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At the very beginning of our faith, the Christian population numbered a few thousand, measuring only one percent of the world population. Today a single mega-church can boast a comparable number, and together, Christians now number more than two billion people. It all began with this little body of believers who knew a secret that needed to be shared. How did they do it? And what can we learn from them? Join best-selling author and beloved pastor, J. Ellsworth Kalas, as he explores the book of Acts to uncover the ministry motivations of the first followers—ordinary people who accomplished the extraordinary and who can serve as a guide for today’s believers to carry on. Because the work is not done. The story continues… This book contains a discussion guide.
Acts is the sequel to Luke's gospel and tells the story of Jesus's followers during the 30 years after his death. It describes how the 12 apostles, formerly Jesus's disciples, spread the message of Christianity throughout the Mediterranean against a background of persecution. With an introduction by P.D. James
Twenty-four sessions guide groups or individuals in a study of the book of Acts.
This volume on Luke-Acts as with all titles in the [email protected] Series highlights readings that make explicit the diverse contemporary contexts of biblical interpreters. The global spread of contributors includes scholarly voices from South Africa, South America and Hong Kong, as well as from the United States. The chapters are organized around four themes. The first examines interpretations of Jesus, looking at his childhood, contemporary context, and his teaching – including whether Jesus' sympathetic response to disease and pain might be used to advocate euthanasia. The second examines social categories: gender, race, and class, including a political and racialized reading of the history of diasporic Black America as a model for reading Acts as a diasporic history. The third examines issues of empire and resistance. The final part looks at society and spirituality, with a focus on modern contemporary contexts.
If you could add a book to the Bible, what would it contain? Here is one answer to that question: a "sequel" to Acts, showing the later careers of the Twelve, Paul's final travels before he faces Nero, the commission of the four Gospels, Jerusalem and its temple destroyed, the importance of the family of Jesus, and how close the apostles got to "the ends of the earth" in spreading the gospel. The Apostles after Acts includes a commentary that explains how the text was reconstructed from ancient sources and historical research. Here is a creative approach to the little-known but critical period when the New Testament record stops--and Christianity is just beginning.
Acts of the Apostles helps the preacher identify possibilities for sermons based on texts and themes in the book of Acts. While offering a basic exegetical framework for interpreting passages in Acts in their historical, literary, rhetorical, and theological contexts, this volume also suggests ways in which the preacher can relate passages and motifs from Acts to the congregation and world today. It also is useful in classes that seek to link text and sermon, and for congregational Bible study. Throughout his commentary, Ron Allen examines the relationship of Acts to the Gospel of Luke, discussing parallel passages between the two volumes and observing how themes in the Gospel carry forward into Acts. He notes how particular passages contribute to developing themes and to how the awareness of such a theme can contribute to the preacher's work with a particular passage.
The Acts of the Apostles is really the second volume in the two-part writing scholars call Luke-Acts. It continues the story begun in the Gospel of Luke, showing how the Good News offered by Jesus to the outcast of the people was eventually extended to the end of the earth," so that Gentiles as well as Jews came to share in the blessings of God. This commentary treats Luke-Acts as an apologetic history. It takes with equal seriousness both Luke's literary artistry and his historical interests, fitting his methods comfortably within the ancient standards of historiography. This perspective illustrates in particular that Luke's historical narrative serves a definite religious intent. Tracing that intent through the specific contours of Luke's story is the special contribution of this commentary. "

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