Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles

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A 14th century copy of the Book of Acts in Minuscule 223 Minuscule 223 (GA) f11r.jpg
A 14th century copy of the Book of Acts in Minuscule 223

The Holy Spirit plays a key role in the Acts of the Apostles , leading to the use of the titles "Book of the Holy Spirit" or the "Acts of the Holy Spirit" for that book of the New Testament. [1] [2] Of the about seventy occurrences of the word Pneuma ( πνεῦμα ) in Acts, fifty five refer to the Holy Spirit. [2]

Acts of the Apostles Book of the New Testament

Acts of the Apostles, often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian church and the spread of its message to the Roman Empire.

New Testament Second division of the Christian biblical canon

The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first being the Old Testament. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture.

Pneuma (πνεῦμα) is an ancient Greek word for "breath", and in a religious context for "spirit" or "soul". It has various technical meanings for medical writers and philosophers of classical antiquity, particularly in regard to physiology, and is also used in Greek translations of ruach רוח in the Hebrew Bible, and in the Greek New Testament. In classical philosophy, it is distinguishable from psyche (ψυχή), which originally meant "breath of life", but is regularly translated as "spirit" or most often "soul".

Contents

Continuation of the ministry of Jesus

From the start, in Acts 1:2, the reader is reminded that the Ministry of Jesus, while he was on Earth, was carried out through the power of the Holy Spirit and that the "acts of the apostles" are the continuing acts of Jesus, facilitated by the Holy Spirit. [2] Acts thus presents the Holy Spirit as the "life principle" of the early Church and provides five separate and dramatic instances of its outpouring on believers in Acts 2:1-4, Acts 4:28-31, Acts 8:15-17, Acts 10:44 and Acts 19:6. [1]

Ministry of Jesus

In the Christian gospels, the ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Roman Judea and Transjordan, near the river Jordan, and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry. A chronology of Jesus typically has the date of the start of his ministry estimated at around AD 27–29 and the end in the range AD 30–36.

Earth Third planet from the Sun in the Solar System

Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Earth's gravity interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon, Earth's only natural satellite. Earth orbits around the Sun in 365.26 days, a period known as an Earth year. During this time, Earth rotates about its axis about 366.26 times.

Early Christianity Christianity up to 325 CE

Early Christianity covers the period from its origins until the First Council of Nicaea (325). This period is typically divided into the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene Period.

Stephen in Acts 7 reproachfully exclaims to the Jewish authorities—see Sanhedrin trial of Jesus: "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." Acts 7:51—That means, as nobody ever told them before, they did not only resisted Yahweh or Jesus, while he was on Earth, but they resisted the Holy Spirit also thereafter! It reminds oneself about the sin against the Holy Spirit, which Jesus taught, that ascribing the miracles of Jesus to the Devil, it is resisting the Holy Spirit's work through the life of Jesus. The context of the unpardonable sin is best described in this passage:

Saint Stephen 1st-century early Christian martyr and saint

Stephen, traditionally venerated as the protomartyr or first martyr of Christianity, was according to the Acts of the Apostles a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy at his trial, he made a long speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who would later become a follower of Jesus and known as Paul the Apostle.

Acts 7 Acts of the Apostles, chapter 7

Acts 7 is the seventh chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the address of Stephen before the Sanhedrin and his execution outside Jerusalem, and introduces Saul. The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke.

Sanhedrin trial of Jesus The trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin

In the New Testament, the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus refers to the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin following his arrest in Jerusalem and prior to his dispensation by Pontius Pilate. It is an event reported by all four canonical gospels of the New Testament, although John's Gospel does not explicitly mention a Sanhedrin trial in this context.

"The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons." And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! But no one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"—because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit."" (Mark 3:22-30).

Satan Figure in Abrahamic religions

Satan, also known as the Devil, is an entity in the Abrahamic religions that seduces humans into sin or falsehood. In Christianity and Islam, he is usually seen as either a fallen angel or a jinn, who used to possess great piety and beauty, but rebelled against God, who nevertheless allows him temporary power over the fallen world and a host of demons. In Judaism, Satan is typically regarded as a metaphor for the yetzer hara, or "evil inclination", or as an agent subservient to God.

Mark 3 Gospel according to Mark, chapter 3

Mark 3 is the third chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It relates a conflict over healing on the Sabbath, the Commissioning of the Twelve Apostles, a conflict with scribes and a meeting of Jesus with his own family.

