How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth – Acts – 2nd Period

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18 Replies to “How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth – Acts – 2nd Period”

  1. Question: Was Luke, the author of the books Acts and Luke, a reliable historian?

    Answer: Overall, Luke demonstrates remarkable historical accuracy in his writings, and it must be remembered that the history recorded in his narratives was not to chronicle the past. Rather, it was to encourage or entertain, inform, moralize, or offer an apologetic.
    However, there is a historical problem in Luke 2:2 that has not yet been resolved- the census that led Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, where Jesus was to be born. It is stated in Luke that Quirinius was governor of Syria during this time. This presents a problem because the earliest known Roman census in Palestine was taken in AD 6-7, and Jesus was not born this late. There has been no consensus of a solution regarding Luke 2:2, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that Luke made a mistake- new historical evidence could resolve this problem.

    Source: https://bible.org/article/problem-luke-22-ithis-was-first-census-taken-when-quirinius-was-governor-syriai

    Question: Are the diverse practices across churches (such as baptizing infants or only adults) overall more of a good thing or more of a bad thing?

  2. Question: Why are baptism and repentance closely related in Acts?

    Answer: Multiple narratives in Acts follow the pattern of repentance and faith immediately leading to baptism. Baptism is a sign of that points to the power of the gospel and its effects in the life of God’s people. Baptism closely follows repentance because it shows transformation and a new life. Once new believers repented they would publicly proclaim faith in Christ through baptism.

    Source: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/you-asked-does-the-bible-separate-salvation-from-baptism

    Question: According to Acts, what should fellowship among believers look like?

  3. Question 1: How was Luke, a Gentile, so familiar with Judaism?
    Question 2: What is hermeneutics?
    Answer: Hermeneutics is the principles of Biblical interpretation. Biblical interpretation should be based on the intent of the author and not on what a reader thinks. Context is vitally important to interpretation. Context is important in terms of setting like the time period, place, reason for writing, the person doing the writing and why they are writing it. Some verses are completely misinterpreted in when taken out of context.

  4. Question: What was Luke’s intent of writing Acts?

    Answer: There are many possible reasons why he wrote acts such as; to evangelize, to defend Paul and Christianity in the face of Jewish attacks, to confirm the gospel, to convey the historical movement of the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome, to present Jesus as Lord as a defense and present fulfillment of promise against charges of false religion by Jews and explanation of partial Jewish rejection, to reassure second-generation Christians of the truth of Christianity and fulfillment it represents despite Jewish rejection and the presence of persecution because Christians are heirs of promises that Israel has forfeited.
    Source: https://bible.org/article/introduction-book-acts

    Question: Acts is a book that many people come to for historical context or how they can apply it to their lives. Couldn’t there be misinterpretation when people try it apply to their own lives?

  5. Question: Why did Luke write another book and not just one gospel like the others?

    Answer: Acts seems to be a bridge way between the gospels and the epistles, or letters. Acts helps set the stage for the epistles. It describes the origins of some of the problems present in the epistles. Acts provides important information about the church of Corinth, where it came from and why it was the recipient of two epistles. Acts also helps paint a prettier picture of Peter, he’s no longer the dirt bag who denied Jesus, he is a changed man. Overall, Acts is important in understanding the epistles and the problems they address, without Acts, the epistles wouldn’t make sense and would be almost useless to Christians today.

    Source: https://bible.org/seriespage/1-unique-contribution-book-acts

    Question for Webster: Why did two books, Acts and Luke, have to be written? Couldn’t Luke have just combined them and made one big book?

  6. Q: Are the Christian practices laid out in Acts significant and relevant for us today?

    A: The practices laid out in Acts are very instrumental in the growth of any believer and Church. For example, the practice of meeting together. Fellowship is defined as being a part of a group or community. Within that community the people share the same interest or goal. For believers the goal of being one in Christ and growing with each other toward that unified goal is what a true fellowship ought to look like. Not to just have fellowship, no, but to devote ourselves to fellowship wholeheartedly. True fellowship draws away from loneliness, exclusion and a sense that figuring it out alone is necessary. Fellowship begins simply with relationship and then continues into the activity of togetherness. Acts outlines this for each generation as more than just good advice. The importance of good community can not be overstated enough. To conclude, the practices laid out in Acts are not only helpful but also important to daily living.
    https://bible.org/article/christian-fellowship

    Q: With so many disputes about how to do certain practices within churches how can we discern where to land on these issues?

