Acts 1:1
The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
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The Acts of the Apostles.—See Introduction as to the title thus given to the Book.

(1) The former treatise.—Literally, word, or discourse; but the English of the text is, perhaps, a happier equivalent than either. The Greek term had been used by Xenophon (Anab. ii. 1; Cyrop. viii. 1, 2) as St. Luke uses it, of what we should call the several “Books” or portions of his Histories. The adjective is strictly “first” rather than “former,” and the tense of the verb, “I made,” rather than “I have made.”

O Theophilus.—See Note on Luke 1:3. It has been thought that the absence of the words “most excellent” implies that the writer’s friendship with Theophilus was now of a more intimate and familiar nature. It is possible, just as a like change of relation has been traced in Shakespeare’s dedication of his two poems to the Earl of Southampton, but the inference is, in each case, somewhat precarious.

That Jesus began both to do and teach.—The verb “begin” is specially characteristic of St. Luke’s Gospel, in which it occurs not less than thirty-one times. Its occurrence at the beginning of the Acts is, accordingly, as far as it goes, an indication of identity of authorship. He sought his materials from those who had been “from the beginning” eye-witnesses and ministers of the word (Luke 1:2).




Acts 1:1 - Acts 1:2
. - Acts 28:30 - Acts 28:31.

So begins and so ends this Book. I connect the commencement and the close, because I think that the juxtaposition throws great light upon the purpose of the writer, and suggests some very important lessons. The reference to ‘the former treatise’ {which is, of course, the Gospel according to Luke} implies that this Book is to be regarded as its sequel, and the terms of the reference show the writer’s own conception of what he was going to do in his second volume. ‘The former treatise have I made . . . of all that Jesus began both to do and teach until the day in which He was taken up.’ Is not the natural inference that the latter treatise will tell us what Jesus continued ‘to do and teach’ after He was taken up? I think so. And thus the writer sets forth at once, for those that have eyes to see, what he means to do, and what he thinks his book is going to be about.

So, then, the name ‘The Acts of the Apostles,’ which is not coeval with the book itself, is somewhat of a misnomer. Most of the Apostles are never heard of in it. There are, at the most, only three or four of them concerning whom anything in the book is recorded. But our first text supplies a deeper reason for regarding that title as inadequate, and even misleading. For, if the theme of the story be what Christ did, then the book is, not the ‘Acts of the Apostles,’ but the ‘Acts of Jesus Christ’ through His servants. He, and He alone, is the Actor; and the men who appear in it are but instruments in His hands, He alone being the mover of the pawns on the board.

That conception of the purpose of the book seems to me to have light cast upon it by, and to explain, the singular abruptness of its conclusion, which must strike every reader. No doubt it is quite possible that the reason why the book ends in such a singular fashion, planting Paul in Rome, and leaving him there, may be that the date of its composition was that imprisonment of Paul in the Imperial City, in a part of which, at all events, we know that Luke was his companion. But, whilst that consideration may explain the point at which the book stops, it does not explain the way in which it stops. The historian lays down his pen, possibly because he had brought his narrative up to date. But a word of conclusion explaining that it was so would have been very natural, and its absence must have had some reason. It is also possible that the arrival of the Apostle in the Imperial City, and his unhindered liberty of preaching there, in the very centre of power, the focus of intellectual life, and the hot-bed of corruption for the known world, may have seemed to the writer an epoch which rounded off his story. But I think that the reason for the abruptness of the record’s close is to be found in the continuity of the work of which it tells a part. It is the unfinished record of an incomplete work. The theme is the work of Christ through the ages, of which each successive depository of His energies can do but a small portion, and must leave that portion unfinished; the book does not so much end as stop. It is a fragment, because the work of which it tells is not yet a whole.

If, then, we put these two things-the beginning and the ending of the Acts-together, I think we get some thoughts about what Christ began to do and teach on earth; what He continues to do and teach in heaven; and how small and fragmentary a share in that work each individual servant of His has. Let us look at these points briefly.

I. First, then, we have here the suggestion of what Christ began to do and teach on earth.

Now, at first sight, the words of our text seem to be in strange and startling contradiction to the solemn cry which rang out of the darkness upon Calvary. Jesus said, ‘It is finished!’ and ‘gave up the ghost.’ Luke says He ‘began to do and teach.’ Is there any contradiction between the two? Certainly not. It is one thing to lay a foundation; it is another thing to build a house. And the work of laying the foundation must be finished before the work of building the structure upon it can be begun. It is one thing to create a force; it is another thing to apply it. It is one thing to compound a medicine; it is another thing to administer it. It is one thing to unveil a truth; it is another to unfold its successive applications, and to work it into a belief and practice in the world. The former is the work of Christ which was finished on earth; the latter is the work which is continuous throughout the ages.

‘He began to do and teach,’ not in the sense that any should come after Him and do, as the disciples of most great discoverers and thinkers have had to do: namely, systematise, rectify, and complete the first glimpses of truth which the master had given. ‘He began to do and teach,’ not in the sense that after He had ‘passed into the heavens’ any new truth or force can for evermore be imparted to humanity in regard of the subjects which He taught and the energies which He brought. But whilst thus His work is complete, His earthly work is also initial. And we must remember that whatever distinction my text may mean to draw between the work of Christ in the past and that in the present and the future, it does not mean to imply that when He ‘ascended up on high’ He had not completed the task for which He came, or that the world had to wait for anything more, either from Him or from others, to eke out the imperfections of His doctrine or the insufficiencies of His work.

Let us ever remember that the initial work of Christ on earth is complete in so far as the revelation of God to men is concerned. There will be no other. There is needed no other. Nothing more is possible than what He, by His words and by His life, by His gentleness and His grace, by His patience and His Passion, has unveiled to all men, of the heart and character of God. The revelation is complete, and he that professes to add anything to, or to substitute anything for, the finished teaching of Jesus Christ concerning God, and man’s relation to God, and man’s duty, destiny, and hopes, is a false teacher, and to follow him is fatal. All that ever come after Him and say, ‘Here is something that Christ has not told you,’ are thieves and robbers, ‘and the sheep will not hear them.’

