ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

 

AD 30 - 65

 

 

 

BACKGROUND: 

 

*          Acts is the fifth book of the New Testament.  It follows the four accounts of the life of Christ -Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Every book of the New Testament was a letter personally written by one of the Apostles. 

 

*          The four accounts of Jesus' life were named after their author - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Acts was written by the same man who had previously written a life of Jesus to Theo-philis - Luke.  Luke was a physician (see Colossians 4:14 on pg. 189).

 

*          The full name for Acts is "Acts of the Apostles."  It starts with the ascension of Jesus to heaven, and the origin of the church ten days later.  The rest of the book tells how congregations were set up and how people became Christians in the first century.  Much of it is the life of the Apostle Paul who wrote many letters/books in the New Testament by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

 

*          JOSEPHUS, a respected Jewish historian who wrote about 100 AD said this about the beginning of Christianity: 

 

            Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works - a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.  He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles.  He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him.  And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.  Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, 3:3