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Encyclopedia > Acts of the Apostles
New Testament

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The Acts of the Apostles is a book of the Bible, which now stands fifth in the New Testament. It is commonly referred to as simply Acts. The title "Acts of the Apostles" (Greek Praxeis Apostolon) was first used by Irenaeus in the late second century, but some have suggested that the title "Acts" be interpreted as the "Acts of the Holy Spirit" or even the "Acts of Jesus", since 1:1 gives the impression that Acts is set forth as 'an account of what Jesus continued to do and teach', Christ himself being the principal actor.[1] This article is about the Christian scriptures. ... The Gospel of Matthew (literally, according to Matthew; Greek, Κατά Μαθθαίον or Κατά Ματθαίον, Kata Maththaion or Kata Matthaion) is a synoptic gospel in the New Testament, one of four canonical gospels. ... The Gospel of Mark, anonymous[1] but traditionally ascribed to Mark the Evangelist, is a synoptic gospel of the New Testament. ... The Gospel of Luke (literally, according to Luke; Greek, Κατά Λουκαν, Kata Loukan) is a synoptic Gospel, and the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament. ... For other uses, see Gospel of John (disambiguation). ... The Epistle to the Romans is one of the letters of the New Testament canon of the Christian Bible. ... The First Epistle to the Corinthians is a book of the Bible in the New Testament. ... The Second Epistle to the Corinthians is a book of the Bible New Testament. ... The Epistle to the Galatians is a book of the New Testament. ... Described by William Barclay as the Queen of the Epistles, the Epistle to the Ephesians is one of the books of the Bible in the New Testament. ... Philippians redirects here. ... The Epistle to the Colossians is a book of the Bible New Testament. ... The First Epistle to the Thessalonians, also known as the First Letter to the Thessalonians, is a book from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. ... The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, also known as the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, is a book from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. ... The First Epistle to Timothy is one of the three Pastoral Epistles, traditionally attributed to Saint Paul and part of the New Testament of the Bible. ... The Second Epistle to Timothy is one of the three Pastoral Epistles, normally attributed to Saint Paul, and is part of the canonical New Testament. ... The Pastoral Epistles are often considered together, as each throws light upon the others. ... The Epistle to Philemon is a book of the Bible in the New Testament. ... The Epistle to the Hebrews (abbr. ... The Epistle of James is a book in the Christian New Testament. ... In Christianity, the First Epistle of Peter is a book of the New Testament. ... The Second Epistle of Peter is a book of the New Testament of the Bible. ... The First Epistle of John is a book of the Bible New Testament, the fourth of the catholic or general epistles. ... The Second Epistle of John (normally just called 2nd John or 2 John) is a book of the Bible New Testament. ... The New Testament Third Epistle of John (often referred to as 3 John) is the 64th book of the Bible. ... The brief Epistle of Jude is a book in the Christian New Testament canon. ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... The Acts of the Apostles is a genre of of Early Christian literature, claiming to recount the lives and works of the apostles of Jesus. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... This article is about the Christian scriptures. ... Irenaeus (Greek: Εἰρηναῖος), (b. ...


Acts tells the story of the Early Christian church, with particular emphasis on the ministry of the Twelve Apostles and of Paul of Tarsus. The early chapters, set in Jerusalem, discuss Jesus's Resurrection, his Ascension, the Day of Pentecost, and the start of the Twelve Apostles' ministry. The later chapters discuss Paul's conversion, his ministry, and finally his arrest and imprisonment and trip to Rome. The Early Christians is a term used to refer to the early followers of Jesus of Nazareth, before the emergence of established Christian orthodoxy. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      For other... Paul of Tarsus (b. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... The resurrection of Jesus is an event in the New Testament in which God raised him from the dead[1] after his death by crucifixion. ... This article is about the Ascension of Jesus Christ. ... The Descent of the Holy Spirit in a 15th century illuminated manuscript. ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ...


It is almost universally agreed that the author of Acts also wrote the Gospel of Luke. The traditional view is that both books were written c. 60, though most scholars, believing the Gospel to be dependent (at least) on Mark's gospel, view the book(s) as having been written at a later date, sometime between 70 and 100. The Gospel of Luke (literally, according to Luke; Greek, Κατά Λουκαν, Kata Loukan) is a synoptic Gospel, and the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament. ...


'Scholars are about evenly divided on whether [the] attribution to Luke [the companion of Paul] should be accepted as historical ...'.[2] Luke the Evangelist (לוקא, Greek: Loukas) is said by tradition to be the author of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, the third and fifth books of the New Testament. ...

Contents

Content

This does not cite its references or sources. ... In the Supper at Emmaus, Caravaggio depicted the moment the disciples recognise Jesus The Resurrection appearances of Jesus are reported in the New Testament to have occurred after his death and burial. ... In Christian tradition, the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples, that they spread the faith to all the world. ... This article is about the Ascension of Jesus Christ. ... For other uses, see Second Coming (disambiguation). ... Saint Matthias is the Apostle chosen by the remaining eleven apostles to replace Judas Iscariot, following Judas betrayal of Jesus and suicide (Acts 1:21 - 26). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      For other... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      In mainstream Christianity, the... The Descent of the Holy Spirit in a 15th century illuminated manuscript. ... Look up Paraclete in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... According to tradition, Peter was crucified upside-down, as shown in this painting by Caravaggio. ... Model of Herods Temple - currently in the Israel Museum View from east to west of the model of Herods Temple Herods Temple in Jerusalem was a massive expansion of the Second Temple along with renovations of the entire Temple Mount. ... John the Apostle (Greek Ιωάννης, see names of John) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. ... For the tractate in the Mishnah, see Sanhedrin (tractate). ... Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all variously describe a resurrection of the dead, usually a resurrection of all people to face God on Judgment Day. ... This article is about prayer in the New Testament. ... The discourse on ostentation, Matthew 6, is a section of the Sermon on the Mount, occurring after the antithesis of the Law, but before the discourse on judgementalism, according to the Gospel of Matthew. ... Ananias and his wife Sapphira were, according to the author of Acts of the Apostles, members of the Early Christian church. ... Alternate meaning: See Apostle (Mormonism) The Christian Apostles were Jewish men chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth (as indicated by the Greek word απόστολος apostolos= messenger), by Jesus to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, across the... The Seven Deacons were leaders elected by the early Christian church to minister to the people of Jerusalem. ... “St. ... The Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem is the head bishop of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, ranking fourth of nine patriarchs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. ... Philip the Evangelist appears several times in the Acts of the Apostles but should not be confused with Philip the Apostle. ... For the film, see Simon Magus (film). ... European illustration of a Eunuch (1749) Chief Eunuch of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II at the Imperial Palace, 1912. ... The Road to Damascus is a Biblical reference to the conversion of a persecutor of Christians named Saul on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus in the Roman province of Syria in AD 36. ... Most scholars believe that Jesus primarily spoke Aramaic, with some Hebrew and Greek, although there is some debate in academia as to what degree. ... Cornelius was a Roman centurion who is considered by Christians to be the first Gentile convert to the faith, as related in the Acts of the Apostles, 10:1. ... The vision hypothesis is a term used to cover a range of theories that question the physical resurrection of Jesus, and suggest that sightings of a risen Jesus were visionary experiences. ... The Patriarch of Antioch, is one of the original patriarchs of Early Christianity, who presided over the bishops of Syria, Palestine, Armenia and Mesopotamia. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... Saint James the Great (d. ... Front and back of a Judean coin from the reign of Agrippa I. // Agrippa I also called the Great (10 BC - 44 AD), King of the Jews, was the grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus IV and Berenice. ... Paul of Tarsus (b. ... This article is about the 1st century Council of Jerusalem in Christianity. ... Paul of Tarsus (b. ... Paul of Tarsus (b. ... This article is about the Christian concept. ... Paul of Tarsus (b. ... Antinomianism (from the Greek αντι, against + νομος, law), or lawlessness (in the Greek Bible: ανομια, which is unlawful), in theology, is the idea that members of a particular religious group are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality as presented by religious authorities. ... Marcus Antonius Felix (Felix in Greek: ο Φηλιξ, born between 5/10-?) was the ancient Rome procurator of Iudaea Province 52-60, in succession to Ventidius Cumanus. ... Porcius Festus was procurator of Judea from about 58 to 62 AD, succeeding Antonius Felix. ... Agrippa II (AD 27–100), son of Agrippa I, and like him originally named Marcus Julius Agrippa. ...

