A Recently Discovered Gem–Acts by Lightfoot

We have a potpourri of good things here. There is the commentary itself, an interesting story of how it was found after so long, and insight into J. B. Lightfoot the prodigious scholar.

Many of us have had Lightfoot’s commentaries on our shelves for years. I thought I had all of them. I did have all that was in print. Then Ben Witherington, a modern scholar and Lightfoot admirer, went digging around the dusty corners of the Durham Cathedral Library and found unpublished commentary material. Here we have Acts 1-21 and volumes on John and II Corinthians/ I Peter are forthcoming. The story, with accompanying photos, was fascinating. It is surprising to have a new volume by a guy who died in 1889.

The commentary is of his high standards. If you are like me, you will need an interlinear handy because the Greek is untranslated. I am glad to have this commentary.

The biographical sketch and the homage at the end give us a intimate view of the famous scholar. He never married and had an incredible output of work. He spoke several languages fluently. He had encyclopedic knowledge of Greek–Classical, Koine, and the Greek of the Fathers. I might not agree with all his doctrinal views, and I certainly do not agree with him on which underlying texts are best, but when he speaks on language I him him worthy of my attention. I will never have his language gift, but I am glad I can glean from his.

The Appendixes have more goodies including an article on Acts in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible. My edition of that dictionary did not have his article, so I was glad to see it.

Thanks IVP for printing this unique work. I recommend it.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


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