Encountering the New Testament, 4th Edition

A Historical and Theological Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies


15. Acts 8–12

Chapter Intro Video

Chapter Objectives

  • Write a content outline of Acts 8–12
  • List the ten individuals who responded to the gospel
  • Explain the situations surrounding two individuals who did not respond to the gospel favorably
  • Identify the contributions of three persons who were prominent in the rise and growth of the early church.

Chapter Summary

  1. Acts 8–12 demonstrates that God takes note of each individual and is interested in him or her as a person.

  2. Philip is significant because he is among the first to take the gospel outside Jerusalem (to Samaria).

  3. Ananias was a significant figure because he was sent by God to restore Saul’s vision.

  4. Tabitha died in Joppa, but Peter came and raised her from the dead.

  5. Because of his contact with Cornelius, Peter learned that Jewish customs forbidding contact with gentiles were inconsistent with following Christ.

  6. Agabus was one of the prophets of the early church.

  7. Simon the sorcerer and Herod Agrippa I did not respond appropriately to the message of Christ.

  8. The three most prominent figures in the rise and growth of the early church as recounted in Acts 8–12 were John, Peter, and Paul.

Study Questions

  1. What can we learn from the stress on individual persons in Acts 8–12?

  2. Why did Philip and others first leave Jerusalem with the gospel message? See Acts 8:1, 4–5.

  3. Name and briefly characterize five “minor characters.” Name and describe one who disbelieved.

  4. Why was Peter’s visit to Cornelius controversial?

  5. Why were many early Christians leery of Saul?

  6. Name the three accounts of Saul’s (Paul’s) conversion (Acts 9:1–31; 22:4–16; 26:9–18). List three similarities and three differences between them.