Summary

Six apostles, from the Jelling church, Denmark.
Six apostles, from the Jelling church, Denmark.

The author begins with a prologue addressed to someone named Theophilius and references "my earlier book"—almost certainly the Gospel of Luke. This is immediately followed by a narrative which is set in Jerusalem. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 1. ... Alternate meaning: See Apostle (Mormonism) The Christian Apostles were Jewish men chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth (as indicated by the Greek word απόστολος apostolos= messenger), by Jesus to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, across the... Burial mound in Jelling churchyard Northern burial mound and church in Jelling churchyard Jelling is a town located in Jelling municipality near Vejle, Denmark on the Jutland peninsula. ...


Peter and the apostles

Main article: Jewish Christians

The apostles,along with other of Jesus's followers meet and elect Matthias to replace Judas as a member of The Twelve. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descends on them—the apostles hear a great wind and witness "tongues of flames" descending on them, paralleling Luke 3:16-17. Thereafter, the apostles have the miraculous power to "Speak in tongues" and when they address a crowd, each member of the crowd hears their speech in his own native language. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Glossolalia (from the Greek, glossa, tongue) comprises the utterance of what appears (to the casual listener) either as an unknown foreign language, or as simply nonsense syllables; the utterances sometimes occur as part of religious worship (religious glossolalia). ...


Peter, along with John, preach to many in Jerusalem, and perform many miracles such as healings, the casting out of evil spirits, and the raising of the dead. As a result, thousands convert to Early Christianity and are baptized. Saint Francis exorcised demons in Arezzo, fresco of Giotto Exorcism (from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek exorkizein - to adjure, correctly pronounced exercism) is the practice of evicting demons or other evil spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed (taken control of). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      The term Early Christianity...


As their numbers increase, the Christians begin to be increasingly persecuted. Some of the apostles are arrested and flogged, but ultimately freed. Stephen, one of the first deacons, is arrested for blasphemy, and after a trial, is found guilty and executed by stoning, thereby becoming the first known Christian martyr. This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... “St. ... For the black metal band, see Blasphemy (band). ... For other uses, see Martyr (disambiguation). ...


Peter and the apostles continue to preach, and Christianity continues to grow, and begins to spread to Gentiles. Peter has a vision in which a voice commands him to eat a variety of impure animals. When Peter objects, the voice replies, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean". When Peter awakes from his vision, he meets with a centurion, who converts. Peter baptizes the centurion, and later has to justify this decision to the other Christians. A Gentile refers to a non-Israelite; the word is derived from the Latin term gens (meaning clan or a group of families) and is often employed in the plural. ...


Paul's ministry

Main article: Paul of Tarsus

Paul of Tarsus, also known as Saul, is the main character of the second half of Acts. He is introduced as a persecutor of the Christian church (8:1:3), until his conversion to Christianity later in the chapter when he encounters the resurrected Christ. His own account of his conversion, Gal 1:11-24, is not detailed. The story is told three times, known as the Road to Damascus: While Paul was on the road to Damascus, near Damascus, "suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground" (9:3-4), the light was "brighter than the sun" (26:13) and he was subsequently blinded for three days (9:9). He heard a voice in the Hebrew language (probably Aramaic): "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? ... I am Jesus" (26:14-15). In Damascus, St. Ananias cured his blindness, "something like scales" fell from his eyes, and baptized him (9:17-19). It is commonly believed that Saul changes his name to Paul at this time, but the source of this claim is unknown, the first mention of another name is later, (13:9), during his first missionary journey. Paul of Tarsus (b. ... Most scholars believe that Jesus primarily spoke Aramaic, with some Hebrew and Greek, although there is some debate in academia as to what degree. ... Ananias was one of the Seventy Apostles sent out by Jesus in Luke 10. ...


Several years later, Barnabas and Paul set out on a mission (13-14) to further spread Christianity, particularly among the Gentiles. Paul travels through Asia Minor, preaching and visiting churches throughout the region. Barnabas was an early Christian mentioned in the New Testament. ... Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to...


Paul travels to Jerusalem where he meets with the apostles — a meeting known as the Council of Jerusalem (15). Paul's own record of the meeting appears to be Gal 2, however, due to the differences, some argue Gal 2 is a different meeting. Members of the Jerusalem church have been preaching that circumcision is required for salvation. Paul and his associates strongly disagree. After much discussion, James the Just, leader of the Jerusalem church, decrees that Gentile Christian converts need not follow all of the Mosaic Law, and in particular, they do not need to be circumcised. Circumcision, when practiced as a rite, has its foundations in the Bible, in the Abrahamic covenant, such as Genesis 17, and is therefore practiced by Jews and Muslims and some Christians, those who constitute the Abrahamic religions. ... Saint James the Just (יעקב Holder of the heel; supplanter; Standard Hebrew YaÊ¿aqov, Tiberian Hebrew Yaʿăqōḇ), also called James Adelphos or the Brother of the Lord and sometimes identified with James the Lesser, (died AD 62) was an important figure in Early Christianity. ... Torah, (תורה) is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or especially law. It primarily refers to the first section of the Tanakh–the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, or the Five Books of Moses, but can also be used in the general sense to also include both the Written...


Paul spends the next few years traveling through western Asia Minor and founds his first Christian church in Philippi. Paul then travels to Thessalonica, where he stays for some time before departing for Greece. In Athens, Paul visits an altar with an inscription dedicated to the Unknown God, so when he gives his speech on the Areopagos, he proclaims to worship that same Unknown God whom he identifies as the Christian God. Map of Greece showing Philippi Philippi (in Ancient Greek / Philippoi) was a city in eastern Macedonia, founded by Philip II in 356 BC and abandoned in the 14th century after the Ottoman conquest. ... The White Tower The Arch of Galerius Map showing the Thessaloníki prefecture Thessaloníki (Θεσσαλονίκη) is the second-largest city of Greece and is the principal city and the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia. ... This article is about the capital of Greece. ... In addition to the twelve main Gods and the innumerable lesser deities, ancient Greeks used to worship an Unknown God (spelled Agnostos Theos in Greek). ... The Areopagus or Areios Pagos is the Hill of Ares, north-west of the Acropolis, which in classical times functioned as the chief homicide court of Athens. ...


Upon Paul's arrival in Jerusalem, he was confronted with the rumor of teaching against the Law of Moses (21:21). To prove that he was "living in obedience to the law", Paul took a biblical vow along with some others (21:26). Near the end of the seven days of the vow, Paul was recognized outside Herod's Temple and was nearly beaten to death by a mob, "shouting, 'Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place'" (21:28). Paul is rescued from the mob by a Roman commander (21:31-40) and accused of being a revolutionary, "ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes", teaching resurrection of the dead, and thus imprisoned in Caesarea (23–26). Paul asserts his right, as a Roman citizen, to be tried in Rome. Paul is sent by sea to Rome, where he spends another two years under house arrest, proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching the "Lord Jesus Christ" (28:30-31). Surprisingly, Acts does not record the outcome of Paul's legal troubles — some traditions hold that Paul was ultimately executed in Rome, while other traditions have him surviving the encounter and later traveling to Spain — see Paul - Imprisonment & Death. Antinomianism (from the Greek αντι, against + νομος, law), or lawlessness (in the Greek Bible: ανομια, which is unlawful), in theology, is the idea that members of a particular religious group are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality as presented by religious authorities. ... Not to be confused with Nazarene. ... Model of Herods Temple - currently in the Israel Museum View from east to west of the model of Herods Temple Herods Temple in Jerusalem was a massive expansion of the Second Temple along with renovations of the entire Temple Mount. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Zealotry. ... -1... Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all variously describe a resurrection of the dead, usually a resurrection of all people to face God on Judgment Day. ... Caesarea Palaestina, also called Caesarea Maritima, a town built by Herod the Great about 25 - 13 BC, lies on the sea-coast of Israel about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of a place previously called Pyrgos Stratonos (Strato or Stratons Tower, in Latin Turris Stratonis). ... “Kingdom of Heaven” redirects here. ... Paul of Tarsus (b. ...

