New Testament Lesson

Come, Follow Me Jul. 1—7: Acts 1—5
June 28, 2019
New Testament Lesson
Come, Follow Me Jul. 1—7: Acts 1—5
Author BYU Studies Staff

The book of Acts of the Apostles begins with Jesus' commission of the Apostles to be witnesses of the gospel and the Apostles being given the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. This gift gave them the strength to carry their message with faith and not fear.

"The Book of Acts: A Pattern for Modern Church Growth," Jared W. Ludlow, in Shedding Light on the New Testament: Acts–Revelation, ed. Ray L. Huntington, Frank F. Judd Jr., and David M. Whitchurch (BYU Religious Studies Venter, 2009)
The book of Acts, with the commissioning of the Apostles (Acts 1), gift of tongues (Acts 2), and more, relates the challenges the young Christian church faced that are comparable to the challenges we as Latter-day Saints face today.

Chart 12-11: "Miracles in Acts," Charting the New Testament
"Following in the footsteps of the Master, the apostles of Jesus performed many miracles as they took the gospel out into the world." In Samaria, Philip cast out spirits and healed those with palsies. Many people were baptized after witnessing the miracle. In Damascus, Ananias restored Saul's sight. Saul was baptized to the amazement of the people. Though some doubted the work of the apostles, others attributed their power to God and were converted.

"The Western Text of the Book of Acts: a Mirror of the Doctrinal Struggles in the Early Christian Church," J. Phillip Schaelling, in Apocryphal Writings and the Latter-day Saints, ed. C. Wilfred Griggs (BYU Religious Studies Center)
Understanding the history of manuscripts of the book of Acts shows that we can have confidence in the scriptural record. "Sometimes the difference between the apocrypha and canon is treated as though it were black and white," but there is no gap, rather a continuum of texts. This article points out the variations in the ancient texts of Acts.

"Endowed with Power," Peter B. Rawlins, Religious Educator 13, no. 1 (2012)
This article places the power that the Apostles received at Pentecost (Acts 1, 2) in the context of modern revelation on the endowment of power (D&C 38, 39, 95, 108, and more).

"Fire and Speaking in Tongues: What We Can Learn About the Pentecost Festival in Acts," S. Kent Brown, posted at LDS Living
Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, is one of three annual occasions that required all Jewish males to gather in Jerusalem and give sacrifices. Peter and the Apostles gathered at the Temple, and at that moment, the Lord chose to seize the attention of everyone who would pay attention with the rushing mighty wind and cloven tongues of fire. The thousands of souls who were added to the church that day were likely travelers from outside Jerusalem, and they took home with them the memories of that day. In this manner, sparks of divine light were spread throughout other lands. These who had witnessed the miracle at Pentecost were in place when missionaries such as Paul came to their cities.