The Unity of Luke-Acts
Luke 1:1-4, 24:44-53, and Acts 1:1-2:4
The purpose of the assignment is to introduce the student to the literary relationship (common themes) between Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. The goal of the assignment is to understand how authors continue storylines from one episode to the next and make application of that process to Luke 1:1-4, 24:44-53, and Acts 1:1-2:2.
- The goal of this assignment is learn how to support your argument with textual evidence from the Bible. Look at the following video clips which will guide you through this process. Then you will be ready to write your paper. The video clips will provide help to understand inferences and the use of textual evidence. By the way, you will not be required to do the exercise or quiz in the video clips.
- The first video is a short, 3 minute introduction to the concept of inferences and textual evidences. It is found at: http://youtu.be/to30AJm2epQ
- The second video is a 7 minute overview of how to find inferences and textual evidences in a text, such as a Bible passage. It is found at: http://youtu.be/T5A-mOqB4Pc
- Complete the following reading assignments giving particular attention to the themes that Luke and Acts have in common.
Luke 1:1-4, 24:44-53, and Acts 1:1-2:2 (these passages are included for you)
“Luke, Gospel of” and “Acts, Book of” in the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Find at: http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/
- What are the major themes observed in both Luke 1:1-4, 24:44-53, and Acts 1:1-2:2 and how do they demonstrate the unity of Luke-Acts?
List the themes that 1:1-4, 24:44-53, and Acts 1:1-2:2 have in common. You may use outside sources for this part of the assignment.
- We often see storylines which are continued across episodes of television series or movie sequels. Some examples of the continuation of story lines across episodes are previewed scenes, replayed scenes, allusive statements, etc.
Based on your determination of the themes common to the assigned passages, list the ways in which Luke continues the storyline across the two books.
- Using information gained from answers to questions 3, and 4 write a 250-300 word essay demonstrating the literary unity (the common themes) of Luke-Acts. Be sure to support your argument with textual evidence from the assigned passages only (remember the videos!)
Upon successfully completely this assignment, the student will be able to identify common themes in books of the New Testament, show connections between New Testament books, and express thematic connections in written form.
|Luke 1:1-4 and 24:44-53||Acts 1:1-2:4|
1:1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
24:44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God (ESV).
1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 he presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. 15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’;and “‘Let another take his office.’ 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. 2 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (ESV).