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Acts 1

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

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Verses 1-5

Act 1:1-5

THE FORTY DAYS
Acts 1:1-5

1 The former treatise I made, O Theophilus,—The “former treatise” is the first treatise that Luke wrote; this was the Gospel according to Luke. Here is a continuation of the subject matter with which Luke closed his first volume. This is volume two of his writings. “Theophilus” is addressed in the Gospel according to Luke as “most excellent Theophilus.” It is not known who he was; some think that he was a man of honorable estate, and that Luke addressed both of his books to him; others think that as “Theophilus” means “friend of God,” or “lover of God,” Luke is writing to all who love God; that he adopted this name to indicate any believer in Christ. However, this is improbable. “Theophilus” is a Greek name probably applied to some Roman citizen.

concerning all that Jesus began both to do and to teach,—This gives the scope of Luke’s first or “former treatise.” He had “traced the course of all things accurately from the first” (Luke 1:3), and wrote m detail about all that Jesus “began both to do and to teach.” God and Christ begin, but there is no ending in their working; Jesus began working and teaching in the Gospel according to Luke, and he is still working through the Holy Spirit in his church. The works of Jesus and the teachings of him go together; he lived his life and preached his doctrine; the entire earthly ministry is summed up by Luke in all “that Jesus began both to do and to teach.” It is significant that Luke here puts what Jesus did before that which he taught; Jesus preached his own life. It was lived before his disciples and then taught to them. This is the way that Jesus placed it. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19.)

2 until the day in which he was received up,—The ascension of Jesus was the end of his earthly ministry; soon his heavenly ministry would begin; hence, this finds a place both in the gospel and in the Acts. The first two chapters of Luke record a brief account of the birth and childhood of Jesus, and then from the third chapter to the end of his record Luke gives what Jesus did and taught from his entrance on his public work to his ascension. The ascension of Christ took place “after that he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit unto the apostles whom he had cho-sen.” Jesus is represented in the Bible as acting by the special aid of the Holy Spirit; hence, he is said (Acts 10:38) to have been anointed with the Holy Spirit, and (Luke 4:1) to have been full of the Holy Spirit. God gave the Spirit to Jesus not “by measure.” (John 3:34.) An account of his choosing the twelve apostles is found in Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13-16.

3 to whom he also showed himself alive—After his resurrection Jesus remained on earth “by the space of forty days” before he ascended. He made many appearances to his apostles during this time; we have a record of some of these appearances in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Jesus presented himself to them under different circumstances in such a way that they could not doubt that he had been raised from the dead. “By many proofs,” he established the fact of his resurrection. The resurrection was the evidence that Jesus’ death was not mere martyrdom, but triumphant atonement. The resurrection was to be the subject of the preaching of the apostles; hence, they were left without a doubt as to his resurrection. The King James Version uses the word “infallible,” but the Revised Version omits it with the assumption that a proof implies certainty. “After his passion” means after his suffering and death. “Passion” is from the Greek “pathein,” and is used absolutely of Christ’s suffering. (Acts 17:3 Acts 26:23.) During the forty days there are more than ten definite appearances mentioned; Jesus was not with them continually as he was before his death.

The ascension was ten days before Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came; Moses was in the mount at the giving of the law forty days (Exodus 24:18), and Jesus fasted forty days (Matthew 4:2) just after his baptism. We are given the subject that Jesus discussed while with his apostles; he spoke to them “the things concerning the kingdom of God.” “The kingdom of God” appears thirty-three times in the Gospel according to Luke; fifteen times in Mark; four times in Matthew, who elsewhere has “the kingdom of heaven”; one time in John; and six times in the Acts. No distinction is to be made between “the kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of heaven.”

4 and, being assembled together with them, he charged them—Among those things that Jesus taught his disciples during this period of forty days was “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem: . . . but tarry ye in the city, until ye be clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:47-49.) The law was to go forth from Zion, and the word of God from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3.) The apostles were all Galileans far from home and in danger (John 20:19), but as Jesus had been denied the home comforts of Nazareth (Luke 4:16), so his disciples were all to remain in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came. It is called “the promise of my Father.” (Luke 24:49; John 16:16-27 John 15:26.) Jesus had also emphasized this promise. (Luke 12:11-12; John 14-16.)

5 for John indeed baptized with water;—John baptized "with water,” but Jesus promised that his apostles should "be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” This baptism in die Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father. It was a promise made in the Old Testament which Peter quoted at Pentecost. Some of the apostles, if not all, had been disciples of John, and had heard John make the promise. (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:26.) Some had heard of the new birth. (John 3:3-5.) Now they were to know what it really meant, as they already knew in part. (John 20:22.) It is called a "baptism” to indicate the abundant and overwhelming outpouring of the Spirit which overwhelmed the spirit of the apostles in the Holy Spirit. "Water” was the element in which John baptized, and "the Holy Spirit” was the element in which the apostles were to be baptized.

Verses 1-11

Act 1:1-11

THE PROMISE IS FOR ALL:

LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS

Notes For Lesson One: Introduction to Acts

(Acts 1:1-11)

The book of Acts fulfills an important purpose in the New Testament, as a sequel to Luke’s account of the gospel of Jesus, and as the historical and thematic background to the New Testament epistles. There are many important themes in Acts, and there is a good deal of background information significant to the book. We shall begin our study with a look at the opening passage in the book, and shall use these first few verses as an introduction to the major concepts that we shall see throughout Acts.

Preliminary Observations

Rather than dwelling in detail on background information now, we shall make only some brief preliminary observations. As we proceed through Acts, we shall take the time to cover historical background and other supplemental information as it becomes significant. This will enable us to move more quickly into the text and its important lessons, and it will also make sure that when we need the background information, it won’t have been already forgotten.

The book that we call Acts was written by the same author who wrote the third gospel, and was conceived as a follow-up to or continuation of the gospel of Luke. Although Luke never signs his name, it has been understood since the earliest generations of the church that he wrote these two inspired books. More recently, scholars have also confirmed Luke’s authorship by a careful analysis of the passages in Acts and elsewhere in which Paul’s traveling companions are mentioned.

In the first century AD, when it was the general practice for the various inspired New Testament writings to circulate individually or in small sets rather than as a complete collection, the books that we call Luke and Acts were generally read as a two volume set, most probably entitled "History of Christian Origins". Towards the end of the first century, it became the norm for Luke and the other three gospels to be circulated as a unit, and the second part of the "History" became an independent book. Later, in the middle of the 2nd century when the New Testament began to be published in its final, collected form, this book was re-titled "Acts of the Apostles"*, and has been read under that name ever since. Note that the book is not really "the acts of the apostles" in any inclusive sense, but rather covers come of the activities of some of the apostles, chosen to fit into a thematic plan.

The new name came about in part after a division started by an influential false teacher named Marcion, who taught (among other errors) that Paul was only the true apostle. The resulting controversy, which we covered in an earlier class on the history of Christianity, was the main catalyst that began the practice of circulating the New Testament only in complete form with all 27 books. One minor change was that this title of "Acts of the Apostles" began to be used for this book, to stress the legitimacy of Peter and the other apostles along with Paul.

Acts begins immediately after Jesus’ resurrection, which happened in about AD 32. It continues through Paul’s first two years in Rome, concluding in approximately AD 62, and thus covers about the first 30 years of the New Testament church of Christ. Note that, while some events in Acts can be dated precisely, others have a certain margin of error - therefore it is not uncommon to see dates that vary by a year or so in either direction, even in references whose authors share the same basic perspective on the inspired nature of the book and its contents. Our study plan will be to cover the first 12 chapters this spring, and the last 16 chapters in the summer. In the first part of Acts, most of the action takes place in a small area, with most of the converts and most of the opposition coming from Jews or their close relatives or neighbors. Beginning in chapter 10, we see the first small-scale ministries among the Gentiles. There is then a major shift of emphasis beginning in chapter 13, with organized, large-scale missions to Gentile cities becoming the focus.

An important theme verse for Acts comes right after one of the book’s most well-known verses. In Acts 2:39, after the familiar call to repent and be baptized, Peter tells the crowd at Pentecost that "the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call." This claim is proven over and over again in Acts, as the gospel is obeyed by Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles, by residents of three different continents and many different nations and cultures, and by all types of men and women. Another noticeable theme in Acts is the working of God, Jesus, and the Spirit towards the same purpose. The book is filled with prominent mention of all three personalities of the Godhead, as each plays an important role in the story that Luke tells.

We shall see more of both of these two basic themes as we now look in more detail at the introduction to the book.

Acts & The Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:1-3)

Luke, the author of Acts, establishes from the beginning that the account we are going to read connects directly with his earlier book about Jesus Christ. Throughout Acts, we shall see how Luke repeatedly emphasizes connections with the various aspects of Jesus’ sacrificial ministry. If we are to appreciate the message of Acts, this is an important idea that we must keep in mind. Too often, Acts is studied in isolation from the gospel and/or is examined from a perspective that focuses on the qualities and achievements of the human characters, rather than focusing on Jesus, the gospel, and the Godhead.

At the very beginning of Acts, the author makes clear the connection of this work with his "former book" (Acts 1:1-3) . Writing to his friend Theophilus*, he picks up immediately after the resurrection, and there is thus some overlap with Luke. He briefly recounts how Jesus spent 40 days with his apostles teaching them about the kingdom, teaching them and giving them final preparations for his departure. The resurrection strengthened their faith, but they still had much to learn, as their question in verse 6 (see below) indicates.

It was a common practice for ancient and medieval writers to address their books to a particular individual - usually someone more prominent or influential than themselves - even though they fully intended the book to be read by the general public. Modern authors sometimes retain a vestige of this practice with a brief dedication page before their text begins, but the earlier practice was to address the honorary recipient in the text itself. Note that because "Theophilus" can literally mean "God lover", some have thought that perhaps Luke is just addressing believers in general. This is unlikely, because of the formal way that Theophilus is addressed in Luke 1:3, and also because if that were Luke’s intent, there is a different word for "lover of God", used in 2 Timothy 3:4, that he would have been more likely to use.

From the outset, then, we would expect Jesus to play a prominent role in Acts. He himself appears at least twice at significant times, appearing to Stephen (Acts 7) and then to Paul (Acts 9, and also recalled in chapters 22 and 26). But beyond these kind of overt appearances by Jesus, his ministry is the basis for all of the apostles’ teachings. One of the key features of Acts is the large collection of lessons about the gospel, taught in a great variety of settings and circumstances. These are often skimmed over by readers who assume that they are already familiar with the gospel, but in fact they are meant to be a focal point of the book, and they deserve careful study. These lessons give us an invaluable look at the way the gospel was proclaimed in the 1st century, and have much to teach us about our own approach to proclaiming the truth. In these gospel lessons, Jesus stands out as the center of attention, rather than human activity. We shall make a point of paying special attention to these lessons when they arise in Acts.

As we study Acts, it is therefore vital to remember its connection with the gospel (the good news) of Jesus Christ. Those who study Acts without keeping this in mind often end up emphasizing the qualities and achievements of the human characters in Acts, rather than keeping the focus where it should be. Properly understood, Acts teaches a perspective on growth and change that centers on God, Jesus, and the Spirit, not on human will or righteousness.

God’s Plans & Human Plans (Acts 1:4-11)

Before Jesus left to return to his Father, he once more had to correct his followers’ misconceptions about his ministry and mission. The apostles must now grasp, once and for all, the real mission that Jesus has given them. For they themselves will now be the ones who must explain the truth to others and who must correct and refute the many worldly views that others have of Jesus. God’s direction of the church is a prominent theme in Acts, and it is often contrasted with the human pride, resistance, and misconceptions that prevent so many from seeing God’s plans more clearly.

As he teaches the Eleven, Jesus makes a promise and is then asked a question (1:4-6). Jesus’ promise that they will be baptized with (i.e. immersed in) the Holy Spirit is significant most immediately in connection with the events of Pentecost (Acts 2), and it also begins a continual emphasis on the Spirit in Acts. We are shown in ways both miraculous and non -miraculous that the Spirit came just as promised after Jesus’ death, to work and guide the church in their teaching and ministry. The Spirit’s work in Acts is generally presented from a purely factual viewpoint, while some of Paul’s epistles later discuss the theology of the Spirit. The apostles’ question to him, asking if he was going to restore an earthly kingdom to Israel, indicates that they did not yet fully understand either the reason why the Spirit was coming, or the nature of what he would do. Much of the book of Acts illuminates the struggle that we all have in accepting God’s perspective. The truth of the gospel conflicts with many fleshly perspectives, and even believers often find that God’s priorities can conflict with their own goals and desires.

Jesus then explains that, rather than sending them to help rebuild some kind of earthly kingdom, his desire for the apostles is that they be his witnesses (1:7-8). They do not need to concern themselves with politics or with Jewish national interests, but with proclaiming to others what they have seen and heard while with Jesus. He also tells them that "it is not for you to know the times and dates the Father has set by his own authority", that is, God himself will direct them according to his will. Once again this is a significant theme in Acts. The church grew because it followed God’s will and direction, not because its leaders figured out a brilliant plan or developed innovative methodologies of evangelism. So too, in our contemporary ministries we want to be able to allow God to direct the body in his way and in his time. For the things he has in mind are always more important and more genuinely rewarding than are plans conceived by the human mind.

At the same time, there is a practical plan in Jesus’ instructions to the apostles, and he reveals the part of it that they need to know about now. In their role as witnesses, they will not simply wander aimlessly, but will tell about Jesus "in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth". This design is both large-scale and logical. On a purely historical level, this verse provides a summary of the story of Acts, since the book follows this outline precisely - first detailing the ministry in Jerusalem, then following the spread of the word into the nearby areas of Judea and Samaria, and then detailing some of the most significant steps as churches of Christ were established in many far-removed areas of the Roman Empire. While this provides a sensible and easily followed story, remember always that there is also a thematic level of Acts, which is even more important. It is only because the first century believers accepted the spiritual lessons that they were taught (and which the book of Acts emphasizes to us) that they were able to fulfill Jesus’ plans and goals. Those who try to imitate the outward success of the church without paying proper heed to the spiritual lessons either will fail miserably, or worse, may find themselves achieving a worldly form of success that is intoxicating but spiritually empty, and therefore dangerous.

The introductory section of Acts closes with an account of the ascension (Acts 1:9-11), which Luke had also mentioned in his gospel account. While this would have been an amazing miracle to see, as it is presented it is surely one of the Bible’s most understated miracles. Those observing it are almost rebuked for marveling over what they have seen, and the actual event is not given much prominence, either here or elsewhere in the Bible. The apostles are even specifically told not to dwell on the ascension, but to learn from it that Jesus someday will return to the earth. The miraculous in Acts is rarely emphasized for its own sake, and while the book is filled with amazing miracles, they happen for a purpose that goes beyond the miracle itself. So too, whether we study the significance of the miraculous in the Bible, or whether we want better to understand the ways that God acts in our lives (which are often truly miraculous, even if not so spectacular), we must always remember that God’s highest goals are always those with spiritual purposes.

For Further Study (Includes Sources & References For Acts)

If you wish to do some extra study outside of class as we go through the book of Acts, a good place to start would be to read through the entire book of Acts either this week or over the next couple of weeks. Do not worry about the details, but rather focus on getting a broad perspective on the main events in the book and on the kinds of things that it emphasizes. This will then give you a conceptual framework for more detailed study as we proceed through the book.

If you wish to use outside reading material to supplement your study of Acts, choose carefully. Acts is one of the longest and most detailed books in the New Testament, and thus it has been the subject of many books and articles. Unfortunately, a great many of these are of little value, either because they oversimplify the message of Acts, or because they are written to promote a particular agenda, or because they are written by skeptics more interested in discrediting the details of the book than they are in explaining its message. Here are some good commentaries that are most highly recommended for personal study:

H. Leo Boles, Acts (Gospel Advocate Commentaries)

F.F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts (New International Commentary on the New Testament)

Howard Marshall, Acts (Tyndale New Testament Commentary)

J.W. McGarvey, New Commentary on Acts (Restoration Commentaries) John R.W. Stott, The Message of Acts (The Bible Speaks Today)

Boles and McGarvey are usually considered to be two of the very best writers in the history of the Churches of Christ. Their books are older commentaries (Boles wrote his in 1940, McGarvey wrote the original commentary during the Civil War and the ’New’ Commentary in the 1890’s), but these are still readable. The other three books listed are by denominational writers, but all are valuable in illuminating the message of Acts, and they are usually faithful in sticking to what the text of Acts teaches. Of all five books, the Stott book might be the easiest to use for those who might be studying Acts for the first time.

There are a few other commentaries on Acts that have some usefulness, but most of them are not up to the standards of the above in terms of accuracy and thematic depth. If you want any assistance in selecting study materials, just let me know.

An excellent supplement to a study of Acts or of any other New Testament book is Merrill C. Tenney’s New Testament Survey, which provides extensive background and contextual material for New Testament study. This book is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to build up a good Bible reference library.

- Mark W. Garner, March 2002

Verses 6-8

Act 1:6-8

COMMISSION TO THE APOSTLES
Acts 1:6-8

6 They therefore, when they were come together,—At one of the appearances of Jesus, during these forty days, probably his last appearance before his ascension, while they were all together, his apostles asked him: "Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” This shows that even after the resurrection of Jesus his apostles did not understand the nature of his kingdom. It was clear in their minds that he came to establish a kingdom, but they were still laboring under the misconception that his kingdom would be an earthly one. The word "restore” as used here is from the Greek, "apokathistaneis,” and as a double compound, it means "to restore to its former state.” The apostles asked him if he would restore the political kingdom to the Jews as it was in the days of David and other kings. Here is proof that the apostles needed “the promise of my Father” before they began to spread the message of the risen Christ; they could not preach the gospel of the kingdom until they understood the nature of the kingdom. The apostles still looked for a political kingdom, and needed the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel.

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know—Jesus passed over for the moment the nature of the kingdom and spoke more definitely as to the point which they made emphatic “at this time.” They had asked Jesus whether he would “at this time” restore the kingdom to Israel; so Jesus tells them that it was not for them now “to know times or seasons.” He had repeatedly taught them the nature of his kingdom before he was crucified, but they had failed to comprehend his meaning; now during the forty days that he remained here after his resurrection and before his ascension, they asked him about the time of restoring the kingdom. “Times and seasons” was not for them to know now; they must wait until the Holy Spirit comes to guide them into a fuller knowledge of the truth and the nature of his kingdom. “The Father hath set within his own authority” the time when the kingdom would be established. Christ named neither the day nor the hour: he wanted his apostles to watch and pray, and wait: they were to wait in the school of the pious, but not many days. God had at his own disposal the time for the kingdom to begin its work. Jesus does not teach them at this time the time or the character of the great future events which the Father has reserved under his own control. This is true of the second coming of Christ (Mark 13:32), where Jesus recognizes the Father’s reservation of the question of time to himself exclusively.

