THE BOOK OF ACTS - INTRODUCTION
Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California
Copyright © 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved
The theme of the Book of Acts involves the Church and its witness. The Book of Acts covers a period of 30-33 years. Acts includes the movement of Christianity westward through the four main centers of early church history - Jerusalem, Antioch in Syria, Ephesus, and Rome.
The author of Acts was Luke the physician and was written probably in Rome while Paul was in prison in about 63 A.D. Luke was not a Jew or one of the 12 apostles. He was evidently a personal friend of the Apostle Paul. Luke begins the Book of Acts by showing that this is a continuation of the Gospel according to Luke. The Book of Acts is addressed to Theophilus, who we also read about in Luke 1:3-4. The name Theophilus means "lover of God." So, in a very true sense, the book is addressed to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.
There are three main periods of Acts. They are; 1) the Jewish Period (Acts 1-9) where the key man was Peter, 2) the Transitional Period (Acts 10-12), and 3) the Gentile Period (Acts 13-28) where the key man was Paul.
A few important historical dates can be found within the Book of Acts. The first is the death of Herod Agrippa I in 44 A.D. - Acts 12:23. The second date involves the expelling of Jews from Rome in 52 A.D. - Acts 18:2. The third is the arrival of Festus as Procurator in 53 A.D. - Acts 25:1. The fourth date includes Neros persecution of Christians in 64 A.D.
And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died. (Acts 12:23)
And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, (Acts 18:2)
Festus therefore, having arrived in the province, three days later went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. (Acts 25:1)