Eckhard Schnabel’s commentary on Acts in the ZECNT series beautifully lives up to the high standard of this emerging series. Coming in at over 1100 pages, this volume is a major commentary on the book of Acts that ranks near the top of commentaries available today on that book.
The Introduction including the outline is only a little over 50 pages. Though that is briefer than in some other major commentaries, it doesn’t strike me that anything important was missed. He begins his discussion on describing Luke and his readers. He argues against the silly fad of seeing anonymity in Acts or any other book of the New Testament. He finds accepting Luke as the author as totally legitimate. He further discussed the language Luke used, his origins, and the fact that he was a physician. As you might imagine, he discusses the fact that Luke has written two books of the New Testament and he reaches conservative conclusions about the date of those writings.
Many scholars today debate if Luke should be considered a historian, and Mr. Schnabel feels he is a fine one who is actually the first historian of Christianity. He reviews the positions of genre, lists the speeches in Acts, and gives a fine discussion of the purpose of Acts. After discussing the Greek text of Acts, he provides an in-depth chronology of early Christian history that will be a tremendous help in studying the book of Acts. Structure, though, is barely mentioned in the Introduction as he gets plenty of coverage in the commentary itself.
If you are familiar with the design of ZECNT, you will find that this commentary uses it to great advantage. Any Greek that is used has its English counterpart nearby making this commentary accessible to any user. I found his commentary probing, helpful, and better than I’ve seen in many other major commentaries on the book of Acts. I reviewed several passages, and found material that was very helpful to me in every case. This is an outstanding commentary and I highly 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.