Jewish resistance

The resistance of the Jews against the Holy Spirit has already been taught by Jesus. This was like a surprise for the Jews, since they believed they had been following YHWH. They may have been following his name, but, not his Spirit and not Jesus teachings about Love God and your neighbor as yourself. They have followed the part of Deuteronomy, but not the second part of Leviticus (Deut.6:3;Lev.3:1 (NASB). Jesus was the first in history to bring the two Bible passages to the point! (Mark 12:30-31): "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." But if the young ruler knew it, why did the Pharisees and the Scribes not see it? They then were the same ones who stoned Stephen and instigated Herod to put James, brother of Jesus, to death by the sword (Eusebius writes: beheaded), Saint Peter into jail (Herod Agrippa , a pagan, nominally a Jew by the conversion to Judaism from before his grandfather's time, Herod the Great), [3] and his nephew Herod Antipas had beheaded John the Baptist, and had Jesus sent back to Pontius Pilate, who was more favorable to Jesus than the Jews, but had to submit to the instigated crowd, because he wanted to let him go free at first (they were all converts form paganism to nominal Judaism, trying to please the Jews (Acts 12:3). [4] So, the Herodians were resisting the Holy Spirit too.

Mark 12 Gospel according to Mark, chapter 12

Mark 12 is the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It continues Jesus' teaching in Jerusalem during his third visit to the Temple, it contains the parable of the Wicked Husbandmen, Jesus' argument with the Pharisees and Herodians over paying taxes to Caesar, and the debate with the Sadducees about the nature of people who will be resurrected at the end of time. It also contains Jesus' greatest commandment, his discussion of the messiah's relationship to King David, condemnation of the teachers of the law, and his praise of a poor widow's offering.

James, brother of Jesus Important figure in Early Christianity

James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord, was an early leader of the Jerusalem Church of the Apostolic Age, to which Paul was also affiliated. He died in martyrdom in 62 or 69 AD.

Eusebius Greek church historian

Eusebius of Caesarea, also known as Eusebius Pamphili, was a historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about 314 AD. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon and is regarded as an extremely learned Christian of his time. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As "Father of Church History", he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. He also produced a biographical work on the first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, who ruled between 306 and 337 AD.

Continuous Work

References to the Holy Spirit appear throughout Acts 1:5 and 8, stating towards the beginning: "For John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit ... ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you" referring to the fulfillment of the prophecy of John the Baptist in Luke 3:16: "he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit". [5]

Acts 1 Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1

Acts 1 is the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The book containing this chapter is anonymous but early Christian tradition affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke. This chapter functions as a transition from the "former account" with a narrative prelude, repeated record of the ascension of Jesus Christ with more detail and the meeting of Jesus' followers, until before Pentecost.

John the Baptist 1st-century Jewish preacher and later Christian saint

John the Baptist was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. Other titles for John include John the Forerunner in Eastern Christianity and "the prophet John (Yaḥyā)" in Islam. To clarify the meaning of "Baptist", he is sometimes alternatively called John the Baptizer.

Luke 3

Luke 3 is the third chapter of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It contains an account of the preaching of John the Baptist as well as a Genealogy of Jesus. The Expositor's Greek Testament states that in this chapter "the ministry of the new era opens".

In addition to the Holy Spirit and in its impacts on the Book of Acts, this should include the Lord [ specify ]'s direct communication to Paul the Apostle. This encounter had a very pivotal in terms of Paul's defense against the Roman Empire and Jewish authority empowered by the Holy Spirit. Several passages, for example, Acts 9:1-9, Acts 18:10, Acts 23:11, and Acts 27:23 all reveal a pneumatological element that reshapes the outcome of Paul's trial bending towards the prevailing of God's will rather than the agony of Paul's death.

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References

  1. 1 2 The Acts of the Apostles by Luke Timothy Johnson, Daniel J. Harrington 1992 ISBN   0814658075 pages 14-18
  2. 1 2 3 A Bible Handbook to the Acts of the Apostles by Mal Couch 2004 ISBN   0825423910 pages 120-129
  3. "Enduring Word Bible Commentary Acts Chapter 12".
  4. "Pontius Pilate - Biography, Facts, & Death".
  5. Reading Acts: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles by Charles H. Talbert 2005 ISBN   1573122777 pages 24-25