Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online
Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information

Acts 16

1 - He came to Derbe and Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess who believed; but his father was a Greek.

2 - The brothers who were at Lystra and Iconium gave a good testimony about him.

3 - Paul wanted to have him go out with him, and he took and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts; for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

4 - As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered the decrees to them to keep which had been ordained by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem.

5 - So the assemblies were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.

6 - When they had gone through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.

7 - When they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit didn't allow them.

8 - Passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.

9 - A vision appeared to Paul in the night. There was a man of Macedonia standing, begging him, and saying, "Come over into Macedonia and help us."

10 - When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go out to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the Good News to them.

11 - Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis;

12 - and from there to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the foremost of the district, a Roman colony. We were staying some days in this city.

13 - On the Sabbath day we went outside of the city by a riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down, and spoke to the women who had come together.

14 - A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul.

15 - When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay." So she persuaded us.

16 - As we were going to prayer, a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling.

17 - Following Paul and us, she cried out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!"

18 - She was doing this for many days.But Paul, becoming greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of JesusChrist to come out of her!" It came out that very hour.

19 - But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.

20 - When they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, "These men, being Jews, are agitating our city,

21 - and advocate customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans."

22 - The multitude rose up together against them, and the magistrates tore their clothes off of them, and commanded them to be beaten with rods.

23 - When they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely,

24 - who, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks.

25 - But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

26 - Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were loosened.

27 - The jailer, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.

28 - But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, "Don't harm yourself, for we are all here!"

29 - He called for lights, sprang in, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas,

30 - brought them out, and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

31 - They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."

32 - They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.

33 - He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household.

34 - He brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his household, having believed in God.

35 - But when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, "Let those men go."

36 - The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, "The magistrates have sent to let you go; now therefore come out, and go in peace."

37 - But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us publicly, without a trial, men who are Romans, and have cast us into prison! Do they now release us secretly? No, most certainly, but let them come themselves and bring us out!"

38 - The sergeants reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans,

39 - and they came and begged them. When they had brought them out, they asked them to depart from the city.

40 - They went out of the prison, and entered into Lydia's house. When they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them, and departed.

Acts Images and Notes

The Book of Acts

Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 9:3-6 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Acts in The New Testament - A Brief Overview

Luke by El Greco 1605
Painting of St. Luke by El Greco - 1605

Introduction to The Acts of the Apostles

Brief Summary. Jesus rose again, he told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they are endued with power from on high, power to be his witnesses unto the ends of the earth. When the feast of Pentecost had fully come, the church was born and God poured out his Holy Spirit in Jerusalem. This began a fire which was spread throughout the whole world, Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and all who believe can be saved. This was the message of the gospel in the Book of Acts, and God confirmed his word with signs following. The church in Jerusalem had taken their time in fulfilling the commands of the Lord to go into all the world beginning in Jerusalem and Samaria and even to the uttermost parts of the earth. God called a man named Saul who was a persecutor of the church to be the hero in the Book of Acts. God would change his name to Paul the Apostle, and it was through Paul that the message of Christ would spread to the farthest parts of the known world. The Book of Acts records three of Paul's missionary journeys by which the church was established, the people of God, the Christians who would change the world.

Summary of The Book of Acts

Contents. The Book of Acts clearly focuses on the beginnings of the church, and two people… The apostle Peter, and the one who actually possessed the courage to go to the farthest parts of the known world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, his name was Paul the Apostle. The Gospel spread from Israel, northward to Antioch, and then westward to Asia Minor, Greece, and finally Rome, the heart of the Roman Empire.

The first 12 chapters of the book of Acts deal with Peter, and the remainder of the book, the last 16 chapters is devoted to the apostle Paul.

The major areas of history with which the author has dealt are :
1) The establishment and progress of the church at Jerusalem until the dispersion which arose at the time of Stephen's death (Acts 1-7);
2) The preaching of the gospel to the surrounding area, including its introduction to the Gentiles (Acts 8-12) ;
3) The preaching tours of Paul and the struggle to define the church's position with regard to the law of Moses (Acts 13:1-21:16); and
4) Paul's imprisonment, which began in Jerusalem and was concluded in Rome (Acts 21:17-28 :30).

Audience. The book of Acts is addressed to Theophilus, usually thought to have been a Gentile who was interested in learning more of Christianity and whose name suggests may have been a symbol of all lovers of God.

