Questions & Answers – Acts
Is Baptism Important?
Why is baptism so important? I'm trying to decide whether or not to be baptized.
A Question about Laying on of Hands
It seemed that touching the sick or injured had negative implications for the Jews. True? If so, what is the importance of Jesus and his disciples touching or laying on of hands as part of some healings?
Paul and Agrippa
In Acts 26, Paul stands before King Agrippa II, who encourages him to "speak for himself," i.e., in his own defense. Paul presents his best arguments to Agrippa (and Festus). In 26:28 Agrippa interrupts him by saying, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian" (NKJV). Is that true? Did Paul "almost persuade" the king to become a Christian?
Author of Mark's Gospel
When Peter escaped from prison (see Acts 12) he went to the home of "Mary, mother of John also called Mark, where many people were praying." Is this the same Mark who wrote the Gospel of Mark?
I've heard that the term "simony" has a New Testament origin. Could you tell me more about this?
At the conclusion of the Jerusalem Council, James told Paul not to forget the "poor." At the time, Paul seemed quite eager to help in this regard. According to Paul's letters, he gathered a collection of money from all the Gentile churches to be used for the "poor" in Jerusalem. He talks about it often and perhaps even risked his life to present it, yet Luke never mentions it in Acts after Paul arrived. Why not?
Are the incidents described in Acts 15:1-29 and Galatians 2:1-21 the same event, known as the Jerusalem Council — one description from Luke and one description from Paul?
Several New Testament writers use the term "God-fearers." Does this refer to an actual group or is it another name for Paul's opponents?
In Acts 5:34, a Pharisee, Gamaliel, seems to be somewhat sympathetic to the apostles. At least he is credited with saving their lives. Later on, however, in Acts 22:3, Paul states that he learned about the law of the fathers at "the feet of Gamaliel." It was this learning that led him to be "zealous toward God," which was the basis for his subsequent persecution of Christians. Are we talking about the same Gamaliel in both events? And does that also suggest that Gamaliel had a change of heart regarding Christianity?
We Passages in Acts
In several places in Acts, Luke writes in the first person using "we," as in "we" did this or that. If he was right there, why are there so many discrepancies between what he writes in Acts and what Paul writes in his own letters?