In like manner that work of Christ, which in some sense is initial, is complete as Redemption. ‘This Man has offered up one sacrifice for sins for ever.’ And nothing more can He do than He has done; and nothing more can any man or all men do than was accomplished on the Cross of Calvary as giving a revelation, as effecting a redemption, as lodging in the heart of humanity, and in the midst of the stream of human history, a purifying energy, sufficient to cleanse the whole black stream. The past work which culminated on the Cross, and was sealed as adequate and accepted of God in the Resurrection and Ascension, needs no supplement, and can have no continuation, world without end. And so, whatever may be the meaning of that singular phrase, ‘began to do and teach,’ it does not, in the smallest degree, conflict with the assurance that He hath ascended up on high, ‘having obtained eternal redemption for us,’ and ‘having finished the work which the Father gave Him to do.’

II. But then, secondly, we have to notice what Christ continues to do and to teach after His Ascension.

I have already suggested that the phraseology of the first of my texts naturally leads to the conclusion that the theme of this Book of the Acts is the continuous work of the ascended Saviour, and that the language is not forced by being thus interpreted is very plain to any one who will glance even cursorily over the contents of the book itself. For there is nothing in it more obvious and remarkable than the way in which, at every turn in the narrative, all is referred to Jesus Christ Himself.

For instance, to cull one or two cases in order to bring the matter more plainly before you-When the Apostles determined to select another Apostle to fill Judas’ place, they asked Jesus Christ to show which ‘of these two Thou hast chosen.’ When Peter is called upon to explain the tongues at Pentecost he says, ‘Jesus hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear.’ When the writer would tell the reason of the large first increase to the Church, he says, ‘The Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.’ Peter and John go into the Temple to heal the lame man, and their words to him are, ‘Do not think that our power or holiness is any factor in your cure. The Name hath made this man whole.’ It is the Lord that appears to Paul and to Ananias, to the one on the road to Damascus and to the other in the city. It is the Lord to whom Peter refers Aeneas when he says, ‘Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.’ It was the Lord that ‘opened the heart of Lydia.’ It was the Lord that appeared to Paul in Corinth, and said to him, ‘I have much people in this city’; and again, when in the prison at Jerusalem, He assured the Apostle that he would be carried to Rome. And so, at every turn in the narrative, we find that Christ is presented as influencing men’s hearts, operating upon outward events, working miracles, confirming His word, leading His servants, and prescribing for them their paths, and all which they do is done by the hand of the Lord with them confirming the word which they spoke. Jesus Christ is the Actor, and He only is the Actor; men are His implements and instruments.

The same point of view is suggested by another of the characteristics of this book, which it shares in common with all Scripture narratives, and that is the stolid indifference with which it picks up and drops men, according to the degree in which, for the moment, they are the instruments of Christ’s power. Supposing a man had been writing Acts of the Apostles, do you think it would have been possible that of the greater number of them he should not say a word, that concerning those of whom he does speak he should deal with them as this book does, barely mentioning the martyrdom of James, one of the four chief Apostles; allowing Peter to slip out of the narrative after the great meeting of the Church at Jerusalem; letting Philip disappear without a hint of what he did thereafter; lodging Paul in Rome and leaving him there, with no account of his subsequent work or martyrdom? Such phenomena-and they might be largely multiplied-are only explicable upon one hypothesis. As long as electricity streams on the carbon point it glows and is visible, but when the current is turned to another lamp we see no more of the bit of carbon. As long as God uses a man the man is of interest to the writers of the Scriptures. When God uses another one, they drop the first, and have no more care about him, because their theme is not men and their doings, but God’s doings through men.

On us, and in us, and by us, and for us, if we are His servants, Jesus Christ is working all through the ages. He is the Lord of Providence, He is the King of history, in His hand is the book with the seven seals; He sends His Spirit, and where His Spirit is He is; and what His Spirit does He does. And thus He continues to teach and to work from His throne in the heavens.

He continues to teach, not by the communication of new truth. That is finished. The volume of Revelation is complete. The last word of the divine utterances hath been spoken until that final word which shall end Time and crumble the earth. But the application of the completed Revelation, the unfolding of all that is wrapped in germ in it; the growing of the seed into a tree, the realisation more completely by individuals and communities of the principles and truths which Jesus Christ has brought us by His life and His death-that is the work that is going on to-day, and that will go on till the end of the world. For the old Puritan belief is true, though the modern rationalistic mutilations of it are false, ‘God hath more light yet to break forth’-and our modern men stop there. But what the sturdy old Puritan said was, ‘more light yet to break forth from His holy Word.’ Jesus Christ teaches the ages-through the lessons of providence and the communication of His Spirit to His Church-to understand what He gave the world when He was here.

In like manner He works. The foundation is laid, the healing medicine is prepared, the cleansing element is cast into the mass of humanity; what remains is the application and appropriation, and incorporation in conduct, of the redeeming powers that Jesus Christ has brought. And that work is going on, and will go on, till the end.

Now these truths of our Lord’s continuous activity in teaching and working from heaven may yield us some not unimportant lessons. What a depth and warmth and reality the thoughts give to the Christian’s relation to Jesus Christ! We have to look back to that Cross as the foundation of all our hope. Yes! But we have to think, not only of a Christ who did something for us long ago in the past, and there an end, but of a Christ who to-day lives and reigns, ‘to do and to teach’ according to our necessities. What a sweetness and sacredness such thoughts impart to all external events, which we may regard as being the operation of His love, and as moved by the hands that were nailed to the Cross for us, and now hold the sceptre of the universe for the blessing of mankind! What a fountain of hope they open in estimating future probabilities of victory for truth and goodness! The forces of good and evil in the world seem very disproportionate, but we forget too often to take Christ into account. It is not we that have to fight against evil; at the best we are but the sword which Christ wields, and all the power is in the hand that wields it. Great men die, good men die; Jesus Christ is not dead. Paul was martyred: Jesus lives; He is the anchor of our hope. We see miseries and mysteries enough, God knows. The prospects of all good causes seem often clouded and dark. The world has an awful power of putting drags upon all chariots that bear blessings, and of turning to evil every good. You cannot diffuse education, but you diffuse the taste for rubbish and something worse, in the shape of books. No good thing but has its shadow of evil attendant upon it. And if we had only to estimate by visible or human forces, we might well sit down and wrap ourselves in the sackcloth of pessimism. ‘We see not yet all things put under Him’; but ‘we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour,’ and the vision that cheered the first martyr-of Christ ‘standing at the right hand of God’-is the rebuke of every fear and every gloomy anticipation for ourselves or for the world.

