Lecture 7: A Harmony of the Gospels (Part 3) and Introduction to Acts

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The events surrounding the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, and an introduction to the book of Acts. (36 min.)

A Harmony of the Gospels (Part 3) and Introduction to Acts


I. The Passion of Christ

A. The Trial of Jesus

1. Jesus before the Annas

2. Jesus as the Messiah

3. Peter’s Denial

4. The Charge against Jesus

5. Jesus before Pilate and Herod Antipas

B. The Crucifixion

1. The Nature of Crucifixion

2. The Death of Jesus

a. Historically

b. Theologically

3. The Seven Last Sayings of Jesus on the Cross

a. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Lk. 23:34)

b. “Truly I say to you, today, you will surely be with me in paradise.” (Lk. 23:43)

c. “Woman behold thy son. Son, behold thy mother.” (Jn. 19:26-27)

d. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mk. 15:34)

e. “I thirst.” (Jn. 19:28)

f. “It is finished.” (Jn. 19:30)

g. “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.” (Lk. 23:46)

II. The Resurrection

A. The Significance of the Resurrection

B. Alternative Explanations of the Resurrection

1. The Swoon Theory

2. The Stolen Body Theory

3. The Wrong Tomb Theory

4. The Hallucination Theory

5. The Late Legend Theory

C. The Resurrection Accepted

1. Paul’s Testimony (1 Cor. 15)

2. The Women as Eyewitnesses

3. Sunday Worship

4. Jesus Worshipped Despite the Crucifixion

5. The Solidarity of Early Christianity

6. The Glorified Body

III. Introduction to Acts

A. Background

1. The Author of Acts

2. Date: AD 62

3. The Audience of Acts

B. The Purpose of Acts

1. To Show the Progress of the Gospel (1:8)

2. To Show the Shift from Jerusalem to Rome (8:26-40)

3. To Show the Shift from Jewish to Gentile (10:1-43)

4. To Show the Ministry of the Early Church

5. To Show the Ministry of Peter & Paul

6. To Defend Christianity from Criticism

C. Possible Outlines of Acts

1. Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the End of the Earth

2. “The Word of God grew and spread…“

D. Outline of Acts

1. Acts 1:1–6:7

a. Date: A.D. 30-32

b. Jesus’ Resurrection Appearances and Ascension

c. The Day of Pentecost

d. Civil Disobedience

e. Caring for the Poor

f. Barnabas vs. Ananias and Sapphira

g. The First Deacons

2. Acts 6:8-9:31

a. Date: AD 33-47

b. The Stoning of Stephen

c. Philip’s Ministry in Samaria

d. The Main Theme: The Word of God Spreading to the Unlikely

e. The Work of the Spirit Debated

f. The Conversion of Saul


Name Description
1 Understanding the New Testament - Quiz 7

This quiz covers the material in Understanding the New Testament, Lesson 7 – A Harmony of the Gospels (Part 3) and Introduction to Acts.


  • Look at “The Seven Last Sayings of Jesus on the Cross.” Pick one and spend a little time reflecting on it. What does it tell you about Jesus’s experience on the cross? How can this saying help you appreciate what Jesus did?
  • Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. According to Paul, why is it so important that we believe in the resurrection? How often do you reflect on the importance of the resurrection? What can you do this week to remind yourself of how important it is that Jesus was raised from the dead?


  • Read Acts 2:38. What is the “gift of the Holy Spirit“? Why do you think that it is important for Christians to understand that they have received the gift of the Holy Spirit? How does it help you to understand that you too have received the gift of the Holy Spirit?
  • Look over the various purposes of the Book of Acts. Which of these do you need to understand better? What can you do this week to develop a deeper understanding of this theme?


36 min

Other resources

Recommended Reading

Jesus and the Gospels, pp. 383-423.

From Pentecost to Patmos, pp. 9-43.

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