Acts

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    Acts

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    Acts - World English Bible (WEB)

    This is an open source version of the bible based on the 1901 ASV (American Standard Version). This document may be freely distributed, there is no copyright on this translation.
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    Allen, David L.

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    Acts Studies in the 1990's: Unity and Diversity

    "The purpose of this article is two-fold. First, it addresses the question, what are the areas in Acts' studies today which are now fairly well settled in terms of a general consensus of scholarship? Such areas will be identified and discussed in broad strokes. Second, it asks, what are the areas where there is still considerable debate among scholars regarding Acts? Though the 'storm' has subsided, the runoff has formed numerous rivulets which we will attempt to survey."
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    Braun, Michael A.

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    James' Use of Amos at the Jerusalem Council: Steps Toward a Possible Solution of the Textual and Theological problems

    "There are few events recorded in the book of Acts of greater historical significance than the convening of the Jerusalem council in Acts 15. Commentators are quick to acknowledge the importance of this event which occurred in the formative years of the Christian Church. Its importance stands quite apart form the continuing debates over chronology, or the precise nature of the issues involved, or the identity of the various groups who took part in the tense encounter at Jerusalem. Modern NT scholarship, if divided regarding such matters, nonetheless recognizes as significant that assembly of apostles and elders whose ultimate decisions were voiced by James, using the strength of Amos 9:11-12 to convince and unite the various parties present."
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    Bruce, F. F.

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    The Speeches in Acts― Thirty Years After

    "If one valid perspective on Acts is to view it as a historical work in the tradition of Thucydides, the question immediately arises: Are the speeches Thucydidean? The answer, I think, must be Yes. But it is good to remind ourselves what “Thucydidean” speeches really are...Speeches freely composed as rhetorical exercises by lesser historians (like Josephus) and put into the mouths of dramatis personae with little regard for verisimilitude, are not Thucydidean speeches properly so called. The speeches in Acts are not mere rhetorical exercises, nor are they introduced simply as vehicles for the author’s own reflections or interpretations."
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    Bruce, F.F.

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    Luke's Presentation of the Spirit in Acts

    "The Holy Spirit in Acts...is the divine agent and witness of the new age. He imparts life and power. To receive him the prime prerequisite is faith in Jesus (which involves repentance from everything inconsistent with such faith). Faith in Jesus was visibly attested by baptism in/into his name. All who believed in him and were baptized in his name received the Spirit--usually at once, sometimes after a considerable interval, and on one occasion even before baptism."
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    Capper, Brian

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    The Palestinian Cultural Context of Earliest Christian Community of Goods

    "Features of Luke's account suggest linguistic usages and organisational forms employed in the legislation for Essene community of goods revealed in the Rule of the Community discovered in Qumran cave 1. Other elements of Luke's account are illuminated by the practicalities of Essene property-sharing arrangements revealed in the accounts of the Essenes given by Philo and Josephus. These clues point to the probable Palestinian origins of the tradition and suggest that a group within the earliest Jerusalem Church practised formal property-sharing. Luke's portrayal of earliest Christian community of goods can be taken seriously as an historical account."
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    DeSilva, David A.

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    Paul's Sermon in Antioch of Pisidia

    "What is the significance of Paul's review of God's saving acts toward Israel recorded in Acts 13:17-22? How does the topic of promise and fulfillment work in this sermon? What argument is being developed through the three citations of Scripture in 13:33-35 (Ps. 2:7; Isa. 55:3; Ps. 16:10)? What place does Acts 13:38-39 have in the argument? What "work" is referred to in verse 41? Through the answers to these questions a picture emerges of what Luke sought to accomplish through recording this sermon."
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    Dockery, David S.

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    The Theology of Acts

    "The Book of Acts claims to provide a historical picture of the early church from its beginnings in Jerusalem to the arrival of Paul in Rome. Luke, the recognized author of this important work, painted a portrait of the life and preaching of the primitive church in Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and unto the remotest parts of the world (Acts 1:8). In reporting the advancement of the gospel mission, Luke theologized on the sermons and deeds of Peter, Stephen, Philip, and Paul. Prominent among the issues in the study of Acts is the relation of theology and history. While this critical issue is not our primary concern, we cannot ignore the question while discussing Luke's theology of the Spirit, Christ and salvation, and the Church and eschatology."
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    Ellis, E. Earle

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    “The End of the Earth” (Acts 1:8)

