We wanted to understand what the first christians valued and how those values influenced their. While we dont know everything about the early church, we can learn a lot about the church from the book of acts. Instead, acts points to what god does in this world, both back then and today. Whereas the gospel of luke focuses on the life and ministry of jesus christ, the acts of the apostles builds upon what jesus did and taught see acts 1. Ten days after jesus ascended back into heaven acts 1. The book of acts provides a detailed, orderly, eyewitness account of the birth and growth of the early church and the spread of the gospel immediately after the resurrection of jesus christ. North american christians seem to have one of two responses to the book of acts. The book of acts is a historical account of who the early church was. Historical reliability of the acts of the apostles wikipedia. The acts of the apostles often referred to simply as acts, or formally the book of acts, is the fifth book of the new testament. In acts 6, the newfound church had exploded into existence and discovered their first problem. A brief history of the church of god the church of god. It is worth noting that in this history of the early christian church, luke.
At the end of the gospel of luke jesus says that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at jerusalem. Actsyour guide to church planting history churchplants. The background, text, and theology will be studied to understand the history of the early church and current application of those teachings. In the book of acts and the rest of the new testament, we see evidence of persecution within the early church acts 22. The book contains really good information, eusebius one of the best historian on early church, supported by l maier the book explains a lot details on that time when the church there was started also the comments are really interesting for the reader and give a real idea on many acts that the church suffered. Acts was read as a reliable history of the early church well into the postreformation era, but by the 17th century biblical scholars began to notice. The signs performed in its confirmation are all attributed to the power of the holy spirit. The acts of the apostles, fifth book of the new testament, a valuable history of the early christian church. Finally, the great church historian eusebius, writing around a. Central to the christian faith is the fact that god came to earth as a man jesus christ. First, we will compare acts with the gospel of luke. It describes the growth amid frequent perils of the church and records the gospels amazing spread through the roman empire. If you read at an average pace, the book of acts can be read in a little over two hours.
In the book of acts, we discover how gods multiethnic, international church grew through persecution and missionary journeys throughout the world. Lesson 1 investigates the author, historical setting, and the theological background of the book of acts. Lukeacts is a twopart historical account traditionally ascribed to luke, who was believed to be a follower of paul. To view it that way assumes that what we read in acts was an account of the pure church before history and change messed it up. It grew and expanded until its influence was felt in all the known world. Jun 12, 2017 lesson 1 investigates the author, historical setting, and the theological background of the book of acts. Our church chose to hold our first spontaneous baptism service after we noticed the biblical pattern of spontaneous baptisms while preaching through a series in the book of acts. He spoke to the apostles concerning the kingdom of god. Acts was apparently written in rome, perhaps between ad 70 and 90.
He lived, loved and taught among humanity about 2000 years ago. Acts tells us how the christian movement came into beginning. The book of acts records that the holy apostles after the ascension of the saviour, put forward this justus, together with matthias, and prayed that one might be chosen in place of the traitor judas, to fill up their number. It is to assume that to become a better church we should simply do what the ancients christians did because they had it all correct. The church was not to be patterned after the old earthly israelite kingdom acts 1. Some regard acts as a book of church planting history, while others consider it a description of the possibilities of church life. The acts of the apostles, abbreviation acts, fifth book of the new testament, a valuable history of the early christian church. Course description study of the book of acts as the account of the development of the early christian church. A number of expositors down through history have held that the seven churches represent seven sequential stages of church history. Despite the legendary narratives sprinkled throughout his book, eusebius writes as a historian. Jesus had shown himself alive by many proofs for 40 days. An outline of church history, from the acts of the apostles to the reformation caroline mary duncanjones. Ludlowthe book of acts was written by luke after his gospel as the second part of a great twovolume work on jesus christ and the early christians.
The book spans the first three hundred years of the history of the church, a period of time that allows for meaningful reflection, rudimentary development of legendary narratives, and a relatively recent understanding of the events being studied. The record from the book of acts couldnt be clearer. Acts records the apostles being christs witnesses in jerusalem, judea, samaria, and the surrounding world. After some reflection, we decided to see if there was another way. It alone presents an extensive picture of early church life and history. However, christianity, unlike any other religion, is deeply rooted in history.
What i saw was something foreign to my own church experience. The book of acts records three of pauls missionary journeys by which the church was established, the people of god, the christians who would change the world. Its initial chapters describe the churchs founding and early years. Acts ends abruptly with paul imprisoned in rome, waiting to bring his appeal before caesar. Top 5 commentaries on the book of acts ligonier ministries. Acts was apparently written in rome, perhaps between ad 70 and 90, though some think a slightly earlier. The book of acts tells how the multiethnic, international. The book of acts was written to provide a history of the early church. The emphasis of the book is the fulfillment of the great commission. The persecution of christians following stephens martyrdom led to. The author of lukeacts noted that there were many accounts in circulation at the time of his writing, saying that these were eyewitness testimonies. Jan 14, 2014 this year vintage church will take a journey through the book of acts looking at the movement jesus began with his church.
The title as we know it comes from the second century and only partially discloses the theme of the document. I started in the first camp and eventually arrived at the second. Timeline of the book of acts dates reference events books written historical events roman emperors c. The clearly marked sections will assist students as they work through the often lengthy chapters. The parts of the world in which the apostles preached christ. An outline of church history, from the acts of the apostles. Paul and the early church were not at odds with the laws of the old testament. The church, during christs time on earth and after his ascension, operated under theocracy, governed by the immediate direction of god. Nov 14, 2018 in the book of acts and the rest of the new testament, we see evidence of persecution within the early church acts 22. The background of acts third millennium ministries. The life and teachings of jesus christ are established in the four gospel narratives, and the book of acts provides a coordinated account of the beginning and spread of the church as the result of the work of the risen lord and the holy spirit through the apostles. As a second volume to lukes gospel, it joins what jesus began to do and to teach 1.
