Prolific and unequally detailed New Testament scholar Craig Keener is known for his meticulous and comprehensive research. This commentary on Acts, his magnum opus, may be the largest and most thoroughly documented Acts commentary available. Useful not only for the study of Acts but also early Christianity, this work sets Acts in its first-century context.
In this volume, the first of four, Keener introduces the book of Acts, particularly historical questions related to it, and provides detailed exegesis of its opening chapters. He utilizes an unparalleled range of ancient sources and offers a wealth of fresh insights. This magisterial commentary will be a valuable resource for New Testament professors and students, pastors, Acts scholars, and libraries.
This insightful commentary, the first of four volumes on Acts, utilizes an unparalleled range of ancient sources and features Keener's meticulous research.
Craig S. Keener (PhD, Duke University) the F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of many books, including Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts, the bestseller The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels, Gift and Giver, and commentaries on Matthew, John, Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, and Revelation.
Craig Keener's academic commentaries are among the most important in print, because they not only summarize former scholarship but also add so many new insights from primary literature of the time.
Tyndale House, Cambridge
With a monograph-level introduction and solid, detailed use of background sources, Craig Keener has provided us with a rich gem of a commentary on Acts. One can use it and get a real sense of what this key work is all about.
Darrell L. Bock,
research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
This book is a monumental exegetical commentary thanks to the amount of literary and social-historical information in it. Scholars and readers of the Acts of the Apostles will find it a precious source for consultation. In addition, Keener's attention to the work of Luke-Acts and the comparison he draws with Paul's letters will greatly profit those who are interested in the Third Gospel and the person of Paul.
Fr. G. Claudio Bottini,
professor of introduction and exegesis of the New Testament and emeritus dean, Faculty of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology (Studium Biblicum Franciscanum), Jerusalem
Somewhat surprisingly, a socio-historical approach to Acts still needs to be defended and its value demonstrated. No one does this better--is more informed about ancient literature, parallels, and precedents, and more interactively and fruitfully engaged with contemporary literature and issues--than Craig Keener. In the introduction (a monograph in itself), his treatment of the genre of Acts, especially his judicious discussion of the genre 'novel,' of the character of ancient historiography, and of the historical integrity and value of Acts, is unbeatable in today's market. For anyone wanting to appreciate how Acts 'worked' in its original context and to get into the text at some depth, Keener will be indispensable and 'first off the shelf.' Bring on volumes 2-4!
James D. G. Dunn,
Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, University of Durham
Early Christianity developed in a complex and multifaceted context, one that Craig Keener masterfully presents in this socially and historically oriented commentary on Acts. As one has come to expect from Keener, there is thorough knowledge and use of the best and most important secondary literature in the areas of concern and abundant utilization of a wide range of ancient sources. This is a commentary that will continue to serve as a detailed resource for both scholars and students wishing to explore these crucial dimensions of the book of Acts.
Stanley E. Porter,
president, dean, and professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College
This first volume promises to be the inaugural component of the most comprehensive commentary on Acts to date. Keener presents a socio-historical reading of the text with meticulous precision, and his knowledge of scholarly research is impressive. The book of Acts is read as a historiographical work in which its author rewrites traditions; the documentation from ancient Jewish literature is exceptionally rich. Keener treats hermeneutical issues and the historical reliability of the text astutely and clearly. From now on, any exegesis of Acts will need to take into account this major work.
professor of New Testament, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Keener takes very seriously the claim of the book of Acts to be historiography. His encyclopedic knowledge of ancient literature and his intelligent skill as an exegete make this a magisterial commentary.
professor emeritus of New Testament studies, University of St. Andrews; senior scholar, Ridley Hall, Cambridge
This commentary sets Acts in its ancient social and historical setting with so many parallels that Johann Jakob Wettstein would have congratulated Keener even on this first volume of four! Keener shows convincingly how broadly and deeply Acts participates in ancient Hellenistic and Jewish thinking. This meticulous reconstruction fits well with his deep insights on Lukan theology in Acts. Keener's wide reading of scholarly discussion is stupendous and his introduction a monograph in itself. I expect this to be a marvelous, impressive, and inspiring commentary!
associate professor of New Testament, Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg
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