    "With the phrase, 'the end of the earth,' in Acts 1:8 Luke signals his knowledge of a (prospective) Pauline mission to Spain and his intention to make it a part of his narrative. For reasons that are not altogether clear, he concludes his book without mentioning the Spanish mission. If he wrote before A.D. 68, the omission can be explained. It is less easy to do so if he wrote after that date. To the various reasons advanced by numerous scholars for an early date for Acts, Acts 1:8 now adds one more. All of the arguments together lead me, after some consideration, to revise my dating of Luke-Acts from an earlier judgment of 'about A.D. 70' to a date in the mid-sixties."
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    Fudge, Edward

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    Paul's Apostolic Self-Consciousness at Athens

    "While a sizable body of interesting literature may be found...dealing with Paul's Acts 17 speech in Athens, certain aspects of his remarks there have received little attention...It is well established that the sermon, taken as a whole, and in many of its specific elements, may be best seen in the light of Stoic philosophy in the first century..., and that in style it follows closely on the order of missionary preaching of various Hellenistic philosophers. And it is frequently conceded that Paul's reference to God as creator is reflecting, at least in a general way, his own Old Testament background and faith...I should like to go one step more, however, and suggest that the remarks of verses 24-25 provide us with a key to Paul's own self-consciousness on this particular occasion in the light of his apostolic commission from Jesus Christ, that these verses constitute an argument for accepting Paul the Apostle did, indeed, make these remarks, and that the remarks which follow those verses are motivated by his peculiar sense of responsibility as Apostle to the Gentiles for the name of Christ."
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    Gasque, W. Ward

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    Did Luke Have Access to Traditions about the Apostles and the Early Churches

    "Drawing on the work of Martin Dibelius (1887-1947), Ernest Haenchen, in his justly famous commentary on The Acts of the Apostles,... argues that it is highly unlikely that 'Luke' had similar sources available for the writing of Acts as he did when he wrote his Gospel...This basic assumption that there were no traditions concerning the apostles has been very influential in Lucan studies, but it has been challenged by the professor of New Testament at the University of Oslo, Jacob Jervell...In seeking to find out whether there is, in fact, any evidence for the view that Luke might have had access to traditions about the apostles and the earliest churches, Jervell turns to those New Testament documents which are closest to the primitive church, the Pauline letters. Recognizing that they are only occasional writings which treat special problems in the Pauline churches and that they should not be expected to contain an abundance of relevant material, he examines them to see what evidence there might be, and the results are rather startling."
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    Guthrie, Donald

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    Recent Literature on the Acts of the Apostles

    "Because of its key importance for the early history of the Church, the book of Acts has always attracted attention during the period of Biblical criticism. It formed an integral part of the historical reconstructions of F. C. Baur and other nineteenth century scholars and has been a battleground ever since. Its authenticity has many times been questioned, but it has come through its period of critical attacks with considerable success, although it would be far from true to say that its stock stands equally high among scholars of all schools of thought. In surveying the most important recent literature, we must not lose sight of this background of earlier suspicions of its veracity. There are still many vestiges of that earlier criticism remaining."
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    Kaiser, Walter C.

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    The Davidic Promise and the Inclusion of the Gentiles (Amos 9:9-15 and Acts 15:13-18): A Test Passage for Theological Systems

    "It is virtually impossible to find a more appropriate set of canonical texts to test such a vast array of burning questions now posed in the whole curriculum of divinity than the two selected as a basis for this paper. The areas of debate are familiar by now: What is the relationship of the OT to the NT? What exegetical method(s) does/do the NT quotations of the OT employ, especially in argumentation that seeks OT support? What are the elements of continuity and/or discontinuity between Israel and the Church--or, to put it another way: Who are the 'people of God' and what is the 'kingdom of God'?"
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    Kepple, Robert J.

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    The Hope of Israel, the Resurrection of the Dead, and Jesus: A Study of Their Relationship in Acts with Particular Regard to the Understanding of Paul's Trial Defense

    "One of the notable characteristics of the Book of Acts is the large amount of space given to Paul's arrest and subsequent trials. Long recognized as a significant feature of the book, the attention that Luke focuses on this part of Paul's life has often been an important factor in various interpretations of the purpose of Acts. Basic to such an intrepretation grounded on these accounts in chaps. 21-28 is an accurate understanding of Luke's presentation of Paul's trial and defense...It is the purpose of this paper to examine one difficulty in understanding Luke's presentation of Paul's trials--namely, how can Luke present Paul as claiming that he is on trial for 'the hope of Israel' and 'the resurrection of the dead' when it seems far more accurate, from our perspective, to say that the issue is 'Jesus'?"
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    Kistemaker, Simon J.

