Observation Example - Acts 1:8

I lost the final version of my Acts 1:8 paper, but luckily I still had a paper copy of my first draft. So here are 50 observations on a single passage. Can you see the kinds of things that are "facts and information"? If you hover your mouse over any Bible passage, it will show that passage.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. - Acts 1:8

1.       "But " implies that this sentence is in disagreement with the previous one.
2.       The audience is described in Acts 1:2, “to the apostles he had chosen”.
3.       From verses 6 and 7, we understand that Jesus is the one speaking in verse 8.
4.       "You" is the object of the sentence, and refers to the apostles
5.       "Will receive" is a future tense verb, and implies that the apostles have not yet received the Holy Spirit
6.       "Power" is the object that ''you'', the audience, "will receive"
7.       "When" modifies the time of the reception of power
8.       "The Holy Spirit" is a proper noun
9.       "Comes" is the verb
10.   "You" once again refers to the audience, and is the object of ' 'the Holy Spirit comes on"
11.   The semicolon implies that a new thought is starting, or a break in the thought
12.   "You" is the object
13.   "Will be" is the verb, future tense, implies that this will happen after "the Holy Spirit comes on you"
14.   "Witnesses" is what ''you will be"
15.   "My" modifies ''witness'', and signals ownership by the speaker, Jesus
16.   "In Jerusalem", gives a location for ''you will be my witnesses"
17.   "And in all Judea and Samaria", gives another places where ''you will be my witnesses"
18.   "And to the ends of the earth.", gives a final place where ''you will be my witnesses"
19.   From context, we know that Jesus is speaking to them after his death
20.   From context, we know that immediately after Jesus speaks to them, he ascends into heaven
21.   This is Jesus'  last time to speak to his people on earth, his final advice
22.   Jerusalem is listed as one entity, Judea and Samaria as another, and the ends of the earth as another
23.   "Witnesses" implies that ''you'', the object, is plural
24.   "When the Holy Spirit comes" implies that the Holy Spirit has not yet come
25.   "Will be my witnesses" implies that they have not been witnesses thus far
26.   "And you will be ... to the ends of the earth" could mean that everyone in the audience will go to the ends of the earth, or that collectively they will be in Jerusalem, Samaria and Judea, and at the ends of the earth.
27.   From verse 4, we know that the disciples are in Jerusalem.
28.   Jerusalem is where the temple is located.
29.   Jerusalem is where Jesus was executed in Luke.
30.   Jerusalem is where Jesus preached his message in Luke.
31.   Acts 1 is the second half of a two part book: Luke-Acts.
32.   Judea is the nation of which Jerusalem is the capital.
33.   Judea is the home of faithful Jews.
34.   Samaria was a hated enemy of faithful Jews.
35.   In Luke 9, Jesus tried to preach to Samaritans, but they rejected him.
36.   In Luke 9, James and John (part of the current audience) offered to call fire and destroy the Samaritan village.
37.   In Luke 9, Jesus rebukes James and John.
38.   In Luke 10, Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan, reversing the common perception of Samaritans as evil.
39.   Samaritans are of mixed Jewish and Gentile descent and they believe in the Torah.
40.   Judea and Samaria both are made up of people who have been exposed to the teachings of Moses.
41.   “The ends of the earth” have not been exposed to the teachings of Moses.
42.   “You” is not necessarily “us”.
43.   What does “power” mean?
44.   “Receiving power” and “being witnesses” are different events connected by “and”.
45.   Is “being witnesses” dependent on “receiving power”?
46.   “Witnesses” is probably related to the “convincing proofs that he was alive” of verse 3.
47.   “Receive” implies that the power does not come from themselves.
48.   “Will receive” is a passive verb. The source is probably “the Father” from verse 7.
49.   The date is “the day he was taken up to heaven”, which was about 40 days after the resurrection.
50.   “Receive” is equated with “baptized” in verse 5.


  1. thanks you helped me out alot in my class!

  2. My pleasure, Traci! Glad I could help :)

  3. So glad I found your blog. I'm using Grasping God's Word in my personal Bible Study, not for a class and needed somewhere to turn for a little help. Thanks!!

  4. My pleasure, @RxDrMom! If you run into any other difficulties, let me know. I'd be more than happy to help you out.

  5. Thanks this is similar to what I did in bible college last semester. I have a question how does one do this on the sermon on the mount tho? I am trying to grasp what Jesus is conveying.Thanks dude.

  6. @Wind-Sage - The sermon on the mount is tough to understand, no doubt about it. This is an example of the first step of biblical interpretation. You are just trying to observe what the text is saying. So you have to try to distance yourself from what it means. But you can't stop there. Observation is just the first step. Afterwards you need to start talking with some people you respect and doing some reading about the meaning. The Sermon on the Mount has a lot of theological implications. It will be worth the time you invest in it.

  7. Great work. You will never know how much this helped me in my Christian Education Class, at Native American Bible College Shannon, N.C.

  8. Replies
    1. I'm glad this helped you. Let me know if there are any other parts of that class that I can help you with. :D


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