Eyewitness News: The Book of Acts
by Brian @Know It’s True
The Apostle Peter said that, “we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16 NIV) Unlike the other religions of the world, Christianity is a religion that is based on eyewitness testimony. The Apostles were all eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection, the very thing on which Christianity stands or falls. Another excellent example of eyewitness testimony is the Acts of the Apostles. This book chronicles the early years of the church by focusing on the ministries of Peter and Paul.
The author of this book is most likely, if not certainly, Luke the evangelist. This is determined decisively by comparing the opening verses in Acts to the opening verses in the Gospel of Luke. In the beginning of the Gospel of Luke, the author appears to be writing to a person named Theophilus. Acts also begins with a note to Theophilus and makes reference to the author’s “former account,” which is most likely the Gospel of Luke.
Luke has an excellent reputation among classical historians for reporting accurate information. As Dr. William Lane Craig has said, Luke is one of the Biblical authors “who writes most self-consciously as a historian.” Archaeologist Sir William Ramsey has said that “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy…[he] should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.” A. N. Sherwin-White has said that, “for Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. Any attempt to reject its basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd.” Accordingly, in this paper I will demonstrate that the book of Acts should be understood to be an accurate investigative report of the goings on in the first century…
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