Episode 24 <ul><li>From Jerusalem to the World </li></ul>
The Acts of the Apostles <ul><li>Like the Gospel according to Luke, this book is anonymous. </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand, popular Christian tradition affirms that Luke wrote both. </li></ul>
The Acts of the Apostles <ul><li>HISTORICAL </li></ul><ul><li>volume two of a two-part work: the first part told what Jesus “began to do and teach” (1:1); the second part is a selective record of what Jesus continued to do through His Spirit and His apostles. </li></ul>
The Acts of the Apostles <ul><li>THEOLOGICAL </li></ul><ul><li>shows that Christianity and the Church had become the legitimate heir of Israel and of Israel’s Scriptures, seen especially in the biblical quotations used by the apostles (2:16-21; 15:16-17; 28:25-28). </li></ul>
The Acts of the Apostles <ul><li>Theophilus, a Gentile whose residence is unknown. </li></ul><ul><li>The name could be a “generic term” for any believer: one who loves God or is beloved of God. </li></ul>
The Acts of the Apostles <ul><li>The events described in this book happened during the church’s first decades, AD 30 to 61 </li></ul>DATE OF WRITING Around AD 61 to 62
a historical narrative written in excellent Koine Greek, a carefully polished Greek style using a large vocabulary
a careful theological interpretation, including summaries of important early Christian speeches, giving examples of a variety of speakers (Peter, Stephen, Paul), audiences (Jewish, Greek, Christian), and circumstances (friendly, hostile)
Prominence of the themes: the Lordship of Jesus and the activity of the Spirit in spreading the Gospel and building the Church.
Two central characters: Peter (ch. 1-12) and Paul (ch.13-28), entrusted with different responsibilities but equally empowered and equally obedient to their specific commissions.
Provides a firm basis for understanding the origins of Christianity and a solid historical context for understanding the letters of St. Paul and the other pastoral letters.
Key text (Acts 1:8) “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Provides a useful organizational structure for the book: + the apostles proclaim Jesus in Jerusalem (ch. 1-7) + the apostles proclaim Jesus in Judea and Samaria (ch. 8-10) +the apostles proclaim Jesus to “the ends of the earth” (ch. 11-28)
<ul><li>The author of the Acts of the Apostles portrays Peter as an extremely important figure within the early Christian community, with Peter delivering a significant open-air sermon during Pentecost. According to the same book, Peter took the lead in selecting a replacement for Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:15). He was twice arraigned, with John, before the Sanhedrin and directly defied them (Acts 4:7–22, Acts 5:18–42). </li></ul>
<ul><li>He undertook a missionary journey to Lydda, Joppa and Caesarea (Acts 9:32–10:2), becoming instrumental in the decision to evangelize the Gentiles (Acts 10). </li></ul>
<ul><li>A fleeting mention of Peter visiting Antioch is made in the Epistle to the Galatians (Galatians 2:11-14) where Paul rebuked him for treating Gentile converts as inferior to Jewish Christians. Historians have furnished other evidence of Peter's sojourn in Antioch. Subsequent tradition held that Peter had been the first Patriarch of Antioch. </li></ul>
<ul><li>At the council of Jerusalem (c 50), the early Christian church, Paul and the leaders of the Jerusalem church met and decided to embrace Gentile converts. </li></ul><ul><li>Acts portrays Peter as successfully opposing the Christian Pharisees who insisted on circumcision and the rest of the Mosaic law </li></ul>
<ul><li>About halfway through, the Acts of the Apostles turns its attention away from Peter and to the activities of Paul, and the Bible is fairly silent on what occurred to Peter afterwards. </li></ul><ul><li>It is believed by a long tradition that Peter, after a ministry of about thirty years, traveled to Rome and met his martyrdom there. He was crucified upside down because he said that he was not worthy to die as Jesus did. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Church tradition ascribes the epistles First and Second Peter to Saint Peter, as does the text of 2 Peter itself. First Peter refers to the author being in Rome ("Babylon").[ Most scholars regard First Peter as not authored by him, and there is still considerable debate about the Petrine authorship of Second Peter. However the Greek in both books are similar, leading one to conclude of single authorship. </li></ul>
<ul><li>According to tradition, he was the first formal leader or bishop of Jerusalem, the author of the letter of James in the New Testament, and the first of the Seventy of Luke 10:1-20. </li></ul><ul><li>He is described in the New Testament as a "brother of Jesus" </li></ul>
<ul><li>Acts of the Apostles, in later chapters, provides evidence that James was an important figure in the Christian community of Jerusalem. When Peter, having miraculously escaped from prison, must flee Jerusalem, he asks that James be informed (12:17). When the Christians of Antioch are concerned over whether Gentile Christians need be circumcised to be saved, and they send Paul and Barnabas to confer with the Jerusalem church there. </li></ul>
<ul><li>James played a prominent role in the formulation of the council's decision (15:13ff). Indeed, after Peter and Paul have made their case, it is James who finally delivers what he calls his "judgement"-- the original sense is close to "my ruling"-- and afterwards, all accept it. James, in other words, is shown in charge of the Jerusalem group. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Paul further describes James as being one of the persons the risen Christ showed himself to (1 Corinthians 15:3-8); then later in 1 Corinthians, mentions James in a way that suggests James had been married (9:5); and in Galatians, Paul lists James with Cephas (better known as Peter) and John, as the three "pillars" of the Church, and who will minister to the "circumcised" (in general Jews and Jewish Proselytes) in Jerusalem, while Paul and his fellows will minister to the "uncircumcised" (in general Gentiles) </li></ul>
