An Introduction to Acts of Apostles
Written by George Goldman
Also the author of the book of Acts wishes to show that Christianity was politically harmless in order that the Roman authorities might extend to it the same toleration as they gave to Judaism. In every case the author brings out the impartiality of the Roman officials. The attitude of Gallio was typical (Acts 18:12-17). Another proconsul, Sergius Paulus, is seen to be the most favorable towards the gospel (Acts 13:7-12). The city secretary at Ephesus was conciliatory and the Asiarchs are as helpful to Paul (Acts 19:30-41). On the other hand it was always the Jews who were the instigators but the Roman authorities never take the charges seriously.
Thirdly the writer of Acts seems to emphasize that Paul is as much of an apostle as Peter. Two-fifths of the book deals with the acts of Peter, while three-fifths records the acts of Paul. In chapters 1 – 12 the narrative moves from Jerusalem to Antioch to Rome (Gentile Christianity) and in this section it is Paul who has the limelight. Several features re-occur in the story of Peter and Paul: both heal cripples (3:28 cf. 14:8-12); both have encounters with sorcerers and work miracles of injury (8:18 cf. 13:6); both raise the dead (9:36ff. cf. 20:9ff); both are miraculously released from prison (12:7 cf. 16:26); both become the objects of worship (10:25 cf. 14:11ff); both are beaten for the name of Jesus (5:40f cf. 16:22f).
You have read of three reasons why the book of Acts was written. Please remember that it is our only source of the history of the first century Christians that is written from a Christian standpoint. As you read it ask yourself, “Am I like the first century Christians?” “Do I believe as they did?” “Do I live and worship as they did?” It is my prayer that you become a first century Christian – nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else.