The book of Acts reveals the transition from Judaism to Christianity, from the prominence of the law to the expanse of grace. For Gaebelein, Acts represents the earliest moments whereby grace becomes the normative way by which we know God. Pay attention to Acts, he says, to understand grace.
Gaebelein approaches the book of Acts apart from what Ford C. Ottman calls “the yoke of traditional interpretation” and removed from “the feverish discontent with the supernatural.” In particular, Gaebelein has little tolerance for the higher critics, whose attempts to domesticate the work of the Spirit obfuscate the primary purpose of the book. Gaebelein’s approach brings the work of the Spirit to the fore—especially the Spirit’s role of fulfilling the promises of Jesus. He also explains the ongoing tensions between Jewish expressions of Christianity and a wholesale Gentile embrace of the Gospel. The book of Acts, says Gaebelein, exhorts us toward greater faithfulness and bolder preaching, because the message of the Holy Spirit’s comfort is needed in all times and places. The Acts of the Apostles: An Exposition also includes an introduction, which includes Gaebelein’s outline of the book and a brief discussion about authorship and historicity.
It is my privilege to commend to the people of God… the volumes of Mr. A. C. Gaebelein…
—C. I. Scofield
[These are] works of wide research…
His writings will never lose their timeliness—a valuable addition to any library.
—United Evangelical Action
Arno Clemens Gaebelein was born in 1861 in Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1879. He was converted at an early age, and became ordained in the Methodist church in 1886. Gaebelein was a prolific writer. He wrote numerous books and tracts and served as editor of Our Hope, a Bible study magazine, for fifty-two years. He also co-edited the Scofield Reference Bible. Gaebelein devoted nearly ten years of his life to writing The Annotated Bible, a 3,000-page commentary on Scripture, also available from Logos. He also lectured frequently at Dallas Theological Seminary. Gaebelein died in 1945.