Acts Bible Study Resources

by | May 31, 2019 | 02 Library, Resources by Book

Acts Bible Study Resources

Everything you need to kick start your study of the Book  of Acts: maps, charts, key words, history, background, outlines, and links to help you study.

Jump to: Background; ** Maps; ** Key Words; ** Encyclopedias; ** Commentaries; ** Articles; ** GotQuestions ** Next **

Acts Basics

  • Author: Luke, the physician
  • Who was Luke?
  • Date written: c 62 AD (many arguing for 75-85 AD)
  • Time period of events: 30-62 AD. The book begins in the year of Christ’s death/resurrection and ends with Paul’s imprisonment in Rome.
  • Genre: historical narrative
  • Audience: Believers
  • Chapters 1-12 – main character is Peter. Chapters 13-28 – Main character is Paul.


Many have been proposed, including:

  • Evangelistic: to awaken faith (especially through the speeches recorded)
  • Political: to show Roman citizens that Christianity should be tolerated; Luke shows many Roman officials refusing to stand in the way of the new movement
  • Edification of believers: seeks the confirmation of what they have been taught (Luke 1:1-4)
  • Defense of Paul: Luke intended to defend Paul against rumors and false charges about his authenticity
  • Reconciliation between Jewish and Gentile believers by showing Peter and Paul in agreement over the basics of the faith
  • Historical-theological: to explain the movement of the church from Jerusalem-based, Judiasm-oriented to worldwide, Gentile-dominated.

Simple Outline of Acts

  • Chapters 1-12: Peter and the beginnings of the church in Palestine; 1:1-9:31 – Judea, Galilee and Samaria; 9:32-12:25 – as far as Phoenicia, Cyrus and Antioch.
  • Chapters 13-28: Paul and the expansion of the church from Antioch to Rome; 13:1-15:35 – throughout Phyrgia and Galatia; 15:36-21:16 – over to Macedonia; 21:17028:31 – to Rome.

Structure of Acts

6 sections marked by summary statements

  • 1:1-6-7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. – Acts 6:7
  • 6:8-9:31So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. – Acts 9:31
  • 9:31-12:24But the word of God increased and multiplied. – Acts 12:24
  • 12:25-16:5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. – Acts 16:5
  • 16:6-19:20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. – Acts 19:20
  • 19:21-28:31He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.  – Acts 28:30-31

Themes of Acts

  • The Holy Spirit‘s power guides the church’s growth (Acts 1:8; Acts 4:8; Acts 8:28; Acts 8:39; Acts 10:19; Acts 13:2; Acts 15:28; Acts 16:6; Acts 20:22).
  • 5 separate accounts of an outpouring of the Holy Spirits (Acts 2:1-4; Acts4:28-31; Acts 8:15-17; Acts 10:44; Acts 19:6).
  • Leading characters are each “filled with the Holy Spirit” (e.g. Acts 2:4; Acts 4:8; Acts 6:3; Acts 7:55; Acts 11:24; Acts 13:9; Acts 13:52).
  • Prayer (e.g. Acts 1:14; Acts 2:42; Acts 4:23-31; Acts 6:4; Acts 7:59; Acts 9:40; Acts 10:9; Acts 10:30; Acts 12:12; Acts 13:3; Acts 14:23; Acts 16:16; Acts 16:25; Acts 20:36; Acts 21:5).
  • Joy (e.g. Acts 8:8; Acts 13:52; Acts 14:17; Acts15:3; Acts 16:34).
  • Suffering and persecution to advance the church (e.g. Acts 4:7; Acts 5:18; Acts 5:40-41; Acts 8:1; Acts 8:3; Acts 9:16; Acts 9:23; Acts 12:1-2; Acts 13:50; Acts 14:5; Acts 14:19; Acts 14:22; Acts 16:22-23; Acts 17:5; Acts 18:12; Acts 20:3; Acts 20:23; Acts 21:30; Acts 23:12; Acts 28:20).

Genre: Understanding Narrative

Section 1: Background

Background, Outlines & Timelines

Acts NASB Study Text

Paul’s journeys in 1 chart (WitW)

Chronology of Paul (WitW)

Bible Atlas: Nazareth

Bible Atlas: Galilee

Chronology of Acts/Epistles (Blue Letter Bible)

Blue Letter Bible Chronology of Paul

Introduction to New Testament Jewish Groups


Acts Overview (Blue Letter Bible)

NIV: Introduction to Acts

ESV: Introduction to Acts

ESV: The Global Message of Acts

Ray Stedman: Overview of each Book

John MacArthur: Author, Date, Background

J Vernon McGee Notes on Acts

Charles Swindoll – Acts – View a list of Bible maps 

James Van Dine: Analysis of Acts

David Malick ( An Introduction To The Book Of Acts

David Malick: An Argument Of The Book Of Acts

Daniel Wallace: Acts: Introduction, Outline, and Argument

Bob Utley: Introduction to Acts


Acts Timeline (Biblehub)

