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The Book of the Acts (New International Commentary on the New Testament) (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) Hardcover – June 30, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
It is especially interesting to see that Bruce seems to be rather Pentecostal in his interpretation of the outpouring of the Spirit passages. However, he avoids popular phrases such as "the baptism of the Holy Spirit" and "initial evidence" and the like. He also shows that he seems rather open to such a modern phenomenon, citing the biography of Sundar Singh, who was a missionary in India claiming to have had a Damascus like experience where he saw Christ.
However, some of the commentary seems a little lacking. The last 10-15 chapters of the commentary seem a lot skimpier than the earlier parts. Perhaps because there is not as much controversy with these parts, or who knows, maybe Bruce was under some sort of deadline. This is the main reason I don't rate this commentary 5 stars.
I don't want to drone on, but this is an excellant commentary. Of all the commentaries that I've read, and I've read a fair number, this is my favorite. You'll probably read it cover to cover. I did.
Moderate/conservative and reformed in his roots, this commentary wins five stars because of it's valuable sholarship. I would also recommend Acts commentaries by I. Marshall Howard (Tyndale) and Richard Longenecker (Expositor's) if you are looking for exegesis and sholarly contribution... if you want "application" and "light devotional" material there are plenty of others to choose from (that are generally mediocre in terms of interpreting and explaining the meaning of the text).
A word of caution to the traditional "charismatic": You may not agree with all he has to say about the traditional "baptism of the Spirit" proof text passages... I still recommend reading it so that you may be challenged to interpret Acts again.
Bruce's commentary was helpful, but I agree with other reviewers who said he does little more than restate the text. He doesn't deal with any tough theological questions that the text brings up. For example, When Peter is before the Sanhedrin and says that Jesus is the stone the builders have rejected, he rightly insists that this was imagery for speaking of Israel, rejected by nations but favoured by God. But Bruce stops there and doesn't press on further to grapple with the theological significance of this text. What does it mean to say that Jesus is now the rejected cornerstone? How does that affect or change the relationship with Israel and the Church?
As such I did not find it that useful for my assignment on early Church in Acts. I would reccomend The NIV Application Commentary, I.Howard Marshall's commentary on Acts (Tyndale NTC), John Stott's BST on Acts, and Tom Wright's Acts for everyone as additional resources if you already own Bruce. Ironically as introductory commentaries they go further than Bruce to wrestle with some of the issues the text raises. You may not agree with their conclusions but at least they are engaging with the text critically and asking deeper questions.
Unlike some of the other commentaries in the NICNT series, Bruce's "Acts" has a very brief introductory section, consisting of approximately 12 pages. At first I thought that this would be inadequate. However, Bruce does a good job of covering one of the most crucial background issues in relation to Acts, namely, the time of the writing of the book. While many critical scholars have dated Acts as post-70 A.D., Bruce suggests the earlier date of no later than 64 A.D., prior to the beginning of the Neronian persecution of the church in Rome. He does a good job of arguing that the internal evidence of Acts supports this earlier date.
The dating of Acts is important, since it is evident from its introduction that Acts post-dates the Gospel of Luke, which means that if Acts was written by or before 64 A.D., then the third Gospel must have been written somewhat earlier. And if we accept the common assumption that Luke had Mark's Gospel available (which I do not believe has been conclusively established but is probable), then at least one Gospel was in existence within thirty years of the termination of Jesus's earthly ministry.
I highly recommend this lucidly-written commentary for anyone wanting a good introduction to the Acts of the Apostles.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The great F.F. Bruce is hard to beat for clarity. He tackles whatever questions the text presents with the highest competency and fearlessness. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Scott Pursley
Classic commentary on Acts. As a layman, I am finding it very helpful as I teach Acts. Dr. Bruce addresses questions raised by the text without more reliance on Greek grammar... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ruth Smith