Acts of the Apostles

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Acts of the Apostles,

book of the New Testament. It is the only 1st-century account of the expansion of Christianity in its earliest period. It was written in Greek anonymously as early as c.A.D. 65, but more likely later in the century, as a sequel to the Gospel of St. LukeLuke, Gospel according to Saint,
third book of the New Testament. It was composed in the second half of the 1st cent. Since the 2d cent. it and the Acts of the Apostles have been ascribed to St. Luke; Acts is sometimes considered a sequel to the Gospel.
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. Luke has been traditionally regarded as the author. It falls into two divisions. The first 12 chapters focus on Peter and are an account of the Palestinian church from the Ascension of Jesus and Pentecost until the death of King Herod Agrippa I in A.D. 44. Chapters 13–28 deal with the missionary work of Paul, his arrest in Jerusalem, and his trial and journey to Rome. Passages written in the second person plural suggest that the author was a companion of Paul, though it is also possible this was a literary device lending vividness to the travel narrative. Acts conveys the author's particular concept of the Holy Spirit's providential guidance of the plan of salvation in history in the face of Jewish and Roman opposition. When believers encounter Roman officials, Acts seems to stress the political innocuousness of the believers.

Bibliography

See W. W. Gasque, A History of the Criticism of the Acts of the Apostles (1975); F. F. Bruce, The Book of Acts (rev. ed. 1988); G. Lüdemann, Earliest Christianity According to the Traditions in Acts (1989).

Acts of the Apostles

 

an anonymous early Christian work, which is included in the New Testament; it is a continuation of the Gospels—that is, it tells of the spread of Christianity after the death of Jesus Christ.

The first part of the Acts of the Apostles is taken up with the description of the activities of the disciples of Christ in Jerusalem and the second part, with the teachings of the apostle Paul. The author (who is most likely the same person who wrote the Gospel of Luke) made use of written sources, which he put into literary form and to which he added long speeches. The material of the Acts of the Apostles at times contradicts information in the Epistles of the apostle Paul; even between the two parts of the book of the Acts itself there are contradictions (for example, the so-called miracle on the road to Damascus is differently described in the author’s story and in the sermon of Paul). Debate still rages over the dating of its compilation—Protestant theological literature dates it at 80–100 A.D., and Soviet scholars attribute it to the second quarter of the second century. Also disputable is the purpose of the Acts of the Apostles: Did it appear as an apology for Christianity in general, directed against paganism and Judaism? Or was it the reflection of an internal struggle within Christianity—that is, between the Judeo-Christians, who advocated preserving certain Judaic elements in Christianity, and the Paulinists who sought a radical break with Judaism, or between whatever other groupings there may have been? The Acts of the Apostles is an important source for the study of early Christianity.

A. P. KAZHDAN

References in periodicals archive ?
51] First in priority among the lives of the three writers that Foxe abbreviates out of the 1570 Acts and Monuments is "the history and discourse of the life of William Tyndale out of the book of Acts and Monuments briefly extracted.
Reta Halteman Finger, colleague from the West Side of Chicago (Circle Urban Ministries and LaSalle Street Church), and Assistant Professor of New Testament at Messiah College, has penned a significant study on common meals in the early church, specifically as found in the Book of Acts.
The Way According To Luke: Hearing The Whole Story Of Luke-Acts by Paul Borgman (Professor of English, Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts) is a narrative study of the classic Greek and Jewish literary tale elements of the New Testament Gospel of Luke and Book of Acts.
But it is clearly identified with Jesus--most of the references in the gospels and the book of Acts to Nazareth are in the phrase "Jesus of Nazareth.
Every diminishing church needs to have its minister encourage the attendees to read the book of Acts.
Even in John's account the implication is that Jesus' brothers are still at odds with him (although James appears later in the Book of Acts as the head of the Aramaic-speaking church in Jerusalem).
The first two of The Visual Bible(TM) projects, the gospel of Matthew and the book of Acts, were filmed on location in Tunisia, Morocco, and South Africa.
Readers will undoubtedly be reminded of the early church in the Book of Acts.
Pentecost takes place 50 days after Easter and for millions of Christians it is vitally important as they recall the account of the story in the book of Acts where God's power enabled ordinary Jewish people to communicate in a language that was not their own, in order for the Christian message to become accessible to everyone who would receive it.
Focusing on the Festival of Weeks and the content of The Book of Jubilees, the gospel of Mark, The Book of Acts and the letter of St.
The book of Acts takes a different, longer view, as step by step the gospel spreads, sometimes stymied but never thwarted.
The Protestant Church is utterly portable with Christians welcome to worship and minister in any Christian community as in the Book of Acts.