"ACTS OF THE APOSTLES"
Commonly called "The Acts Of The Apostles", it is simply titled "Acts"
in some of the oldest manuscripts. It might appropriately be called
"Some Of The Acts Of Some Of The Apostles" since it does not try to
describe all of the acts of all the apostles. Rather, the focus is
clearly on some of the acts or deeds of mostly Peter (the key figure in
the first half) and Paul (the key figure in the second). It might also
be called "The Acts Of The Holy Spirit", as that Person of the Godhead
is very much an active participant throughout the book.
Though he does not mention himself by name, the author is undoubtedly
Luke, physician and frequent traveling companion of the apostle Paul.
From 1:1-3, we learn Acts is the second historical account to Theophilus
(see below), the first being the gospel universally attributed to Luke
(cf. Lk 1:1-4).
Luke is described as "the beloved Physician" (Col 4:14), and the
vocabulary of both the gospel and Acts shows evidence of a medical mind.
Mentioned as a "fellow laborer" (Phm 24) who was with Paul in his last
days (2Ti 4:11), Luke often accompanied Paul on his travels beginning
with his second journey. By carefully noting the use of "we" and "they"
in the book of Acts, we glean that Luke joined Paul at Troas (16:10-11),
and remained at Philippi (17:1) until Paul later picked him up on his
way to Troas (20:1-6). The book ends with Luke accompanying Paul to his
imprisonment in Rome (28:16).
It is evident Luke was very careful to provide a historically accurate
account in the both the gospel and Acts (cf. Lk 1:1-4,5; 2:1-3; 3:1-2).
Sir William Ramsay, archaeologist who started his career to prove Luke
to be in error, offered this testimony as a result of his research:
"Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of
fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense...in short,...