What a lesson of lowliness and of diligence it gives us! The jangling church at Corinth fought about whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas was the man to lead the Church, and the experience has been repeated over and over again. ‘Who is Paul? Who is Apollos? but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man. Be not puffed up one against another. Be not wise in your own conceits.’ You are only a tool, only a pawn in the hand of the Great Player. If you have anything, it is because you get it from Him. See that you use it, and do not boast about it. Jesus Christ is the Worker, the only Worker; the Teacher, the only Teacher. All our wisdom is derived, all our light is enkindled. We are but the reeds through which His breath makes music. And ‘shall the axe boast itself,’ either ‘against’ or apart from ‘Him that heweth therewith’?

III. Lastly, we note the incompleteness of each man’s share in the great work.

As I said, the book which is to tell the story of Christ’s continuous unfinished work must stop abruptly. There is no help for it. If it was a history of Paul it would need to be wound up to an end and a selvage put to it, but as it is the history of Christ’s working, the web is not half finished, and the shuttle stops in the middle of a cast. The book must be incomplete, because the work of which it is the record does not end until ‘He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to the Father, and God shall be all in all.’

So the work of each man is but a fragment of that great work. Every man inherits unfinished tasks from his predecessors, and leaves unfinished tasks to his successors. It is, as it used to be in the Middle Ages, when the hands that dug the foundations, or laid the first courses, of some great cathedral, were dead long generations before the gilded cross was set on the apex of the needlespire, and the glowing glass filled in to the painted windows. Enough for us, if we lay a stone, though it be but one stone in one of the courses of the great building.

Luke has left plenty of blank paper at the end of his second ‘treatise,’ on which he meant that succeeding generations should write their partial contributions to the completed work. Dear friends, let us see that we write our little line, as monks in their monasteries used to keep the chronicle of the house, on which scribe after scribe toiled at its illuminated letters with loving patience for a little while, and then handed the pen from his dying hand to another. What does it matter though we drop, having done but a fragment? He gathers up the fragments into His completed work, and the imperfect services which He enabled any of us to do will all be represented in the perfect circle of His finished work. The Lord help us to be faithful to the power that works in us, and to leave Him to incorporate our fragments in His mighty whole!Acts 1:1-3. The former treatise have I made, &c. — The treatise here referred to is undoubtedly the gospel, which was written by Luke, and dedicated by him to Theophilus. See note on Luke 1:1-2. That treatise ends, and this begins, in that important season, which reached from the resurrection of Christ to his ascension; this describing the acts of the Holy Ghost, (by the apostles,) as that does the acts of Jesus Christ; of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach — That is, of all things, in a summary manner, or of the most considerable things which Jesus did and taught from the beginning of his ministry. The reader will readily allow, that all, in this verse, cannot mean every single one of the miracles and sermons which Jesus wrought and preached. For to suppose Luke asserted that, would be to make him contradict the testimony of John. See his gospel, John 20:30-31; John 21:25. By all, here, we must understand, only all that was necessary or expedient to be related, in order to establish the divine mission of Christ, to convince mankind thereof, and to awaken their minds to a deep sense of the importance of it, in order to their salvation, that it might be duly improved, and so answer its intended end upon them. Until the day in which he was taken up — This implies, that Luke considered himself as having given, in his former treatise, an account of the manner in which Christ had opened the gospel, and confirmed it, from his first appearance on earth, to the last period of his abode upon it; including also an account both of his life and doctrine; after that he through the Holy Ghost — With which, as man, he was endowed without measure, to qualify him for the important offices he had to sustain, and the work he had to perform, in order to the redemption and salvation of mankind; had given commandments to — Greek, εντειλαμενος, had solemnly charged; the apostles whom he had chosen — To be the prime ministers of his kingdom, and the chief instruments of extending it in the world. To whom also — In order to fit them more completely for the discharge of their important office, and to enable them to bear witness to his resurrection from their own certain knowledge of its being a fact; he showed himself alive, after his passion, by many infallible proofs — Proofs that amounted to a demonstration, and could not possibly deceive them; for, “by speaking to, by walking, and by eating with them, he gave them a certain indication that he lived; his being seen and handled by them was a sure evidence that he had a true and natural body; and his permitting Thomas to view the scars of his feet and hands, and put his hand into his side, was a certain token that the body, which was raised, was the same that was crucified and pierced by the soldier’s lance.” Being seen of them forty days — That is, many times during that space. He continued on earth forty days after he rose, and in the several interviews which he had with his disciples during that period, he gave them convincing proofs of his resurrection; and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God — Discoursing to them from time to time concerning that divine kingdom, or dispensation of religion, which he was going to erect in the world by their ministry. He discoursed to them, doubtless, “of teaching the doctrine of this kingdom to all nations, and receiving them into it by baptism who believed and professed to own it; of the benefits which were promised to them who cordially believed their doctrine; and the condemnation which belonged to them who would not believe it; of the encouragements and assistances he would afford them in the propagation of it by his continual presence with them, and the assistance of his Spirit; and by the miracles by which their doctrine should be confirmed by them and others who believed it.” — Whitby.1:1-5 Our Lord told the disciples the work they were to do. The apostles met together at Jerusalem; Christ having ordered them not to depart thence, but to wait for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. This would be a baptism by the Holy Ghost, giving them power to work miracles, and enlightening and sanctifying their souls. This confirms the Divine promise, and encourages us to depend upon it, that we have heard it from Christ; for in Him all the promises of God are yea and amen.The former treatise - The former book. The Gospel of Luke is here evidently intended. Greek: the former λόγος logos, meaning "a discourse," or "a narrative."

O Theophilus - See the notes on Luke 1:3. Since this book was written to the same individual as the former, it was evidently written with the same design to furnish an authentic and full narrative of events concerning which there would be many imperfect and exaggerated accounts. See Luke 1:1-4. Since these events pertained to the descent of the Spirit, to the spread of the gospel, to the organization of the church, to the kind of preaching by which the church was to be collected and organized, and as the facts in the case constituted a full proof of the truth of the Christian religion, and the conduct of the apostles would be a model for ministers and the church in all future times, it was of great importance that a fair and full narrative of these things should be preserved. Luke was the companion of Paul in his travels, and was an eye-witness of no small part of the transactions recorded in this book. See Acts 16:10, Acts 16:17; Acts 20:1-6; Acts 27; Acts 28. As an eye-witness, he was well qualified to make a record of the leading events of the primitive church. And as he was the companion of Paul, he had every opportunity of obtaining information about the great events of the gospel of Christ.

