A Bird's-Eye View of Luke and Acts

A Bird's-Eye View of Luke and Acts

Context, Story, and Themes

by Michael Bird

A Bird's-Eye View of Luke and Acts
  • Length: 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: November 21, 2023
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-1-5140-0809-6
  • Item Code: A0809

What do the books of Luke and Acts teach us about God, Jesus, and the early church? How do these two books relate to each other? And what do they mean for us today?

In this accessible and compelling introduction, Michael Bird draws us into the wide-ranging narrative of Luke-Acts to discover how Luke frames the life of Jesus and of the first disciples who set out from Jerusalem to "the ends of the earth" proclaiming the Good News. Bird shows us how these two books, when read together, tell a cohesive narrative about Jesus, the Church, and the mission of God—with implications for the whole of our lives today. Situating both books in their historical and literary context, Bird moves through an exploration of their central theological themes and culminates with consideration of the books' relevance for contemporary social issues.

"This overview of Luke and Acts will delight the reader with its accessible detail, helpful questions for discussion, and engaging Birdwinian turn of phrase. I encourage you to journey with Luke in one hand and this book in the other."

Sarah Harris, Carey Baptist College

"Mike Bird has opened the door wide to everyone wanting an entry into the world of Luke–Acts. Those reading Luke's two-part narrative will find themselves enriched by the way Bird follows Luke's story and attends to its themes. But he also follows the twists and turns of Lukan scholarship—discussing big ideas and principal controversies, as well as naming some key voices in contemporary study. What more could we ask for in an introduction to Luke–Acts?"

Joel B. Green, senior professor of New Testament interpretation at Fuller Theological Seminary

"Writing in the vein of I. Howard Marshall's classic Luke: Historian and Theologian, Bird provides an accessible yet rich journey through the historical and theological questions raised by the Lukan writings. This is a perfect volume for a seminary course or for preachers in a sermon series on Luke–Acts."

Joshua W. Jipp, professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Luke and Acts compose 28 percent of the New Testament. Bird is a reliable guide to the various issues and themes that arise in Luke. He carefully navigates nuanced debates while writing a brief but memorable overview. Students, pastors, and professors will be helped by this overview."

Patrick Schreiner, professor and author of Acts: The Christian Standard Commentary



1. What's So Special About Luke–Acts?
2. Luke–Acts: The Origins Story
3. The Purposes of Luke–Acts
4. Luke: Historian or Theologian?
5. "This Jesus": The Christology of Luke–Acts
6. Luke and the Way of Salvation
7. "Beginning with Moses": The Old Testament in Luke–Acts
8. On the Road with Jesus: Lucan Discipleship
9. Luke the Feminist? Jesus, Women, and the Church
10. Luke the Socialist? Wealth and Possessions
11. The Promise of the Father: Luke and the Holy Spirit
12. Luke on Jesus, the Jews, and the Gentile Churches
13. Turning the World Upside Down: Luke and Empire
14. A Hope in God: Luke and the Future


Michael F. Bird

Michael F. Bird (PhD University of Queensland) is academic dean and lecturer in New Testament at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia. Michael is an ordained Anglican priest and author of over thirty books on the Bible, theology, and history. Among them are Introducing Paul, Jesus is the Christ, and with N.T. Wright, The New Testament in its World.