Particularly after the standard commentaries by Ernst Haenchen and Hans Cormehnann, the Acts of the Apostles has come to be seen as a work in which the theology of its author has distorted his account of earliest Christianity. Attention has therefore focussed on that theology, in an attempt to give as full a picture ofit as possible and consequently the question 'what actually happened?' has fallen right into the background.
Professor Ltidemann does not go back on the work of his German predecessors. But he is very well aware of the question of the historicity of Acts and their failure to deal with it thoroughly. So in his work, which essentially takes the form of a commentary, he goes through Acts from beginning to end, trying to ascertain whether despite all the difficulties it is nevertheless possible to establish a core of reliable historical information in particular sections of the work. The result is an important addition to the literature on Acts, much needed since the Haenchen and Conzelmann commentaries are now dated. A notable feature of the work is its attention to the literature written in English. Account is taken of this up to 1986.