Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "Earlier New Testament Epistles"
The Acts of the Apostles


Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible



The Fifty Days from Passover to Pentecost 1
1. The forty days' ministry and ascension of Christ 1:1-11
2. The prayer meeting (choice of Matthias) 1:12-26

  1. REJECTION by Jews and Proselytes (IN Judea) 2:1-8:3
    See Pertinent Comment No. 1 - "Was Joel's prophecy said by Peter to be fulfilled?"
    See Pertinent Comment No. 2
    - "Peter's use of the Keys of the Kingdom"

    The re-offer of the Kingdom TO Israel and the final rejection of the Kingdom BY Israel!

    1. The first offer at Pentecost--the Birthday of the Church 2:1-41

    2. Further offers and the Kingdom witness to Israel 2:42-8:3

      1. Family love and unity of Church 2:42-47

      2. Tacit offer of Christ's return (if repentance is forthcoming) 3
        (See w. 19-20: Healing at Gate Beautiful and resulting sermon.)

      3. The first persecution (holy boldness): warned 4:1-31

      4. Purification and power of Church 4:32-5:16

      5. The second persecution: beaten 5:17-42

      6. Sweet reasonableness of Church 6:1-7

      7. The third persecution: martyred 6:8-8:3

        1. Stephen's ministry 6:8-10

        2. Stephen's sermon to Sanhedrin 6:11-7:53

        3. Stephen's dying testimony 7:54-60

        4. Saul's guilty participation 8:1-3

  2. TRANSITION from Jews and Proselytes to Gentiles (FROM Judea) 8:4-12:25
    See Pertinent Comment No. 3 - "Peter's tacit offer of the Kingdom"
    See Pertinent Comment No. 4 - "The right of private property - Christianity or Communism?"

    1. Through Philip (to Samaria and Africa) 8:4-40

      1. Samaria 8:5-25

      2. Ethiopia (Africa) 8:26-40
        Parenthesis: The apostle to the Gentiles converted 9:1-31

    2. Through Peter (Judea and Caesarea) 9:32-11:18

      1. Peter at Lydda and Joppa 9:32-43

      2. Peter goes to Caesarea 10

      3. Peter explains at Jerusalem 11:1-18

    3. Through Barnabas and others (to Syria) 11:19-12:25

      1. At Antioch (in Syria) 11:19-30

      2. 2. At Jerusalem 12

  3. EXPANSION among the Gentiles ("To the uttermost") 13-28
    See Pertinent Comment No. 5 - "Was the Church revealed only to Paul, or also to Peter and Others?"
    See Pertinent Comment No. 6 - "Another pivotal point"
    See Pertinent Comment No. 7 - "Precise accuracy of Luke as a historian"
    See Pertinent Comment No. 8 - "Philosophers at Athens"
    See Pertinent Comment No. 9 - "Seven external factors favoring Paul and the spread of his message"
    See Pertinent Comment No. 10 - "Six elements of Paul's missionary strategy"
    See Pertinent Comment No. 11 - "How many missionary journeys were there? Three? Four? Five?"
    See Pertinent Comment No. 12 - "Which day should Christians particularly keep as a worship day?"
    See Pertinent Comment No.  13 - "The Herodian family"

    1. Paul's three missionary journeys 13:l-20:3a

      1. Paul's first missionary journey (with Barnabas) 13-14
        (to Asia Minor)
        Parenthesis: The First Church Council (at Jerusalem, AD 50) 15:1-35
        Judaizers answered and gospel of grace approved.

      2. Paul's second missionary journey (with Silas) 15:36-18:22
        (to the Balkans: Eastern Europe)

        1. Disagreement with Barnabas over John Mark 15:36-39

        2. Paul and party revisit first journey cities 15:40-16:5

        3. Paul and party enter Europe at Macedonia (Philippi) 16:6-40

        4. Evangelization of Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, and Ephesus 17:1-18:22

      3. Paul's third missionary journey (with Silas) 18:23-20:3a
        (to the Balkans: Eastern Europe)

        1. Revisiting Galatia and Phrygia 18:23

        2. Revisiting Ephesus 18:24-19:41
          (ministry to Roman "Asia")

        3. Revisiting Macedonia and Greece (Achaia) 20:l-3a

    2. The trip to Jerusalem with Gentile Christians' gift, and its results 20:3b-26:32

      1. On the way 20:3b-21:17
        Via Macedonia, Troas, Miletus, Tyre, Caesarea.
        Paul exceeds instructions "that he should not set foot in Jerusalem," 21:4.
        See note on the First Day of the Week at end of Acts notes.

      2. Paul at Jerusalem 21:17-23:33

        1. Paul arrives and reports 21:17-19

        2. Unwise counsel to sponsor men making blood sacrifice 21:20-26

        3. Providential interruption of sacrifice and protection of Paul 21:27-32

        4. Paul arrested but permitted to preach to mob 21:33-22:23

        5. Paul asserts Roman citizenship 22:24-29

        6. Paul before Sanhedrin 22:30-23:10

        7. Paul encouraged 23:11

        8. Paul transferred to Caesarea for safety 23:12-33

      3. Paul at Caesarea (in prison) 23:34-26:32

        1. Paul's first hearing (public) before Felix 23:34-24:23

        2. Paul's second hearing (private) before Felix 24:24-26

        3. Paul's two years' wait 24:27

        4. Paul's hearing before Festus 25:1-12

        5. Paul's hearing before Agrippa (and Festus) 25:13-26:32

    3. The trip to Rome and its results (to Western Europe) 27-28

      1. Shipwreck 27

      2. Malta 28:1-11

      3. Malta to Rome 28:12-16

      4. Ministry to Jews 28:17-29

      5. Two years' ministry to many in "his own hired house" 28:30-31

        ABRUPT ENDING! Presumably released.



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