Acts of the Apostles
Acts along with the Gospel of Luke may have been part of a legal document written to brief Theophilus in a defense of Paul. As Paul was likely to be brought before Emperor Nero (Paul had that right as a Roman citizen), it was important that the information set down be comprehensive yet to the point. Later it may have been fleshed out with additional material and some revision.
Luke, the presumed author, spent considerable time and effort gathering the material for this book. He is presumed to have relied upon written documents, the recollection of early church fathers and even on his own experiences. (In several passages he uses the first person plural). The document describes the spread of the early church, first in the Jerusalem, then in Syria and Asia Minor, and finally in Rome.
Acts is important not only for its retelling of how the church spread and the miracles performed by the church fathers, but also for its reminders of how close knit were the early Christians and the manner in which they chose to worship.
Acts is a revelation of how Paul came to dominate the Christian church and how the focus of evangelism moved from trying to convert Jews to emphasis on bringing gentiles into the fold. It also is an intimate accounting of the influence the Holy Spirit had on the church.
This book is great for groups studying how to spread the message of Christ, or those who wish to witness the travails of the early church fathers in how they suffered for their faith.
Our Acts e-course is a comprehensive study in 29 lessons, covering each chapter individually. You are given three study questions for each chapter of Acts and then the answers to those questions including thoughts for discussion.
Other studies of Acts are available:
Acts: A Life Application Bible Study is inexpensive and contains 13 lessons, charts, maps, study questions and notes. Visit our Life Application page for more information on how to use this work in a Bible study.
Acts of the Apostles, by William Barclay is great both as an in-depth study of Acts for a group and as a daily guide for individuals. Visit our page on Barclay for more information on how to use Barclay's works in a Bible study.