  7. Question: Why did Luke write Acts?
    Answer: Luke wrote Acts to give an account of how Christianity grew and spread post-Christ. At this time the Holy Spirit was on the Earth living inside Christians. One way this was achieved was by Gentiles receiving the message of Christ. The freedom of sin through salvation was available to everyone that chose to accept it, not just the Jews. Christianity also spread physically. Through people preaching the Gospel, its message spread all the way to Rome. Luke writes about Paul who played. a significant role in share the Good News of Christ with others. People like Paul shared the Gospel and like wrote Acts to give us an account of how it spread across the Middle East and Europe.
    Source: Ashbury Bible Commentary. https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/asbury-bible-commentary/Purpose-1543

    Question for Mr. Webster: How are the Jewish people God’s chosen ones if He gives everyone the opportunity to receive salvation?

  8. Question: What evidence supports Luke’s trustworthiness as a historian? How can we be sure that he did not incorrectly write something down?

    Answer: There is skepticism surrounding all the authors of the Bible, but Christians should first realize that the Bible was written with divine inspiration. This means that God had a guiding hand with the crafting of the entire Old Testament and New Testament. However, there are more reasons than those to place trust in Luke as an author and historian. The Gospel Luke, which was also written by Luke, has been used as a ready source for historical information. All the information that is contained in the gospel of Luke has paralleled the other synoptic gospels, despite there being different authors and sources. Luke was not an eyewitness for almost all if not any of his gospel, yet he has accurately depicted the events as they occurred. Acts does not have any other writings to compare itself to prove its reliability. However, Luke has demonstrated his reliability as a historian with his recollection gospel. There would be no reason to doubt Luke’s integrity. Finally, Luke is an eyewitness to a number of events as indicated by his usage the word “we” throughout the scripture. He would have clear knowledge of how certain situations occurred.
    Source: https://bible.org/article/introduction-book-acts

    Question: The book stated that people often times get caught in state of only selecting to read the material they deem as important. However, the book states that we should read with the interest of Luke at heart. What effect does reading the book of Acts from the perspective of Luke have on the reader’s understanding?

  9. Question #1 Why is there almost no case at all for infant baptism?

    Answer – The question of the baptism of infants cant be settled on the basis of exegetical data in Acts but only on theological grounds. The promise in Acts 2:39 need not mean that children are to be baptized; the promise may mean no more than that the gospel is a blessing not only for the present generation but to their descendants as well—not only to people in Jerusalem but also to those of distant lands—and is analogous to “your sons and daughters” on 2:17. The “children are limited by the following phrase, “every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
    George Eldon Ladd – A Theology of the New Testament – pg. 387

    Question #2 Why is it that the precedent does not establish a norm for specific action?

  10. Question: How do we correctly interpret Acts?
    Answer: Recognize that Acts is a theologized history of the early church. Acts tells what the church was doing from the human side of things and what God was doing from the divine side of things. The book of Acts is also a book of transitions. First there are key transitions in biography. This is especially true as the book focuses more on the ministry of Peter in the first portions of the book then shifts to Paul. There is also a transition in ministry focus from the Jews to the Samaritans and to the Gentiles.
    Questions: How can we know if something is symbolic or not?
    Sources: https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-6-principles-biblical-interpretation

  11. Question: What does the modern Church need to re-learn and incorporate from the early Church?
    Answer: According to the article I read, the answer is simple. We need to live bold. “Boldness is an identity shaping element of the church.” All throughout Acts there are stories of Paul, John and others having great courage. They were so outspoken about who Jesus was, even though it was countercultural. “Luke wants the church for all time to embody this kind of boldness, to know Jesus and what his gospel work means for the world. To know Jesus and speak clearly about who he is. This is being Christian in a confusing culture. This is how we’re called to live.” The modern Church sits silently about a lot of things in our confusing culture today, but we should follow this example and live boldly.
    Source: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/live-bold

    Question for Web: The book states that “at a primary level are those doctrinal statements derived from the explicit propositions or imperatives of scripture, i.e. what Scripture intends to teach. At a secondary level are those statements derived only incidentally, by implications or precedents.” How can we distinguish between primary teachings in The Bible and therefore be able to tell what precedents in Acts we need to follow.

