The finishing of the book of Acts and Writing Volume 3
Prof Paul Trebilco
Guest preacher Prof Paul Trebilco, head that the Dept the Theology at Otago University, gave this really scholarly interpretation of what remained in Luke"s mind in composing the "Acts of the Apostles." If Luke"s Gospel is Vol 1, and also the acts is Vol 2, who is left to compose Vol 3? check out the sermon to uncover out.
You are watching: What event concludes the “jerusalem” section of the book of acts?
Readings: plot 1:1-11; 28:23-31.
Endings matter! even if it is it is that a Rugby game, a novel, or a movie.
Have you ever before wondered why the book of acts ends together it does? The book has been following the Apostle Paul’s life with all kinds of dangers and also challenges. He end up in Rome under home arrest – the preaches in Rome and has some success, although some Jews space not convinced. And also then we read:
Acts 28:30-1 He live there two entirety years in ~ his very own expense and also welcomed all who involved him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the lord Jesus Christ through all boldness and also without hindrance. THE END
And … What taken place next??? to be Paul released? to be he lugged to trial before the emperor, convicted and also martyred??? We room not told!! What a strange means to end.
Why on planet does Luke finish this way? probably he finished creating Acts while Paul to be still in prison – that would be about 62 CE - and so this to be as far as the story had actually got? This is unlikely – because Luke practically certainly composed after 70 since he supplied Mark, and also Mark was written approximately 70. … so Luke, writing in the 80s, intended to end here.
Why? Well, what is acts about? The life the Paul? No. What is that about? most agree that Acts 1:8 is the design template – it’s a programmatic statement, a critical verse: The words of the climbed Jesus:
“But friend will get power as soon as the holy Spirit has come ~ above you; and you will be mine witnesses in Jerusalem, in every Judea and also Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts is not a general history of the beforehand Church – it’s not whatever Luke knows about the background of beforehand Christianity; that is too restricted for that, there’s too lot left out. Quite it is the development, the working out of action 1:8.
So it’s around the holy Spirit comes upon lock – Acts has been referred to as the action of the divine Spirit – we have actually Pentecost, and Peter full of the heart addressing the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:8), and also the spirit falling ~ above the new believers in Samaria; the heart forbidding Paul to walk to part places, and also then guiding him come others. The heart is mentioned 59 times in Acts
And the book of acts is about being witnesses - witnesses come Jesus (you will be mine witnesses) – think that Stephen, and also Peter, and also Paul. Evil is a forbidding word, isn’t it. However in Acts the is just telling a story – the story that Jesus, the story of exactly how Jesus has readjusted someone’s life, changed a whole community.
And the is around being witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria .. Come the ends of the earth.
So Luke speak this story – Jerusalem first, climate they walk to Samaria and also then the Gospel expands. Walk it reach the end of the earth? Where are the ends of the earth?
Rome? No! native a Greco-Roman perspective, Rome was the center of the earth. In Luke 2:1-2 we check out of a decree going the end from the Emperor Augustus in Rome – come “the whole inhabited world”. Rome was the centre.
But because that either Jews or Romans or Greeks, the human being extends far past Rome! to the remainder of Europe, come Spain and onwards to Britannia.
The planet is seen as a level disc – v sides. The ends of the earth is the end of the earth!! In plot 2:9-11 in connection with Pentecost we have point out of Ethiopia and Cyrenaica and Parthia – they recognize these far-away places and the Gospel hasn’t got to these areas yet! The end of the planet is the entirety of the inhabited people – the ultimate limits of civilisation!
So why does it end in Rome? Endings problem - why end in Rome?
The story is not complete! plot 1:8 is not fulfilled through Paul’s arrival in Rome. Witness is to it is in to the end of the earth – this is a target beyond Rome, i beg your pardon is not got to in Acts.
So where space the end of the earth?? for Luke – more than likely Spain and also Britain in the West – where the Celts were, Scythia in the North, India in the East, and also Ethiopia in the south (Scott, p527) and of food from our perspective – and also we may indicate from God’s perspective – the us!!
But the crucial point is that the ending of plot is a non-Ending. That is not an ending at all!! Why not? because Luke to plan a Volume 3. No one that he would write – but one the the divine Spirit would certainly write in the life that the church.
