Author: The Author is traditionally ascribed to Luke, and according to St. Paul, he calls Luke "the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14). St. John Chrysostom calls Luke the "disciple of Paul." We can see the bulk of Luke's contributions to the New Testament with 24 Chapters in Luke and 28 Chapters in the Book of Acts.
Other schools of thought about the Author of the Book of Acts, and some say Luke did not write Acts and that it was an anonymous Christian who wrote Acts to make the readers think he witnessed the accounts but did not attend the missionary journeys. Some say it doesn't matter who wrote it because we see later in the Book of Acts that the Author uses and indicates "we," and some say it was either Luke or someone else, but using we mean a witness of some sort.
Date: Acts was most likely written about 75-85 AD and quite possibly after the composition of the Gospel of Luke.
Central Theme: "THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL BY THE APOSTLES FROM JERUSALEM TO THE WHOLE WORLD" (See Acts 1:8). The book of Acts recounts the triumphant march of the Christian mission from Jerusalem throughout all of the Roman empire. This, of course, is pointing to the work of the Holy Spirit and the achievements the Holy Spirit made through all the apostles of this time. During this time, the Holy Spirit descended on the entire early Church, and the Holy Spirit empowered the apostles and other missionaries to carry the great news of salvation to all. In our time and study of the Book of Acts, we also see how it narrates the expansion of the early Church employing small congregations.
A primary subtheme of Acts and nearly the same as the central Theme of the Gospel of Luke: Immanuel, God is with us, Who is His Incarnate Son. In Acts, the Incarnate Son of God is present in the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Background: The Book of Acts, also called the Acts of the Apostles or even the Acts of the Holy Spirit, is seen as a spiritual and theological record of how the early Church developed and the results and actions of the early Christians. According to the Orthodox Study Bible commentary, the Book of Acts cannot be read as a blueprint for reproducing the specific details and aspects of the Church we read there. Instead, it is vital to understand the organization and structure of the Church, its method of resolving controversies, the role of apostles, bishops, priests (elders), and deacons, and the Church's spiritual life.
1:1: "FORMER ACCOUNT": This is the Gospel of Luke (see and reference Luke 1:3). The Gospel of Luke covers 30 years of Christ's earthly life, and in Acts, it covers 30 years of the life of the early Church and Christian life. "THEOPHILUS": (See Luke 1:3).
1:2: It was at the Last Supper that Jesus promised to teach His disciples "THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT" (see John 16:13). And it was after the Resurrection of Christ His promise was fulfilled.
1:3: "FORTY" is a number indicating completion or fulfillment.
1:4: "THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER": This refers to the "GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT" (see v. 5), and this was something that the Jews had been expecting that would accompany the messianic age. (see Joel 2, the prophecy from the prophet Joel).
1:6: We see here in v. Theme that the disciples were still fixated on establishing an earthly kingdom, which indicates that the Holy Spirit has not yet been given. After Pentecost, the disciples received a complete understanding of the Kingdom of God. Here, the disciples were asking the wrong questions, for Christ will not "RESTORE THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL" but restore Israel and the entire world to the Kingdom of God.
1:9-11: The Ascension of Christ was His enthronement in the fullness of divine authority and glory. Icons of the Ascension of Christ represent our Lord in a way that one cannot tell whether He is going to heaven or coming to earth again. Does this capture the profound truth that we live under His reign while awaiting His return? This icon shows Christ being "TAKEN UP" (v. 11) and coming again "IN LIKE MANNER" (v. 11), and yet continually present (Matthew 28:20). As believers, we are not to stand by idly "GAZING UP INTO HEAVEN," but instead we are called to be virtuous in faith and action until Christ returns.
1:12: "A SABBATH DAY'S JOURNEY " refers to the distance the Jews were allowed to travel without breaking the Sabbath rest and was said to be under a mile or right at a mile in the distance.
Good evening, my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Jared began the discussion on the Book of Acts, highlighting its significance in understanding the spread of the Gospel and the early Church's organization. He emphasized the importance of applying the teachings from the book and explained the book's background and role in understanding the spiritual life of the early Church. The session ended with a reading and discussion the first 12 verses of the Book of Acts, focusing on the Holy Spirit's role in Christianity and the Apostles' mission. The next session will continue the study of Acts, Chapter 1, verses 12 onwards.
Introducing the Book of Acts
Jared led an introduction to the Book of Acts, planning to read and discuss it chapter by chapter. He started by explaining the book's authorship, traditionally ascribed to Lukesix, and debated different schools of thought on the Author's identity. He also led a prayer before starting the study and emphasized the importance of understanding and applying the teachings from the book.
Acts: Spread of Gospel and Early Church Development
Jared discussed the Book of Acts, which he dated to between 75 and 85 AD, after the composition of the Gospel of Luke. He highlighted the central Theme of the spread of the Gospel by the apostles from Jerusalem to the world, facilitated by the Holy Spirit. Jared also explained the background of the Book of Acts, which is seen as a spiritual and theological record of the development of the early Church and its role in understanding the Church's organization, structure, and spiritual life.
Acts Study: Holy Spirit's Role in Early Christianity
Jared began by reading the first 12 verses of the Book of Acts and discussing their content. He highlighted the importance of the Holy Spirit in the early days of Christianity and the Apostles' mission to spread the teachings of Jesus. He also mentioned the ascension of Jesus into heaven and the promise of his return. The discussion ended with the reminder that Christians are called to be virtuous in faith and action until Christ's return. The next session will continue the study of Acts, Chapter 1, verses 12 onwards.
In Christ, love Jared #jesus#love#faith#bible#biblestudy#christian#christianity#acts#thebookofacts#apologetics#orthodox#catholic#protestant#christianblogger#christianblog#christiannews #study