Parallels in the Ministries of Jesus, Peter, and Paul in Luke–Acts

Major Sermons in Acts

God’s Sovereignty in Salvation as Seen in Acts

Itinerary of Paul’s First Journeysee discussion and map

Itinerary of Paul’s Second Journey – see discussion and map

God’s Sovereignty in Salvation in Acts

Book of Acts Story and Structure

Major Events in the Life of Paul 

BlueLetterBible Timeline

Ben Witherington Timeline

Section 2: Maps



Paul’s Conversion and Early Ministry– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s 1st Journey –

1st Missionary Journey of Paul– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s 2nd Journey –

2nd Missionary Journey of Paul– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s 3rd Journey –

3rd Missionary Journey of Paul– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s Journeys– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s Arrest and Imprisonment– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s Voyage to Rome– Holman Bible Atlas

Pentecost and the Jewish Diaspora– Holman Bible Atlas

Apostles’ Journeys –


Israel in New Testament Times –

New Testament Jerusalem –

Herod the Great’s Kingdom –

Herod’s Kingdom Divided –

The Kingdom of Herod Agrippa I – Holman Bible Atlas

The Kingdom of Agrippa II– Holman Bible Atlas

Expansion of the Early Church in Palestine– Holman Bible Atlas

Section 3: Key Words

Key Words in Acts

Occurrences are based on New American Standard Text. “4x/3v” means the word appears 4 times in 3 verses. “3x” means the word appears 3 times in 3 verses.

Lord (101x) – Strong’s G2962

Jesus (71x); Christ (26X)

Spirit (64x) – Strong’s G4151

word (39x) Strong’s G3056 in Act 2:41; Act 4:29; Act 4:31; Act 6:2; Act 6:4; Act 6:7; Act 7:14; Act 8:4; Act 8:14; Act 8:25; Act 10:36; Act 11:1; Act 11:16; Act 11:19; Act 12:24; Act 13:5; Act 13:7; Act 13:15; Act 13:44; Act 13:46; Act 13:48; Act 13:49; Act 14:3; Act 14:25; Act 15:7; Act 15:27; Act 15:35; Act 15:36; Act 16:6; Act 16:32; Act 17:11; Act 17:13; Act 18:5; Act 18:11; Act 19:10; Act 19:20; Act 20:32; Act 20:38; Act 28:25.

baptized (19X) – Strong’s G907 in Act 1:5; Act 2:38; Act 2:41; Act 8:12; Act 8:13; Act 8:16; Act 8:36; Act 8:38; Act 9:18; Act 10:47; Act 10:48; Act 11:16; Act 16:15; Act 16:33; Act 18:8; Act 19:3; Act 19:4; Act 19:5; Act 22:16; baptism (6x) – Strong’s G908 in Act 1:22; Act 10:37; Act 13:24; Act 18:25; Act 19:3; Act 19:4.

church (17x) Strong’s G1577 in Act 5:11; Act 8:1; Act 8:3; Act 9:31; Act 11:22; Act 11:26; Act 12:1; Act 12:5; Act 13:1; Act 14:23; Act 14:27; Act 15:3; Act 15:4; Act 15:22; Act 18:22; Act 20:17; Act 20:28.

faith (14X/13V) – Strong’s G4102 in Act 3:16; Act 6:5; Act 6:7; Act 11:24; Act 13:8; Act 14:9; Act 14:22; Act 14:27; Act 15:9; Act 16:5; Act 20:21; Act 24:24; Act 26:18.

believe (10x/9v) Strong’s 64100 in Act 8:37; Act 13:41; Act 15:7; Act 15:11; Act 16:31; Act 19:4; Act 26:27; Act 27:25; Act 28:24; believing (4x) Strong’s G4100 in Act 9:26; Act 11:17; Act 18:8; Act 24:14.

saved (12x) Strong’s G4982 in Act 2:21; Act 2:40; Act 2:47; Act 4:12; Act 11:14; Act 15:1; Act 15:11; Act 16:30; Act 16:31; Act 27:20; Act 27:31; Act 28:4.

witnesses (9x) – Strong’s G3144 in Act 1:8; Act 2:32; Act 3:15; Act 5:32; Act 6:13; Act 7:58; Act 10:39; Act 10:41; Act 13:31.

witness (7x) – Strong’s G3144 in Act 1:22; Act 22:15; Act 22:20; Act 26:16; Strong’s G3140 in Act 10:43; Act 23:11; Strong’s G267 in Act 14:17.