8 But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you:—They should receive power, or strength; the power was from on high (Luke 24:49), or it was the promise of the Father, which was the baptism of the Holy Spirit; they needed this in order to do their work. They were not to have a profitless knowledge as they had asked for, but they were to have the power to bear witness for Jesus and convince people of the truth of his kingdom; they needed strength which was to come from a great promise. They needed the power and wisdom which their adversaries could neither gainsay nor resist; in this way they would be enabled to become Christ’s witnesses. Their question was ample proof of their need of this new “power.” “Power,” as used here, comes from the Greek “dunamin,” and is used frequently with reference to the Holy Spirit. All needed power to equip them for the work that they were to do would be furnished by the Holy Spirit; hence, it was by the Holy Spirit’s agency that the apostles were to preach the gospel to the entire world.

and ye shall be my witnesses—Here Jesus gives a program of their missionary work. They are to begin in Jerusalem, and then advance to Judea, or the region round about Jerusalem; then they are to advance into Samaria, or the country beyond Judea, and continue in an ever-widening circle until they have reached “the uttermost part of the earth.” The commission as here given to bear witness for Christ was to go beyond the limits of Palestine; even to the ends of the earth, they were to spread the gospel. The apostles were to go throughout the known world; wherever they could find, or make, an opportunity, they were to bear their testimony respecting Jesus. The providence of God would be with them, and the Holy Spirit would direct them, so that they could thus make the gospel known throughout the world. “Ye shall be my witnesses” throughout the world; the peculiar mission of the church is to preserve to the world the living memory of a risen Christ. Further sections of the book of Acts record how this was done.

Verses 9-11

Act 1:9-11

ASCENSION OF JESUS
Acts 1:9-11

9 And when he had said these things,—While his words were yet in their ears (Luke 24:51), and while their eyes were still gazing on him, the ascension took place. They were to be witnesses of it, and they saw it plainly and could describe it vividly and accurately. Jesus was first raised from the earth in visible manner, and as he continued to rise higher and higher, their eyes followed him ascending; a cloud received him and surrounded and enclosed him and removed him out of their sight. Jesus had instructed them as their Prophet and Teacher; he had laid his command on them as their King; and now as their great High Priest he is to bless them as they bear witness for him throughout the world. Matthew and John (except indirectly in John 6:62) do not mention the ascension. Mark and Luke very briefly record the fact. There is no display, no expletives or exclamations, in narrating this wonderful event; the fact is stated in a simple, direct, natural way that emphasizes its truthfulness. Jesus went up to Mount Olivet just before the ascension, though he could have ascended just as well from a plain or in a valley.

10 And while they were looking stedfastly into heaven—The astonished disciples continued looking up where Jesus had disappeared, as if hoping to see him again. Suddenly “two men stood by them in white apparel.” The past perfect active indicative of “paristemi,” an intransitive form, is used here, and means literally, “had taken a stand by them.” The apostles did not see these two angels until they were standing beside them; they had human forms and white clothing. The angels at the tomb are described in a similar way. (Mark 16 Mark 5; Luke 24:4; John 20 John 12.)

11 who also said, Ye men of Galilee,—The angels addressed the apostles as “men of Galilee”; they were all Galileans now; all the apostles except Judas Iscariot were Galileans, and five of them came from the village of Bethsaida. The angels asked: “Why stand ye looking into heaven?” There was work to be done for Jesus; they are to return to the city of Jerusalem and wait for the descent of the Holy Spirit. The angels further instruct them that “this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven, 31 And when they had prayed,—God answered their prayers by this physical manifestation; the “place was shaken” where they had assembled with the other disciples. Also “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit,” which was a renewal of the Holy Spirit received on Pentecost. The apostles were strengthened anew by the Spirit’s influence; they rose above the fear of the rulers’ threats, and continued with boldness to bear testimony in the name of Jesus. It should be observed that these pious men went to the Lord in prayer under these trying circumstances. It is encourag-ing to Christians to have the fellowship and companionship of others in the work of the Lord; the apostles went to this company of disciples. It may be observed also that the enemies of God cannot thwart the purposes of God. They continued to speak “the word of God with boldness” wherever occasion presented itself.

"shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven.”---The angels connect the ascension with the second advent; the ascension of Jesus is thus made a promise of his second coming. No representative of Jesus will come the second time, for “this Jesus” that they saw disappear shall reappear. He is to come “in like manner” as he ascended. Jesus himself foretold (Matthew 26:64) that he should hereafter come “on the clouds of heaven.”

Verses 12-14

Act 1:12-14

WAITING FOR THE PROMISE
Acts 1:12-14

12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem—The usual name in the Bible for this mountain is “mount of Olives,” and is used eleven times in the New Testament. (Matthew 21:1; Mark 13:3; Luke 22:39; John 8:1.) “Olivet” is the Greek word here meaning “olive orchard” or “olive yard.” This mountain was “nigh unto Jerusalem.” The Mount of Olives is on the east of Jerusa-lem, and must be passed by those who go from Jerusalem to Bethany ; hence, Luke’s expression, “He led them out until they were over against Bethany.” (Luke 24:50.) No one knows the exact spot on the Mount of Olives from which Jesus ascended; it was “a sabbath day’s journey off.” Different parts of the Mount of Olives were, of course, more or less distant from Jerusalem. “A sabbath day’s journey” was about two thousand yards, or about three- quarters of a mile from the city wall. Luke says here that the Mount of Olives was a Sabbath day’s journey from Jerusalem, not that Jesus was precisely that distance when he ascended. Bethany was on one side of the Mount of Olives, at the foot of the mountain, on the east side, “about fifteen furlongs off” (John 11:18), or nearly two miles from Jerusalem, and the ascension was “over against Bethany.” (Luke 24:50.)

