From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Acts of the Apostles Questions Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
If you're looking for alternate titles for Acts of the Apostles try "Acts of the Holy Spirit" or "Acts of Jesus." How do both of these fit the story? Is Acts like a modern biography? How is it different? Luke quotes and refers to the Hebrew Bible (a.k.a. the Old Testament) a ton. Why? Why doesn't Luke include more of Jesus's teachings in the forty days after Easter? He could have made this a trilogy. Do you think the situation in the church at the end of chapters 2 and 4 (with everyone sharing everything) is a good model for today's Christians? Why do the apostles need to replace Judas? Do they really need exactly twelve guys hanging around? Do you think the apostles are the best men to lead the church? Are they good at making decisions and solving problems or do they bungle things up a lot? Why are Ananias and Sapphira killed instantly while God gives other sinners in the story a chance to repent… or at least catch their breath? We get why Jesus can heal people, but why can the apostles? Why can't Christians today? Do you think Stephen is afraid to die? Why or why not? Why did ancient people love stoning so much? It just seems mean. How do people in positions of power react to the apostles? How do the powerless see them? Do you think the reports of Christians converts (up to 5,000 at one time) are accurate? What would be the purpose of exaggerating? Why is Paul, the well-educated Jew and former persecutor, a powerful witness for Christianity? The apostles escape the clutches of their enemies tons of times, yet certain apostles still die (Stephen and James). What's up with that? Why didn't God save them? Why do you think that Paul wanted to take his discipleship show on the road while Peter wanted to stay closer to home? Do you think Peter and Paul got along? Or was there some tension there? Why would they not exactly see eye to eye? Why is Acts so against magic? Aren't the miracles the disciples are performing a kind of magic too? The Holy Spirit is pretty unpredictable. Sometimes it comes to people before baptism, sometimes during, and sometimes after. What gives? How could the apostles tell when someone had received the Holy Spirit? Why does Acts say that whole households of people were baptized when their head of house believed? Did the other folks in these houses believe or were they forced to convert? After his vision, Peter decides that Gentiles can come into the fold. Why? What if he interpreted this all wrong? Why did the apostles in Jerusalem decide that Gentiles didn't have to be circumcised but that they had to keep kosher? Why is one law more enforceable than another? Why does everyone seem to have a love/hate relationship with Paul? Why don't the other Christians in Jerusalem go to bat for Paul when he's arrested? It's like Jesus all over again. Peter tells the story of his vision twice. We get to hear about Paul's conversion three times. Why do you think Luke repeats speeches so much? Why don't the apostles just work all kinds of miracles to get themselves out of trouble? All those Roman officials probably have relatives who need healing. Can you name all the parallels between Jesus in the Gospel of Luke and Peter and Paul in Acts of the Apostles? Hint: there are a ton. How do you think Peter died? How about Paul? How about the other disciples? We know that women were followers of Jesus, but why doesn't the story include any acts by female apostles?
People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...