Section 5: Commentaries

Commentaries & Study Bibles

Top 5 Commentaries on Acts by Keith Mathison –

Best Commentaries on Acts – Tim Challies

Commentary Reviews: Acts

Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible: Acts

Albert Barnes Notes on the Whole Bible: Acts

Alfords Exegetical Commentary: Acts

Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible: Acts

Geneva Study Bible: Acts

Reformation Study Bible Notes: Acts

The Biblical Illustrator: Acts

Paul Apple: Acts Commentary

Precept Austin Commentaries & Sermons: Acts

Section 4: Encyclopedias

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Luke-Acts, Theology of

American Tract Society: Acts of the Apostles

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Acts, Book of

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Acts of the Apostles

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Acts of the Apostles

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Acts of the Apostles

Holman Bible Dictionary: Acts

Morrish Bible Dictionary  Acts of the Apostles

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Acts of the Apostles

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Acts of the apostles

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: Acts of the Apostles

McClintock and Strong’s: Acts of the Apostles

The Nuttall Encyclopedia Acts of the Apostles

Assorted articles-mostly theological journals – Acts

Assorted articles UK – Acts


McClinktock & Strong: Luke

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Luke

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Luke

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Luke

Fausset’s Bible Dictionary: Luke

Holman Bible Dictionary: Luke

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Luke

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Luke, the Evangelist

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Luke, Lucas

Nutall Encyclopedia: Luke

Luke, means “luminous, white” – Hitchcock’s Bible Names


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Paul the Apostle

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Paul

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Paul

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Paul

Holman Bible Dictionary: Paul

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Paul the Apostle

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Paul

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Paul

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Paul, the Apostle

McClintock and Strong: Paul

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Paul

The Jewish Encyclopedia:


Barnabas – Understanding God’s Will in the World

Barnabas – The High Calling of Playing Second Fiddle

American Tract Society: Barnabas

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Barnabas

Easton’s Bible Dictionary:

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Barnabas

Holman Bible Dictionary: Barnabas

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Barnabas

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Barnabas

Morrish Bible Dictionary:

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

McClintock and Strong: Barnabas

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Barnabas, St.


American Tract Society: Timothy

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary:

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Timothy

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Timothy

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Timothy

Holman Bible Dictionary: Timothy

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Timothy

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Timothy

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Timotheus, Timothy

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Timothy

McClintock and Strong: Timothy

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Timothy

Timothy in Acts:  Acts 16:1-3; Acts 17:14-15; Acts 18:5; Acts 19:22; Acts 20:4

Silas, Silvanus

American Tract Society: Silas; Silvanus

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Silas

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Silas

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Silas

Holman Bible Dictionary: Silas, Silvanus

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Silvanus

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Silvanus

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Silas

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Silvanus

McClintock and Strong: Silvanus

Silas in Acts:  Acts 15:22-41; Acts 16; Acts 17; Acts 18:5


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Pharisees

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Pharisees

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Pharisees

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Pharisees

Holman Bible Dictionary: Jewish Parties in the New Testament

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Pharisees

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Pharisees

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Pharisees

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Pharisees

McClintock and Strong: Pharisee

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Pharisees

The Jewish Encyclopedia: Pharisees


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Sadducees

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Sadducees

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Sadducees

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Sadducees

Holman Bible Dictionary: Jewish Parties in the New Testament

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Sadducees

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Sadducees

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Sadducees

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Sadducees

McClintock and Strong: Sadducee

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Sadducees

The Jewish Encyclopedia: Sadducees


Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Scribes

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Scribes

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Scribes

Holman Bible Dictionary: Scribe

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Scribes

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Scribes

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Scribes

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Scribes

McClintock and Strong: Scribes, Jewish

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Scribes, The

The Jewish Encyclopedia: Scribes

John the Baptist

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: John the Baptist

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: John the Baptist

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: John the Baptist

Fausset Bible Dictionary: John the Baptist

Holman Bible Dictionary:

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: John the Baptist

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: John the Baptist

Morrish Bible Dictionary: John the Baptist

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: John the Baptist

McClintock and Strong: John the Baptist

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: John the Baptist

The Jewish Encyclopedia: John the Baptist

Assorted articles-mostly theological journals – John the Baptist

Alfred Edersheim

Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Temple —Its Ministry and Services 

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Old Testament History

Whyte’s Dictionary of Bible Characters

Ananias and Sapphira


Herod That Fox

James the Lord’s Brother


John the Baptist

Lois and Eunice

Luke, the Beloved Physician

Mary Magdalene

Matthias the Successor to Judas Iscariot


Timothy As a Child

Timothy As a Young Minister

Section 6: Articles


E Earle Ellis – The End of the Earth (Acts 1:8) – Bulletin for Biblical Research 1991,123-32