Of all - That is, of the principal, or most important parts of the life and doctrines of Christ. It cannot mean that he recorded all that Jesus did, as he had omitted many things that have been preserved by the other evangelists. The word "all" is frequently thus used to denote the most important or material facts. See Acts 13:10; 1 Timothy 1:16; James 1:2; Matthew 2:3; Matthew 3:5; Acts 2:5; Romans 11:26; Colossians 1:6. In each of these places the word here translated "all" occurs in the original, and means "many, a large part, the principal portion." It has the same use in all languages. "This word often signifies, indefinitely, a large portion or number, or a great part" (Webster).

That Jesus - The Syriac Version adds, "Jesus our Messiah." This version was probably made in the second century.

Began to do ... - This is a Hebrew form of expression; meaning the same thing as that Jesus did and taught. See Genesis 9:20, "Noah began to be a farmer," that is, was a farmer. Genesis 2:3, in the Septuagint: "Which God began to create and make"; in the Hebrew, "which God created and made." Mark 4:7, "began to send them forth by two and two," that is, sent them forth. See also Mark 10:32; Mark 14:65, "And some began to spit on him"; in the parallel place in Matthew 26:67, "they did spit in his face."

To do - This refers to his miracles and his acts of benevolence, including all that he did for man's salvation. It probably includes, therefore, his sufferings, death, and resurrection, as a part of what he has done to save people.

To teach - His doctrines. As the writer had given an account of what the Lord Jesus did, so he was now about to give a narrative of what his apostles did in the same cause, that thus the world might be in possession of an inspired record respecting the establishment of the Christian church. The record of these events preserved in the sacred narrative is one of the greatest blessings that God has conferred on mankind; and one of the highest privileges which people can enjoy is that which has been conferred so abundantly on this age in the possession of the Word of God.

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES Commentary by David Brown


This book is to the Gospels what the fruit is to the tree that bears it. In the Gospels we see the corn of wheat falling into the ground and dying: in the Acts we see it bringing forth much fruit (Joh 12:24). There we see Christ purchasing the Church with His own blood: here we see the Church, so purchased, rising into actual existence; first among the Jews of Palestine, and next among the surrounding Gentiles, until it gains a footing in the great capital of the ancient world—sweeping majestically from Jerusalem to Rome. Nor is this book of less value as an Introduction to the Epistles which follow it, than as a Sequel to the Gospels which precede it. For without this history the Epistles of the New Testament—presupposing, as they do, the historical circumstances of the parties addressed, and deriving from these so much of their freshness, point, and force—would in no respect be what they now are, and would in a number of places be scarcely intelligible.

The genuineness, authenticity, and canonical authority of this book were never called in question within the ancient Church. It stands immediately after the Gospels, in the catalogues of the Homologoumena, or universally acknowledged books of the New Testament (see Introduction to our larger Commentary, Vol. V, pp. iv, v). It was rejected, indeed, by certain heretical sects in the second and third centuries—by the Ebionites, the Severians (see Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 4.29), the Marcionites, and the Manicheans: but the totally uncritical character of their objections (see Introduction above referred to, pp. xiii, xiv) not only deprives them of all weight, but indirectly shows on what solid grounds the Christian Church had all along proceeded in recognizing this book.

In our day, however, its authenticity has, like that of all the leading books of the New Testament, been made the subject of keen and protracted controversy. De Wette, while admitting Luke to be the author of the entire work, pronounces the earlier portion of it to have been drawn up from unreliable sources (New-Testament Introduction, 2a, 2C). But the Tubingen school, with Baur at their head, have gone much farther. As their fantastic theory of the post-Joannean date of the Gospels could not pretend even to a hearing so long as the authenticity of the Acts of the Apostles remained unshaken, they contend that the earlier portion of this work can be shown to be unworthy of credit, while the latter portion is in flat contradiction to the Epistle to the Galatians—which this school regard as unassailable—and bears internal evidence of being a designed distortion of facts for the purpose of setting up the catholic form which Paul gave to Christianity in opposition to the narrow Judaic but original form of it which Peter preached, and which after the death of the apostles was held exclusively by the sect of the Ebionites. It is painful to think that anyone should have spent so many years, and, aided by learned and acute disciples in different parts of the argument, should have expended so much learning, research, and ingenuity in attempting to build up a hypothesis regarding the origination of the leading books of the New Testament which outrages all the principles of sober criticism and legitimate evidence. As a school, this party at length broke up: its head, after living to find himself the sole defender of the theory as a whole, left this earthly scene complaining of desertion. While some of his associates have abandoned such heartless studies altogether for the more congenial pursuits of philosophy, others have modified their attacks on the historical truth of the New Testament records, retreating into positions into which it is not worth while to follow them, while others still have been gradually approximating to sound principles. The one compensation for all this mischief is the rich additions to the apologetical and critical literature of the books of the New Testament, and the earliest history of the Christian Church, which it has drawn from the pens of Thiersch, Ebrard, and many others. Any allusions which it may be necessary for us to make to the assertions of this school will be made in connection with the passages to which they relate—in Acts, First Corinthians, and Galatians.

The manifest connection between this book and the third Gospel—of which it professes to be simply the continuation by the same author—and the striking similarity which marks the style of both productions, leave no room to doubt that the early Church was right in ascribing it with one consent to Luke. The difficulty which some fastidious critics have made about the sources of the earlier portion of the history has no solid ground. That the historian himself was an eye-witness of the earliest scenes—as Hug concludes from the circumstantiality of the narrative—is altogether improbable: but there were hundreds of eye-witnesses of some of the scenes, and enough of all the rest, to give to the historian, partly by oral, partly by written testimony, all the details which he has embodied so graphically in his history; and it will appear, we trust, from the commentary, that De Wette's complaints of confusion, contradiction, and error in this portion are without foundation. The same critic, and one or two others, would ascribe to Timothy those later portions of the book in which the historian speaks in the first person plural—"we"; supposing him to have taken notes of all that passed under his own eye, which Luke embodied in his history just as they stood. It is impossible here to refute this gratuitous hypothesis in detail; but the reader will find it done by Ebrard (The Gospel History, sect. 110, Clark's translation; sect. 127 of the original work, Wissenschaftliche Kritik der Evangelische Geschichte, 1850), and by Davidson (Introduction to New Testament, Vol. II, pp. 9-21).

