Who wrote the Book of Acts?
When was the Book of Acts written?
What is the Book of Acts in the Bible about?
In this brief introduction to the Book of Acts, Dr. Jonathan Pritchett answers questions such as… Who wrote the Book of Acts? When was the Book of Acts written? He also provides a general summary of the Book of Acts.
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The Book of Acts is the second and the two-volume work by Luke the Evangelist. Luke was a physician, sometimes companion of Paul on his missionary journeys, and a first-rate historian.
Now scholars differ on the dating of Acts, placing it anywhere between the early 60s in the late 70s. The genre of the book is that of an ancient historiography in the Hellenistic tradition and ranks above even the classic works of Polybius and Thucydides.
It chronicles the works and speeches of the apostles as they carry forward the proclamation that God’s redemptive program, that culminated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, is now moving forward in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is so that Luke’s patron, Theophilus, and others can be strengthened in their faith.
Luke’s work is apologetic in nature. On the one hand, the primary concern is to present God’s inclusive salvific action with respect to both Jews and Gentiles, even if many Jews have rejected the message. On the other hand, it also presents Christianity in the best positive light within the Roman empire.
Acts begins where Luke’s gospel ends. In Jerusalem, Jesus gives instructions that his disciples be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, and Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. And Jesus then ascends to the right hand of the Father. And the Holy Spirit is then poured out of Pentecost on all the believers, empowering them to carry forth this task.
So, i invite you to dig into the book of Acts. But when you do dig into the book of Acts, do yourself and the book justice: read it out loud, read it with rhetorical flair, and most importantly read it in the community of others.
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