Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO ACTS\\

This book, in some copies, is called, "The Acts of the holy
Apostles". It contains an history of the ministry and miracles of
the apostles of Christ, and is a sort of a journal of their actions,
from whence it takes its name. It begins at the ascension of Christ,
and reaches to the imprisonment of the Apostle Paul at Rome; and is
a history of upwards of thirty years: it gives an account of the
first Gospel church at Jerusalem, and of the progress of the Gospel
there, and in Judea, by the means of all the apostles, and
particularly Peter, the minister of the circumcision, and who also
first opened the door of faith to the Gentiles: it shows how the
Gospel went forth from Jerusalem, and was spread in the Gentile
world, especially by the Apostle Paul, whose companion Luke was,
that was the writer of this book; for that it was written by him is
very evident from the beginning of it, it being dedicated to the
same person his Gospel is, and of which he makes mention; and in the
Complutensian edition the book is called, "The Acts of the Apostles
of Saint Luke the Evangelist"; and so the title of it in the Syriac
version is, "the Book of the Acts: that is, the history of the
blessed apostles, which my Lord Luke the Evangelist collected for
the saints". It was by him written in the Greek language; and we are
told {a}, that there was a version of it into the Hebrew language, and
which was laid up in the library of the Jews at Tiberias; and is cited
by R. Azarias {b} under the name of \^twlweph\^, "the Acts": of the
authority of this book there has been no doubt, among the ancients,
only Cerinthus the heretic endeavoured to discredit it; and it was not
received by another sort of heretics called Severiani, from Severus, a
disciple of Tatian {c}. It is a most excellent and useful work,
showing the first planting of Christianity, and of Christian churches,
both among the Jews and Gentiles; the spread and progress of the Gospel
in several parts of the world; what sufferings the apostles endured for
the sake of it; and with what patience and courage they bore them; and
what success attended them; and is a standing proof and confirmation of
the Christian religion.

{a} Epiphan. Contr. Haeres. l. 1. Haeres. 30.
{b} Meor Enayim, p. 167.
{c} Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 4. c. 29.