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Southwestern Journal of Theology Vol. Some have suggested, however, that not the acts of the apostles who have no major importance in the book but the acts of the Holy Spirit were meant.
Such a conclusion seems unwarranted, but a recognition of the unusual importance of the Holy Spirit in Acts is completely justified. That title could equally well read The Acts of the Holy Spirit. Westminster Press,p.
By comparison to other portions of the New Testament the special significance of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts can be demonstrated. The combined sixty-eight chapters of the Synoptic Gospels contain only thirty-four references to the Holy Spirit.
In the Johannine literature, the Gospel and the Epistles, a combined total of twenty-eight chapters contain only twenty-one references to the Holy Spirit. With fifty-six references to the Holy Spirit in twenty-eight chapters, Acts can with justification be said to be especially the book of the Spirit.
The structure of the book of Acts may also witness to the importance of the Holy Spirit to Luke as an author. Even a casual reader of the book would note the build-up in The holy spirit in the book of acts one for the coming of the Holy Spirit which is described in chapter two.
That same reader when exposed to the Gospel of Luke would note that chapter one in that book is a build-up for the coming of the Messiah which is described in chapter two. The chapter divisions, which of course were added relatively recently, are an unnecessary part of the evidence.
The fact is that Acts and the Gospel of Luke from a literary point of view share a structural similarity in the way each begins. Having acknowledged the similarity of structure in the beginning of both Acts and the Gospel of Luke, some critics have been unwilling to go any farther in that direction.
The fact that the vast majority of the references to the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts are found in the first half of the book has raised a question mark after the contention that the concept of the Holy Spirit determines the structure of Acts. There are eleven chapters in Acts that contain no reference to the Spirit.
Referring to the parallel importance of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, some scholars have insisted that Luke could never have dismissed Jesus from his Gospel in the way he seems to have dismissed the Holy Spirit from Acts. What are the facts? Is the Holy Spirit actually dismissed from the book?
The Spirit is clearly in charge of the church in the opening chapters 4: Much of chapter six and all of chapter seven stem from the declaration that Stephen is a spirit-filled man. The Holy Spirit sets apart Barnabas and Saul for the work to which he has called them The Holy Spirit is at work in the Jerusalem Council and inspires the decision that is made Abingdon Press,pp.
Not the frequency of the references to the Holy Spirit but the foundational importance of the Spirit to the narrative, his presence and continuing leadership underlying the entire account, is the final measure of the significance of the Holy Spirit for the structure of the book.
The Holy Spirit can scarcely be said to have been dismissed from the book of Acts at any point. Hanson, The Acts Oxford: Oxford University Press,p. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles Chicago: Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship,p. The Spirit is prominent at the baptism of Jesus 3: The Lord is led out into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tested and tried 4: The Holy Spirit was the motivating power in the initiation of the Galilean ministry 4: Westminster Press, and C.
Because of the common authorship of Luke-Acts and because of the prominence of the Holy Spirit in both books, the following conclusions may be drawn with some certainty.
Filson, Three Crucial Decades Richmond: John Knox Press,p. The Holy Spirit is in the Gospel promised by Jesus to the apostles as their power He can give the Spirit because he has received the Spirit from the Father 3: In the book of Acts Christ himself continues his work through the lives of his disciples.
Broadman Press,p. The Holy Spirit is the means by which Jesus continues to do his work in the world. Thus when the apostles are recorded in Acts as performing miracles, which are an outworking of their spiritual power, the acts of power are attributed to the name of Jesus Christ Acts 3:The Holy Spirit in Acts: The Power of the Holy Spirit The book of Acts demonstrates that the Holy Spirit leads and empowers the church for growth and service.
The church’s success is vitally tied to its relationship with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit plays a key role in the Acts of the Apostles, leading to the use of the titles "Book of the Holy Spirit" or the "Acts of the Holy Spirit" for that book of the New Testament.
Of the about seventy occurrences of the word Pneuma in Acts, fifty five refer to the Holy Spirit.. From the start, in Acts , the reader is reminded that the Ministry . Baptism and the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts Water Baptism vs Baptized with the Spirit and Power The book of Acts begins with Jesus' parting words to His apostles before His ascension to the right hand of God the Father.
The Holy Spirit in Acts This painting by El Greco in the El Prado Museum depicts the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. How does Luke portray the gift and outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts? Acts is especially the book of the Spirit.
The earliest title for the book seems to have been simply “The Acts.” Even that title, of course, was not original because Acts was the second part of the Gospel of Luke. Some have suggested, however, that. An Overview of the Book of Acts The life of the early church is recorded and preserved for us in the book of Acts and the epistles.
The following outline is intended to be used while studying the book. A Study Outline of Acts Related Media. Theophilus appears to have had questions about the coming and activity of the Holy Spirit, the.