The commentary on Acts is written in a readable style, drawing on the best new insights from a number of disciplines (narrative, archaeology, social scientific study, rhetorical analysis, and comparative studies) to provide the reader with the benefits of recent innovative ways of analyzing the text. In addition, Witherington provides detailed attention to major theological and historical issues: the question of the relationship of Acts to the Pauline letters; the question of early Christian history and how the church grew and developed; the relationship or tension between first-century Judaism and early Christianity; and the relationship between Christianity and the officials of the Roman Empire.
This impressive commentary on the Acts of the Apostles exemplifies Professor Witherington's usual close and cautious reading of the biblical text with careful research in and response to relevant secondary literature. Overall, it is thorough, thoughtful, and balanced, though grounded without apology in his Christian faith perspective on the issues raised by the text.
Witherington has done students, pastors, and scholars a great favor by providing an analysis of the book of Acts that is fully conversant with the enormous secondary literature on Acts yet neither loses sight of Luke’s text nor bogs down in scholarly minutiae. His appraisal of Luke’s second volume in relationship to his Gospel and against the backdrop of classical rhetoric and ancient social sensibilities makes this book an instructive companion for readers of Acts.
—Joel B. Green, Asbury Theological Seminary
This is a very fine commentary that, unlike many others, takes seriously all dimensions of Luke’s text—historical, social, rhetorical, and theological. It is full of fresh insights and balanced assessments of controverted issues. It will be of great value as much to the expert scholar as to the reader approaching the study of Acts for the first time.
—Richard Bauckham, University of St. Andrews
Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky. He received his M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies. A prolific writer, he has twice won the Christianity Today best Biblical Studies book-of-the-year award. Among his other books are The Christology of Jesus and Jesus, Paul, and the End of the World and The Jesus Quest. A popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia.