Acts 9:2 (NIV)
and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Acts 19:9 (NIV)
But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
Acts 19:23 (NIV)
[ The Riot in Ephesus ] About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way.
Acts 24:14 (NIV)
However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,
Acts 24:22 (NIV)
Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.”
It seems the Way is used by Luke in Acts in a similar way we use the word Christianity today. Try substituting the terms in the above verses. Does it fit? I find it interesting that the term Christianity doesn't show up at all in the New Testament books. The term Christian was used 3 times to refer to those who followed Christ.
So where did Luke, and I assume other followers, come up with this term to describe this movement or shared journey down this new path?
John 14:4-6 (NIV) comes to mind first
You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.I think these other verses also apply:
Matthew 22:16 (NIV)
They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.
Matthew 3:3 (NIV)
This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
If Luke wrote Acts today, do you think he would have used the term 'the Way' in these verses or would he have used 'Christianity'? Or would he have used a different term?
There is something about The Way that I find attractive and fitting for this new path or journey that Jesus came to show us.