Craig S. Keener
Acts: An Exegetical Commentary – Volume 2
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2013
Available at Amazon.com
The latest installment in Craig Keener’s epic four volume Acts commentary – the mother of all Acts commentaries – is now available. It covers Acts 3:1-14:28.
All I can say is whoa!
The first thing I checked out were the many excursuses and he’s got a bunch of helpful ones with helpful overviews of things like Pharisaism, Greek and Aramaic in Judea and Galilee, Proselytes, Son of Man, Son of God, Magic and Magicians,”Divine” Humans, and a huge one on Slaves and Slavery. I found these to be very useful, up to date in terms of research, comprise excellent summaries of disputed topics.
To give a few highlights:
The Hellenists of 6:1-16 are those who spoke mainly Greek, but also included some orientation towards Greek culture.The Hellenistis, as bi-cultural Jews, formed a natural bridge to the Gentile mission.
Keener thinks that the term “Christians” in Acts 11:26 derived from high-status Roman citizens in Antioch to indicate that followers of Jesus were political partisans of their executed leader.
That Barnabas and Paul were “sent by the Holy Spirit” in 13:4 means that they were commissioned by prayerful leaders who were obeying the Spirit.
Keener believes that Luke’s natural theology in Acts 14 is compatible with Paul’s remarks in Roman 1:19-25.
The references to primary and secondary sources mean that the research behind this book is positively encyclopedic. Keener’s volume stands apart from other Acts commentaries because of its size, magnitude, and weight, and is therefore more of a reference resource on Acts in commentary form. It is not what you want if you want a quick overview of Acts, but if you want a one stop shop for a thorough overview of issues, interpretation, and exegesis of the text of Acts, this is the way to go.
NB, the poor guy at Baker who does the copy editing for Keener’s volume deserves a holiday in the Bahamas and a life time supply of pina coladas!