acts of the apostles
acts of the apostles defined in 1939 yearacts of the apostles - Acts of the Apostles;
acts of the apostles - Fifth book of the N.T., giving the earliest history of the Christian Church. The authorship was attributed by early writers to S. Luke, and this has never been seriously questioned except by F. C. Baur, whose theories are discredited. The author refers to a Gospel written by him; dedicates his work to Theophilus, to whom his Gospel was dedicated; and internal evidence shows that the Acts and the third Gospel were written by the same person. The date was probably about a.d. 65, as S. Paul's arrival in Rome is described, but his martyrdom is not recorded.
The first twelve of the chapters describe the rapid spread of Christianity after the Ascension of Christ, and deal mainly with the Church in Palestine, with S. Peter as the dominant figure. The remainder of the work consists of a somewhat broken biography of S. Paul and an account of his missionary journeys. In many places in the second part the author writes in the first person plural, showing that he took part in the events; and this intermittent usage is quite consistent with what is known of S. Luke's life and association with S. Paul. The historical character of the Acts of the Apostles is not open to doubt. The references to it by the early Fathers are sufficient proof of its authenticity.
Bibliography. Of the many commentaries on the Acts, those by E. Ziller, Eng. trans, by J. Dare, 1876; R. D. Raokham, 1912; and J. A. Findlay, 1934, may be consulted with advantage.
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