13 And when they were come in,—When the apostles came into the city of Jerusalem from the ascension, “they went up into the upper chamber.” Some claim that this “upper chamber” was the same room that was occupied by Jesus when he ate the passover, which is described both by Mark and Luke as a “large upper room.” (Mark 14:15; Luke 22:12.) This was in a private house, as is indicated in Luke 22:11; and not in the temple, as is indicated in Luke 24:53. “The upper chamber” is a phrase which suggests a well-known place, and this is as definite as we can make it. In this room the eleven were abiding, not in the sense of dwelling, but of sojourning; they were waiting for the promise of the Father. Here we have a list of the apostles; this is the fourth record or list of these names found in the New Testament.

The lists of the apostles in the New Testament are as follows

Matthew 10:2-4 Peter Andrew James John Philip Bartholomew Thomas Matthew James of Alphaeus Thaddaeus Simon the Zealot Judas IscariotMark 3:16-19 Peter James John Andrew Philip Bartholomew Matthew Thomas James of Alphaeus Thaddaeus Simon the Zealot Judas IscariotLuke 6:14-16 Peter Andrew James John Philip Bartholomew Matthew Thomas James of Alphaeus Simon the Zealot Judas of James Judas IscariotActs 1:13 Peter John James Andrew Philip Thomas Bartholomew Matthew James of Alphaeus Simon the Zealot Judas of James (Matthias)

The list of apostles is grouped by fours into three groups; Peter heads all the lists as leader; Philip heads the list of the second group in all four of the lists; and James of Alphaeus heads the list of the last group in all four of the lists. Luke varies his roll in his gospel and Acts; Andrew follows Peter in the gospel, and in Acts he is the fourth; while John is the fourth in the gospel and second in Acts. Luke changes the order in the second group, but the arrangement is the same in the third group. Peter, James, and John are the only apostles whose names are mentioned again in the Acts; they are mentioned here at the beginning of the history of the church. When the roll is called by Luke in Acts the name of Judas Iscariot is omitted.

14 These all with one accord continued stedfastly in prayer,—The disciple company consists of four separately mentioned classes of persons: (1) the eleven apostles; (2) certain devout women, including Mary the mother of Jesus; (3) the brethren of Jesus, James, Joses (Joseph), Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3); (4) the other disciples of Jesus. The Greek word for “one accord,” “homothumadon,” means more than being together in one outward society; it means concord or oneness of mind and of spirit. They were together “in one place” because they had one purpose, and were of oneness of soul. They “continued stedfastly in prayer”; that is, they let nothing interfere with their prayers. They had been told to wait for the fulfillment of the promise, and that it would not be many days, so they spent their time in prayer. This was the best preparation that they could make for the great event of the descent of the Holy Spirit. This is the last mention that we have of Mary the mother of Jesus; the New Testament leaves her on her knees in prayer waiting, with the others, for the descent of the Holy Spirit.

Verses 12-26

Act 1:12-26

THE PROMISE IS FOR ALL:

LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS

Notes For Lesson Two: The Community of Believers

(Acts 1:12 to Acts 2:13)

The next portion of Acts describes what the community of believers was like, showing us some of the habits, decisions, and characteristics of this small, localized group before the day of Pentecost saw a sudden increase in its numbers. We shall include in this study a look at the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit that immediately preceded Peter’s famous lesson in Acts 2.

The Apostles & the Believers (Acts 1:12-26)

This passage tells us some of the basic characteristics of the community of believers between the ascension and Pentecost, and also describes the appointment of a twelfth apostle to replace Judas. While a simple account, it provides some important lessons about our perspective on ministry. From the beginning, Acts shows the body of Christ working together as closely as possible to meet needs and to carry out the ministry that Jesus had entrusted to them.

Luke briefly describes what the life of the believers was like in the short period between the ascension and Pentecost (Acts 1:12-14). Jesus had left them physically once and for all, and they had not yet received the promised outpouring of power from the Holy Spirit, so they obediently remained in Jerusalem. The Eleven remaining apostles are again listed, as Luke had done in Luke 6:13-16*. The Eleven are clearly the leaders of the community, having spent so much time with Jesus with this responsibility in view. Knowing that they must wait on God to direct them, they spend their time together in prayer, which is doubtless the best possible way that they could have prepared themselves for the challenges that they would soon face. We find out below (verse 15) that at this time the group consisted of about 120 persons. Their example of group prayer is worthy of our careful consideration, since we usually have the same need for insight into what God is calling us to do.

There are also lists in Matthew 10:2-4 and Mark 3:14-19, and references to several of the apostles in John’s gospel account. On the surface there are a few differences among these references, but they all refer to the same 12 persons (minus Judas Iscariot in the Acts list). The differences are all simply accounted for by the common occurrence of persons using either two names, one Roman and one Jewish, or adopting a descriptive name that was used in alternation with their given name.

Peter now announces to the group that it is time to select a twelfth apostle to replace Judas the betrayer (Acts 1:15-26). Peter reminds them that what Judas did was foretold as a part of Jesus’ ministry, and while Judas received a just punishment for his crime, the believers should not allow what he did to demoralize them, because in a sense he served his purpose. The details about Judas’ death in Acts 1:18-19* are an aside from Luke, who wants to make sure that his readers know what happened to Judas.

Acts 1:18-19 and Matthew 27:3-10 are a favorite of skeptics and liberal ’scholars’, who see these two accounts of Judas’ death as a ’contradiction’. But they are simply one of many examples in which two authors simply give two sets of details that can be harmonized without great difficulty. The most commonly understood complete summary of what happened to Judas is as follows: after Judas returned the 30 pieces of silver, the chief priests used the money to buy a field that would be used as a cemetery. By law, this could be considered as Judas purchasing the field, accounting for the statement in Acts 1:18 that Judas bought it. When Judas hanged himself, he did so in this field, either knowing that they had purchased it, or else simply because it was a convenient vacant site. After hanging himself, no one took down his body, and eventually it and the rope it hung by rotted where they stood, with the body eventually falling to the ground in a decomposed state and thus splitting open.