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    The Speeches in Acts

    "About half of the Book of Acts consists of speeches, discourses, and letters. Counting both the short and the long addresses, we number at least 26 speeches that are made by either apostles and Christian leaders or by non-Christians (Jews and Gentiles)...Although Luke is the writer of the speeches in Acts, he is not their composer. That is, he does not create discourses which he places in the mouths of speakers...Luke presented the people as they were, precisely because he was personally acquainted with most of them. As a travel companion of Paul, he recorded the historical events relating to Paul's words and deeds."
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    Koivisto, Rex A.

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    Stephen's Speech: A Theology of Errors?

    "The points of seeming divergence between Stephen's words in Acts 7 and the OT record have engendered attacks on inerrancy by some and attempts at reconciliation by others. A current approach to reconciliation involves the attempt to distinguish between inerrancy of content and inerrancy of record in Acts 7. This views the diver- gences in Stephen's speech as admissible errors since inspiration is only posited of the author of Acts and not of Stephen as a character in the narrative. The present article seeks to show that three of these divergences are merely insertions into the narrative, not errors, and furthermore, that these divergences are calculated theological insertions. The result is a renewed need to seek their reconciliation with the OT record."
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    Koivisto, Rex A.

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    Stephen's Speech: A Case Study in Rhetoric and Biblical Inerrancy

    "The speech delivered by Stephen before the Jerusalem Sanhedrin bristles with perplexing problems for any who would approach it exegetically. Some have concluded that its lengthy character forms a foreign intrusion into the well-balanced progression of Acts. Others, more favorable to the present speech text, have puzzled over the apparent divergency between the text and the judicial allegations it was supposed to have addressed...[T]he speech of Stephen empties even a larger basket of difficulties on the heads of those who posit a factually inerrant text of Scripture...It is the purpose of this paper to seek answers to these crucial questions regarding the application of inerrancy by looking closely at its application to Stephen's speech as a working model."
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    Maile, John F.

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    The Ascension in Luke-Acts

    "‘Theologically and empirically the Ascension of Jesus Christ is at the very heart of the New Testament.' If those words, with which Brian Donne closes his recent study of the significance of the ascension of Jesus in the NT, are true of the NT as a whole, an even stronger statement could be made in respect of the ascension it Luke-Acts. If we may assume for one moment that Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:9-11 are descriptions of the same incident, Luke has chosen to present the ascension twice, as the culmination and climax of his gospel and as the most striking element in the introduction to his second volume. That in so doing he provides the only description in the NT of a visible ascension of Jesus imparts to these two short narratives an importance out of all proportion to their length; and by using these ascension accounts to form the link between his two volumes Luke would seem to indicate their significance for a proper understanding of his theology and purpose."
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    McRay, John

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    Archaeology and the Book of Acts

    "The winds of biblical scholarship have blown toward the Book of Acts from a largely theological direction for the past quarter of a century, providing a corrective to the pervasive concern with questions of historicity fostered by the work of W. Ramsay almost a century ago. However, the winds are changing again, and interest is once more being kindled in questions relating to the trustworthiness of Acts. These changing winds are blowing from such unlikely places as the University of Tubingen itself, whose extremely critical views were held by Ramsay prior to his sojourn in Asia Minor."
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    Moore, Thomas S.

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    "To the End of the Earth": The Geographical and Ethnic Universalism of Acts 1:8 in Light of Isaianic Influence of Luke

    "The purpose of this study is to show how the Isaianic background of heos eschatou tes ges in Acts 1:8, together with its location in the Lucan narrative, is decisive in determining the significance Luke attributed to the phrase. Its possible geographical and ethnic significance has been much discussed. In asking whether for Luke the phrase carried only geographical significance or also ethnic significance, and in asking what constituted 'the end of the earth' with respect to geography, one is confronted with the need to consider clues to background influences that can be shown to have shaped Luke’s understanding as well as to consider the Lucan narrative presentation itself. We begin with a representative survey of recent discussion."
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    Murray, George W.

