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5 Stars Out Of 5
Buy this commentary on the book of Acts
October 29, 2010
I purchased this commentary to help me prepare for an adult Bible Study, and I have never taught through Acts before. I was immediately attracted to this book by Dr. Ben Witherington because I have bought and used his works before, and I had confidence that he would produce a very fine and helpful book. I am very pleased. He has dealt well with the myriad of issues in the book of Acts, genre, chronology, etc. His clear thinking and focus on the socio-rhetorical setting is especially illuminating in Acts. I am grateful for his hard work on this very fine commentary.
A must have! Witherington sifts through tremendous information--as his bibliography would suggest--in a very readable style. Background information here is quite useful and he allows the reader to 'enter in' to the 1st century in a manner that most academic commentaries do not permit. I have this commentary in addition to Barrett's (ICC); the two are quite different; however, Witherington produces a friendlier version than Barrett. One can plainly see, however, that Barrett was the shoulder upon which Witherington stood to formulate some of the ideas in his book. Witherington has written a good & unique commentary on Acts: a NT book that is somewhat devoid of estimable or creditable works.
Ben Witherington is simply one of the finest Christian scholars of our day. This work on Acts is another of his colossal achievements. The introduction covers all the ground one would expect (authorship, date, audience, structure, theology, purpose, etc), as well as a tremendous amount of detailed background information regarding Luke's use of rhetoric and the sociological situation of the day. The huge treatment of the question of whether Luke-Acts is biographical or historical monograph is extremely helpful. The detail of this work is immense. The thing I like about Ben Witherington's work is that it is obvious that he is not merely reshaping the work of other writers. He seems to have combed through the text with careful thought and emerged with provocative insights in some areas, and helpful reiteration of historic viewpoints in others. His sections, A CLOSER LOOK, provide detailed information not found in other commentaries. Another great benefit of this work is that Witherington has surely plumbed the depths of the difficult work of C.K. Barrett, which likely influenced his research at times along the way. Barrett's work (ICC) is too difficult for most of us, but we can enjoy some of it through Witherington's work. This commentary is a treasure that will yield great riches to the pastor/teacher in a study through Acts. Use it along with Bruce and Marshall (and, perhaps, Fitzmyer), for an exhaustive study of Acts.