Universality of Christianity

One of the central themes of Acts, indeed of the New Testament, see also Great Commission, is the universality of Christianity — the idea that Jesus's teachings were for all humanity — Jews and Gentiles alike. In this view, Christianity is seen as a religion in its own right, rather than a subset of Judaism, if one makes the common assumption that Judaism is not universal, however see Noahide Laws and Christianity and Judaism for details. Whereas the members of Jewish Christianity were circumcised and adhered to dietary laws, the Pauline Christianity featured in Acts did not require Gentiles to be circumcised or to obey all of the Mosaic laws, which is consistent with Noahide Law. The final chapter of Acts ends with Paul condemning non-Christian Jews and saying "Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!" (28:28). See also New Covenant (theology). The Rainbow is the ancient symbol of the Noahide Movement reminiscing the seven coloured rainbow that appeared after the Great Flood of the Bible. ... Judaism and Christianity are two closely related Abrahamic religions that in some ways parallel each other and in other ways fundamentally diverge in theology and practice. ... Jewish Christians (sometimes called also Hebrew Christians or Christian Jews, but see below for differences) is a term which can have two meanings, an historical one and a contemporary one. ... Pauline Christianity is an expression which has been used, by those critical of Catholic, Orthodox and traditonal Protestant Christianity, to describe what is regarded as a distortion of the original teachings of Jesus due to the influence of Paul of Tarsus (otherwise St. ... It has been suggested that Pentateuch be merged into this article or section. ... Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). ...

Holy Spirit

As in the Gospel of Luke, there are numerous references to the Holy Spirit throughout Acts. Acts features the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" on Pentecost[3] and the subsequent spirit-inspired speaking in tongues. The Holy Spirit is shown guiding the decisions and actions of Christian leaders[4], and the Holy Spirit is said to "fill" the apostles, especially when they preach.[5] As a result, Acts is particularly influential among branches of Christianity which place particular emphasis the Holy Spirit, such as Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Pentecostal can... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The charismatic movement began...

Attention to the oppressed and persecuted

The Gospel of Luke and Acts both devote a great deal of attention to the oppressed and downtrodden. The impovershed are generally praised[6], while the wealthy are criticized. Luke-Acts devotes a great deal of attention to women in general[7] and to widows in particular.[8] The Samaritans of Samaria (see map at Iudaea Province), had their temple on Mount Gerizim, and along with some other differences, see Samaritanism, were in conflict with Jews of Judea and Galilee and other regions who had their Temple in Jerusalem and practiced Judaism. Unexpectedly, since Jesus was a Jewish Galilean, the Samaritans are shown favorably in Luke-Acts.[9] In Acts, attention is given to the religious persecution of the early Christians, as in the case of Stephen's martyrdom and the numerous examples are Paul's persecution for his preaching of Christianity. For the ethnic group of this name, see Samaritan. ... “Shomron” redirects here. ... Iudaea Province in the 1st century Iudaea (Hebrew: יהודה, Standard Yehuda Tiberian , praise God; Greek: Ιουδαία; Latin: Iudaea) was a Roman province that extended over the region of Judea proper, later Palestine. ... Old view of Mount Gerizim Mount Gerizim (Samaritan Hebrew Ar-garízim, Arabic جبل جرزيم Jabal Jarizīm, Tiberian Hebrew הַר גְּרִזִּים Har Gərizzîm, Standard Hebrew הַר גְּרִיזִּים Har Gərizzim) is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the West Bank city of Nablus (Biblical Shechem), and forms the southern... Main article: Samaritan Samaritanism is the religion practiced by the Samaritan people. ... Map of the southern Levant, c. ... Galilee (Arabic al-jaleel الجليل, Hebrew hagalil הגליל), meaning circuit, is a large area overlapping with much of the North District of Israel. ... The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple (Hebrew: בית המקדש, transliterated Bet HaMikdash and meaning literally The Holy House) was located on the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit) in the old city of Jerusalem. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Luke the Evangelist. ...

Prayer

Prayer is a major motif in both the Gospel of Luke and Acts. Both books have a more prominent attention to prayer than is found in the other gospels.[10] The Gospel of Luke depicts prayer as a certain feature in Jesus's life. Examples of prayer which are unique to Luke include Jesus's prayers at the time of his baptism (Luke 3:21), his praying all night before choosing the twelve (Luke 6:12), and praying for the transfiguration (Luke 9:28). Acts also features an emphasis on prayer and includes a number of notable prayers such as the Believers' Prayer (4:23-31), Stephen's death prayer (7:59-60), and Simon Magus' prayer (8:24). See also Prayer in the New Testament.

Speeches

Acts features a number of extended speeches or sermons from Peter, Paul, and others. In fact, there are at least 24 different speeches in Acts, and the speeches comprise about 30% of the total verses.[11] These speeches, which are quoted verbatim at length rather than simply summarized, have been the source of debates over the historical accuracy of Acts. (see below).


Authorship

While the precise identity of the author is debated, the general consensus is that the author was a Greek Gentile writing for an audience of Gentile Christians.


Common authorship of Luke and Acts

There is substantial evidence to indicate that the author of The Gospel of Luke also wrote the Book of Acts. The most direct evidence comes from the prefaces of each book. Both prefaces are addressed to Theophilus, the author's patron—and perhaps a label for a Christian community as a whole as the name means "Lover of God". Furthermore, the preface of Acts explicitly references "my former book" about the life of Jesus—almost certainly the work we know as The Gospel of Luke.


Furthermore, there are linguistic and theological similarities between the Luke and Acts. As one scholar writes,"the extensive linguistic and theological agreements and cross-references between the Gospel of Luke and the Acts indicate that both works derive from the same author"[12] Because of their common authorship, the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles are often jointly referred to simply as Luke-Acts. Similarly, the author of Luke-Acts is often known as "Luke"—even among scholars who doubt that the author was actually named Luke.


Luke the physician as author

The traditional view is that the Gospel of Luke and Acts were written by the physician Luke, a companion of Paul. This Luke is mentioned in Paul's Epistle to Philemon (v.24), and in two other epistles which are traditionally ascribed to Paul (Colossians 4:14 and 2 Timothy 4:11). The Epistle to Philemon is a book of the Bible in the New Testament. ... The Epistle to the Colossians is a book of the Bible New Testament. ... This article or section should be merged with First Epistle to Timothy The Second Epistle to Timothy is a book of the canonic New Testament, one of the three so-called pastoral epistles (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and the Epistle to Titus). ...


The view that Luke-Acts was written by the physician Luke was nearly unanimous in the early Christian church. The Papyrus Bodmer XIV, which is the oldest known manuscript containing the start of the gospel (dating to around 200 CE), uses the title "The Gospel According to Luke". Nearly all ancient sources also shared this theory of authorship—Irenaeus,[13] Tertullian,[14] Clement of Alexandria,[15] Origen, and the Muratorian Canon all regarded Luke as the author of the Luke-Acts. Neither Eusebius of Caesarea nor any other ancient writer mentions another tradition about authorship. The Bodmer Papyri are a group of twenty-two papyri found in 1952 at Pabau near Dishna, Egypt, the ancient headquarters of the Pachomian order of monks; the discovery site is not far from Nag Hammadi. ... Fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls on display at the Archeological Museum, Amman A biblical manuscript is any handwritten copy of a portion of the text of the Bible. ... “BCE” redirects here. ... Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian, (ca. ... Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens), was the first member of the Church of Alexandria to be more than a name, and one of its most distinguished teachers. ... Origen Origen (Greek: ÅŒrigénÄ“s, 185–ca. ... The Muratorian fragment is a copy of perhaps the oldest known list of the books of the New Testament. ... Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius of Caesarea (c. ...