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    Paul's Corporate Evangelism in the Book of Acts

    "An examination of Acts reveals that Paul was certainly not a 'loner,' but had extensive association with others during his life and ministry. There are a number of reasons why Paul lived, traveled, and worked together with other believers, one of which was to engage in the ministry of evangelism (Acts 9:28-30; 13:1- 5, 13–16, 44–46; 14:1, 7, 20–21, 25; 17:1–15; 18:5–8). A close look at Acts reveals that other believers were often present when Paul en- gaged in evangelism, and in quite a few cases he and other be- lievers actually evangelized corporately."
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    Powell, Mark Allan

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    Salvation in Luke-Acts

    "The purpose of this article will be to describe Luke’s concept of salvation in a more systematic fashion than Luke himself would ever have done. The charts accompanying this article [at end of text] provide some of the data that needs interpreting. These charts examine the contexts in which the key words soter (savior), soteria (salvation), soterion (salvation), and sozein (to save) occur in Luke’s writings. For each occurrence, we have identified the person or persons to whom salvation is offered, the content given to this salvation (what it means), the basis for this salvation (who or what brings it), and the means through which this salvation is to be received."
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    Rainer, Thom S.

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    Church Growth and Evangelism in the Book of Acts

    "With the exception of M. Green's Evangelism in the Early Church, the subjects of evangelism and church growth in the Book of Acts have been unaccountably neglected in recent years. Church growth writers refer to Acts rather consistently to support their theology and practice, but no detailed work has come from the movement...It would appear that evangelism in Acts has been viewed as one of several facets to be studied. In other words, evangelism and church growth are only two out of many areas which comprise the sum total of the book. Such a perspective, however, seems to ignore the primary motivation for the writing of the book. Luke the theologian is first Luke the evangelist."
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    Scott, J. Julius

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    The Cornelius Incident in the Light of Its Jewish Setting

    "The Cornelius incident occupies a sizable amount of space in the book of Acts (10:1-11:18), and reference to it is also a part of the record of the later council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:7-9). There is no question that it records an important instance in the admission of some Gentiles into the community and serves as a part of the later justification for the Gentile mission as a whole. But just what role does it play in the total scheme of the development of the self-understanding of the early Christians?"
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    Scott, J. Julius

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    Stephen's Speech: A Possible Model for Luke's Historical Method

    "In examining the historiography of Stephen's speech the researcher finds himself in an unusually favorable position. Since most sources used by ancient historians have perished the modern student is usually limited only to tentative and conjectural conclusions about the writer's attitudes toward his task and his methods of handling sources at his disposal. However, the major source for the history related in Stephen's speech is the Old Testament. Consequently, in this case we can compare the historian's product (the Acts 7 speech) with his primary source (the OT) and come to some fairly definite conclusions about how at least this one ancient historian practiced his craft."
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    Scott, J. Julius

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    Stephen's Defense and the World Mission of the People of God

    "Much has been said about Stephen adn his bold defense. I propose to focus attention upon three features of the Stephen-history that I believe had much to do with the changes in attitudes and actions by both the first Christians and their Jewish countrymen. These involve Stephen's cultural background, his view of the scope of God's presence and activities, and his understanding of the person and work of Jesus."
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    Scott, J. Julius

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    Parties in the Church of Jerusalem as Seen in the Book of Acts

    "Ferdinand Christian Baur (1792-1860) first impressed students of NT history with the importance of identifying and tracing the influence of groups or parties within the early Church. Baur and his 'Tubingen School' sought to interpret the NT against the background of cleavage between Jewish Christianity, led and represented by Peter, and the Gentile Christianity of Paul. Reconciliation between these groups, he believed was achieved only in the 'catholic' church of the second and following centuries. Subsequent scholarship has abandoned the particulars of Baur's reconstruction. But with varying degrees of emphases, it has followed his example in attempting to understand early Christianity and its literature within a structure characterized by internal division."
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    Stein, Robert H.

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    The Relationship of Galatians 2:1-10 and Acts 15:1-35: Two Neglected Arguments

    "One of the classical problems involved in establishing a chronology of the life of Paul is the relationship of the first three visits of the Apostle mentioned in Acts and the two visits mentioned in Galations...[E]vangelicals have greatly debated whether Galatians 2:1-10 refers to Paul's second visit to Jerusalem (Acts 11:30; 12:25) or this third (Acts 15:1-35). The present writer would like to present two related arguments in favor of the latter view which have not received the attention they deserve."