Like a movie whereby the movie writer ends with a sequel in mind. lord of the Rings! take care of Potter!! or Pirates of the Carribean
BUT in this case, Luke is not going to create Volume 3 – rather the divine Spirit will with future Christians as actors!
Just to provide you one more indication the Luke intended to offer an open-ended finishing – note the following:
Acts 28:30-31 Paul lived there two entirety years at his own expense and also welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and also teaching about the mr Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
This is a development report – a type of summary. There room a whole selection of various other summaries in Acts. Note: plot 9:31: meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had actually peace and was developed up. Living in the are afraid of the Lord and in the comfort of the holy Spirit, it enhanced in numbers
This is a an introduction – and leads into the account that Peter in Lydda and Joppa and also of Cornelius and the gospel going come Gentiles.
Or take it Acts 16:5 so the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in number daily. This again is a review – and also leads straight into Paul’s vision that the man from Macedonia, and into his to adjust in Philippi.
(OR plot 6:7; 12:24; 19:20)
So all the summaries in Acts, note a transition from one duration of witness come the next. Recaps are adhered to by new phases that mission. Similarly, at the end. Luke to write a summary at the end of acts so that it have the right to be followed by one account of the spread of the Gospel in a brand-new phase, or into a new region. But in this case, Luke doesn’t give the account – that expects the leader to have actually a component in writing the brand-new story – to create Volume 3! back the publication has ended, the story has actually not! Luke finishes v the subliminal blog post – “to it is in continued”! The open-ended ending tells us that. We together readers are to complete the story! We proceed the writing! the is to include the reader in the continuing task of spreading the word. It obstacles us to push on through the loose task! The means Luke ends makes that decision clear.
A triptych! A trilogy
But what space the materials of Volume 3?
Acts 1:8 friend will obtain power once the holy Spirit has come upon you; and also you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and also to the ends of the earth.”
The power of the heart at work in the Church and also the world. And also being witnesses.
But there is also another means to look in ~ the materials of volume 3. A 3 volume work-related will have connections in between the quantities – themes that recur, echoes, parallels native one to the other. Think of the mr of the Rings. Its an essential to see the parallels between Volume 1 – Luke’s Gospel, and also Volume 2 – Acts. Because that these really same parallels are to be ongoing in Volume 3.
So what are the parallels between volume 1 and also 2? between Luke and Acts? Connections, themes, the recur, echoes and also parallels.
Here are some thoughts around recurring themes:
- the work of the holy Spirit in Jesus, Peter and Paul - parallel miracles – Jesus – Peter – Paul. - the on-going preaching that the Word, and also the on-going progress of words (4:31; 8:14, 25; 11:1; 13:5, 7, 44, 46, 48; 16:32; 17:13; 18:4) - the design template of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3, 6; 8:12; 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31) - journeys, no settling down! - the importance of community, and of being with each other as disciples. - the Christian life is one of suffering. It involves trials, imprisonment – and also even death. In this the Christian is adhering to Christ. The life that the Christian and of the Church is an imitation the Christ. - despite the worst that have the right to happen, the threats of Jews and Greeks, simple people and also rulers - God’s word provides progress, spreads and also triumphs.
Conclusions: I choose the large picture … the complete story – the over-arching narrative the Luke portrays! here is a grand movie sequence – wherein we space actors in the sequel!!! A substantial story in i m sorry we have actually a part, a panoramic vision. We come to be authors the the story that the progress of God’s word.
Luke created a 2-Volume work The story of Jesus is not complete – the story of Jesus calls for, demands a volume 2 – i beg your pardon Luke accordingly writes! “Luke recognised the the story that Jesus was incomplete – it pointed front to and also demanded the church”. The story that Jesus does no stand alone – the demands, calls because that the continuous story the those who will monitor Jesus. The life that the church – the ongoing life – necessarily establishes out the the Jesus story! and also just as the story that Jesus called for a Volume 2 – so the calls for a volume 3 – and a really long Volume 3! The method Luke ends Acts renders this clear.
See more: What Special Qualities Does The Connective Tissue Of The Dermis Have?
Volume 3 is a story the echoes the story that Jesus, a story similarly empowered by the Spirit, to be witnesses come Jesus to the ends of the earth. A story wherein we live out the reality that in spite of the worst that deserve to happen, God’s indigenous progresses, God’s strength sets civilization free, God’s love transforms communities.