Moving ahead, Peter describes the need for a replacement (Acts 1:21-22). This was partially for practical reasons and partially for symbolic reasons. Both Jews and Christians place symbolic significance on the number 12, connecting it with spiritual leadership and example. There was also the practical matter of maintaining the size of the band of apostles. It did not take 12 men to lead a group of only 120, but very soon the group would be many times that size. Just as a congregation must always look to maintain its eldership at an appropriate size that allows them to oversee their flock, so too it was not time to allow the group of apostles to decrease at a time when their real work was just beginning. (Likewise, the size should not increase beyond a workable number.) The actual criteria for the replacement were simple but vital. The new apostle must be someone who had followed Jesus throughout his public ministry, and who thus would have the same awareness as the Eleven of Jesus’ life and teachings. This new appointee will join the Eleven as a witness to Jesus and his resurrection. Note that this is one of many examples showing that criteria for spiritual leadership are not arbitrary, but are determined naturally, according to the ensuing responsibilities.

Now they are ready actually to choose the new apostle (1:23-26). Two different men, Joseph and Matthias, are found who meet the criteria that Peter has outlined. Since the believers can see no distinction between these two that would make the final choice clear, the final decision is made by a prayer and a drawing of lots, with Matthias being chosen. This passage has attracted many criticisms which miss the point. And it should be obvious that this example is not intended as a binding pattern for selecting spiritual leaders. Instead, it illustrates some simple but important truths that counter the fleshly views we often have about leadership. Note that there is no implication that Joseph was unfit in some way, and note also that after the decision there was no dissent from Joseph or from the group at the seemingly random choice that was made in Matthias’s favor. This is because they understood that spiritual leadership is a responsibility, and a heavy one, not a privilege or an honor. Accepting a position of leadership in the church of Christ incurs burden and sacrifice, not perks, rights, and authority. When believers forget these truths, they become tempted towards envy and competitiveness, and they can even begin to argue about the Scriptures’ criteria for elders, deacons, and the like. But if we put spiritual leadership into the proper perspective, then we can humbly accept God’s choices (which are never truly random, but which are often beyond our ability to understand) as he determines who shall serve in what capacity, based on his own superior wisdom and will, rather than by catering to human agendas and pride.

For Study or Discussion: Take note of the most significant things that characterize the believers as a group in this passage - their attitudes, their practices, their expectations. Granted that their situation is different from ours in many details, how can we still learn from and apply the general lessons that we see in this passage?

The Believers Are Filled With the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13)

On the day of Pentecost, with the city filled with Jews from around the world who have gathered in Jerusalem for the important holy day, God now fulfills the promise that Jesus made in chapter one. The Holy Spirit descends on the believers and enables them suddenly to speak about God in many different languages. This miracle is not only striking but useful, and of course it gives Peter the opportunity to preach his famous lesson, which we shall study next time. The momentous events of the day began when the Spirit’s power manifested itself as tongues of fire that descended on the believers (Acts 2:1-4). Since they had remained together in Jerusalem as Jesus had told them, when this miracle occurred all of the believers were able to witness it and to share in seeing how God fulfilled his promise. By fulfilling the promise on the day of Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks (or Harvest), the miraculous signs that followed were witnessed by an enormous crowd (see below). The events that will follow also make the choice of the day appropriate symbolically, in that the Feast of Weeks was instituted by God as a harvest celebration*.

Pentecost is the Greek name for the Levitical Feast of Weeks (see Leviticus 23:15-22). This feast celebrated and give thanks for the spring grain harvest. The name Pentecost comes from the Greek word for the number fifty, since the Feast of Weeks took place exactly fifty days after the Passover Sabbath (and thus was always on the first day of the week). Much later, the Jews decided to observe this day as a commemoration of the giving of the law to Moses, but this was a cultural practice, not God’s design, and it is not mentioned in the Scriptures. The earliest confirmation of this practice is in AD 150. It is thus unlikely that it was celebrated this way in Peter’s lifetime - and even if it were, it would been contrary to God’s instructions. Note also that the giving of laws on Mount Sinai began "in the third month" after the Passover and Exodus (Exodus 19:1), not exactly fifty days afterwards. The Jews may have wanted to celebrate their laws, but God preferred to celebrate a harvest. And Acts 2 is indeed a harvest, not a giving of new laws in the same sense that laws were given to Moses on Mount Sinai.

The signs accompanying the Spirit’s outpouring were dramatic and visible to all. There was the visual display of the tongues of fire, and also the spectacle of the many believers speaking in a great variety of different languages. The crowd and its reaction (Acts 2:5-13) demonstrate that this was an obvious miracle, and they also help us to see God’s plans at work. The crowd that had gathered for the holy day had come from many different nations and from a wide variety of cultures. Some, of course, were Jews by descent, while others were Jews by conversion. Even those of Jewish families had been scattered throughout much of the world over the centuries. The passage specifically lists many of the nations that were represented, from areas far to the east such as Parthia, Elam, and Mesopotamia, to African regions such as Cyrene, to some who had come all the way from Rome.

Notice that the display of speaking in other languages* was not merely an amazing miracle, but had a practical significance. They used these other languages to "declare the wonders of God", that is, to praise God in so many languages that all of these foreign visitors could hear his or her own language being used. Of course, many centuries later this Scripture has come to be used to justify or promote a different practice called "speaking in tongues", which as practiced today has no similarity with what the Spirit is doing in Acts 2**. But we should not allow a silly abuse such as this to cause us to downplay the miraculous nature of the Spirit’s fulfilled promise, and we should in no way try to explain away this passage. It is a clear demonstration of God’s miraculous ability and a fulfillment of Jesus’ promises about the Spirit’s coming. And it demonstrates how the Spirit works in edifying ways to draw others to God, not simply to provide a show for a chosen few.

By tradition, this is translated "tongues" in this verse and elsewhere, even though the word is simply the common word for "(foreign) languages". In the earliest English versions such as the King James, the word "tongues" was used, because in the 1600’s tongues meant the same thing as languages - at the time there was no such thing as today’s practice of "speaking in tongues". It would be more accurate to translate it as "languages" now, but sometimes tradition is a stronger force than accuracy.

The technical term for the way that "speaking in tongues" is practiced today is "glossolalia". Linguists have made studies of this practice, and have shown that it is simply a learned technique that generates random speech sounds, based on the sounds that a speaker already knows how to make from speaking his or her own language(s). Any truly new language would be distinguished by a distinctive set of phonemes (sound elements), but studies have shown that practitioners of glossolalia simply learn to arrange sounds they already know into a random pattern that sounds vaguely like a mysterious new language, but which in reality is nonsense. Should it arise that someone today can demonstrate the sudden, miraculous ability to speak clearly in a known, useful language that he or she has have never studied, rather than simply learning a special technique for babbling incomprehensibly (not a particularly valuable talent), then at that time we might take "speaking in tongues" more seriously.

