19 Best Acts Commentaries You Must Read First

2017-09-13T03:18:27+00:00 By |
Acts Commentaries // Category

(Top Acts Commentaries)


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With so many Acts commentaries, which are the best? These Acts commentaries made it to our list of top books and we’ve compiled them to make it easy for you to find them. Please note that we did not write the descriptions ourselves (for our thoughts on books, check out our book reviews).

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1) The Book of the Acts (New International Commentary on the New Testament)


The New International Commentary on the New Testament provides an exposition of Scripture that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship, yet loyal to Scripture as the Word of God. It is an authoritative guide to the text of Scripture, bridging the cultural gap between today’s world and the world of the Bible. Contributors are gifted writers and scholars who open each commentary with an introduction to the biblical book. Other features are: a select bibliography, the author’s own translation from the original Hebrew and Greek texts, verse-by-verse comments, in-depth discussions of technical matters and more.  The late F. F. Bruce (who was the Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester in England) penned the Book of Acts volume.


2) Acts: Volume 1: 1-14 (International Critical Commentary)



With 59 volumes and 54 authors, the International Critical Commentary is huge in scope. Published by T&T Clark International, this series brings together all the relevant aids to exegesis: linguistic and textual, archaeological, historical, literary, and theological, with a comprehensiveness and quality of scholarship unmatched by any other series. This series is under the editorship of Professor J. A. Emerton of Cambridge, Professor C. E. B. Cranfield of Durham and Professor G. N. Stanton of Cambridge.  C. K. Barrett – Emeritus Professor of Divinity, University of Durham, UK – pens the Acts volume.


3) Acts (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (IVP Numbered))


5: Acts (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries)
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The premier shorter-length commentary series throughout the English-speaking world, the 20 volume Tyndale New Testament Commentaries are a trusted resource for Bible study. They are written by some of the world’s most distinguished evangelical scholars and offer clear, reliable and relevant explanations of every book in the New Testament. The introduction to each Tyndale volume gives a concise but thorough description of the authorship, date and historical background of the biblical book under consideration. Tyndale commentary itself examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. Additionally, it comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation.  The Acts volume was written by the late I. Howard Marshall.  He was a world-renowned New Testament scholar and the author or editor of at least thirty-eight books and more than 120 essays and articles. He taught New Testament at the University of Aberdeen for thirty-five years and was a professor emeritus for sixteen years.

4) Acts: An Exegetical Commentary: Introduction and 1:1-2:47



The 18 volume, highly accessible Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series is known for its thoughtful scholarship for studying pastors and its readability for lay people. Authors include a wide variety of scholars from differing theological persuasions who investigate a variety of viewpoints. Each volume contains the original Greek words as well as the corresponding transliterated and translated phrases. The Acts volume is presented by highly respected New Testament scholar Craig Keener – the F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.


5) The Acts of the Apostles (The Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC))



David Peterson offers thorough exegesis and exposition on Acts for The Pillar New Testament Commentary.  The 15 volume Pillar New Testament Commentary is designed both for serious students and for general readers of the Bible. The authors provide rigorous exegesis and exposition and contemporary relevance of the Bible. The New International Version is the translation of choice for the English text, the authors base their exposition on the Greek New Testament.

6) Acts (Expositional Commentary)


Acts: An Expositional Commentary
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James Montgomery Boice has created a wonderful blend of scripture insight, rich devotional application, and vivid illustration in this commentary on the book of Acts for Bakers.


7) Let’s Study Acts (Let’s Study Series)


Let's Study Acts (Let's Study Series)
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The 18 volume Let’s Study series seeks to combine explanation and application. The aim is to explain Scripture as if speaking to a friend. Published by Banner of Truth, this series is a must for every Christian home. The Luke volume is written by Douglas J. W. Milne, whose style is warm and approachable. Acts scholar Dennis Johnson writes the volume on Acts.

8) Acts of the Apostles (Geneva Series of Commentaries)



An excellent commentary on Acts by J.A. Alexander, the third son of Archibald Alexander, and a prominent Christian teacher in his own right. Published in  1963 by Banner of Truth, this thorough read is nearly 1,000 pages.


9) Acts: The Church Afire (Preaching the Word)



Preaching the Word is a series recognized for its steadfast commitment to biblical authority, readability, and clear exposition of Scripture. It’s the perfect resource for pastors, teachers, and those seeking to enrich their personal Bible study. R. Kent Hughes, of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, is the editor of the 45 book series.


10) Acts (The NIV Application Commentary)


Acts (The NIV Application Commentary)
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Ajith Fernando – National Director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka and a Bible expositor with a worldwide ministry – shares perspectives on Acts that show ageless truths for our modern lives in this NIV Application Commentary. NIV Application Commentaries have three sections in each chapter: a textual analysis, a section bridging the ancient to the modern, and then modern applications. This top commentary is a must have for anyone who seriously wants to apply the Word of God to modern application.


11) You Are My Witness – Acts (Welwyn Commentary)



Gordon Keddie – the minister of Grace Presbyterian Church, State College, Pennsylvania – writes You Are My Witness – Acts  for Welwyn Commentary.
The fifty plus titles in the Welwyn Commentaries are dedicated to the practical exposition and exhortation of Scripture and designed for pastoral ministry and preaching. They combine exegesis, hermeneutics, history, and pastoral insight to meet today’s needs of pastors as they grapple with the word of God.


12) Acts (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary)



The Expositor’s Bible Commentary is one of the most-recognized standards of expository commentaries. Written by dozens of scholars/preachers, it is regarded as an inter-denominational exposition and a major contribution to the study and understanding of the Scriptures. Providing pastors and Bible students with a comprehensive and scholarly tool for the exposition of the Scriptures and the teaching and proclamation of their message, this work has become a staple of seminary and college libraries and pastors’ studies worldwide. Each book of the series has an exposition, introduction, outline, and bibliography.  Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland present the volume on Acts.


13) Acts (IVP New Testament Commentary Series)



William Larkin presents an inspiring narrative of the early church in Acts for IVP New Testament Commentary Series.  The 20 volume IVP New Testament Commentary Series offers clear, scholarly presentations of the heart of each New Testament author’s message, coupled with helpful attention to tough exegetical issues. The series diverse contributors represent a wide range of theological traditions. Overall, they are committed to applying the unchanging message of the New Testament to the ever-changing world in which we live. Features include: useful summaries of principal themes, a unique format that expounds the text in uninterrupted form on the upper portion of each page while dealing with other issues underneath in verse-keyed notes and a social studies note system that keys references to the bibliography.


14) Acts: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture



John B. Polhill – professor of New Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky – wrote Acts: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture for The New American Commentary. Highly regarded as a go-to for the minister or Bible student who wants to understand and expound their understanding of the Scriptures, this series is readable and scholarly simultaneously. Key features include: commentary based on the new international version, sound scholarly methodology that reflects research in the original languages, NIV text printed in the body of the commentary, interpretation emphasizing the theological unity of each book, and readable and applicable exposition.


15) Acts



The 43 volume New International Biblical Commentary series is written by world-class evangelical scholars. Whether you’re preparing a lesson or sermon or simply studying for your personal reasons, the New International Bible Commentary provides you with a study resource that combines convenience with depth and relevance.  The Acts volume is written by David Williams, who approaches the book as historical.


16) The Acts of the Apostles : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary



Bible scholar Ben Witherington – the Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and faculty member at St. Andrews University in Scotland – presents The Acts of the Apostles : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary for  New Testament Commentary.  It’s presented in a readable style and draws on the best new insights from a number of disciplines.


17) Beginning from Jerusalem (Christianity in the Making, vol. 2)



Largely regarded as one of the foremost scholars in the world today on the thought and writings of St. Paul, James D. G. Dunn is Lightfoot Professor Emeritus of Divinity at the University of Durham in England. He offers Beginning from Jerusalem (Christianity in the Making, vol. 2) as a top addition to commentary on Acts.  Dunn’s books are one of the most comprehensive sources of early Apostolic Christianity.

18) Acts (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)



The 18 volume, highly accessible Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series is known for its thoughtful scholarship for studying pastors and its readability for lay people. Authors include a wide variety of scholars from differing theological persuasions who investigate a variety of viewpoints. Each volume contains the original Greek words as well as the corresponding transliterated and translated phrases.  Respected New Testament scholar Darrell L. Bock writes the friendly-toned Acts volume.

19) Calvins Commentaries (22 Volume Set)


Calvins Commentaries (22 Volume Set)
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Calvin’s Commentaries are a 22 volume timeless set of texts by John Calvin – the French theologian and pastor of Geneva who was one of the principal 16th-century Reformers. Calvin’s commentaries display a unique combination of exegetical insight, pastoral concern, and theological depth which have inspired generations of Christians. This is a massive and classic collection on both Old and New Testament books with over 22,000 pages in total. Features include: advanced searching by passage and topic, passage guides and reports, sermon preparation and more.





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With all the Acts Commentaries available, we’ve selected some of the very best. Don’t read any other Acts commentaries until you’ve read these!



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