  12. Question:
    Why would the Fee and Stuart claim that the book of Acts is difficult to study in group?

    Answer:
    The authors went on to explain the difficulty of studying the book of Acts in a larger body setting. The main reason is because people approach the book with different mindsets. Some are greatly interested in learning historical information (Acts offers a lot of detail on the primitive church). Other people embark on a study of the book for an apologetic reason (they are interested in proving Luke’s accuracy as a historian). However, the authors claimed that a majority of the people who want to begin an intensive study of the book of Acts do so purely for religious and devotional purposes. They want to learn how early Christians behaved, and how their lives can serve as models for Christians today. In addition, they are hoping to gain wisdom and an understanding of the divine nature of God Himself.
    Therefore, the book of Acts is difficult to study in group because every chapter holds a different level of interest for each reader. For example, some of the more historically informative chapters would be of greater interest to one who is interested in history or apologetic principles, as compared to someone looking to read the book purely for devotional purposes.

    Question for Mr. Webster:
    What is the difference between false appropriation and misappropriation?

  13. Q: What is Luke’s purpose in writing acts?

    A: Luke’s primary purpose in writing Acts was most likely to provide an account of the beginning of the Christian church in hopes that he may strengthen his readers faith and to further affirm the foundation of Christianity. Acts answers many questions that the four gospels simply wouldn’t be able to answer with the same sufficiency. For example, “How did the Christian faith that began with a few followers of Jesus in Israel spread to Rome and points beyond? How did the early church, which was exclusively Jewish, begin to reach out to and incorporate the Gentiles?” “Luke wants to show through his gospel and Acts that the accounts were based on eyewitness testimony given by credible men who were not promoting it for personal gain. In fact, they proclaimed the message in the face of strong opposition and even death.”

    https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-1-church-continuing-what-jesus-began-acts-11-2

    Q: Why is the the book of Acts so crucial in the forming of the New Testament?

  14. Question: Why are people so skeptical to believe authors such as Luke, Matthew, or Peter because it is in the Bible, but if someone finds a journal from some ancient time it seems to be assumed as Historically True?

    Answer: New Testament scholars have an enormous amount of ancient manuscript evidence. The documentary evidence for the New Testament far surpasses any other work of its time. We have over 5000 manuscripts, and many are dated within a few years of their authors’ lives. But there is a time gap of several years between the ascension of Jesus and the writing of the Gospels. There is a period during which the gospel accounts were committed to memory by the disciples and transmitted orally. The question we must answer is, Was the oral tradition memorized and passed on accurately? Skeptics assert that memory and oral tradition cannot accurately preserve accounts from person to person for many years.

    Source: https://bible.org/article/historical-reliability-gospels

    Question: Does it matter if you strictly go to the Bible for religious or devotional purposes rather than going to the Bible for devotional, religious and historical purposes?

  15. Question: Why is the book of Acts important? What does it contribute?

    Answer: First of all, if the importance of a subject is indicated by how much space is devoted to it then Luke’s writings must be significant. Luke and Acts together account for one-fourth of the New Testament. “Second, the absence of the Book of Acts would diminish the contribution of the remaining New Testament epistles.There would be a significant historical gap between the events of the Gospels and the writing of the New Testament epistles.”

    Source: https://bible.org/seriespage/1-unique-contribution-book-acts

    Question for Web: Why is it best to read all of Acts in one sitting?

  16. Q1: How can we trust that Luke was a reliable author in his writing in the book of Acts?
    A: Although Luke did not intend to write Acts as strictly an history narrative, the book itself is still very accurate in it’s historical accuracy. Luke’s main intention of writing the book of Acts was to encourage believers who read it rather than to just write a book documenting history even though it could serve that purpose just based on it’s accuracy.
    Q2: How can we be sure that we are interpreting Acts the way we should and taking the right encouragement from it?
    Source: https://bible.org/seriespage/1-unique-contribution-book-acts

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