ACCORDING TO TRADITION, the Book of Acts is written by Luke the physician, a companion of Paul on his second and third missionary journeys and on the voyage to Rome. Evidence from the early church is that Luke was the author. ... Passages show that the narrator of Acts accompanied Paul from Troas in Asia Minor to Philippi on the continent of Europe, returning with him to Troas. Later he and Paul traveled from Palestine to Rome. The author was probably an educated Gentile, as attested by the style and the high level of Greek used in Luke and Acts. His Greek is sometimes fully classical. The author's methodical approach to writing and his interest in research reveal an educated, highly trained man.
The book of Acts is a careful history of the development of the early church. Luke's descriptions of geographical and provincial details, of governmental officials and their actions, of imperial procedure, of a sea voyage to Italy, replete with accurate nautical terms - all these come from a careful researcher who was himself an eyewitness of many of the events he records.
Luke had several purposes. In 1: 1, 2 he says that in the Gospel he has explained the life of Jesus until the Ascension. He summarizes the general theme of Acts as follows: the Lord is going to expand his work "in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts is called the Acts of the Apostles", yet Luke traces only the ministries of Peter (chs. 1-12) and Paul (chs. 13-28). Some have detected an interest in defending Christianity or showing that Christianity was not a threat to Rome. Acts is a map of the progress of the church into the ancient world, showing how the present age began.
- The Reformation Study Bible
published by Ligonier Ministries, Sanford FL
permission to quote granted by Ligonier Ministries