In addition to the authorship evidence provided by the ancient sources, some feel the text of Luke-Acts supports the conclusion that its author was a companion of Paul. First among such internal evidence are portions of the book which have come to be called the "'we' passages". Although the bulk of Acts is written in the third person, several brief sections of the book are written from a first-person perspective.[16] These "we" sections are written from the point of view of a traveling companion of Paul: e.g. "After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia", "We put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace"[17] Such passages would appear to have been written by someone who traveled with Paul during some portions of his ministry. Accordingly, some have used this evidence to support the conclusion that these passages, and therefore the entire text of the Luke-Acts, were written by a traveling companion of Paul's. The physician Luke would be one such person. Grammatical person, in linguistics, is deictic reference to the participant role of a referent, such as the speaker, the addressee, and others. ...


It has also been argued that level of detail used in the narrative describing Paul's travels suggests an eyewitness source. Some claim that the vocabulary used in Luke-Acts suggests its author may have had medical training, but this claim has been widely disputed.


An anonymous, non-eyewitness author

Some modern scholars, as opposed to the ancient sources cited above, have expressed doubt that the author of Luke-Acts was the physician Luke.[18] Instead, they believe Luke-Acts was written by an anonymous Christian author who may not have been an eyewitness to any of the events recorded within the text. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ...


Some of the evidence cited in favor of this opinion comes from the text of Luke-Acts itself. In the preface to Luke, the author refers to having eyewitness testimony "handed down to us" and to having undertaken a "careful investigation", but the author does not mention his own name or explicitly claim to be an eyewitness to any of the events, except for the we passages. And in the we passages, the narrative is written in the third person — the author never refers to himself as "I" or "me". To those who are skeptical of an eyewitness author, the we passages are usually regarded as fragments of a second document, part of some earlier account, which was later incorporated into Acts by the later author of Luke-Acts. An alternate theory is that the use of "we" was a stylistic idiosyncrasy used in many sea travel narratives written around the same time as Acts.[19]


Scholars also point to a number of apparent theological and factual discrepancies between Luke-Acts and Paul's letters. For example, Acts and the Pauline letters appear to disagree about the number and timings of Paul's visits to Jerusalem, and Paul's own account of his conversion is slightly different from the account given in Acts. Similarly, some believe the theology of Luke-Acts is slightly different from the theology espoused by Paul in his letters. This would suggest that the author of Luke-Acts did not have direct contact with Paul, but instead may have relied upon other sources for his portrayal of Paul. See also the discussion at Paul of Tarsus. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


A female author of Luke-Acts?

Most scholars understand the evangelist's self-referential use of a masculine participle in Luke 1:3 to mean that the evangelist was male, but the prominence of women throughout Luke has led a small number of scholars, such as Randel McCraw Helms, to suggest that the author of Luke-Acts may have been female.[20] In particular, compared to the other canonical gospels, Luke devotes significantly more attention to women. For example, Luke features more female characters, features a female prophet (2:36), and details the experience of pregnancy (1:41-42). However, this could be because Luke was a physician. Prominent discussion is given to the lives of Elizabeth, John the Baptist's mother (ch. 1), and Mary, the mother of Jesus (ch. 2).[21] This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... St. ... Saint Mary and Saint Mary the Virgin both redirect here. ...


Genre

The word "Acts" (Greek praxeis) denoted a recognized genre in the ancient world, "characterizing books that described great deeds of people or of cities."[22] There are several such books in the New Testament apocrypha, including the Acts of Thomas, the Acts of Andrew, and the Acts of John. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000-5,500 years, with cuneiform possibly being the oldest form of writing. ... In the process of determining the Biblical canon, a large number of works were excluded from the New Testament. ... The early 3rd century text called Acts of Thomas is arguably the most Gnostic of the New Testament apocrypha, portraying Christ as the Heavenly Redeemer, independent of and beyond creation, who can free souls from the darkness of the world. ... The Acts of Andrew in the surviving version is probably a 3rd century work, according to Jean-Marc Prieur in The Anchor Bible Dictionary (vol. ... The Acts of John is a 2nd-century Christian collection of narratives and traditions, well described as a library of materials [1], inspired by the Gospel of John, long known in fragmentary form. ...


Modern scholars assign a wide range of genres to the Acts of the Apostles, including biography, novel and epic. Most, however, interpret it as history.[23] This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... This article is about the study of time in human terms. ...


Sources

Acts 15:22–24 from the seventh-century Codex laudianus in the Bodleian Library, written in parallel columns of Latin and Greek.
Acts 15:22–24 from the seventh-century Codex laudianus in the Bodleian Library, written in parallel columns of Latin and Greek.

The author of Acts likely relied upon other sources, as well as oral tradition, in constructing his account of the early church and Paul's ministry. Evidence of this is found in the prologue to the Gospel of Luke, where the author alluded to his sources by writing, "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word." Some theorize that the "we" passages in Acts are one such "handed down" quotation from some earlier source who was a part of Paul's travels. Download high resolution version (672x768, 120 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (672x768, 120 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Entrance to the Library, with the coats-of-arms of several Oxford colleges The Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in England is second in size only to the British Library. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ...


It is generally believed that the author of Acts did not have access to a collection of Paul's letters. One piece of evidence suggesting this is that, although half of Acts centers on Paul, Acts never directly quotes from the epistles nor does it even mention Paul writing letters. Additionally, the epistles and Acts disagree about the general chronology of much of Paul's career. Since many of Paul's epistles are believed to be authentic, the discrepancies between the authentic epistles and Acts are probably errors on the part of Acts which were made because its author lacked access to the Pauline epistles or a similar source. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Other theories about Acts' sources are more controversial. Some historians believe that Acts borrows phraseology and plot elements from Euripides' play The Bacchae.[24] Some feel that the text of Acts shows evidence of having used the Jewish historian Josephus as a source (in which case it would have to have been written sometime after 94 CE).[25] A statue of Euripides. ... The Bacchae (also known as The Bacchantes) is a tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides. ... A fanciful representation of Flavius Josephus, in an engraving in William Whistons translation of his works Josephus (37 – sometime after 100 CE),[1] who became known, in his capacity as a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus,[2] was a 1st-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and...


Historical

The question of authorship is largely bound up with that as to the historicity of the contents. Conservative scholars view the book of Acts as being extremely accurate while skeptics view the work as being inaccurate. For example, the conservative Oxford scholar A.N. Sherwin-White wrote in his work Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament the following: "For the New Testament of Acts, the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming…any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted."[26] In addition, conservative scholars see the book of Acts being corroborated by archaeology.[27] This article is about the city of Oxford in England. ... Adrian Nicholas Sherwin-White (born 1911, died January 11, 1993) was an Oxford historian and member of the British Academy who specialized in Roman history. ... For referencing in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Citing sources. ...


Acts is divided into two distinct parts. The first (chs. 1–12) deals with the church in Jerusalem and Judaea, and with Peter as central figure—at any rate in the first five chapters. "Yet in cc. vi.-xii.," as Harnack observes,

the author pursues several lines at once. (1) He has still in view the history of the Jerusalem community and the original apostles (especially of Peter and his missionary labors); (2) he inserts in vi. 1 ff. a history of the Hellenistic Christians in Jerusalem and of the Seven Men, which from the first tends towards the Gentile Mission and the founding of the Antiochene community; (3) he pursues the activity of Philip in Samaria and on the coast...; (4) lastly, he relates the history of Paul up to his entrance on the service of the young Antiochene church. In the small space of seven chapters he pursues all these lines and tries also to connect them together, at the same time preparing and sketching the great transition of the Gospel from Judaism to the Greek world. As historian, he has here set himself the greatest task. For other uses, see Saint Philip. ...

No doubt gaps abound in these seven chapters. "But the inquiry as to whether what is narrated does not even in these parts still contain the main facts, and is not substantially trustworthy, is not yet concluded." The difficulty is that there are few external means of testing this portion of the narrative. The second part pursues the history of the apostle Paul, and here the statements made in the Acts may be compared with the Epistles. The result is a general harmony, without any trace of direct use of these letters; and there are many minute coincidences. But attention has been drawn to two remarkable exceptions: the account given by Paul of his visits to Jerusalem in Galatians as compared with Acts; and the character and mission of the apostle Paul, as they appear in his letters and in Acts.


In regard to the first point, the differences as to Paul's movements until he returns to his native province of Syria-Cilicia do not really amount to more than can be explained by the different interests of Paul and the author, respectively. But it is otherwise as regards the visits of Galatians 2:1-10 and Acts 15. If they are meant to refer to the same occasion, as is usually assumed, it is hard to see why Paul should omit reference to the public occasion of the visit, as also to the public vindication of his policy. But in fact the issues of the two visits, as given in Galatians 2:9f. and Acts 15:20f., are not at all the same. Nay more, if Galatians 2:1–10 = Acts 15, the historicity of the "Relief visit" of Acts 11:30, 12:25 seems definitely excluded by Paul's narrative of events before the visit of Galatians 2:1ff. Accordingly, Sir W. M. Ramsay and others argue that the latter visit itself coincided with the Relief visit, and even see in Galatians 2:10 witness thereto. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with William M. Ramsey. ...


But why does not Paul refer to the public charitable object of his visit? It seems easier to assume that the visit of Galatians 2:1ff. is altogether unrecorded in Acts, owing to its private nature as preparing the way for public developments—with which Acts is mainly concerned. In that case, it would fall shortly before the Relief visit, to which there may be tacit explanatory allusion, in Galatians 2:10; and it will be shown below that such a conference of leaders in Galatians 2:1ff. leads up excellently both to the First Mission Journey and to Acts 15.


As for Paul as depicted in Acts, Paul claims that he was appointed the apostle to the Gentiles, as Peter was to the Circumcision; and that circumcision and the observance of the Mosaic Law were of no importance to the Gentile Christian as such. His words on these points in all his letters are strong and decided, but see also Antinomianism and New Perspective on Paul. But in Acts, it is Peter who first opens up the way for the Gentiles. It is Peter who uses the strongest language in regard to the intolerable burden of the Law as a means of salvation (15:10f.; cf. 1), so-called Legalism (theology). Not a word is said of any difference of opinion between Peter and Paul at Antioch (Gal 2:11ff.). The brethren in Antioch send Paul and Barnabas up to Jerusalem to ask the opinion of the apostles and elders: they state their case, and carry back the decision to Antioch. Throughout the whole of Acts, Paul never stands forth as the unbending champion of the Gentiles. He seems continually anxious to reconcile the Jewish Christians to himself by personally observing the law of Moses. He personally circumcises the semi-Jew, Timothy (Acts 16:1-4); and he performs his vows in the temple (Acts 21:26). He is particularly careful in his speeches to show how deep is his respect for the law of Moses (Acts 24:14-15). In all this, the letters of Paul are very different from Acts. In Galatians, he claims perfect freedom in principle, for himself as for the Gentiles, from the obligatory observance of the law, see also Antinomianism; and neither in it nor in Corinthians does he take any notice of a decision to which the apostles had come in their meeting at Jerusalem. The narrative of Acts, too, itself implies something other than what it sets in relief; for why should the Jews hate Paul so much, if he was not in some sense disloyal to their Law? The New Perspective on Paul is the name given to a significant shift in how New Testament scholars interpret the writings of Paul of Tarsus, particularly in regard to Judaism and the later Protestant understanding of Justification by Faith. ... Legalism, in Christian theology, is a term referring to an improper fixation on law or codes of conduct, or legal ideas, usually implying an allegation of pride and the neglect of mercy, and ignorance of the grace of God. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... For other uses of Timothy, see Timothy (disambiguation). ...


This is not necessarily a contradiction; only such a difference of emphasis as belongs to the standpoints and aims of the two writers amid their respective historical conditions. Peter's function toward the Gentiles belongs to early conditions present in Judaea, before Paul's distinctive mission had taken shape. Once Paul's apostolate—a personal one, parallel with the more collective apostolate of "the Twelve"—has proved itself by tokens of Divine approval, Peter and his colleagues frankly recognize the distinction of the two missions, and are anxious only to arrange that the two shall not fall apart by religiously and morally incompatible usages (Acts 15). Paul, on his side, clearly implies that Peter felt with him that the Law could not justify (Gal 2:15ff.), and argues that it could not now be made obligatory in principle (cf. "a yoke," Acts 15:10); yet for Jews it might continue for the time (pending the Parousia) to be seemly and expedient, especially for the sake of non-believing Judaism. To this he conformed his own conduct as a Jew, so far as his Gentile apostolate was not involved (1 Cor 9:19-23). There is no reason to doubt that Peter largely agreed with him, since he acted in this spirit in Galatians 2:11f., until coerced by Jerusalem sentiment to draw back for expediency's sake. This incident simply did not fall within the scope of Acts to narrate, since it had no abiding effect on the Church's extension. As to Paul's submission of the issue in Acts 15 to the Jerusalem conference, Acts does not imply that Paul would have accepted a decision in favor of the Judaizers, though he saw the value of getting a decision for his own policy in the quarter where they were most likely to defer. If the view that he already had an understanding with the "Pillar" Apostles, as recorded in Galatians 2:1–10, be correct, it gives the best of reasons why he was ready to enter the later public Conference of Acts 15. Paul's own "free" attitude to the Law, when on Gentile soil, is just what is implied by the hostile rumors as to his conduct in Acts 21:21, which he would be glad to disprove as at least exaggerated (vv. 24 and 26). For other uses, see Yoke (disambiguation). ... In Christianity, Parousia means the (Second) Coming of Christ. ... Judaizers is a pejorative term used by Pauline Christianity, particularly after the third century, to describe Jewish Christian groups like the Ebionites and Nazarenes who believed that followers of Jesus needed to keep the Law of Moses. ... Pillars of the Church, in the first Christian century, seems to have referred to the leaders of the Nazarenes, as the Jerusalem Jesus movement was called, principally, the Family of Jesus, later known as the Desposyni, including his bothers James, Joses or Joseph, Simon or Simeon, and Jude or Judas...


(Questions and evidence of historicity are presented in Colin J. Hemer, "The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History", Eisenbrauns, 1990)


Speeches

The speeches in Acts deserve special notice, because they constitute about 20% of the entire book. Given the nature of the times, lack of recording devices, and space limitations, many ancient historians did not reproduce verbatim reports of speeches. Condensing and using one's own style was often unavoidable. Nevertheless, there were different practices when it came to the level of creativity or adherence individual historians practiced.


On one end of the scale were those who seemingly invented speeches, such as the Sicilian historian Timaeus (356–260 BCE). Others, such as Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Tacitus, fell somewhere in between, reporting actual speeches but likely with significant liberty. The ideal for ancient historians, however, seems to have been to try as much as possible to report the sense of what was actually said, rather than simply placing one's own speech in a figure's mouth. Timaeus (Honour) (or Timæus) is a name that appears in several ancient (Greek) sources: Timaeus (dialogue), a Socratic dialogue by Plato Timaeus of Locri, the 5th-century Pythagorean philosopher, appearing in Platos s Timaeus. ... Dionysius Halicarnassensis (of Halicarnassus), Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, flourished during the reign of Augustus. ... For other uses, see Tacitus (disambiguation). ...


