The early church grew through the actions of the Apostles in what was then the Roman Empire. This book is a favorite of the church and chronicles the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the doctrinal deliberations of the early church.
Acts 1-2, Giving the Holy Spirit
Broadly speaking, the Bible has three sections. In each of those sections, one member of the God Head takes center stage. In the TANAK God the Father gets most of the narrative. In the four Gospels, it is Y'shua. In Acts the Holy Spirit has the emphasis. This first session gives background and goes through Pentecost.
Acts 2-3, Peter's Speach at Shavuot
Peter's speech after the giving of the Holy Spirit. Discussion of the differences in Scripture between the TANAK and quotations in the New Testament. Discussion of the similarities between the giving of the Holy Spirit and the giving of the Torah at Sinai.
Acts 3-4, Peter and John's First Arrest
People's need for an intermediary with God discussed in the context of 'The Prophet' promised in Deuteronomy 18. Peter and John's first arrest and appearance before the Jerusalem authorities. Discussion of their citation from Psalm 2.
Acts 4-5, Ananias and Sapphira
The first church lived communally, holding everything in common. This may have been done in anticipation of the quick return of Y'shua and the expectation that there was no need to save for the future. Peter and John's second arrest and appearance before the Temple authorities.
Acts 6-7, The Stoning of Stephen
When Stephen is falsely accused of blasphemy he defends himself before the council in Jerusalem. The record of his testimony provides compelling evidence of the accuracy of the Book of Acts.
Acts 14-15, The Council of Jerusalem
Standards for gentile behavior and salvation were burning questions in the early Church. The Council of Jerusalem debated and answered those questions.
Acts 15-17, Paul and Silas' Missionary Journey
Paul and Barnabas separate in a dispute over John Mark. Paul and Silas carry the Jerusalem Council's letter to the churches in Asia. They travel to Macedonia. The Philippian jailer is saved.
Acts 17-19, The Unknown God
Paul's speech in Athens about the shrine to the Unknown God. The introduction of Apollos. The baptism of repentance as opposed to baptism in the name of Y'shua.
Acts 19-20, The Ephesian Silversmiths
Stops on Paul's route back to Israel. In the manner of all religious hucksters, the silversmiths in Ephesus tried to elevate their economic interests to the status of a conflict between piety and blasphemy.
Acts 20, Paul's Farewell to the Ephesians
On his way to Jerusalem for the final time, Paul bids farewell to the Ephesian church. The subject of his remarks echos the first of the Kingdom Parables in Matthew. They also presage his pastoral Letter to the Ephesians as well as Y'shua's Letter in Revelation 2. These four passages of Scripture address the same subject from different time perspectives.
Acts 21-22, Paul's Arrival in Jerusalem
In Jerusalem, Paul meets with James and the elders who discuss how to address the rumors that Paul is teaching a new religion. They decide that he will consecrate himself along with others who are coming to the end of their Nazerite vows and that he will publicly sacrifice in the Temple. This includes a discussion of Paul's attitude toward Moses.
Acts 22-24, Paul Before the Council
After Paul's arrest in Jerusalem, he goes before the council where he causes a riot when he asserts that his only crime is believing in the resurrection. He is spirited away by night to Caesarea where is appears before Felix, the Roman governor.
Acts 25-27, Paul Before Agrippa
In his final event before being sent to Rome, Paul appears before Agrippa. He tells of his conversion to the Way and demonstrates from the Scriptures that Y'shua is the Messiah.
Acts 27-28, Paul's Journey to Rome
Paul takes his final sea voyage to Rome. The ship is caught in a storm and wrecked on the island of Malta. The book ends with Paul continuing his desire to bring his brother Jews to a knowledge of Y'shua.