In these next few lessons, we’re going to be diving into some background material for Acts.
While it may be tempting to skip ahead and dive right in to studying the passages in Acts, I think you’ll find this introductory material quite interesting and (more importantly) very useful for having a better understanding the Book of Acts.
Who wrote the book of Acts?
Read the following sets of verses and answer the questions below:
Set #1 – Col 4:14, Philemon 24, 2 Tim 4:11.
Set #2 – Luke 1:1-4 and Acts 1:1-3
Set #3 – Read Acts 16:10; 20:6; 28:13.
Questions to reflect on the passage
Comments on Authorship
Tradition holds that Luke, the physician and Paul’s co-worker wrote the Book of Acts (as well as the gospel that bears his name).
This would imply that Luke was an eyewitness to some of the events in Acts (for example when he switches to first person narrative “We sailed…(20:6)).
Many commentators argue that Luke did not write Acts based on certain elements:
There may in fact be many good literary reasons for why the author of Acts did not quote Paul. Furthermore, as to the differences in Paul’s thought in Acts, the apostle demonstrated many times that he was willing to change his message to meet the context of his audience.
In the absence of overwhelming evidence, we will refer to author of Acts as Luke, Paul’s companion.
Date of Acts
The dating of Acts is largely determined by the author. If Luke, Paul’s companion wrote the book, then we are looking at a fairly early date around 65 AD.
The consensus of scholars puts the date of Acts between 65-80 AD.
Purpose of Acts
Read Luke 1:1-4.
Some argue that this prologue extends through the two volum