Before we study Peter’s sermon (next time), take note of the differing reactions among the crowd. The one thing they cannot do is deny that something unusual is taking place, but as always there are some who want to know the truth behind what they see, and others who prefer to mock or harden themselves. As we shall see, Peter shall offer only the briefest of refutations to those mocking the believers, and will instead address most of his remarks to those who are amazed at what has happened, and who will give a fair hearing to the vital message of the gospel that he is ready to proclaim. As shall be the case throughout Acts, the miraculous is never an end in itself, and the emphasis and importance are never on the miraculous, but rather are focused on the gospel message to which the miracles draw attention.

For Study or Discussion: Setting aside the ways that this passage can and has been misapplied, what positive lessons about the Spirit do we learn here? Given that in some respects this situation was unique, what encouragement can it give us about God’s promises? From a different viewpoint, take note of the varying responses among the crowd, and consider what parallels there may be in our own experience, which this response can help us to understand.

- Mark W. Garner, March 2002

Acts Chapter One

Ralph Starling

Christ’s earthly ministry now complete,

The disciples have been thoroughly briefed.

They are assured they are not alone,

To do the work that was to be done.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell of the Lord’s command

To preach the gospel throughout the land.

Those that repent and are baptized

Should not perish but have eternal life.

When the disciples heard what they were told,

His ascension into heaven they did behold.

Then to their rooms to retire,

Spending time together united in prayer.

One thing, however, needed to be fulfilled,

The vacancy of Judas needed to be filled.

Votes for Joseph and Matthias were then cast,

With the votes counted it was Matthias.

Now to Jerusalem and Pentecost they would go

To receive Christ’s promise of the Holy Ghost.

With this power sent down from heaven

They could begin the work they were given.

Verses 15-26

Act 1:15-26

SELECTION OF MATTHIAS
Acts 1:15-26

15 And in these days Peter stood up—Peter had denied his Lord after the keys of the kingdom of heaven were committed unto him, but we now find him in his old place impetuously speaking for the apostles. He had been forgiven, and had received a special message sent to him by the risen Saviour (Mark 16:7), and a special charge given him (John 21:15-18). He is here strengthening his brethren; he does not apologize for the sin of Judas, but rather reminds them that “he was numbered among us, and received his portion in this ministry.” Some think that Peter was the oldest of the apostles; hence, he took the lead. There “was a multitude of persons gathered together, about a hundred and twenty.” The word for “gathered” is not in the Greek here, but it does occur in Matthew 22:34, and it seems to be the same idea in Luke 17:35. The entire number of disciples is not mentioned as being one hundred and twenty, but that number was gathered together in Jerusalem ; evidently there were others scattered through the country. (1 Corinthians 15:6.) There is no significance in the number “one hundred and twenty.”

16 Brethren, it was needful that the scripture should be fulfilled,—“Brethren” literally means “men, brethren, or brother men.” Women are included in this address, though “andres” refers only to men. Peter reminds them that the prophecy given by David through the Holy Spirit concerning Judas must be fulfilled. He evidently refers to Psalms 41:9, which referred first to Ahithophel, and in John 13:18 to Judas; hence, Peter here indirectly states that David wrote Psalms 41. Judas led the company of Jews and Romans to the Garden of Gethsemane to betray Jesus. Peter here found three things foretold, which had to be fulfilled: (1) that the traitor was to be one of themselves; (2) what his fate would be; (3) that his office from which he had been ejected was to be filled by another.

17 For he was numbered among us,—Peter is not ashamed to state that one of the twelve betrayed the Master; inspiration has been true to the fact and recorded this betrayal. One might think that it would be injurious to the cause of Christ to record the fact that one of his disciples betrayed him; however, Judas fulfilled the conditions of the prophecy. (Psalms 41:9 Psalms 109:2-5.) Judas had a mouth of deceitfulness, the lying tongue, the groundless enmity, the requital of evil for good; yet he was numbered among the twelve apostles.

18 (Now this man obtained a field with the reward—Judas “obtained” this field, or acquired it indirectly with the money which he received for the betrayal of Jesus. (Matthew 26:14-26 Matthew 27:3-8.) Verses 18 and 19 are not a part of Peter’s speech, but seem to have been parenthetically included in Luke’s account. The field was bought with the money that Judas received for betraying the Savior; he brought it back and threw it at the feet of the chief priest, and they took the money and purchased this property; they would not put the money in the treasury. (Matthew 27:5-8.) This field was bought by the chief priest in order to bury strangers in it. Matthew further says: “That field was called, The field of blood.” (Matthew 27:3-8.) Luke here states that Judas fell “headlong” and “burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.” Matthew states that Judas “went away and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:5.) There is no contradiction here, as he could have hanged himself and then fallen and “burst asunder.” Evidently in his attempt to hang himself the traitor’s body fell and was mangled as described here by Luke.

19 And it became known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem;—The fate of Judas and the way in which the purchase money was obtained caused the name to be changed from “the potter’s field” to “The field of blood,” and all people recognized the appropriateness of this name. “Akeldama” is the Aramaic word which Peter explained to mean “The field of blood.” “Aramaic” was the corrupt Hebrew which was spoken in Palestine at that time.

20 For it is written in the book of Psalms,—Peter here quotes from Psalms 69:25 and Psalms 109:8. He changes the plural of the first quotation into the singular as David was speaking of many enemies of his own, and Judas was the instrument through which the many enemies of Jesus work out their will; hence, the punishment which came upon Judas as the chief offender. Peter illustrates and points to its fulfillment in prophecy. The disciples would be disturbed at the treachery of Judas, but Peter answers by pointing to predictions in the Psalms which proved that none of these things were accidental; they were known long before by Jehovah. “His office let another take” means that another must be selected to fill the place that Judas was selected to fill.