The undesigned coincidences between this History and the Apostolic Epistles have been brought out and handled, as an argument for the truth of the facts thus attested, with unrivalled felicity by Paley in his Horæ Paulinæ, to which Mr. Birks has made a number of ingenious additions in his Horæ Apostolicæ. Exception has been taken to some of these by Jowett (St. Paul's Epistles, Vol. I, pp. 108 ff.), not without a measure of reason in certain cases—for our day, at least—though even he admits that in this line of evidence the work of Paley, taken as a whole, is unassailable.

Much has been written about the object of this history. Certainly "the Acts of the Apostles" are but very partially recorded. But for this title the historian is not responsible. Between the two extremes—of supposing that the work has no plan at all, and that it is constructed on an elaborate and complex plan, we shall probably be as near the truth as is necessary if we take the design to be to record the diffusion of Christianity and the rise of the Christian Church, first among the Jews of Palestine, the seat of the ancient Faith, and next among the surrounding Gentiles, with Antioch for its headquarters, until, finally, it is seen waving over imperial Rome, foretokening its universal triumph. In this view of it, there is no difficulty in accounting for the almost exclusive place which it gives to the labors of Peter in the first instance, and the all but entire disappearance from the history both of him and of the rest of the Twelve after the great apostle of the Gentiles came upon the stage—like the lesser lights on the rise of the great luminary.


Ac 1:1-11. Introduction—Last Days of Our Lord upon Earth—His Ascension.

1, 2. former treatise—Luke's Gospel.

Theophilus—(See on [1929]Lu 1:3).

began to do and teach—a very important statement, dividing the work of Christ into two great branches: the one embracing His work on earth, the other His subsequent work from heaven; the one in His own Person, the other by His Spirit; the one the "beginning," the other the continuance of the same work; the one complete when He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, the other to continue till His second appearing; the one recorded in "The Gospels," the beginnings only of the other related in this book of "The Acts." "Hence the grand history of what Jesus did and taught does not conclude with His departure to the Father; but Luke now begins it in a higher strain; for all the subsequent labors of the apostles are just an exhibition of the ministry of the glorified Redeemer Himself because they were acting under His authority, and He was the principle that operated in them all" [Olshausen].Act 21:1-9 Christ, after his resurrection, having given

instructions to his apostles, and commanded them to

wait in Jerusalem the coming of the Holy Ghost,

ascendeth into heaven in their sight.

Act 21:10,11 Two angels warn them to depart, and to look for his

second coming.

Act 21:12-14 They return, and give themselves unto prayer.

Act 21:15-26 Peter exhorting to fill up the place of the traitor

Judas, Matthias is chosen by lot to be an apostle.

The former treatise have I made; this refers unto the Gospel wrote by this evangelist, St. Luke, who was undoubtedly the penman of this book, which bears testimony unto and confirms (if need were) that other.

Theophilus; esteemed the same name with Jedidiah, signifying beloved of God, or one that loved God. Who he was is not certain; some have taken the name appellatively. It is evident by the epithet given unto him, Luk 1:3, that he was one of great authority, having the same title which Tertullus gives unto Festus, Act 24:3, and the chief captain unto Felix, Act 23:26. Although not many noble are called, 1Co 1:26, yet God extends his grace unto some of all conditions.

Of all that Jesus began both to do and teach; this is the sum of the Gospel, viz. a history of the life, doctrine, and death of our blessed Saviour; although every particular word or deed of our Saviour's could not be expressed, Joh 21:25, yet the evangelist was faithful in withholding nothing which was necessary for the church to know, and leaving no room for unwritten traditions.

The former treatise have I made,.... Meaning the Gospel written by him the Evangelist Luke, for from that he makes a transition to this, beginning here where he there left off; namely, at the ascension of Christ; see Luke 24:51.

O Theophilus; See Gill on Luke 1:3.

of all that Jesus began both to do and teach. This is a summary of his former treatise, his Gospel, which gave an account of what Christ began to do, and did; not of the common and private actions of his life; or of what was done, either in public, or private, throughout the whole of his life; for excepting that of his disputing with the doctors at twelve years of age, no account is given by him of what he did, till he was about thirty years of age; but of his extraordinary actions, of the miracles he wrought; and these not all, and everyone of them; but many of them, and which were sufficient to prove him the Messiah; and particularly of all things he did relating to the salvation of his people; of the whole of his obedience; of his compliance with the ceremonial law; of his submission to baptism; of his holy life and conversation, and entire conformity to the law; of his sufferings and death, how that thereby he made full atonement for sin, brought in an everlasting righteousness, and obtained eternal redemption for his people: and not only Luke, in his Gospel, gave an account of these his actions, but also of many of his excellent discourses, his parables, and his sermons, whether delivered to the people in common, or to his own disciples: and now, as this was the subject of his former book, he intended in this latter to treat, as he does, of what the apostles of Christ began to do and teach.

The {1} former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to {a} do and teach,

(1) Luke switches over from the history of the Gospel, that is from the history of the sayings and doings of Christ, unto the Acts of the Apostles.

(a) The acts of Jesus are the miracles and deeds which showed his Godhead, and his most perfect holiness, and examples of his doctrine.

Acts 1:1. Τὸν μὲν πρῶτον λόγον ἐποιησ.] Luke calls his Gospel the first history, inasmuch as he is now about to compose a second. πρῶτος, in the sense of πρότερος. See on John 1:15. λόγος, narrative, history, or the like, what is contained in a book. So in Xen. Ages. 10. 3, Anab. iii. 1. 1, and frequently. See also Schweigh. Lex. Herod. II. p. 76; Creuzer Symbol. I. p. 44 ff. As to ποιεῖν used of mental products, comp. Plat. Phaed. p. 61 B: ποιεῖν μύθονς, ἀλλʼ οὐ λόγους. Hence λογοποιός = ἱστορικός. Pearson, ad Moer. p. 244. μέν, without a subsequent δέ. Luke has broken off the construction. Instead of continuing after Acts 1:2 somewhat as follows: “but this δεύτερος λόγος is to contain the further course of events after the Ascension,”—which thought he had before his mind in the μέν, Acts 1:1,—he allows himself to be led by the mention of the apostles in the protasis to suppress the apodosis, and to pass on at once to the commencement of the history itself. Comp. Winer, p. 535 [E. T. 720]; Buttm. neut. Gr. p. 313 [E. T. 365]; Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 2.1; Baeuml. Partik. p. 163 f.