<ul><li>According to a passage in Josephus's Jewish Antiquities, (xx.9) "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James" met his death after the death of the procurator Porcius Festus, yet before Lucceius Albinus took office (Antiquities 20,9) — which has thus been dated to 62. The High Priest Ananus ben Ananus took advantage of this lack of imperial oversight to assemble a Sanhedrin who condemned James "on the charge of breaking the law," then had him executed by stoning </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Epistle of James has been traditionally attributed to James the Just. A number of modern Biblical scholars,, while admitting the Greek of this epistle is too fluent for someone whose mother tongue is Aramaic, argue that it expresses a number of his ideas, as rewritten either by a scribe or by a follower. Other scholars argue that the historical James could have had such fluency in Greek, and could conceivably have authored the Epistle himself. </li></ul>
<ul><li>After Jesus’ Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, John, together with Peter, took a prominent part in the founding and guidance of the church. He is with Peter at the healing of the lame man in the Temple (Acts 3:1ff.). With Peter he is also thrown into prison (Acts 4:3). He is also with Peter visiting the newly converted in Samaria (Acts 8:14). </li></ul>
<ul><li>Apparently, John in common with the other Apostles remained some 12 years in this first field of labour, until the persecution of Herod Agrippa I led to the scattering of the Apostles through the various provinces of the Roman Empire (cf. Acts 12:1-17). It does not appear improbable that John then went for the first time into Asia Minor and exercised his Apostolic office in various provinces there. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Such a sojourn by John in Asia in this first period was neither long nor uninterrupted. He returned with the other disciples to Jerusalem for the Apostolic Council (about A.D. 51). Paul, in opposing his enemies in Galatia, names John explicitly along with Peter and James the Just as a "pillar of the Church" and refers to the recognition that his Apostolic preaching of a gospel free from the Law of Moses received from these three, the most prominent men of the messianic community at Jerusalem (Galatians 2:9) </li></ul>
<ul><li>Of the other New Testament writings, it is only from the three Letters of John and the Book of Revelation that anything further is learned about John. Both the Letters and Revelation presuppose that John belonged to the multitude of personal eyewitnesses of the life and work of Jesus (cf. especially 1 John 1:1-5; 4:14), that he had lived for a long time in Asia Minor, was thoroughly acquainted with the conditions existing in the various messianic communities there, and that he had a position of authority as leader of this part of the church. Though many say he was 95 when he died, sources say he was most likely 104. He died of age. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Christian tradition identifies him as the author of several New Testament works: the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. But many modern scholars believe that John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, and John of Patmos refer to three separate individuals. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The author of the Gospel of St John and the First Epistle of John is known as St. John the Evangelist or St. John the Theologian (alternately rendered St. John the Divine or St. John the Beloved). The Second and Third Epistle of John had the same author; he has been identified with the enigmatic John the Presbyter. The Book of Revelation was written by St. John of Patmos. </li></ul>
<ul><li>According to Acts 1, in the days following the Ascension of Jesus, Peter proposed to the assembled disciples, who numbered about one hundred and twenty, that they choose one to fill the place of the traitor Judas in the apostolate. They cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Philip the Evangelist appears several times in the Acts of the Apostles. He was one of the Seven Deacons chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem (Acts 6). He preached and performed miracles in Samaria, converted Simon Magus, and met and baptised an Ethiopian eunuch in Gaza, traditionally marking the start of the Ethiopian Church (Acts 8). </li></ul>
<ul><li>Acts tells the story of how Stephen was tried by the Sanhedrin for blasphemy against Moses and God (Acts 6:11) and speaking against the Temple and the Law (Acts 6:13-14) and was then stoned to death (c. A.D. 34–35) by an infuriated mob encouraged by Saul of Tarsus, the future Saint Paul: "And Saul entirely approved of putting him to death" (8:1). . Stephen's final speech is presented as making an accusation against the Jews of continuing to persecute prophets who spoke out against their sins. </li></ul>
<ul><li>According to the Acts of the Apostles, his conversion took place as he was traveling the road to Damascus, he experienced a vision of the resurrected Jesus. He was temporarily blinded. Paul asserts that he received the Gospel not from man, but by "the revelation of Jesus Christ”. </li></ul>
First missionary journey - "Antioch Phase” Paul’s first missionary journey begins in Acts 13 in Antioch in approximately 47 CE. During this period the Christian church here grew in prominence partially owing to Jewish Christians fleeing from Jerusalem
Second missionary journey - "Aegean Phase" F ollowing a dispute between Paul and Barnabas over whether they should take John Mark with them, they go on separate journeys (Acts 15:36–41) — Barnabas with John Mark, and Paul with Silas.
Third missionary journey Paul continued his preaching, usually called his "third missionary journey" (Acts 18:23–21:26), traveling again through Asia Minor and Macedonia, to Antioch and back
Final missionary journey to Rome in an appeal to be tried in Rome as a Roman citizen. Circumstances of his imprisonment and eath in Rome remain vague.