Luke's purpose(s) for writing Acts was to ensure that we know the full and complete truth regarding the truth we were taught by those before us. According to D. A Carson and J. Douglas Moo, Luke's purposes for writing Acts can best be summed up in a few topics or "subsidiary" purposes. Those being, Conciliation, Evangelism/Apologetics, Theological Polemics, and Edification. In this, Luke intends to create a synthesis of Jewish and Gentile Christianity. In order to do this, Luke uses his portrayals of Peter and Paul. Considering Peter was "Gentilized," and Paul was a "Judaized" Jew who even took Jewish vows, here we can clearly see the differences between the two and even the antagonism that could come about because of those differences. Therefore, by Luke giving us his input, he hopes to calm the reader's nerves about his twenty-first-century context. Luke is writing to Theophilus, a Christian audience. Although we are given these various amounts of "subsidiary" purposes (according to Carson/Moo), which contribute to the one true purpose, we are informed that the true purpose of the Book of Acts is for the edification of that Christian audience and the confirmation of the Gospel.
The Thematic Verse of Luke's History According to Acts 1:8, which says, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." This was Jesus' last encounter with them here on earth, before his ascension into heaven, and his promise that the Holy Spirit would come and empower/descend upon the disciples, which happened days after his ascension. Considering the gospel/message of God started in Jerusalem, it only makes sense that the Gospel was being proclaimed by Jewish men to a Jewish community. Although, due to persecution, the apostles could never remain stationary, therefore they were driven out of Jerusalem into the "uttermost parts of the earth." Besides Jerusalem, where Jesus had first come, the Gospel then went to Judea and Samaria. These men were empowered by the Holy Spirit, so once they were driven out of Jerusalem and they went to Judea and Samaria in order to preach the Gospel. Lastly, we are told that the Gospel will go to the "uttermost" parts of the earth. The uttermost parts of the earth are described as anywhere that the gospel has not yet reached. Nonetheless, these individuals can be described as those who do not believe or are non-believers. Therefore, we ought to continue spreading the Gospel on the basis of being under the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit to not only those who believe but also to the newly converted as well as those who do not yet believe.
The Leading Figures
In Acts, Luke tends to focus on three people. These three persons are the Holy Spirit, Peter, and Paul. He focuses on these three particular individuals because Paul and Peter were selected to further the Gospel, and the Holy Spirit to dir...