In Acts, leading biblical scholar Mikeal Parsons gleans fresh theological insight into Acts by attending carefully to the cultural and educational context from which it emerges. Parsons see Acts as a charter document explaining and legitimating Christian identity for a general audience of early Christians living in the ancient Mediterranean world.
Graduate and seminary students, professors, and pastors will benefit from this readable commentary, as will theological libraries. Readers will also appreciate the historical, literary, and theological insight offered in this practical commentary. This commentary, like each in the Paideia series, approaches each text in its final, canonical form, proceeding by sense units rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Each sense unit is explored in three sections: (1) introductory matters, (2) tracing the train of thought, (3) key hermeneutical and theological questions.
Parsons draws on his extensive studies of Greco-Roman literature and ancient concepts of physiognomy to provide a useful and illuminating commentary.
—Joseph B. Tyson, professor emeritus of religious studies, Southern Methodist University
Parsons presents a masterful exposition both of the myriad strategies whereby the author of Acts attempted to persuade his original audience, and of the ways in which this ancient book continues to speak powerfully to Christian faith in our own day. Readers will find here a treasure trove of insights into Hellenistic rhetorical conventions and their usage in Acts.
—John A. Darr, associate professor, theology department, Boston College
Mikeal Parsons's commentary on Acts takes an overt rhetorical approach to the text, while not losing sight of its important theological implications. I commend him for focusing his commentary on the final form of the text as it was read by the first readers and recognizing the author as a theologian in his own right. Parsons also provides useful supplemental comments to aid those unfamiliar with the terminology of ancient rhetoric. A number of Parsons's assumptions and conclusions will no doubt prompt significant further discussion.
—Stanley E. Porter, President and Dean, Professor of New Testament, Roy A. Hope Chair in Christian Worldview, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Mikeal C. Parsons (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Kidd L. and Buna Hitchcock Macon Chair in Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is the author of Body and Character in Luke and Acts, and coauthor of Illuminating Luke, Acts: A Handbook on the Greek Text and Rethinking the Unity of Luke and Acts.
Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament approaches each text in its final, canonical form, proceeding by sense units (pericopes) rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Thus, each commentary follows the original train of thought as indicated by the author instead of modern artificial distinctions. Using this approach, one is able to grasp not only the exegetical-historical information of a passage, but also follow a coherent theological expression throughout. Additionally, this series is enormously helpful and practical through its usage of small visual presentations of historical, exegetical, and theological information. Highly user friendly, this is a great resource for college students, pastors, or those who want to take their Bible study to another level.
The Paideia series explores how New Testament texts inform Christian readers by: