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The best commentary I have found on Acts
on 27 March 2015
This is the best commentary I have found on Acts. The general preface disclaims from the Bible Speaks Today series the name of ‘commentaries,’ but in this case I would definitely describe it as an ‘application commentary’: in it the late Dr. Stott elucidates the text quite closely, as well as applying it to contemporary Christian life and faith.
I bought this to help me prepare a talk on Acts chapter 15 (‘the Council of Jerusalem’), a passage which raises a couple of difficult questions:
(a) Where do the two events recorded in Galatians 2:1-10 and 2:11-14 fit chronologically with the Council of Jerusalem?
(b) As a Christian today, what does one ‘do’ with the four Jewish proscriptions enjoined by James in Acts 15:20?
On the first question, Stott doesn’t weigh up all the possible solutions, but states simply his considered opinion, which is as likely a solution as any. His handling of the second question is superb: he gets right to the heart of the issue and argues convincingly how we should treat these proscriptions today. I have found that most other commentaries duck this important question.
This characterizes the book. This is not a particularly long commentary, and in general Stott does not waste words discussing the more improbable theories of earlier commentators, but deals with the key issues raised by each passage, succinctly and with profound good sense.
I would heartily recommend this to anybody wishing seriously to understand and apply the message of the Acts of the Apostles to their life and church today.