Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — Luke, the author of the third Gospel.

2. DATE. — Probably about 64 A. D.

3. FOR WHOM WRITTEN. — Addressed to Theophilus, but intended for the entire church.

4. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — Probably near the close of Paul's first imprisonment at Rome when there was needed a summary, or condensed statement of the progress of Christianity up to that time. It was probably written in Rome.

5. LEADING TOPIC. — Those events that especially illustrate the history of the development of the early church. Though called the ” Acts of the Apostles,” its narrative is restricted for the most part to the labors of Peter and Paul. The author gives the account of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the progress of the gospel in Palestine, its acceptance by the Gentiles, Paul's conversion, missionary tours, arrest and voyage to Rome. In connection with the labors of Paul there is given the account of the rejection of the gospel by the Jews and its acceptance by the Gentiles.

6. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To show how the church, which had been founded by Christ, and which was moved by the indwelling Holy Spirit, was developed in the early stages of its history, separating itself from the Jewish nation on the one hand, within the bounds of which it had its beginning, and from the world on the other hand, from which it now receives its members. This book exhibits the nature, principles and purposes of the church.


Part I. Development of the church, with Jerusalem as a centre, Ch. 1–12.

(a) Progress of the gospel among the Jews, Ch. 1-7.

(b) Extension of the church to Samaria and Antioch, Ch. 8–12.

Part II. Development of the church, with Antioch as a centre, Ch. 13–28.

(a) The missionary journeys of Paul, Ch. 13–21:8.

(b) Paul arrested and taken to Rome, Ch. 21:9–28:31.

8. SPECIAL TEACHING OF THE BOOK. — The church is the body of Christ for spiritual activity on the earth. The Holy Spirit is the source of the life of the church. Men of all nationalities may enter the kingdom of Christ. The church is distinct from the Theocracy.

9. RELATION TO OTHER N. T. BOOKS. — The Gospels give the life and work of Christ while on earth, his ministry and death; Acts takes up the history of his cause after his ascension, when the Holy Spirit had come to carry on the work of redemption through the church, securing its development and extension among all peoples. The book is closely related to those epistles that were written to the churches whose establishing it records.

10. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The missionary work of Paul. The extent of the Roman power at this time.