Lesson 1: The Background of Acts
Section 2: Historical Setting


II. Historical Setting

A. Date

  1. After A.D. 70

  2. Before A.D. 70

B. Original Audience

  1. Theophilus

  2. Broader Audience

C. Social Context

  1. Roman Empire

  2. Jews


1. What is Dr. Bayer's opinion about the date of composition of the Book of Acts?
2. What names are mentioned in Acts that are also mentioned in historical accounts written around 79 AD?
3. What arguments are used by Dr. Bayer to support his view about when Acts was written?
4. What is Dr. Bayer's view about the audience to whom Acts was written?
5. How did public works such as roads and buildings built by the Roman Empire help the spread of the gospel?
6. What was the attitude of the Roman Empire toward the Jewish religion and the Christian religion at the time Acts was written?
7. What was the attitude of the early Christians toward the Jewish leaders at the time Acts was written?
8. What is the name of the historian who wrote "Antiquities" around 79 AD?
9. At the time Acts was written, were some Gentile proselytes permitted to become members of the Jewish community?
10. How did the early Christian Church view Gentile believers in regards to their status in the Church?
11. Describe some the problems of the early Church mentioned in Acts and referenced in the lesson?


1. How are our lives and theology influenced by our own governments and cultures? How can we discern whether this influence is good or bad?

2. What can we learn from the early church about relating to the social and political influences around us?

3. As you look at the problems the early church was facing, as described in Acts, which of those problems do you think are still the most common in our churches today?

4. As you look at most churches around your city today, what kind of people belong to them? What kinds of social and ethnic backgrounds are represented?

5. What can we learn from the situation of the early church in Acts about relating to people of different religions and different backgrounds? What should our churches look like today, in terms of bringing different people together in Christ?
Last modified: Friday, 2 August 2019, 7:52 PM