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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

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

(1910–1990) The Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, England. During his distinguished career he wrote numerous widely used commentaries and books and served as the general editor of the New International Commentary on the New Testament series from 1962 to 1990.
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Product Details

  • Series: The New International Commentary on the New Testament
  • Hardcover: 565 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Revised ed. edition (June 30, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802825052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802825056
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Overall, this commentary is rather well done. Bruce does an excellent job at providing an insightful commentary, and has a very strong command of the history, geography, and culture of Palestine and Rome, and the persons mentioned in the book of Acts.

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.
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I don't want to write a lengthy review, but I do want you to know that this is a very well written commentary. I thought that I truly understood the book of Acts. After all, I've read the book of Acts over twenty times in my lifetime, but now I truly believe that I was missing about 60% of what Luke is trying to show his audience. With the help of F.F Bruce you will begin to see how from the beginning of the church God intended to bring the gospel to Jews and Gentiles and how he seamlessly brought that about. It also becomes very clear that the Apostles vigorously stressed the diety of Christ from Peter's very first sermon in Acts chapter two. You'll be able to understand, and appreciate how James ended up being the leader of the church in Jerusalem despite the fact that Peter was the undisputed leader early on.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
F.F. Bruce is a great scholar and many of his commentaries have held the attention of many pastors and laymen to this day. No matter what your view is of his conclusions, his exegesis is almost always a force to be reckoned with.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I used this commentary for chapters 1-9:31 for an assignment on Acts - so I can't comment on the remainder of the book, only what I used. So take my comments with pinch of salt.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Compared to some of the commentaries in the NICNT (e.g., Luke and John), Bruce's commentary on the book of Acts is relatively brief. However, it is still sufficiently thorough as to cover each verse or passage in sufficient depth for the general reader. This is an excellent commentary for the layperson who wants to get an overview of a passage without having to get bogged down in minutia. At the same time, there is also valuable information for the scholar. One good feature is that most of the more technical issues are confined to footnotes. This is particularly true of comments related to the Greek text.

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.
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