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Acts of the Apostles

by Ronald J. Allen

Publication Year: 2013

Readings from Acts are offered only during Easter, so how can preachers make this important book come alive throughout the church year?

Acts of the Apostles helps the preacher identify possibilities for sermons based on texts and themes in the book of Acts. While offering a basic exegetical framework for interpreting passages in Acts in their historical, literary, rhetorical, and theological contexts, this volume also suggests ways in which the preacher can relate passages and motifs from Acts to the congregation and world today.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-9

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Series Foreword

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pp. ix-x

A preacher who seeks to be creative, exegetically up to date, hermeneutically alert, theologically responsible, and in-touch with the moment is always on the hunt for fresh resources. Traditional books on preaching a book of the Bible often look at broad themes of the text with little explicit advice about preaching individual passages. Lectionary resources often offer exegetical and homiletical insights about...

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pp. xi-xiv

The Book of Acts nears its climax with a sea voyage. I began writing this commentary on the open deck of a ship on my first voyage at sea, and through the feel of the ship, I felt a certain resonance with Paul and with the larger story of Acts. The main theme of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts is the coming of the Realm of God—the confidence that God is seeking to restore the present old and...

Index of Passages from theBook of Acts in the RevisedCommon Lectionary

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pp. xv-19

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pp. 1-14

With the shadow of next Sunday’s sermon falling over the study, the preacher using this commentary may be tempted to bypass the Introduction and go directly to the passage that is the starting point for the sermon. However, a commentary does not simply string together discussions of particular passages. A commentary offers a holistic interpretation of the biblical book based on a particular reconstruction...

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1 The Coming of the Realm of God: The Main Theme of the Book of Acts

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pp. 15-32

In many writings in antiquity the first and last scenes involving a major character are often keys to understanding the identity of that character, as well as the purpose of the story. That phenomenon is true of Jesus (and other...

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2 You Will Be My Witness in Jerusalem and in all Judea

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pp. 33-70

Jerusalem is powerful theological symbol for Luke as it is a definitive place of revelation. Luke exposes the intensity of hostility to the Realm of God when the powers of the present broken age put Jesus. At the same time, God raises Jesus from the dead in Jerusalem, thus assuring the reading community in the most dramatic way that the power of God transcends the power of all other rulers and authorities. Acts 2:14 begins...

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3 You Will Be My Witnesses in Samaria

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pp. 71-76

In Acts 1:8, Jesus commissions the disciples to witness first in Jerusalem (the symbolic heart of Judaism), then in Judea (largely Jewish environs), and then in Samaria. Samaritans shared some beliefs and practices with the Jewish people, but developed their own culture. Samaria is on the border between the Jewish world and “the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The Samaritans worshipped a God in the same general tradition as the Jewish people. The Samaritan canon centers in their own version of Pentateuch, which teaches that worship...

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4 You Will Be My Witnesses to the Ends of the Earth

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pp. 77-208

This long section tells the story of the witness of the church in accord with Jesus’ directive in Acts 1:8: the witness would makes way from Jerusalem and all Judea through Samaria to the ends of the earth. For Luke, the ends of the earth include not only general gentile communities outside of Jerusalem and Samaria but also the city of Rome, which for Luke represents the idolatrous Roman Empire. For Luke Rome represents...

Appendix 1: The Chiastic Structure of Luke-Acts

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pp. 209-218

Appendix 2: Table Correlating Lectionary Readings from Luke with Chiastic Parallels from Acts

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pp. 219-222

Appendix 3: Sermon Series from the Book of Acts: Representative Texts, Characters, and Themes

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pp. 223-228

Appendix 4: Suggestions for Further Reading

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pp. 229-233

E-ISBN-13: 9781451426441
E-ISBN-10: 1451426445
Print-ISBN-13: 9780800698720
Print-ISBN-10: 080069872X

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2013