Authorship. Luke wrote the Book of Acts and the Gospel of Luke and he dedicated his work to a man named Theophilus as mentioned in the summary of the book of Luke. Luke was a companion of Paul on his missionary journeys, and in many parts of the book of Acts it says "we" did this or that (Acts 16:10-17:1; Acts 20:5-21:17; and Acts 27:2-28:31). These Scriptures indicate that Luke joined and left the missionary party on several occasions and that he accompanied Paul on his journey to Rome. Paul's calls Luke his companion in Colossians 4:14, Philemon 1:24, and 2 Timothy 4:11. The medical language in Luke and Acts gives credence to Luke "the beloved physician" (Col. 4:14) as the author of Acts. The early Church writers unanimously agreed that Luke was the author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts, for example Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Tatian, and Irenaeus.

Date. Scholars agree that Acts was written around 62 or 63 AD. It is interesting to note that Luke never intimated the event of the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD within the book of Acts. Jerusalem is pictured as a currently thriving center of Judaism, with the temple service and sacrifices being carried out in a normal manner. After 70 AD everything changed and it would have been obvious if Luke had written Acts after 70 AD. Luke concludes Acts with Paul in Rome living in a hired house, and awaiting trial before Caesar (Acts 28:30). This would have been 61 or 62 AD obviously before the great persecution of Christians by Nero and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Place Written. Most scholars believe that the place of the writing of Acts was in Rome. The whole book is an account of the advance of Christianity from Jerusalem to Rome and the last events described take place in Rome.

Historical Accuracy. As has been noted in the introduction to Luke, the historical accuracy of the writings of Luke, once questioned widely, has now received extensive substantiation; there is little reason to suppose that the events took place in any way other than that described by Luke.

The Value of Acts. The Book of Acts is of great value to the Christian for many reasons. When Jesus commission His disciples to go into all the world, Acts informs us of the very events of the early Church in carrying out that commission. It tells us of their relationship to one another and to their other co-workers as they dealt with the various problems which faced the young church. It tells of the introduction of Christianity to the Gentile world and of the struggle for unity between Jew and Gentile.

Outline of the Book of Acts

The Gospel is Preached From Jerusalem to All Judea - Chapters 1-7
The Gospel is Preached in Samaria - Chapter 8
The Gospel is Preached to the Gentiles - Chapters 9-12
The Gospel is Preached to the Ends of the Earth - Chapters 13-28

Jesus written in Hebrew
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".

Acts Resources

Map of New Testament Israel
Map of the Roman Empire
Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey
Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey
Map of New Testament Cities
Map of the 7 Churches of Revelation (Asia Minor)
Map of the Roman Empire In the Time of Jesus
Map of Asia in Roman Times

Map of the Roman Empire (14 A.D.) - This map reveals the Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus, in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey (48 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first missionary journey. Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were sent on a mission from the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey (51 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his second missionary journey. Paul re-visits a couple cities in Asia, one of which was Lystra where he was stoned and left for dead a few years earlier. He later has a vision that leads him over to Greece and Paul and his companions travel and minister in various cities in Greece (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth. Later Paul returns to Ephesus and finally to Caesarea and Antioch. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he returned to the cities he had first visited on his first missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19). (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Voyage to Rome (61 A.D.) - This map reveals the journey of the Apostle Paul to Rome in 61 AD. Paul had appealed to Caesar in Caesarea (Acts 24-25), his goal was to spread the Gospel of Jesus throughout the Roman Empire all the way to her great capital, Rome. He demanded that his case be heard by the Roman Emperor. According to the Book of Acts, after his shipwreck on the Island of Malta (Acts 28) he came to Italy and was put on house arrest for two years (Acts 28:30). (Color Map)

Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the "Nations" within the ancient world during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)

Map of New Testament Asia - This map shows the cities within Asia Minor during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the principal cities of Asia including Tarsus, Ephesus, and Colossae, and provinces like Galatia and Pamphilia. (Color Map)

Map of New Testament Greece This map reveals the cities within Greece in the ancient world during the first century A.D.,The map includes the principal cities of Greece like: Athens, Corinth, and Thessalonica, and provinces like Macedonia and Achaia. (Color Map)

Map of New Testament Italy - This map reveals the cities within Italy during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the principle cities of Italy like Neapolis and Rome. Follow the path of the Apostle