Perhaps the best example of this ideal was voiced by Polybius, who ridiculed Timaeus for his invention of speeches. Historians, Polybius wrote, were "to instruct and convince for all time serious students by the truth of the facts and the speeches he narrates" (Hist. 2.56.10–12). Another ancient historian, Thucydides, admits to having taken some liberty while narrating speeches, but only when he did not have access to any sources. When he had sources, he used them. In his own words, Thucydides wrote speeches "of course adhering as closely as possible to the general sense of what was actually said" (History of the Peloponnesian War, 1.22.1). Accordingly, as stated by C.W. Fornara, "[t]he principle was established that speeches were to be recorded accurately, though in the words of the historian, and always with the reservation that the historian could 'clarify'" (The Nature of History in Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 145). Bust of Thucydides residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. ... Tenth-century minuscule Manuscript of Thucydidess History The History of the Peloponnesian War is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Athenian league (Athens). ...


On what end of the scale did the author of Acts fall? There is little doubt that the speeches of Acts are summaries or condensations largely in the style and vocabulary of its author. However, there are indications that the author of Acts relied on source material for his speeches, and did not treat them as mere vehicles for expressing his own theology. The author's apparent use of speech material in the Gospel of Luke, obtained from the Gospel of Mark and the hypothetical Q document or the Gospel of Matthew, suggests that he relied on other sources for his narrative and was relatively faithful in using them. Additionally, many scholars have viewed Acts' presentation of Stephen's speech, Peter's speeches in Jerusalem and, most obviously, Paul's speech in Miletus as relying on source material or of expressing views not typical of Acts' author.[3] Additionally, there is no evidence that any speech in Acts is the free composition of its author, without either written or oral basis. Accordingly, in general, the author of Acts seems to be among the conscientious ancient historians, touching the essentials of historical accuracy, even as now understood. The Gospel of Matthew (literally, according to Matthew; Greek, Κατά Μαθθαίον or Κατά Ματθαίον, Kata Maththaion or Kata Matthaion) is a synoptic gospel in the New Testament, one of four canonical gospels. ... The lower half of the benches and the remnants of the scene building of the theater of Miletus (August 2005) Miletus (Carian: Anactoria Hittite: Milawata or Millawanda, Greek: Μίλητος transliterated Miletos, Turkish: Milet) was an ancient city on the western coast of Anatolia (in what is now Aydin Province, Turkey), near...


Miracles

Skeptics object to the trustworthiness of Acts[citation needed] on the ground of its reports of miracles, while Christian apologists defend the work as containing earlier sources. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Skepticism (Commonwealth spelling: Scepticism) can mean: Philosophical skepticism - a philosophical position in which people choose to critically examine whether the knowledge and perceptions that they have are actually true, and whether or not one can ever be said to have absolutely true knowledge; or Scientific skepticism - a scientific, or practical... A miracle, derived from the old Latin word miraculum meaning something wonderful, is a striking interposition of divine intervention by God in the universe by which the ordinary course and operation of Nature is overruled, suspended, or modified. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Christian apologetics is the...


There are possibilities of mistakes intervening between the facts and the accounts reaching its author, at second- or even thirdhand. Some modern scholars argue[citation needed] that Acts shows several errors, and suggest its value as history is doubtful. However, the use of "we" at some points in the book suggests its author was an eyewitness to some of the events he describes.


Quellenkritik, a distinctive feature of recent research upon Acts, solves many difficulties in the way of treating it as an honest narrative by a companion of Paul. In addition, we may also count among recent gains a juster method of judging such a book. For among the results of the Tübingen criticism was what William Sanday calls "an unreal and artificial standard, the standard of the 19th century rather than the 1st, of Germany rather than Palestine, of the lamp and the study rather than of active life." This has a bearing, for instance, on the differences between the three accounts of Paul's conversion in Acts. In the recovery of a more real standard, we owe much to men like Mommsen, Ramsay, Blass and Harnack, trained amid other methods and traditions than those which had brought the constructive study of Acts almost to a deadlock. Source Criticism, as the term is used in biblical criticism, and its synonym literary criticism, refers to the attempt to establish the sources used by the author and/or redactor of the final text. ... Tübingen, Neckar front Tübingen, a traditional university town of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, is situated 20 miles southwest of Stuttgart, on a ridge between the River Neckar and the Ammer. ... William Sanday (born August 1, 1843 in Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire; died September 16, 1920 in Oxford) was a British theologian and biblical scholar. ... The 1st century was that century that lasted from 1 to 100 according the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the geographical area known as Palestine. ... Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen (November 30, 1817–November 1, 1903) was a Danish/German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician, archaeologist[1] and writer[2], generally regarded as the greatest classicist of the 19th century. ... Friedrich Blass (1843-1907), German classical scholar, was born on January 22, 1843 at Osnabrück. ...


Structure

The structure of the book of Luke[28] is closely tied with the structure of Acts.[29] Both books are most easily tied to the geography of the book. Luke begins with a global perspective, dating the birth of Jesus to the reign of the Roman emperors in Luke 2:1 and 3:1. From there we see Jesus' ministry move from Galilee (chapters 4–9), through Samaria and Judea (chs. 10–19), to Jerusalem where he is crucified, raised and ascended into heaven (chs. 19–24). The book of Acts follows just the opposite motion, taking the scene from Jerusalem (chs. 1–5), to Judea and Samaria (chs. 6–9), then traveling through Syria, Asia Minor, and Europe towards Rome (chs. 9–28). This chiastic structure emphasizes the centrality of the resurrection and ascension to Luke's message, while emphasizing the universal nature of the gospel. This is a list of Roman Emperors with the dates they controlled the Roman Empire. ... For other uses, see Crucifixion (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Heaven (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Chiastic structure is a literary structure used most notably in the Torah. ... Look up Resurrection in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the Ascension of Jesus Christ. ...


This geographic structure is foreshadowed in Acts 1:8, where Jesus says "You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem (chs. 1–5), and in all Judea and Samaria (chs. 6–9), and even to the remotest part of the earth (chs. 10–28)." The first two sections (chs. 1–9) represent the witness of the apostles to the Jews, while the last section (chs. 10–28) represent the witness of the apostles to the Gentiles.


The book of Acts can also be broken down by the major characters of the book. While the complete title of the book is the Acts of the Apostles, really the book focuses on only two of the apostles: Peter (chs. 1–12) and Paul (chs. 13–28).


Within this structure, the sub-points of the book are marked by a series of summary statements, or what one commentary calls a "progress report". Just before the geography of the scene shifts to a new location, Luke summarizes how the gospel has impacted that location. The standard for these progress reports is in 2:46–47, where Luke describes the impact of the gospel on the new church in Jerusalem. The remaining progress reports are located:

  • Acts 6:7 Impact of the gospel in Jerusalem.
  • 9:31 Impact of the gospel in Judea and Samaria.
  • 12:24 Impact of the gospel in Syria.
  • 16:5 Impact of the gospel in Asia Minor.
  • 19:20 Impact of the gospel in Europe.
  • 28:31 Impact of the gospel on Rome.

This structure can be also seen as a series of concentric circles, where the gospel begins in the center, Jerusalem, and is expanding ever outward to Judea & Samaria, Syria, Asia Minor, Europe, and eventually to Rome.


