David Peterson has produced one of the most outstanding commentaries we have on the book of Acts today. If you judge this commentary on the basis of its Introduction, it’s theology, and its commentary on the text, you will see that it is a winner across the board. To my mind, it is one of two in the exegetical commentary category that could be labeled “must have” today. Mr. Peterson has outdone himself in giving us a conservative, quality commentary on this critically important book of the Bible. This commentary stands high in the revered Pillar New Testament Commentary series.
His Introduction is ideal and one of the best I’ve seen on any New Testament book of the Bible. It covers all the usual topics with surprising depth. After a lengthy select bibliography, Mr. Peterson begins his Introduction discussing authorship and date. He explains well why Luke should be accepted as the author and finds a date in the 60-70s as sensible. In his discussion of genre, he looks at the unity of Luke and Acts and surveys the ancient literary models for this book. When he discusses sources, he emphasizes Luke’s eyewitness material. He is adept at explaining rhetoric and historical reliability as well.
Next, he provides a section on character, structure, and purpose. He sees the book of Acts as a theological history and says, “the narrative of Acts unfolds geographically and focuses on the ministry of key individuals within each context”. As you would expect, he draws in how the narrative is dominated by speeches and what he calls a narrative of fulfillment. As for structure, he sees the Word of God progressing through the book. In the section on interpretive issues he points out many of the editorial techniques that you will find in this book, as well as patterns of repetition. His section on textual matters is brief.
Next, he provides a large, warm, and outstanding section on the theology of Acts. He discusses God and His plan, Jesus as Messiah and Lord, the Holy Spirit, salvation, the Gospel, the atoning work of Jesus, witness and mission, miracles, the demonic, and the church. This section is impressively done and is the best I’ve seen on this book.
The commentary proper is full at over 600 pages and Mr. Peterson continues the quality of writing that we found in the theology section of the Introduction. You will not be disappointed.
Again, this is one of the two best exegetical commentaries on the book of Acts that I’ve encountered. This book will be a heavyweight acquisition for your library and I highly recommend it.
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