21-22 Of the men therefore that have companied—The apostles were to be witnesses of Jesus; Peter here states the conditions required in the one who is to be appointed to take the place of Judas. He mentions two things; namely, that they should have been a disciple of Jesus “from the baptism of John,” and that they should have accompanied him after his resurrection. This is another way of saying that one should have known and followed Jesus from the first of his personal ministry to his trials, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. These apostles were careful in selecting the successor to Judas’ place; the one selected must be a competent witness; no one can be selected who is not an eyewitness of the things to which he must testify, so that his knowledge may be firsthand and his evidence trustworthy. Peter had quoted from the Psalms that the place was vacant and that another should fill it; hence, he proceeded at once under the guidance of God to complete this task.

23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas,— With the qualifications before them, “they” began their search for one who met all qualifications. They found two who met these qualifications. It is supposed that these two were selected from the company that was assembled. It is not clear as to who is included in “they”; some think that the entire assembly selected or found the two who were qualified; others think that only the apostles were included in the “they.” Those who take the view that the assembly selected the two who had the qualifications draw the conclusion that the church may select its officers today. They should remember that the church had not been established at this time, and that this is no precedent for selecting officers in the church. “Joseph called Barsabbas” also bore the name “Justus”; he was a well-known disciple at that time, and had been a companion of Jesus for three or more years, but we know nothing further about him. There have been different interpretations as to the meaning of his name; we cannot make him the same as “Barnabas” mentioned in Acts 4:36. “Matthias” is the contracted form of “Mattathias,” and is the equivalent of the Greek, “Theodore,” which means “gift of God.”

24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord,—Luke here gives only the substance of the prayer that was prayed; it is very probable that Peter led in this prayer, and that they all prayed with him. Some claim that this prayer was addressed to Jesus, and others that it was addressed to God. “Lord” may refer to God and Christ. It is the same Greek word that Peter used four times in answering Jesus (John 21:15-17 John 21:21), and that the eleven used after the resurrection in speaking to Jesus (Acts 1:6). Jesus had not at this time become the Mediator and High Priest, as his church had not been established. “Who knowest the hearts of all men” literally means who “heart knowing all men.” There is a similar expression applied to God: “Jehovah searcheth all hearts” (1 Chronicles 28:9) and “I, Jehovah, search the mind, I try the heart” (Jeremiah 17:10). Since God knows the hearts of all men, he is asked to “show of these two the one whom thou hast chosen.” It is clear that the Lord had chosen; that he was to make known which one should take the place of Judas. The Lord knew the heart; they knew only the men with their qualifications; hence, they asked the Lord to “show” or “point out” by some visible or other means which one of the two he had chosen. They wanted only the one that the Lord had chosen.

25 to take the place in this ministry—It is clear that they desire one to take Judas’ place and to become an apostle with them; they want him to participate in the office of the apostleship “from which Judas fell away” that he might go to his own place. Judas had been chosen to the place by Jesus, but he was disqualified by his wickedness and went to his own place, and now another must be chosen by the authority of God to take his place.

26 And they gave lots for them—The Jews were familiar with the process of casting lots; this method of decision by lot was an Old Testament custom. The land of Canaan was divided and assigned to the different tribes by lot. (Numbers 26:55.) The guilt of Achan seems to have been determined by lot (Joshua 7:14); the king of Israel, Saul, was selected by lot (1 Samuel 10:20-21); the same method was used in determining the “scapegoat” (Leviticus 16:8). Proverbs 16:33 indicates how the lot was cast. There are different ways by which the lot was cast, but we need not discuss these. The only thing practical here is that the apostles placed the responsibility of the selection on the Lord, and he made the choice; so Matthias was chosen by the Lord, “and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” The Greek word for “numbered” is not the same as in verse 17, but is a word used in one form to signify the person who was selected. Some have doubted as to whether the apostles were guided by the Holy Spirit in selecting Matthias; they claim that Matthias was never an apostle.

Questions on Acts
by E.M. Zerr

Acts Chapter 1

  • · To what document does "former treatise" refer?

  • · State the subject matter of that treatise.

  • · Until what event did the narrative continue?

  • · What did he give to the apostlcs?

  • · Through what means did he give these?

  • · What showing did he make to the apostles?

  • · By what did he do this showing?

  • · What is meant here by his passion?

  • · For what length of time was he with them?

  • · Of what things did he speak to them?

  • · While assembled what did he command not to do?

  • · For what should they wait?

  • · What is here said of John?

  • · Who are the antecedents of "ye" in 5th verse?

  • · State their advantage ovcr John’s disciplcs.

  • · What question was now asked of Christ?

  • · To what institution did they refer?

  • · What had happened to this institution?

  • · Give the answer of Jesus to them.

  • · Who had the power over this mattcr?

  • · What was to come upon the apostles?

  • · This would cause them to receive what?

  • · And cause them to become what for Christ?

  • · What was to be their territory?

  • · After this conversation what happened to Christ?

  • · What object shut him off from view?

  • · Who next appeared on the scene?

  • · State the question they asked.

  • · What important prediction did they then make?

  • · Name the location of the ascension.

  • · To where did the apostles now go?

  • · How much of a journey was it?

  • · Into what place did they go?

  • · Who were dwelling there?

  • · How were they passing the time?

  • · Tell what noted woman was in the group.

  • · State the number of disciples.

  • · Who was the spokesman?

  • · In what term did he address the others?

  • · To what document did he refer?

  • · Why couple the Holy Ghost and David togethcr?

  • · Concerning what person did he speak?

  • · What had he done?

  • · In what position had he been formerly?

  • · Tell what he purchased.

  • · With what did he make the purchase?

  • · Was it purchased before his death?

  • · In what way was the purchasing made?

  • · How is his death here described?

  • · Explain this and the former account.

  • · How extensively known did this event become?

  • · State the name given to the place.

  • · What would make this name appropriate?

  • · From what book does the speaker quote?

  • · Tell the meaning of the word bishop rick.

  • · Of what circumstances is this verse a prophecy?

  • · What association must the chosen man have had?

  • · Name the period covered by this association.

  • · Why begin with the baptism of John?

  • · What is the chosen man to become?

  • · Who are "they" of verse 23?

  • · Did they put two into the apostleship?

  • · Why were the two men named?

  • · Did "they" know outward qualification of the men?

  • · What did the Lord only know about them?

  • · State what religious exercise was first performed.

  • · By what means did Judas fall from his office?

  • · What is meant by ’’his own place"?

  • · Is "he was numbered with the 11 apostles" inspired?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Acts 1". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/acts-1.html.
 
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