Darby's Bible Synopsis
Introduction to Acts
The Acts of the Apostles are divided essentially into three parts Chapters 1, 2 to 12, and 13 to the end. Chapters 11-12 may be termed transitional chapters founded on the event related in Chapter 10. Chapter 1 gives us that which is connected with the Lord's resurrection; Chapters 2-12 that work of the Holy Ghost of which Jerusalem and the Jews were the centre, but which branches out into the free action of the Spirit of God, independent of, but not separated from, the twelve and Jerusalem as the centre; Chapter 13, and the succeeding Chapters, the work of Paul, flowing from a more distinct mission from Antioch; Chapter 15 connecting the two in order to preserve unity in the whole course. We have indeed the admission of Gentiles in the second part, but it is in connection with the work going on among the Jews. These latter had rejected the witness of the Holy Ghost to a glorified Christ, as they had rejected the Son of God in His humiliation; and God prepared a work outside them, in which the apostle of the Gentiles laid foundations that annulled the distinction between Jew and Gentile, and which unite them as in themselves equally dead in trespasses and sins to Christ, the Head of His body, the assembly, in heaven. [See Note #1]
It is a sorrowful, but instructive, thing to see, in the last division of the book, how the spiritual energy of a Paul closes, as to its effect in work, in the shadow of a prison. Yet, we see the wisdom of God in it. The boasted apostolicism of Rome never had an apostle, but as a prisoner; and Christianity, as the Epistle to the Romans testifies, was already planted there.
Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby [1857-62]
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.