The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus: Luke's Account of God's Unfolding Plan, By Alan J. Thompson alt

The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus

Luke's Account of God's Unfolding Plan

New Studies in Biblical Theology


by Alan J. Thompson
Series edited by D. A. Carson

The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus
  • Length: 232 pages
  • Published: March 05, 2013
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 8420
  • ISBN: 9780830884209

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When the book of Acts is mentioned, a cluster of issues spring to mind, including speaking in tongues and baptism with the Holy Spirit, church government and practice, and missionary methods and strategies. At the popular level, Acts is more often mined for answers to contemporary debates than heard for its natural inflections.

Instead of using Acts as a prooftext, this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume brings a biblical-theological framework to the account to expose Luke's major themes as they relate to the book as a whole. With this framework in place, Alan Thompson argues that Acts is an account of the 'continuing story' of God's saving purposes. Consequently we find that Luke wants to be read in light of the Old Testament promises and the continuing reign of Christ in the inaugurated kingdom.

Read in this way as a snapshot of God's dynamic, unfolding kingdom, the book of Acts begins to regain the deep relevance it had in the first century.

Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.

"No one should teach or preach from the Acts of the Apostles again without first reading this book."

Douglas S. Huffman, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Spring 2013

"This is a very helpful book which I have read with great appreciation. Thompson provides exactly what he sets out to do: a clear framework for reading Acts which takes careful account of many major themes and issues, and a framework which equips his readers to explore further themselves."

Steve Walton, Evangelical Quarterly, 86.2 (2014)

"We can be grateful to Thompson for a profound, convincing, and delightful work on the theology of Acts. It is a much needed work, for there are few theologies of Acts written, and I can't think of one that is more accessible and faithful."

Thomas R. Schreiner, Themelios, November 2011, 36.3

"This book will help readers further appreciate the organic and progressive nature of revelation and understand the narrative flow and canonical function of the book of Acts. The connections made with previous revelation . . . are very illuminating and will stimulate much thought whether one agrees or disagrees with Thompson's conclusions. I recommend the book highly."

Richard C. Barcellos, Reformed Baptist Theological Review, V111: 1, Spring 2011

". . . an accessible, lucidly written, biblically faithful treatment of the theology of Acts. . . . Thompson establishes a unifying theological framework for Acts and clearly ties each chapter into this framework. . . . This is perhaps the most accessible book-length treatment of the theology of Acts, relevant to a broad academic and church readership."

Brian J. Tabb, Bulletin for Biblical Research, 23.1, 2013

"My favorite book of 2012–2013."

James M. Hamilton, Towers, Summer Reading Issue, June-July 2013

". . . a first-class discussion and explanation of the theology of the Acts that is thoroughly biblical, abreast of the latest scholarship and written in a way that is accessible to those who teach and preach the Bible."

Greg Goswell, New Life, 1 December 2011


Series preface
Author?s preface

Reassurance concerning God?s purposes: the purpose(s) of the Book of Acts
Excursus: assumptions concerning authorship, audience, and interpreting Acts

1. Living ?between the times?: the kingdom of God
The sovereignty of God
The kingdom of God
The continuing reign of the Lord Jesus
Suffering: the fullness of the kingdom has yet to come
Excursus: an expositional outline of Acts

2. The hope of Israel: the resurrection and the arrival of the last days
Resurrection hope
Resurrection in Luke?s Gospel
Resurrection in Acts
Jesus? death and the resurrection in Acts
Preaching the Gospel in Acts
Table 1: Verbs used to describe the action of apostolic preaching
Table 2: Summary descriptions of the message preached in Acts

3. Israel and the Gentiles: the kingdom and God?s promises of restoration
Kingdom restoration and Israel? (Acts 1:6--8)
Pentecost and ?all Israel? (Acts 2)
Samaria and the restoration of Israel (Acts 8:1--25)
Outcasts and the restoration of Israel (Acts 8: 26--40)
The Servant who restores Israel and brings salvation to the Gentiles (Acts 13:47)
The rebuilding and restoring of David?s fallen tent (Acts 15:13--18)

4. The promise of the Father: the gift of the Holy Spirit
The prophetic hope of the Spirit
The kingdom of God and the promised eschatological gift of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit is bestowed by the risen and exalted Lord Jesus
God?s empowering presence
A restored people of God
One people of God
Faith, repentance, baptism, and the reception of the Spirit in Acts

5. The end of an era: the temple system and its leaders
The debate about the temple in Acts
The Davidic king, the last days, and the temple (Acts 1--3)
The temple, temple leadership, and Jesus? universal authority (Acts 3--5)
Stephen, the temple and Jesus (Acts 6--7)

6. The end of an era: the law is no longer the direct authority for God?s people
The debate about the law in Acts
Jesus: the one to whom the law pointed has now come
Apostolic leadership and authority
Sensitivity to Jewish beliefs about the Law

7. Concluding Summary

Index of authors
Index of Scripture references
Index of ancient sources


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Alan J. Thompson is senior lecturer in New Testament at Sydney Missionary and Bible College, Croydon, New South Wales, Australia. He is the author of The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus (NSBT), One Lord, One People, and Luke (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament).

D. A. Carson

D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.