From its establishment as recorded in acts 2 to the end of its recorded history in the new testament, the church enjoyed phenomenal growth. The book of acts details the beginning of the church and its miraculous spread through the power of the holy spirit. Verse 42 lists four of the activities to which the church devoted itself. Each chapter is wellorganized and carefully outlined. A study in church history church of christ in zion. Book of acts the book of acts provides a detailed, orderly, eyewitness account of the birth and growth of the early church and the spread of the gospel immediately after the resurrection of jesus christ. In acts 2, after peters jewish audience heard the gospel proclaimed, they responded with repentance and faith, were incorporated into the church through baptism, and they devoted themselves to a common faith and a.
An outline of church history, from the acts of the. The book of acts the church of christ in zion, illinois. The book of acts clearly focuses on the beginnings of the church, and two people. The book of acts is, in my opinion, the most exciting book of the bible. Acts shows what the early church believed and practiced united. The purpose of lukeacts may be ecclesiastical or apologetic. We wanted to understand what the first christians valued and how those values influenced their daily lives. The church has a mission, a work, a worship, and an organization, and there is no better place in the bible to find these things described and proscribed than in the book of acts. How many years of history does the acts of the apostles. It covers the entire history of the early christian church, from the ascension of jesus right through pauls final imprisonment in rome. Through the trials, the gospel continued to spread. The view is known as the historicalprophetical view.
Greear argues that his convictions about baptism changed as a result of studying acts. Actus apostolorum, often referred to simply as acts, or formally the book of acts, is the fifth book of the new testament. Ludlowthe book of acts was written by luke after his gospel as the second. Its narrative supplies a bridge connecting the life and ministry of jesus to the life of the church and the witness of the earliest believers. If the book of acts was taken out of our new testament, we would never understand the rest of it. The acts of the apostles is a unique and therefore crucial book of the new testament. This growth is recorded in the book of acts and other new testament writings. We started in the very first church history book, acts. T he book of acts in the bible, written around 6263 a. It gives inspiring accounts of great persons who loved not their lives unto death. The book of acts is the first history of the christian church.
The book of acts provides a bridge for the writings of the nt. The adult teacher guide provides the complete lesson text for each session including teacher preparation, teaching visuals needed, lesson objectives, headers throughout the lesson pages. Accounts of the most interesting events are documented for us all to read, marvel at, and learn from. Luke and acts together make up about 28% of our new testament. For the first 300 years of the churchs existence, christians experienced seasons of persecution. Acts covers the first 3035 years of church history. The beheading of james and the imprisonment of peter. The acts of the apostles is a crucial part of holy scripture. Acts shows what the early church believed and practiced. The offering sent by barnabas and saul to the jerusalem elders. While there are some areas of great detail of the acts of the apostles, many times you must use cross references to the gospels of matthew, mark, luke and john as well as some other epistles in the new testament to get the full picture of what. The first church council, which was called to resolve the growing controversy over whether or not gentile christians would have to observe core aspects of jewish law.
This year vintage church will take a journey through the book of acts looking at the movement jesus began with his church. Parthia, according to tradition, was allotted to thomas as his field of labor, scythia to andrew, and asia to john, who, after he had lived some time there, died at ephesus. Acts is the only biblical book that chronicles the history of the church immediately after jesuss ascension. It is the historical link that joins the life of christ with the growth of the. Meanwhile the holy apostles and disciples of our saviour were dispersed throughout the world. It chronicles the growth of the gospel from jerusalem to rome. It traces christianity from its beginnings in jerusalem, following jesus resurrection, to the arrest of the apostle paul in rome, the heart of the empire.
Acts 1 niv jesus taken up into heaven in my bible gateway. Acts was written in greek, presumably by the evangelist luke, whose gospel concludes where acts begins, namely, with christs ascension into heaven. The book of acts is indeed a history of the earliest church. The book of acts is a key historical record of what the early church believed and practiced. In only three decades, a small group of frightened believers in jerusalem transformed. Introduction to the book of acts study resources blue letter bible. In the earliest days of the church, the church was confined to jerusalem.
The book of acts was likely written between ad 61 and 64. A history of the early church gene taylor2an outline of the book i. The first twelve chapters of the book survey the first ten centuries of church history, from the end of the first through the eleventh century. Relevant for modern christianity church history, on the surface, seems irrelevant to 21st century christianity.
The historical reliability of the acts of the apostles, the principal historical source for the apostolic age, is of interest for biblical scholars and historians of early christianity as part of the debate over the historicity of the bible archaeological inscriptions and other independent sources show that acts contains some accurate details of 1st century society with regard to. Acts one acts is the book that reveals the history of the new testament church. For ecclesiastical purpose, it may have been written in order to edify the church, serving as a history. Stay connected amidst social distancing receive weekly bible studies to share with family and friends. Second, we will examine early church history and its witness concerning lukes authorship. The book of acts church of christ in zion, illinois. As such, it provides us with a valuable account of how the church was able to grow and spread out from jerusalem into the rest of the roman empire.252 1179 1176 369 1355 788 1588 1032 763 1032 414 250 198 217 522 751 688 1067 1147 628 1179 1410 1139 1176 1390 884 1365 543 1025 1287 1238 874 345 985 1345 1328 620 848 326