Mr. Padilla provides an extensive introduction to the Book of Acts. It doesn’t cover all issues traditional to an introduction, such as structure or canonicity, but focuses specifically on interpretation, history, and theology. The book is geared toward a more advanced audience that is deeply concerned about scholarly issues. The author explains that he is attempting to update Howard Marshall’s Luke: Historian and Theologian for our generation. I would not be surprised if this book is as widely quoted in the future as Marshall’s title has been in the past.
The first chapter is about who wrote the book of Acts. He arrives at the traditional conclusion of Luke after he deals with all the other views and criticisms of the traditional view. When he writes on the genre of acts, he concludes that it is a Hellenistic historical monograph the Jewish tradition. Along the way, he surveys a lot of scholarly nonsense that has been believed. On the subject of how Luke writes history, he deals with a lot of negative scholarship that has concluded bizarre things. Still, he concludes that Luke is a trustworthy historian.
The next two chapters on the speeches in Acts were the best in the entire book. He is known as a specialist in the speeches and it shows. His working through each of the speeches provided many amazing insights. A great deal of theology is also revealed. The final chapter on the justification of truth-claims in Acts is merely answering postliberalism’s attack on Acts that has been relentless.
This book will delight scholars. Some parts of it will be less interesting to pastors, but it is clear in what it discusses and will be considered a very important contribution in the study of the book of Acts.
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.