Encountering the New Testament, 4th Edition

A Historical and Theological Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

Materials available for professors by request only


14. Acts 1–7

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think Acts being placed between the Gospels and the Epistles is significant?
  2. How can the literary quality of Acts be compared with that of the Gospels?
  3. There is an emphasis today on numbers: in evangelism, in church membership, and so on. How can this be assessed in light of the book of Acts?
  4. What are some ways contemporary Christians could be more like the early community of believers in Acts 3:1–7:60?
  5. How does Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7:2–53 have meaning for us today?
  6. How should the focus of Peter’s message lend direction to pastors today?

Assignment Ideas / Class Activities

  1. Have students trace the missionary journeys of Paul and place the relevant epistles of Paul with those cities and journeys.
  2. Have the class find verses in Acts 1 that illustrate what legacy Jesus left: his personal presence, his standing orders.
  3. Divide the class into small groups. Have each group find examples of conflicts and persecution faced by believers today. Conclude with a sharing session of these, one from each group.
  4. Study the book of Acts to find passages that are descriptive, prescriptive, and both descriptive and prescriptive. Prepare a table in which these passages are noted. Discuss these in class and provide each student with a copy.
  5. Present a round table discussion about the nature of Acts 1–12 versus Acts 13–28 giving a variety of illustrations from each section.