The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,…
I. THEIR RELATION. In determining this it is not enough to say that while the Gospels contain the history of the Master's ministry, the Acts record that of the apostles. Both alike narrate the work of the Lord: the Gospels what He did in Person, the Acts what He did by His chosen witnesses. This relation is marked at its outset. If the former treatise records "all that Jesus began," then the present relates what Jesus continued. His incarnation, death, etc., were only the foundation. In the Acts He rears a lofty temple on that foundation. Nor does the work cease with the abrupt conclusion of the Acts. In a city map you mark the road which leads to another city a little beyond the wall, when it breaks off. To trace it further you require another map. So our Lord's path breaks off on the map of inspiration and is continued on the map of providence.
II. THEIR POINT OF UNION. The latter treatise does not begin precisely where the former ends. By design they overlap each other — both recording the Resurrection and the Ascension. Thus where a bridge of two arches spans a river, both arches lean on one pillar which rises in the middle of the flood. In the midst of the gulf which separated God and man, and in the midst of the tide of time stood Jesus — on Him rests the Old Dispensation and the New. In the end of the Gospel history we found. the first hemisphere of the Divine dispensation terminating in Christ crucified and ascended. Here we find the second arch springing where the first was finished. Resting there, it rises into heaven, and stretches away into the future. We lose sight of it as we lose sight of the rainbow, in mid-heavens; but we know assuredly that it will traverse all the intervening space, and lean secure on the continent of a coming eternity.
(W. Arnot, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,