Thematic Analysis Essay: Acts 1â€“7 Assignment Instructions
In Acts 1â€“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:
Jesusâ€™ words in Acts 1:8 provide the inspired outline Luke follows in writing Acts. (Re-read â€œTheme and Structure of Actsâ€ in the introduction, â€œBackground of Acts.â€) How does this segment develop the theme of the geographical/ethnic advance of the proclamation of the gospel in the first â€œgeographic targetâ€ 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 1â€“7 (of the nine themes identified by Fowler in his video presentation â€œThe Key Themes of Actsâ€)? 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 Peterâ€™s evangelistic addresses in this section: his sermon on Pentecost (2:14â€“40), his sermon following the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate (3:12â€“26), and his testimony in his two appearances before the Sanhedrin (4:8â€“12; 5:29â€“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 Stephenâ€™s speech to the Sanhedrin? How are these themes developed by Stephen? How does Stephenâ€™s speech fit thematically into this movement of the book of Acts? (Dr. Fowlerâ€™s video on â€œUnity, Disunity, and Opposition/Deathâ€ will help you to identify the â€œtwo main thingsâ€ Stephen drives home in his speech.)
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the SafeAssign plagiarism tool.