Friday, October 30, 2009

Commentaries on Acts

On Sunday mornings I am preaching through the early chapters of the Book Of Acts. As I have done with the book of Daniel, I thought it might be interesting to give an overview of the commentaries that I am using. In no particular order, they are:
1. Gordon J. Keddie: You are my Witnesses (Evangelical Press). This is one of the Welwyn series of expository commentaries. It is a useful, work for the preacher, setting out the material in a good, helpful manner.
2. Darrell Bock: Acts (Baker Academic). This volume in the Baker Exegetical Commentary series is a huge doorstop of a book. It is however also extremely useful and decidedly evangelical. Bock has also written against the claims presented in the Da Vinci Code. He is a good example of a man who combines deep scholarship with a warm Evangelicalism. This book not only presents technical information, but also matter for preaching. If you have the money for it, it is a single commentary on Acts that counts as at least two or three smaller ones. The size is not a sign that too much irrelevant matierial has been included in this case.
3. I. Howard Marshall: Acts (IVP). This is a small commentary in the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series. It is also extremely helpful for the preacher, containing many helpful hints.
4. J.A. Alexander: The Acts of the Apostles (Banner of Truth). This is an older exegetical commentary by a powerful preacher from the old Princeton tradition. It is decidedly Calvinistic, and warmly evangelical.
5. Alexander Maclaren: The Acts (Hodder and Stoughton). This is a volume in Dr. Maclaren's Bible Class Expositions series. Dr. Maclaren of Manchester was one of the great preachers of the late 19th century. His expositions contain much helpful matter for the modern preacher.
6. Joseph Parker: Acts (Hodder and Stoughton). Two volumes in the People's Bible series. This is not strictly speaking a commentary, but a sermon series, and does not cover every part of every chapter. However, the Acts volumes are particularly full and helpful.
7. John Calvin: Acts (Eerdmans/Paternoster). Two volumes in the Calvin's New Testament Commentaries series. Calvin is the prince of expositors, and if the preacher can only have one commentary, Calvin must top the list.
8. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Authentic Christianity (Banner of Truth). This series runs to six volumes. It is a series of sermons rather than a commentary, and as with Dr Lloyd-Jones' Romans series, the divisions are perhaps too small for most modern congregations. Nevertheless, there is a wealth of precious thought in these volumes, which can be judiciously used by the preacher to help think through the Acts.
In addition to which there are the whole Bible commentaries of Matthew Henry, John Gill, Adam Clarke and Matthew Poole. David Brown's contribution to the Jamieson, Faussett and Brown Bible commentary is also well worth consulting. I have not yet had the opportunity to consult Calvin's Sermons on Acts (Banner of Truth), but they must be worth consulting, as all Calvin's sermons are.

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