Date

External evidence now points to the existence of Acts at least as early as the opening years of the 2nd century. Conservative Christian scholars date the book of Acts early. For example, Norman Geisler dates the book of Acts being written between 60-62 for a number of reasons.[30] Guthrie notes that the absence of any mention of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 would be unlikely if the book were written afterwards. He also suggests that since the book does not mention the death of Paul, a central character in the final chapters, it was likely penned before his death. [31] Further, the traces of it in Polycarp and Ignatius when taken together are suggestive of a date in the late 1st or early 2nd century. The resemblance of Acts 13:22 and First Clement 18:1, in features not found in Psalms 89:20 quoted by each, can hardly be accidental. That is, Acts was probably current in Antioch and Smyrna not later than circa 115, and perhaps in Rome as early as circa 96. [32] This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Dr. Norman L. Geisler is a scholar, contributor to the field of Christian apologetics, and the author or coauthor of some sixty books defending the Christian faith. ... This article is about the year 70. ... For other uses, see Polycarp (disambiguation). ... Saint Ignatius of Antioch (also known as Theophorus)(c. ... The Epistles of Clement often referred to as 1 Clement and 2 Clement were not accepted in the canonic New Testament but they are part of the Apostolic Fathers collection. ... Psalms (from the Greek: Psalmoi) (originally meaning songs sung to a harp, from psallein play on a stringed instrument, Ψαλμοί; Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים, or praises) is a book of the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh or Old Testament. ... İzmir, historically Smyrna, is the third most populous city of Turkey and the countrys largest port after İstanbul. ...


On the other hand, the lack of a mention of the destruction of Jerusalem is also used as an argument for a later date, beyond 70. The prologue to Luke's Gospel itself implies the dying out of the generation of eyewitnesses as a class. A strong consensus supports a date about 80; some prefer 75 to 80; while a date between 70 and 75 seems no less possible. Of the reasons for a date in one of the earlier decades of the 2nd century, as argued by the Tübingen school and its heirs, several are now untenable. Among these are the supposed traces of 2nd-century Gnosticism and "hierarchical" ideas of organization[citation needed]; but especially the argument from the relation of the Roman state to the Christians, which Sir William Mitchell Ramsay[citation needed] has reversed and turned into proof of an origin prior to Pliny's correspondence with Trajan on the subject. Another fact, now generally admitted[citation needed], renders a 2nd-century date yet more incredible; and that is the failure of a writer devoted to Paul's memory to make palpable use of his Epistles. Instead of this he writes in a fashion that seems to traverse certain things recorded in them. If, indeed, it were proved that Acts uses the later works of Josephus, we should have to place the book about 100. But this is far from being the case. Higher criticism is a branch of literary analysis that attempts to investigate the origins of a text, especially the text of the Bible. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A hierarchy (in Greek: , derived from — hieros, sacred, and — arkho, rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things or people, where each element of the system (except for the top element) is a subordinate to a single other element. ... Gayus Plinius Colonoscopy Caecilius Secundus (63 - ca. ... This article is about the Roman Emperor. ... The 2nd century is the period from 101 - 200 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ...


Three points of contact with Josephus in particular are cited. (1) The circumstances attending the death of Agrippa I in 44. Here Acts 12:21–23 is largely parallel to his Antiquities 19.8.2; but the latter adds an omen of coming doom, while Acts alone gives a circumstantial account of the occasion of Herod's public appearance. Hence the parallel, when analyzed, tells against dependence on Josephus. So also with (2) the cause of the Egyptian pseudo-prophet in Acts 21:37f. and in Josephus (J.W. 2.13.5; A.J. 20.8.6) for the numbers of his followers do not agree with either of Josephus's rather divergent accounts, while Acts alone calls them Sicarii. With these instances in mind, it is natural to regard (3) the curious resemblance as to the (nonhistorical) order in which Theudas and Judas of Galilee are referred to in both (Acts 5:36f.; A.J. 20.5.1) as accidental. For alternate uses, see Number 44. ... Antiquities of the Jews was a work published by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in the year A.D. 93. ... Jewish War is a book written by the historian Josephus as a description of Jewish history up to the events of the Destruction of Jerusalem. ... Sicarii (Latin plural of Sicarius dagger- or later contract- killer) is a term applied, in the decades immediately preceding the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, to the Jewish Zealots, (or insurgents) who attempted to expel the Romans and their partisans from Judea: —Josephus, Jewish Antiquities (xx. ... Theudas is also the name of a follower of Paul of Tarsus, who taught Valentinius, for more information, see Theudas (teacher of Valentinius) Theudas (Thoo duhs) Personal name meaning, gift of God. ... Judas of Galilee or Judas of Gamala led a violent resistance to a census imposed for Roman tax purposes by Quirinius in Iudaea Province around 6 CE. The revolt was crushed brutally by the Romans. ...


It is worth noting, however, that no ancient source actually mentions Acts by name prior to 177. If it were composed prior to then, no one spoke of it by that name, or at least no one whose writings have survived down to the present day. This being an argument from silence, not withstanding, that just as previously mentioned Saint Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35-107) quotes from the book of Acts as he also quotes from the gospel of Luke. St Polycarp of Smyrna (birth unknown, death c. 155) as well quotes from the book of Acts Events A systematic persecution of Christians begins in Rome under Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Ignatius of Antioch (probably died AD 107) was the third patriarch of Antioch, after Saint Peter and Euodius, who died around AD 68. ... Polycarp of Smyrna (69?-155?, 80?-166?, 81?-167?, 79?-165?, or 70?-156?) was a Christian bishop of Smyrna (now in Asiatic Turkey) in the second century. ...


Place

The place of composition is still an open question. For some time Rome and Antioch have been in favor, and Blass combined both views in his theory of two editions. But internal evidence points strongly to the Roman province of Asia, particularly the neighborhood of Ephesus. Note the confident local allusion in 19:9 to "the school of Tyrannus" and in 19:33 to "Alexander"; also the very minute topography in 20:13–15. At any rate affairs in that region, including the future of the church of Ephesus (20:28–30), are treated as though they would specially interest "Theophilus" and his circle; also an early tradition makes Luke die in the adjacent Bithynia. Finally it was in this region that there arose certain early glosses (e.g., 19:9; 20:15), probably the earliest of those referred to below. How fully in correspondence with such an environment the work would be, as apologia for the Church against the Synagogue's attempts to influence Roman policy to its harm, must be clear to all familiar with the strength of Judaism in Asia (cf. Rev 2:9, 3:9; and see Sir W. M. Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven Churches, ch. xii.). Roman conquest of Asia minor The Roman province of Asia was the administrative unit added to the late Republic, a Senatorial province governed by a proconsul. ... Map of Lydia in ancient times showing location of Ephesus and other ancient cities in western Anatolia Ephesus (Greek: , Turkish: ) was an Ionian Greek city in ancient Anatolia, founded by colonists from Athens in the 10th century BC[1]. The city was located in Ionia, where the Cayster River (K... Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine (today Black Sea). ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ...


Manuscripts

Like most biblical books, there are differences between the earliest surviving manuscripts of Acts. In the case of Acts, however, the differences between the surviving manuscripts is more substantial. The two earliest versions of manuscripts are the Western text-type (as represented by the Codex Bezae) and the Alexandrian text-type (as represented by the Codex Sinaiticus). The version of Acts preserved in the Western manuscripts contains about 10% more content than the Alexandrian version of Acts. Since the difference is so great, scholars have struggled to determine which of the two versions is closer to the original text composed by the original author. The Western text-type is a diverse group of manuscripts of the New Testament whose text is similar to that of early Christian writers in Rome and Gaul, including Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. ... A sample of the Greek text from the Codex Bezae The Codex Bezae Cantabrigensis (Gregory-Aland no. ... The Alexandrian text-type (also called Neutral or Egyptian) is the form of the Greek New Testament that predominates in the earliest surviving witnesses. ... A portion of the Codex Sinaiticus, containing Esther 2:3-8. ...


