Thematic Analysis Essay: Acts 1–7 Assignment Instructions




In Acts 1–7, the church is born and begins to take root in Jerusalem. Tracing the growth of the church and analyzing themes in these first seven chapters will help you better understand the importance of prayer and dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Observing the sermons and speeches of early witnesses will demonstrate key teachings throughout redemptive history that are as essential today as they were in the first century.



In an essay of 750-1000 words, analyze the thematic development of this first movement of the book of Acts. While this is not an exclusive list, be sure to address the following elements:

Jesus’ words in Acts 1:8 provide the inspired outline Luke follows in writing Acts. (Re-read “Theme and Structure of Acts” in the introduction, “Background of Acts.”) How does this segment develop the theme of the geographical/ethnic advance of the proclamation of the gospel in the first “geographic target” Jesus identifies in Acts 1:8? Trace the development of this theme through this section of Acts.

What other major themes are developed in Acts 1–7 (of the nine themes identified by Fowler in his video presentation “The Key Themes of Acts”)? Trace the development of each of the themes introduced in the first seven chapters. Do not merely list the themes, and do more than give a single example. Trace each theme from its introduction through chapter 7.

Luke records four of Peter’s evangelistic addresses in this section: his sermon on Pentecost (2:14–40), his sermon following the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate (3:12–26), and his testimony in his two appearances before the Sanhedrin (4:8–12; 5:29–32). Read these and compare them in order to identify the core elements that Peter considered non-negotiable in his preaching of the gospel. What does Peter believe his audience must understand to be saved? Present those core truths.

What are the two primary, recurring themes in Stephen’s speech to the Sanhedrin? How are these themes developed by Stephen? How does Stephen’s speech fit thematically into this movement of the book of Acts? (Dr. Fowler’s video on “Unity, Disunity, and Opposition/Death” will help you to identify the “two main things” Stephen drives home in his speech.)



Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the SafeAssign plagiarism tool.

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