 18, 15, 18-19 as fulfilled in Jesus: he is the prophet like Moses whom God has raised up.
Acts 4. 4:1-22 Because of the healing of the lame man, Peter and John are brought before the Sanhedrin. Peter defends his action by saying that it was in the name of Jesus that this lame man was healed. He cites Ps 118:22 as fulfilled in Jesus: he is the rejected capstone.
Acts 4:23-31 Upon their release, Peter and John pray citing Ps 2:1-2 as fulfilled of Jesus: he is the anointed one installed by God against whom and the Lord the nations rage and the kings and rulers oppose. After the prayer the place where they prayed was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 4:32-37 The Jerusalem church is described as living communally, sharing everything in common.
Acts 5:1-11 Ananias and Sapphira die under God's judgment, because they lied to the Holy Spirit about the value of some land that they sold.
Acts 5:12-16 It is said that the apostles performed many signs and wonders and that the church met in Solomon's portico and was held in high regard by the people. Many were added to the church and people brought their sick and demon possessed to be healed.
Acts 5:17-42 The apostles are arrested by the high priest, but are released by an angel and commanded to preach in the Temple. When later told not to teach in Jesus' name, Peter replies that they must obey God rather than men. Gamaliel convinces the Sanhedrin to take a "wait and see" attitude towards the Christian movement, because, if it is of man, it will founder, but, if it is of God, they will be found to be opposing God.
Acts 6:1-7 The apostles chose seven men to take care of the daily distribution of food to the widows. One of these is Stephen.
Acts 6:8-7:60 Stephen is brought to the Sanhedrin because he allegedly speaking against the Temple and the Law. He defends himself in a long discourse, in which he tries to prove from scripture God does not dwell in houses made with human hands and that Jesus is the Righteous One, whom his generation put to death. Stephen's hearers are enraged and stone him; a certain Saul is complicit in this.
Acts 8:1-3 After Stephen's martyrdom, a persecution breaks out against the church in Jerusalem. Many are scattered to other parts of Judea and to Samaria. Unexplainably, only the apostles remain behind.
Acts 8:4-11:18 The spread of the gospel into Samaria and coastal regions is described.
Acts 8:4-25 Philip preaches "the Christ" in Samaria with much success, healing and exorcising. Even Simon the sorcerer believes, who later tries to buy the gift of the Spirit from the apostles, who arrived in Samaria after hearing of Philip's success. Peter rebukes Simon, who repents.
Acts 8:26-40 An angel of the Lord commands Philip to go to the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza, where he encounters an Ethiopian eunuch, puzzling over the meaning of Isa 53. Philip explains that this passage speaks of Jesus, proclaims to the eunuch the gospel about Jesus and then baptizes him. Philip is snatched away by the Spirit, finding himself at Azotus, where he preaches the gospel.
Acts 9:1-31 Saul (Paul) pursues believers from Jerusalem who fled to Damascus. On his way, he sees a vision of the risen Christ and hears him ask why Paul is persecuting him. Saul is struck blind, but continues to Damascus, where a certain Ananias, being commanded by God, reluctantly goes and prays for Saul, whereupon his sight is restored. Paul is said to be God's chosen instrument to bring God's name before the gentiles. Saul is then baptized and begins to preach that Jesus is the son of God and the Christ in Damascus. Because of hostility from unbelieving Jews, Saul must secretly escape from the city and goes to Jerusalem. Because the church still feared Saul, Barnabas takes Saul to the apostles. Saul disputes with the Hellenistic Jews in Jerusalem and they plot against him. Thus he escapes to Caesarea.
Acts 9:32-42 Peter preaches the gospel in Lydda, Sharon and Joppa. He heals Aeneas in Lydda and Tabitha in Joppa. In Joppa many believed because of this Tabitha's healing.
Acts 10:1-11:18 The "god-fearing" Roman Cornelius receives an angelic command to send to Joppa for Peter. In Joppa, Peter has a vision in which God tells him not to call unclean what God has called clean. When Cornelius's emissaries arrive Peter understands that the vision refers to gentiles, so he travels to Caesarea, where he preaches the gospel to Cornelius and his household. While Peter is preaching, the Holy Spirit falls upon Cornelius and others. In amazement, Peter concludes that he cannot withhold baptism from these gentiles whom God has poured out his Holy Spirit.
Acts 11:19-15:35 The spread of the gospel to Antioch and beyond is described.
Acts 11:19-30 The founding of the church in Antioch is described. When news of this came to them, the apostles in Jerusalem sent Barnabas, who went to Tarsus and brought Saul to Antioch. The prophet Agabus came to Antioch from Jerusalem and foretold of a severe famine.
Acts 12:1-19 Herod Agrippa martyrs James the apostle. Peter is also arrested and placed in prison in order to be executed after Passover. Peter escapes, however, from prison by the assistance of an angel.
Acts 12:19-25 Herod Agrippa dies under the judgment of God because he did not give glory to God when the people of Sidon and Tyre proclaimed him as a god.

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