The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus

The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus


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When the book of Acts is mentioned, a cluster of issues spring to mind, including speaking in tongues and baptism with the Holy Spirit, church government and practice, and missionary methods and strategies. At the popular level, Acts is more often mined for answers to contemporary debates than heard for its natural inflections.

Instead of using Acts as a prooftext, this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume brings a biblical-theological framework to the account to expose Luke's major themes as they relate to the book as a whole. With this framework in place, Alan Thompson argues that Acts is an account of the 'continuing story' of God's saving purposes. Consequently we find that Luke wants to be read in light of the Old Testament promises and the continuing reign of Christ in the inaugurated kingdom.

Read in this way as a snapshot of God's dynamic, unfolding kingdom, the book of Acts begins to regain the deep relevance it had in the first century.


Series preface
Author’s preface

Reassurance concerning God’s purposes: the purpose(s) of the Book of Acts
Excursus: assumptions concerning authorship, audience, and interpreting Acts

1. Living ‘between the times’: the kingdom of God
The sovereignty of God
The kingdom of God
The continuing reign of the Lord Jesus
Suffering: the fullness of the kingdom has yet to come
Excursus: an expositional outline of Acts

2. The hope of Israel: the resurrection and the arrival of the last days
Resurrection hope
Resurrection in Luke’s Gospel
Resurrection in Acts
Jesus’ death and the resurrection in Acts
Preaching the Gospel in Acts
Table 1: Verbs used to describe the action of apostolic preaching
Table 2: Summary descriptions of the message preached in Acts

3. Israel and the Gentiles: the kingdom and God’s promises of restoration
Kingdom restoration and Israel? (Acts 1:6--8)
Pentecost and ‘all Israel’ (Acts 2)
Samaria and the restoration of Israel (Acts 8:1--25)
Outcasts and the restoration of Israel (Acts 8: 26--40)
The Servant who restores Israel and brings salvation to the Gentiles (Acts 13:47)
The rebuilding and restoring of David’s fallen tent (Acts 15:13--18)

4. The promise of the Father: the gift of the Holy Spirit
The prophetic hope of the Spirit
The kingdom of God and the promised eschatological gift of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit is bestowed by the risen and exalted Lord Jesus
God’s empowering presence
A restored people of God
One people of God
Faith, repentance, baptism, and the reception of the Spirit in Acts

5. The end of an era: the temple system and its leaders
The debate about the temple in Acts
The Davidic king, the last days, and the temple (Acts 1--3)
The temple, temple leadership, and Jesus’ universal authority (Acts 3--5)
Stephen, the temple and Jesus (Acts 6--7)

6. The end of an era: the law is no longer the direct authority for God’s people
The debate about the law in Acts
Jesus: the one to whom the law pointed has now come
Apostolic leadership and authority
Sensitivity to Jewish beliefs about the Law

7. Concluding Summary

Index of authors
Index of Scripture references
Index of ancient sources

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