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The Acts of the Apostles.
#7. Jerusalem . . . . . Antioch . . . . . Rome.
The geography of the Acts and its witness.
pp. 25 - 29
In the opening article of this series, in which the book of the Acts as a whole was
considered, we found that the first fourteen verses formed a preface to the book, in which
was gathered up in brief what had been said more fully in the last chapter of Luke, and,
therefore, that Acts proper commenced with verse 15. We also discovered that the
structure of the book placed Peter and Paul in correspondence, each having his own
spiritual equipment (chapters 2: and 13:), and ministry (3:-11: and 13:-19:), and
both finally suffering imprisonment (12: and 28:). The opening member of the
structure was given as:--
P E T E R.
B | 1: 15 - 2: 13. JERUSALEM.--Holy Spirit.
Enduement of the twelve.
The reader would be well advised to consult the complete structure
given in Volume XXIV, page 3 before proceeding.
The geography of the Acts is like an index finger pointing out the road which the
teaching must inevitably follow. In broadest terms it is Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome; but
the intervening movements are important, as showing the manner in which the teaching
spread in ever widening circles. Let us make a note of the geography of this important
The whole movement is anticipated in 1: 8 where we read:--
"Ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all JudŠa, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
There is ambiguity that is evidently intentional in the use of the word translated
"earth". That this Greek work, ge, is rightly translated "earth" received confirmation
from Acts 4: 24, 7: 49, 14: 15 and 17: 26. But that it is also rightly translated
"land" is shown by Acts 7: 3, 4, 36; 13: 19 and 27: 44. It is therefore a matter for
careful thought that the Lord used a word which might have meant either a worldwide
commission, or one embracing only the uttermost parts of the land of Israel, the
alternatives depending respectively upon Israel's repentance and entrance into their true
ministry among the nations, or their failure, involving the passing on of their work to
others. This view is confirmed when we learn that the only other occurrence in the Acts
of the phrase "the uttermost parts of the earth is in chapter 13: The reader who has
acquainted himself with the structure of the book as a whole will realize that its
occurrence there, at the commencement of the second great ministry of the Acts, is, of
itself, suggestive. And the passage gains in suggestiveness when read in its context. Paul