A verse-by-verse exegetical commentary on the New Testament Greek text



On face value the book of Acts records the first 30 years of the Christian church from its origins in Galilee and Jerusalem through the Mediterranean lands and into the center of the known world, Rome. The author, Luke the physician and companion of Paul the apostle, writes Acts as a sequel to his gospel, detailing the movement of the gospel, particularly in the ministry of Paul, from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth, Rome. Luke is indeed a historian, but more than that, a theologian. There have been those who have argued he was a myth-maker, but historian and theologian is a far better estimate.

The structure of Acts

1. Introduction - the Ascension 1:1-11

2. The early church in Jerusalem, 1:12-6:7

i] A church devoted to Prayer, 1:12-14

ii] The restoration of the twelve, 1:15-26

iii] The coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, 2:1-13

iv] Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost, 2:14-35

a) Introduction - answering the charge of drunkenness, 2:14-21.

b) The sermon proper - Christ, his resurrection, and the gift of the Spirit, 2:22-36

v] Peter calls for repentance, 2:37-41

vi] The life of the early Church, 2:42-47

vii] The healing of the lame man, 3:1-11

viii] Peter preaches in the temple, 3:12-20

ix] The arrest and trial of the disciples, 4:1-22

x] The believers join in prayer, 4:23-31

xi] The life of the early Christians, 4:32-37

xii] Ananias and Sapphira, 5:1-11

xiii] An overview of life in the Jerusalem church, 5:12-16

xiv] The disciples before the Sanhedrin, 5:17-42

xv] The spirit of the gospel, 6:1-7

3. The gospel reaches Judea and Samaria, 6:8-9:31

i] Stephen is arrested, 6:8-15

ii] Stephen's speech to the Sanhedrin, 7:1-53

iii] Stephen's martyrdom, 7:54-60

iv] Samaria accepts the gospel, 8:1-13

v] They received the Holy Spirit, 8:14-25

vi] Philip and the Ethiopian, 8:26-40

vii] The conversion of Saul, 9:1-19a

viii] Paul preaches fearlessly in Jesus' name, 9:19b-31

4. The gospel reaches the Gentiles, 9:32-12:25

i] Aeneas and Dorcas, 9:32-43

ii] The conversion of Cornelius, 10:1-27

iii] Peter's sermon to Cornelius and friends, 10:28-43

iv] The Holy Spirit came upon them, 10:44-48

v] Peter explains his actions, 11:1-18

vi] A good man, 11:19-30

vii] Persecution in Jerusalem, 12:1-19

viii] The gospel moves outward, 12:20-25

5. The first major Gentile mission, 13:1-15:35

i] The mission to Cyprus by Paul and Barnabas, 13:1-12

ii] The mission in Pisidian Antioch, 13:13-43

iii] The gospel for the whole world, 13:44-52

iii] The mission to Iconium, 14:1-7

iv] The mission to Lystra and Derbe, 14:8-20

v] God opens the door for the gospel, 14:21-28

vi] The Jerusalem conference, 15:1-21

vii] Conference resolutions and action, 15:22-35

6. Gospel consolidation and expansion to Greece, 15:36-21:16

i] Paul's new mission team, 15:36-16:5

ii] Paul's vision of the man of Macedonia, 16:6-15

iii] Paul and Silas in prison, 16:16-40

iv] The mission to Thessalonica and Boroea, 17:1-15

v] The mission to Athens, 17:16-34

vi] The mission to Corinth, 18:1-17

vii] The missioners retrace their steps, 18:18-23

viii] Apollos and the followers of John the Baptist, 18:24-19:7

ix] The mission to Ephesus, 19:8-41

x] To Troas and the raising of Eutychus, 20:1-12

xi] Paul's farewell sermon, 20:13-38

xii] Paul's journey to Jerusalem, 21:1-16

7. The gospel reaches Rome, 21:17-28:31

i] Paul and James, 21:17-26

ii] The arrest of Paul in the Temple, 21:27-36

iii] Paul's testimony, 21:37-22:29

iv] Paul's defence before the Jewish Council, 22:30-23:11

v] The attempted assassination of Paul, 23:12-22

vi] Paul's transfer to Caesarea, 23:23-35

vii] Paul's defence before Felix, 24:1-27

viii] Paul's defence before Festus, 25:1-12

ix] Paul appeals to Caesar, 25:1-12

x] Paul before Agrippa and Bernice, 25:13-26:32

xi] The journey to Rome, 27:1-28:16

xii] The gospel preached in Rome, 28:17-31

Bibliography: Commentaries - Acts

Barrett, ICC. Blacklock, Tyndale, 1959, replaced. Bock, BECNT, 2007. Bruce, The Greek text with introduction and commentary, Tyndale Press, 1951, Bruce, NICNT. Conzelmann, Hermeneia. Culy & Parsons, Gk. text, HGT. Dunn, Epworth. Fitzmyer, Anchor. Foakes-Jackson, MNTC, 1931. Haenchen, Blackwell, 1971. Hanson, New Clarendon, 1967. Jaroslav, Brazos. Johnson, Sacra Pagina. Lake & Cadbury, Macmillan; esp. vols 3 & 4, 1933. Levinsohn, Textual Connection in Acts, SBL. Longenecker, Expositors. Marshall, Tyndale, 1980. Munck, Anchor, 1967. Neil, NCB. Packer, CBC. Peterson, Pillar, 2009. Stott, BST. Tannehill, Fortress Press. Walton, Word, 2008/9. Williams C.S.C, Blacks. Williams R.R., Torch. Winn, Layman's, 1961. Witherington, Eerdmans / Paternoster, 1998


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