The earliest explanation, suggested by Swiss theologian Jean LeClerc in the 17th century, posits that the longer Western version was a first draft, while the Alexandrian version represents a more polished revision by the same author. Adherents of this theory argue that even when the two versions diverge, they both have similarities in vocabulary and writing style-- suggesting that the two shared a common author. However, it has been argued that if both texts were written by the same individual, they should have exactly identical theologies and they should agree on historical questions. Since most modern scholars do detect subtle theological and historical differences between the texts, most scholars do not subscribe to the rough-draft/polished-draft theory. Jean Leclerc (March 19, 1657 in Geneva - January 8, 1736 in Amsterdam) was a Swiss theologian and biblical scholar. ...


A second theory assumes common authorship of the Western and Alexandrian texts, but claims the Alexandrian text is the short first draft, and the Western text is a longer polished draft. A third theory is that the longer Western text came first, but that later, some other redactor abbreviated some of the material, resulting in the shorter Alexandrian text.


While these other theories still have a measure of support, the modern consensus is that the shorter Alexandrian text is closer to the original, and the longer Western text is the result of later insertion of additional material into the text.[33] It is believed that the material in the Western text which isn't in the Alexandrian text reflects later theological developments within Christianity. For examples, the Western text features a greater hostility to Judaism, a more positive attitude towards a Gentile Christianity, and other traits which appear to be later additions to the text. Some also note that the Western text attempts to minimize the emphasis Acts places on the role of women in the early Christian church.[34]


A third class of manuscripts, known as the Byzantine text-type, is often considered to have developed after the Western and Alexandrian types. The extant manuscripts of this type date from the 5th century or later; however, papyrus fragments show that this text-type may date as early as the Alexandrian or Western text-types.[35] The Byzantine text-type served as the basis for the 16th century Textus Receptus, the first Greek-language version of the New Testament to be printed by printing press. The Textus Receptus, in turn, served as the basis for the New Testament found in the English-language King James Bible. Today, the Byzantine text-type is the subject of renewed interest as the possible original form of the text from which the Western and Alexandrian text-types were derived.[36] This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Textus Receptus (Latin: received text) is the name given to the first Greek-language text of the New Testament to be printed on a printing press. ... This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ...


References

  1. ^ Carson, D. A., Moo, Douglas J. and Morris, Leon An Introduction to the New Testament (Leicester: Apollos, 1999), 181.
  2. ^ Brown, Raymond E. (1997). Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Anchor Bible, p. 267-8. ISBN 0-385-24767-2. 
  3. ^ Acts 1:5, 8; 2:1-4; 11:15-16 according to here [1]
  4. ^ Acts 15:28; 16:6-7; 19:21; 20:22-23 according to here
  5. ^ Acts 1:8; 2:4; 4:8, 31; 11:24; 13:9, 52 according to here
  6. ^ e.g. "Preach good news to the poor" (Luke 4:18), "Blessed are the poor" (Luke 6:20–21), Luke's Attitude Towards Rich and Poor
  7. ^ Luke 1, Luke 2
  8. ^ Luke 2:37; 4:25-26; 7:12; 18:3, 5; 20:47; 21:2-3)
  9. ^ e.g. the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), the story of the Samaritan who expressed gratitude to Jesus for being healed (Luke 17:11-19), and the entrance of the Samaritans into the church of God (Acts 8:4-25).
  10. ^ Theology of prayer in the gospel of Luke
  11. ^ Listed here
  12. ^ (Udo Schnelle, The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings, p. 259).
  13. ^ (Haer. 3.1.1, 3.14.1)
  14. ^ (Marc. 4.2.2)
  15. ^ (Paed. 2.1.15 and Strom. 5.12.82)
  16. ^ Acts 16:10–17, 20:5–15, 21:1–18, and 27:1–28:16
  17. ^ Acts 16:10
  18. ^ For example, see Catholic Encyclopedia: Acts of the Apostles: OBJECTIONS AGAINST THE AUTHENTICITY: "Nevertheless this well-proved truth has been contradicted. Baur, Schwanbeck, De Wette, Davidson, Mayerhoff, Schleiermacher, Bleek, Krenkel, and others have opposed the authenticity of the Acts. An objection is drawn from the discrepancy between Acts ix, 19-28 and Gal., i, 17, 19. In the Epistle to the Galatians, i, 17, 18, St. Paul declares that, immediately after his conversion, he went away into Arabia, and again returned to Damascus. "Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas." In Acts no mention is made of St. Paul's journey into Arabia; and the journey to Jerusalem is placed immediately after the notice of Paul's preaching in the synagogues. Hilgenfeld, Wendt, Weizäcker, Weiss, and others allege here a contradiction between the writer of the Acts and St. Paul." Note that the Catholic Encyclopedia considers the authenticity of Acts to be a "well-proved truth" but nonetheless notes that other scholars disagree.
  19. ^ V.K. Robbins [http://christianorigins.com/bylandbysea.html By Land and By Sea: The We-Passages and Ancient Sea Voyages]
  20. ^ Randel McCraw Helms (1997) Who Wrote The Gospels? ISBN 0-9655047-2-7, Millennium Press
  21. ^ The Prominence of Women in the Gospel of Luke
  22. ^ Carson, D. A., Moo, Douglas J. and Morris, Leon An Introduction to the New Testament (Leicester: Apollos, 1999), 181.
  23. ^ Phillips, Thomas E. "The Genre of Acts: Moving Toward a Consensus?" Currents in Biblical Research 4 [2006] 365 - 396.
  24. ^ Randel McCram Helms (1997) Who Wrote The Gospels
  25. ^ Luke and Josephus
  26. ^ A. N. Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963), p. 189.
  27. ^ [2]
  28. ^ See, for example, Gooding, David W., According to Luke, (1987) ISBN 0-85110-756-7
  29. ^ See, for example, Gooding, David W., True to the Faith, (1990) ISBN 0-340-52563-0
  30. ^ The Dating of the New Testament (English). bethinking.org. Retrieved on 2007-07-05.
  31. ^ Guthrie, Donald [December 1970]. "Nine", New Testament Introduction, third (in English), Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 340-345. ISBN 0-87784-953-6. 
  32. ^ Guthrie, Donald [December 1970]. "Nine", New Testament Introduction, third (in English), Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 347-348. ISBN 0-87784-953-6. 
  33. ^ The Text of Acts
  34. ^ The influence on the Textus Receptus and the KJV of the Western Text's "anti-feminist bias"
  35. ^ Such as P66 and P75. See: E. C. Colwell, Hort Redivisus: A Plea and a Program, Studies in Methodology in Textual Criticism of the New Testament, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1969, p. 45-48.
  36. ^ See: Robinson, Maurice A. and Pierpont, William G., The New Testament in the Original Greek, (2005) ISBN 0-7598-0077-4

Raymond Edward Brown (May 22, 1928 - August 8, 1998), was an American Roman Catholic priest and Biblical scholar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Dr Donald Guthrie was a British New Testament scholar who wrote several books and worked for the London Bible College, now London School of Theology. ...

External links

Preceded by
John
Books of the Bible Succeeded by
Romans

  Results from FactBites:
 
Acts of the Apostles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (5037 words)
Acts emphasizes their witness despite the absence of earthly prosperity, which to the pagan mind was a token of Divine approval.
As for Paul as depicted in Acts, Paul claims that he was appointed the apostle to the Gentiles, as Peter was to the Circumcision; and that circumcision and the observance of the Jewish law were of no importance to the Christian as such.
Acts 6:7 Impact of the gospel in Jerusalem.
Acts of the Apostles - definition of Acts of the Apostles in Encyclopedia (5246 words)
John the Apostle is mentioned only three times (3:1-4, 11; 4:1f, 13); and all that is recorded of his brother James is his execution by Herod (properly known as Agrippa I).
The Acts of the Apostles is in fact an Apology for the Church as distinct from Judaism, the breach with which is accordingly traced with great fulness and care.
As to Paul's submission of the issue in Acts 15 to the Jerusalem conference, Acts does not imply that Paul would have accepted a decision in favour of the Judaizers, though he saw the value of getting a decision for his own policy in the quarter to which they were most likely to defer.
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