Paul House – Suffering and the Purpose of Acts – JETS 33: 1990 (317-330)

Bruce – Luke’s Presentation of the Spirit in Acts

Allen- Acts Studies in the 1990’s Unity and Diversity

deSilva- Paul’s Sermon in Antioch of Pisidia

Dockery- The Theology of Acts

Gasque – The Historical Value of the Book of Acts

Gasque – The Historical Value of the Book of Acts – separate article

Goetz – Acts 17:6 Flipping the World on Its Head (Acts 17-6; I Pet. 2-91)

Hemer, The Speeches of Acts: Pt 1: The Ephesian Elders; Pt 2: Areopagus

Kistemaker- The Speeches in Acts

Koivisto – Stephen’s Speech: A Theology of Errors?

McIntyre- Baptism and Forgiveness in Acts 2-38

McRay- Archaeology and the Book of Acts

Moore – To the End of the Earth…

Murray- Paul’s Corporate Evangelism in the Book of Acts

Palmer – Acts and the Historical Monograph

Poythress – Modern Spiritual Gifts as Analogous to Apostolic Gifts

Rainer- Church Growth and Evangelism in the Book of Acts

Schnabel-Fads &Common Sense-Reading Acts in 1st Century & Reading Today

Vines- Evangelistic Preaching and the Book of Acts

Walton, “The Acts – of God? What is the ‘Acts of the Apostles’ all about?”

Wiarda – The Jerusalem Council and the Theological Task

Biblical Studies – Acts  – multiple journal articles (UK) Acts – Multiple Resources

Fruchtenbaum: Rabbinic Quotations of the Old Testament and how it Relates to Joel 2 and Acts 2

Bob Deffinbaugh – The Unique Contribution of the Book of Acts

Myer Pearlman – Through the Bible – Acts

James Gray – Acts of the Apostles

William W. Orr – Key to Acts

Daniel B. Wallace: Did Priscilla “Teach” Apollos? An Examination of the Meaning of ἐκτίθημι in Acts 18:26

Greg Herrick: A Study Outline of Acts

Section 7: Got Questions

Treat like any commentary: read carefully and thoughtfully.

Book of Acts – Bible Survey

 Who was Theophilus at the beginning of Luke and Acts?

Was Matthias or Paul God’s choice to replace Judas as the 12th apostle?

What are cloven tongues?

What is the gift of speaking in tongues? Is it for today?

Is speaking in tongues evidence for having the Holy Spirit?

Should we be baptized in Jesus’ name (Acts 2:38), or in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19)?

Does Acts 2:38 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation? (See also Is baptism necessary for salvation?)

What does the Bible mean when it speaks of the breaking of bread?

 What was early Christianity like?

 Why did God kill Ananias and Sapphira for lying?

 What was in the shadow of Peter that healed people (Acts 5:15-16)?

 Who were the Hellenistic Jews in the Bible?

 What can we learn from the life of Stephen?

Who was Simon the Sorcerer?

Why had the believers in Samaria not received the Holy Spirit?

 What can we learn from the life of Paul?

What happened on the road to Damascus? What is a road to Damascus experience?

Why does Acts 9:7 say that those traveling with Paul heard a voice, but Acts 22:9 says that they heard no voice?

 Who was Cornelius in the Bible?

When and why was Saul’s name changed to Paul?

 What were the different missionary journeys of Paul?

What happened on Paul’s first missionary journey?

What happened on Paul’s second missionary journey?

What happened on Paul’s third missionary journey?

What happened between Paul’s third and fourth missionary journeys?

What happened on Paul’s fourth missionary journey?

What is “the Way” in the Bible?

What can we learn from the life of Barnabas?

What was the meaning and importance of the Jerusalem Council?

What does the Bible say about household salvation?

What is the Macedonian Call?

Who were the Bereans in the Bible?

What is Epicureanism? What did Epicurus teach?

 What happened at Mars Hill in the Bible?

 Who is the unknown god in Acts 17:23?

 Why had the disciples in Ephesus not received the Holy Spirit?

 Who were the seven sons of Sceva?

Who is the Artemis mentioned in the Bible?

Who was Gaius in the Bible?

 Who was Tychicus in the Bible?

 What is the whole counsel of God?

 Does Acts 22:16 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?

What does it mean to kick against the pricks?

What can we learn from the life of James, the brother of Jesus?

What can we learn from the life of Luke?

What should we learn from the account of Paul and Barnabas?

What should we learn from the account of Paul and Silas?

Section 8: Next

Next: Romans

Previous: Gospel of John

Series: Resources by Book

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