περὶ πάντων] a popular expression of completeness, and therefore not to be pressed.

ὧν ἤρξατο κ.τ.λ.] ὧν is attracted, equivalent to ; and, setting aside the erroneous assertion that ἤρξατο ποιεῖν is equivalent to ἐποίησε (Grotius, Calovius, Valckenaer, Kuinoel), it is usually explained: “what Jesus began to do and to teach (and continued) until the day,” etc., as if Luke had written: ὧν ἀρξάμενος Ἰησοῦς ἐποίησε κ. ἐδίδαξεν ἄχρι κ.τ.λ. Comp. Acts 11:4; Plat. Legg. vii. p. 807 D; Xen. Anab. vi. 4. 1; Lucian, Somm. 15; also Luke 23:5; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:22; Acts 8:35; Acts 10:37. So also Winer, p. 577 [E. T. 775]; Buttm. p. 320 [E. T. 374]; Lekebusch, p. 202 f.[96] But Luke has not so written, and it is arbitrary thus to explain his words. Baumgarten, after Olshausen and Schneckenburger, has maintained that ἤρξατο denotes the whole work of Jesus up to His ascension as initial and preparatory, so that this second book is conceived as the continuation of that doing and teaching which was only begun by Jesus up to His ascension; as if Luke had written ἤρξατο ποιῶν τε καὶ διδάσκων (as Xen. Cyr. viii. 8 2 : ἄρξομαι διδάσκων, I shall begin my teaching, Plat. Theaet. p. 187 A, Menex. p. 237 A; comp. Krüger, § 56. 5, A. 1). In point of fact, ἤρξατο is inserted according to the very frequent custom of the Synoptists, by which that which is done or said is in a vivid and graphic manner denoted according to its moment of commencement. It thus here serves to recall to the recollection from the Gospel all the several incidents and events up to the ascension, in which Jesus had appeared as doer and teacher. The reader is supposed mentally to realize from the Gospel all the scenes in which he has seen Jesus come forward as acting and teaching,—a beginning of the Lord, which occurred in the most various instances and varied ways up to the day of His ascent. The emphasis, moreover, lies on ποιεῖν τε καὶ διδάσκειν, which comprehends the contents of the Gospel (comp. Papias in Eus. 3:39). It may, consequently, be paraphrased somewhat thus: “The first narrative I have composed of all that, by which Jesus exhibited His activity in doing and teaching during His earthly life up to His ascension.” ποιεῖν precedes, comp. Luke 24:19, because it was primarily the ἜΡΓΑ of Jesus that demonstrated His Messiahship, John 10:38; Acts 10:38.

