Pastor’s Bookshelf: Acts of the Apostles

StLuke.jpgThere was a time, and not that long ago, that more than one good commentary on Acts was hard to find. There were some old ones, and FF Bruce’s two (very different) commentaries were consulted, but it ended there. But not now. There are some golden gems. I begin with FF Bruce because he was the first one I read:

F.F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts (New International Commentary on the New Testament)

But I don’t go to him first anymore. I now began with C.K. Barrett’s 2-volume, meticulously-researched ICC volumes: Acts 1-14, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles (International Critical Commentary), Volume 1
, which has a one-volume condensation: Acts of the Apostles: A Shorter Commentary (International Critical Commentary)

Then I go to J.A. Fitzmyer’s volume in the Anchor Bible Commentary:The Acts of the Apostles (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries)

Then I go to Ben Witherington: The Acts of the Apostles : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary

Then I consult Jimmy Dunn’s small, but very useful, commentary: The Acts of the Apostles (Epworth Commentary)

Finally, I now will be consulting R. Pervo’s Hermeneia commentary: ACTS: A Commentary (Hermeneia: a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible)


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  • If you do this again next year, hopefully you can add Joel B. Green’s FF Bruce NICNT replacement to the list. I LOVE his Luke NICNT volume and I believe his Acts complement is supposed to be available Fall 2010. Given Green’s mastery over Luke’s 1st volume, I have high hopes for the 2nd.

  • RevKevCollison

    The Interpretation series is certainly different than these, but I wonder what anyone makes of Willimon’s commentary. I have it coming in the mail.

  • Patrick

    I don’t read Greek, so I can’t judge the big exegetical books, but when I led a class on Acts a while back I got a lot from Robert Wall’s commentary in the New Interpreter’s Bible, and from LT Johnson’s Sacra Pagina volume. There were good things in Beverly Gaventa’s Abingdon volume.

  • tim atwater

    i too await Green’s volume
    and second Gaventa and Wall.

  • Connie Hower

    I would like to have some information about ministering to my pastor and what duties he has that we don’t even know about so that we could help him.

  • Jeff

    I think you read Acts apart from Luke Johnson to your peril. While I am certainly more “conservative” than he is, and I don’t think his “prophet” paradigm for Jesus and the apostles covers all the territory, he is very insightful and does a great job with literary and theological patterns.

  • Jared

    Acts is a favourite I return to so have built up a lot over the years, the most recent being Justo Gonzalez, who brings a different cultural point of view which helps in translating cultural applications, and David Peterson’s mammoth tome which I have also found more helpful than I thought it might be. Bruce was written in a time when the historical/non-historical debate was uppermost so you tend not to get the missional flow quite so well, but he’s also a nostalgic read since he examined my Master’s dissertation!