New Testament Survey: Acts to Revelation
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About this Class
Dr. Robert Stein
Acts was written by the same person that wrote the Gospel of Luke and continues where Luke left off with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
Luke wrote as a historian and includes details related to geography, political leaders and navigational terms. He was also an eyewitness and acquainted with eyewitnesses of events recorded in Acts.
Luke's purpose in writing Acts was give an orderly historical account of events surrounding Christ's ascension, the first followers of Christ and the spread of the early Church.
Acts 1:8 is the theme verse for the whole book. The structure of the book of Acts shows how this theme was fulfilled by recording events relating the spread of the gospel geographically.
At first, the early Church was made up mostly of Jews who continued to live a Jewish lifestyle.
Two events in the early Church were the choosing of an apostle to take the place of Judas Iscariot, and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
The elements of conversion in the New Testament are repentance, faith, confession, regeneration and baptism.
Many of the early Christians spoke Greek and Aramaic. Stephen was one of the first deacons and was martyred for his faith.
The apostle Paul's background as a Jew, training as a Pharisee, and Roman citizenship had a significant influence in his ministry and writings.
Paul had a dramatic conversion experience as he was traveling on the road to Damascus.
After Paul's conversion, on some areas of his theology his positions stayed the same, and on some areas his positions changed dramatically.
Many of the events related to Paul's life and ministry are recorded in the book of Acts.
The conversion of Cornelius and Peter's vision were important events in emphasizing the inclusion of Gentiles into the early Church.
The church at Antioch sent out Paul, Barnabas and John Mark to preach the gospel. This was Paul's first missionary journey.
The Jerusalem Council was a meeting of the early Church leaders to decide how to include Gentiles Christians into what had, up to this point, been a predominantly Jewish Christian group.
Barnabas and John Mark went to Cyprus and Paul and Silas went through Asia Minor, then to Macedonia and Greece.
Some of the letters from Paul in the New Testament are to an individual and some are to congregations. The letters are written in a form that includes the same general elements in the same order.
A main theme of 1 Thessalonians is the second coming of Christ.
Paul addresses some issues regarding the second coming of Christ, such as being responsible to work and support yourself in the meantime.
On his third missionary journey, Paul spent most of his time in Ephesus.