[96] So also in substance Hackett, Commentary on the Original Text of the Acts of the Apostles, Boston, 1858, ed. 2.Acts 1:1. τὸν μὲν πρῶτον λόγον, a reference beyond all reasonable doubt to St. Luke’s Gospel. Not merely the dedication of both writings to Theophilus, but their unity of language and style is regarded by critics of all schools as convincing proof of the identity of authorship of Acts and the third Gospel; see Introd. and Zöckler, Greifswalder Studien, p. 128 (1895). In the expression πρῶτος λόγος Ramsay finds an intimation from St. Luke’s own hand that he contemplated a third book at least, otherwise we should have had πρότερος λόγος, St. Paul the Traveller, pp. 23, 27, 28; see to the same effect Zahn, Einleitung in das N. T., ii., 371 (1899), Rendall, Acts of the Apostles, in loco, and cf. comment. on Acts 28:31. So, too, primus is used in Latin not simply as former but as first in a series, Cicero, De Invent., ii., 3. On the other hand, Blass, Grammatik des N.G., p. 34, Acta Apost., p. 16, and more recently Philology of the Gospels, p. 38, maintains that πρῶτος simply = πρότερος (so also Holtzmann and Felten). But Ramsay, whilst pointing out instances in which St. Luke apparently uses πρῶτος differently from this, p. 28 (cf. also Zahn, u. s., p. 389), admits that we cannot attain to any absolute certainty in the passage before us, since no instance occurs of the use of πρότερος by St. Luke.—λόγον: frequently used by classical writers in the sense of a narrative or history contained in a book; see instances in Wetstein. The passage in Plato, Phædo, p. 61, ., is valuable not only for the marked contrast between λόγος and μῦθος, ποιεῖν μύθους ἀλλʼ οὐ λόγους, but also for the use of ποιεῖν (Wendt). Amongst other instances of the phrase ποιεῖν λόγον cf. Galen, De Usu Part., ii., περὶ πρώτων τῶν δακτύλων ἐποιησάμην τὸν λόγον. St. Chrysostom sees in the phrase a proof of the unassuming character of the author: St. Luke does not say “The former Gospel which I preached”. For the anomalous μέν, “solitarium,” without the following δέ, frequent in Luke, see Blass, Grammatik des N. G., p. 261, cf. Luke 8:5, Acts 3:21; Acts 28:22, etc., and several times in St. Paul. μέν occurs thus six times in the Acts without οὖν—on μὲν οὖν see Acts 1:6.—ὦ Θεόφιλε: the interjection used here simply in address, as common in Attic Greek, cf. Acts 18:14, Acts 27:21, 1 Timothy 6:11; without the epithet κράτιστε, as in Luke 1:3, and without , Θεόφ. alone would have seemed too bold, Winer-Schmiedel, p. 258. It has been suggested that the omission of the epithet κράτιστε, Luke 1:3, denotes that St. Luke’s friendship had become less ceremonious, just as a similar change has been noted in the dedication of Shakespeare’s two poems to the Earl of Southampton; cf. also Zahn, Einleitung, ii. 360. The way in which the epithet κράτιστε is employed elsewhere in the book in addressing Roman officials, Acts 23:26, Acts 24:3, Acts 26:25, has been thought to indicate that Theophilus held some high official post, or that he was at least of equestrian rank (Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, pp. 388, 389, and his inferences as to the date of Acts). Ramsay is of opinion that the name was given at baptism, and that it was used or known only among Christians, and he infers that this baptismal name is used in Acts because the book was probably written at a time when it was dangerous for a Roman of rank to be recognised as a Christian. But Theophilus was by no means uncommon as a Jewish name; cf. B. D.2, i., p. 25, and also article “Theophilus,” B. D.1 (see also Deissmann, Bibelstudien, p. 19). The epithet κράτιστος was peculiarly appropriated to Romans holding high office, and actually became during the second century a technical title to denote equestrian rank; and from its use here Zahn maintains not only that Theophilus was a man of some social position, but that he was, when Luke wrote his gospel, not a nember of the Christian Church, since there is no instance in the first two centuries of a Christian addressing his fellow-Christians in a title corresponding as it were to “your Excellency” (Einleitung in das N. T., ii., 360, 383). The instance of the address of the Epist. ad Diognetum, κράτιστε Διόγνητε, is alleged by Blass as an instance that the epithet is not always used in the technical sense mentioned; but to this Ramsay replies that if Diognetus was the friend and teacher of Marcus Aurelius, the emperor might well raise his teacher to equestrian rank; Septimius Severus raised his sons’ tutor to the high dignity of the consulship. Ramsay discusses κράτιστος at length in Was Christ born at Bethlehem? (1898), pp. 65, 71, 72, as against Blass, Philology of the Gospels, p. 19. Blass fully recognises that Theophilus held a high position, and that the title in question would naturally occur in a book dedicated to a patron; but it must be borne in mind that Blass regards Theophilus as of Greek extraction, possibly a fellow-citizen with Luke of Antioch, whilst Ramsay sees in him a citizen of Rome and a resident in the imperial city. Theophylact asks why Luke should have cared to write to one man only and to value him so highly, and makes answer that it was because the Evangelist was a guardian of the words spoken by the Lord: “It is not the will of my Father that one of these little ones should perish”. There seems no great reason to doubt that Theophilus was a real personage, and the epithet κράτιστε, at all events in its technical significance, is hardly consistent with any other supposition (see Sanday, Inspiration, p. 319, note). The recent attempt to identify Theophilus with Seneca, referred to by Zöckler, Apostelgeschichte, p. 163, must be dismissed as equally groundless and fanciful as the former conjecture that he was no other than Philo.—περὶ πάντων ὧν: the use of πᾶς (mostly after a prep., as here) followed by an attracted relative may be classed amongst the mannerisms of St. Luke (Simcox, Writers of the N. T., p. 24, where other instances are given); see also Friedrich, Das Lucasevangelium, pp. 1, 2.—ὧν: in St. Luke’s Gospel and in the Acts the frequency of the attraction of the relative again specially characterises him amongst the N.T. writers, Friedrich, u. s., pp. 36 and 100.—ἤρξατο: often regarded as simply pleonastic, but sometimes as emphatic, to intimate that the work which Jesus began on earth He continued in heaven, or that He began the work of the Gospel and committed its continuance to His followers; Zahn, u. s., p. 366 ff. In Winer’s view to regard ἄρχεσθαι as pleonastic is a mere subterfuge to avoid a difficulty, and he renders the passage “what Jesus began both to do and to teach, and continued to do until,” etc. (see also Grimm-Thayer, sub v.), treating it as an example of breviloquence (Winer-Moulton, lxvi., 1). On the whole it is perhaps best to consider the phrase ἤρξ. ποιεῖν with Bengel (in loco) as equivalent to fecit ab initio, although no doubt there is a sense in which, with every Christian for nineteen centuries, St. Luke would regard the whole earthly life of Jesus as a beginning, a prelude to the glory and mighty working to be revealed and perfected in the ascended Lord. The verb is of frequent use in St. Luke’s writings (Friedrich, Zeller, Lekebusch), although in St. Mark’s Gospel it is also constantly found. In the LXX it is often found like חָלַל hi., and also in Apocr. ποιεῖν τε καὶ διδάσκειν, “Scilicet prius fecit, deinde docuit; prius docuit exemplo, deinde verbo. Unde prius non docuit, quod prius ipse non fecit” (Corn. à Lap.).1. The former treatise] In the original we have the superlative adjective used, but the idiom which speaks of the first of two is common to Greek with many other languages. An example is found 1 Corinthians 14:30. So Cicero, de Inventione, in his second book (chap, iii.) calls the former book primus liber.

treatise] The original (λόγος) indicates rather an inartistic narrative than a history. It is a book more like a piece of Herodotus than Thucydides.

have I made] Better, I made. The time is indefinite, and we have no warrant in the text for that closer union of the two books, in point of date, which is made by the language of the A. V.

Theophilus] Nothing is known of the person to whom St Luke addresses both his Gospel and the Acts, but the adjective “most excellent” applied to him in Luke 1:3 is the same which is used in addressing Felix in a letter and in a speech (Acts 23:26; Acts 24:3), and Festus (Acts 26:25) in a speech; from which we are perhaps warranted in concluding that Theophilus was a person of rank, and it may be a Roman officer. Josephus uses the same word in addressing Epaphroditus, to whom he dedicates the account of his life (Vit. Josephi, ad fin.). The suggestion that Theophilus (= lover of God) is a name adopted by the writer to indicate any believer, is improbable. Such personification is unlike the rest of Scripture, and is not supported by evidence.

began] for the Gospel is not a history of all that Jesus did, but only an account of the foundations which He laid and on which the Church should afterwards be built So this book is still an account of what the Lord does and teaches from heaven.

to do and teach] As in the Gospel (Luke 24:19) the disciples call Jesus “a prophet mighty in deed and in word.” The acts and life spake first, and then the tongue.

