Preaching in Acts

Luke Acts is the only work of an Evangelist which puts extensive words into the mouths of people other than Jesus. Accounts of such preaching are theological and not historical; what we must do is to understand the purposes behind Luke's writing. He probably heard a good deal of St. Paul's preaching and so passages after Acts 16:10 (when the reporting pronoun changes from "they" to "we") may be accurately reported.

  1. Peter after the Ascension Acts 1:15-22. The succession of Judas.
  2. Peter at Pentecost Acts 1:14-36. The eschatological significance of Jesus the Messiah; the Crucifixion linked to David. The first public apologia for Jesus and open condemnation of the Crucifixion.
  3. Peter in Solomon's Portico Acts 3:14-26. Jesus linked with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. Echoes of Jesus in curing and teaching in the Temple.
  4. Peter's First Court Appearance (Acts 4:8-12). Frontal attack on religious authorities, declaration of Jesus as Saviour.
  5. The Apostles Pray (Acts 4:24-30). Herod, Pilate, Gentiles and Jews associated with the death of Jesus.
  6. Peter/Apostles Second Court Appearance (Acts 5:29-32).
  7. Stephen's Defence (Acts 7:2-52). Extensive apologia from Abraham to Jesus, the most detailed outside Romans; conscious echoes of the trial of Jesus.
  8. Peter on Jesus; the Conversion of Gentiles (Acts 10:34-43).
  9. Peter on Gentiles; the Clean and the Unclean (Acts 11:5-17).
  10. Paul at Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:16-41. First great sermon; the Jewish tradition; the Baptism of John; the theology of the Resurrection.
  11. Paul/Barnabas at Lycaonium (Acts 14:14-17).  We are not Gods.
  12. Peter (Acts 15:8-11) and James (Acts 15:13-21) at the Council of Jerusalem on the status of Gentiles.
  13. Paul at the Ariopagus in Athens (Acts 17:22-31. Jesus and Greek poetry.
  14. Paul to the Leaders at Ephesus (Acts 20:17-35. On discipleship; going to Jerusalem; echoes of Jesus' warnings.
  15. Paul's Defence to the Jews (Acts 22:1-22). His account of his conversion.
  16. Paul's Defence before the Council (Acts 23:1-8).
  17. Paul before Felix (Acts 24:10-21). Association of Resurrection with Jewish tradition.
  18. Paul before Agrippa and Bernice (Acts 26:2-23).

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