I was recently charged with the responsibility of holding a discussion class on the book of Acts over a twelve week period. Some of my readers have asked if I could share the class as an on-line discussion because they could not make it out to the Wednesday night talk backs. I have never tried such a thing before; But I figure, what’s to be lost by giving it the old college heave-ho? So let’s all have a discussion on the book of Acts shall we?
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:1-8 NIV
Some quick notes as we begin:
The Book of Acts is addressed to Theophilus which basically translates “God lover” or “Friend of God”. He could have been a real person or maybe the book is simply addressed to any person who loves God.
The Book is officially entitled The Acts of the Apostles, but it is important to note the chief actor in the book is the Holy Spirit through the apostles.
The author of this book is traditionally accepted as Luke the physician who accompanied the apostle Paul on his missionary journey. This is the testimony of the early church fathers: Eusebius, Clement, Origen, Irenaeus, and Tertullian. Further both the Gospel of Luke and Acts are addressed to Theophilus seeming to make them two parts of a whole.
The book is dated to around 63 A.D. and covers the span of time from around 33- 63 A.D. when Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Neither Paul’s death (65 A.D.) or the fall of Jerusalem (70 A.D.) are mentioned.
Here is my first question for discussion:
Acts 1:1-8 mentions that Jesus taught many things after his resurrection. We see some of these teachings in Acts 1:1-8/ John 20:19-21:23/ Luke 24:13-49/ Mark 16:9-20/ Ma 28:16-18
Create a list of things you see Jesus teaching post resurrection. If you could only sit in on one of these teaching which would you choose? Why?
I will give you a few days to ponder this first question before I post the next. I look forward to our discussion. 🙂