Acts 1:1-14. Link connecting this book with St Luke’s Gospel. Detailed account of the Ascension

The Title. According to the best MSS. this should be simply “Acts of Apostles.” The Cod. Sin. gives only “Acts.” The former of these titles, while having most authority, also most fitly describes the character of the composition. The book is not The Acts of the Apostles, but merely some Acts of certain Apostles which are related by the author, intermixed with the acts of others among the Christian community, where such additions were needful to make the story clear. The writer tells us in the introduction how Christ, when ascending in glory, declared what should be the course which His doctrine should take in its extension, “Ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judæa and Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). To describe the fulfilment of this departing prophecy is that on which the whole book is engaged. It is natural, therefore, to find that the two chief actors are the energetic Peter, and, after his conversion, the enthusiastic Apostle of the Gentiles. But even they are only used as representative characters. The writer does not aim at giving us full details of the work of either of these Apostles. We see most of Peter and John while the preaching is confined to Jerusalem, but the narrative leaves them to recount some acts of Philip, because he was the pioneer of the Gospel in Samaria. Peter is again brought before us engaged in preaching in Judæa and Samaria and confirming the work which Philip and his companions had begun; and because the conversion of Cornelius was the beginning of the proclamation of Christ’s message beyond the Jewish race, we have a full account of St Peter’s mission to this first Gentile convert and of the debate which arose among the Jews in consequence. But when Peter has been present at the council of Jerusalem, at which was finally settled the relation between the Jews and Gentiles who became Christians, we lose sight of him, and the further spread of the Gospel is summarized in a description of some of the labours of St Paul; and when he has reached the capital of the west, to shew us that the writer contemplated no biography of St Paul, the history comes to what some have thought an abrupt close. But the writer’s task was done when he had told how the great Apostle brought Christ’s message to the capital of the Gentile world. See Introduction.Acts 1:1. Μὲν, indeed) The Apodosis to the μὲν, viz., as to this second book (treatise), is exhibited by the fact itself, which absorbs the particle δὲ, but [which should follow the μέν].—λόγον, treatise) λόγος, the Latin liber, usually has such a length, as that the eager reader can finish it at one reading. It is therefore of use, at times, to read through at one time one whole book; for instance, the Gospel according to Luke. The authority of either of the two treatises of Luke redounds to the other. The greatest (farthest) limit hitherto, in the economy of Christ, is this time from the resurrection as far as to the Ascension: with it the first book of Luke terminates, and the second begins, which describes, not so much the Acts of the Apostles, as the Acts of the Holy Spirit; even as the former treatise contains the Acts of Jesus Christ.—περὶ πάντων, concerning all things) namely, narrated in a summary manner. John 21:25.—ἤρξατο ποιεῖνἄχρι) began to do—until; that is, did from the beginning: comp. the use of ἀρξάμενος, beginning, in Acts 1:22. Luke has interwoven, in due order throughout the beginnings and endings; i.e. he has introduced all things with due consideration.—ποιεῖν, to do) by His miracles and holy actions.—διδάσκειν, to teach) by His discourses.Verse 1. - I made for have I made, A.V.; concerning for of, A.V.; to teach for teach, A.V. The former treatise; literally, the first history, narrative, or discourse. The form of the Greek, τὸν μὲν τρῶτον, shows that the writer had in his mind at the time to contrast the second history, which he was just beginning, and that naturally τὸν δὲ δεύτερον or τοῦτον δὲ τὸν λόγον, ought both grammatically and logically, to have followed. But the mention of "the apostles whom he had chosen" drew him, as it were, into the stem of his history before he was able to describe it. O Theophilus. The omission of the title "most excellent," given to Theophilus in the Gospel (Luke 1:3), is one among other indications that the publication of the Acts followed very closely upon that of the Gospel. Began both to do and to teach Some take the phrase as equivalent to did and taught; others supply the sense and continued until the day, etc.; or, which is the same thing, supply the terminus a quo, making the whole sense equivalent to "all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day," etc.; others again, as Bishop Wordsworth, gather St. Luke's meaning to be that in the Acts he is about to narrate the continuance by our Lord in heaven of the work which he only began on earth. Meyer thinks that, by the insertion of the word "began," the thing said or done "is in a vivid and graphic manner denoted according to its moment of commencement;" so that our Lord is represented as at one time actively beginning to heal, then to teach, then to walk on the sea, and so on. But the words "began" and "until the day" certainly suggest the beginning and the ending of our Lord's ministry, or rather the whole ministry from its beginning to its end, so that the meaning would be "of all that Jesus did and taught from first to last." To do and to teach. So the disciples on the way to Emmaus speak of Jesus as "a Prophet mighty in deed and word" (Luke 24:19). Compare the stress laid upon the works of Christ in Acts 10:38, 39. The former (τὸν πρῶτον)

Lit., the first. Luke refers to his Gospel.

Treatise (λόγον)

Or narrative.

Began (ἤρξατο)

This is interpreted in two ways. Either, (1), as a simple historical statement equivalent to "all that Jesus did and taught." In favor of this is the fact that the synoptists often record that which is done or said according to its moment of commencement, thus giving vividness to the account. See Matthew 11:20; Matthew 26:22, Matthew 26:37; Mark 6:7; Mark 14:19; Luke 7:38, etc. According to this explanation the word serves "to recall to the recollection from the Gospel all the several incidents and events, up to the ascension, in which Jesus had appeared as doer and teacher" (Meyer). Or, (2), as indicating that the Gospel contains the beginning, and the Acts of the Apostles the continuation, of the doings and teachings of Jesus. "The earthly life of Jesus, concluded with the ascension, has its fruit and continued efficacy; and his heavenly life, commencing with the ascension, has its manifestation and proof in the acts and experiences of the apostles and first churches. The history of the Church was under the immediate control of the exalted Redeemer, and may justly be considered as the continuation in heaven of the work which he had begun on earth" (Baumgarten and Gloag). While the truth and importance of this statement are admitted, it is objected that such an intention on Luke's part would have been more clearly intimated, and not left to be inferred from a single doubtful phrase. As regards Luke's intention, I think the first explanation is more likely to be correct. The second, however, states a truth, the value and importance of which cannot be overestimated, and which should be kept in mind constantly in the study of the book of Acts. This is well put by Bernard ("Progress of Doctrine in the New Testament," Lect. IV.): "Thus the history which follows is linked to, or (may I not rather say) welded with the past; and the founding of the Church in the earth is presented as one continuous work, begun by the Lord in person, and perfected by the same Lord through the ministry of men.... 'The former treatise' delivered to us, not all that Jesus did and taught, but 'all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day when he was taken up.' The following writings appear intended to give us, and do, in fact, profess to give us, that which Jesus continued to do and teach after the day in which he was taken up."

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