Acts (The New Testament Library) by Carl R. Holladay

066422119xActs: A Commentary is written by Carl R. Holladay and published by Westminster John Knox Press is one of the well written modern commentaries on this book of the Bible.  Acts: A Commentary is the most recent volume of The New Testament Library, a scholarly series renounced for its thoroughness, this volume continues this legacy.  While Holladay is no stranger to commentaries, yet this is his first volume in this series on scripture.   This volume is one of the most through without being too dense.  It is relatively short for a commentary one Acts yet Holiday’s commendable scholarship makes up for any perceived lack with regard to size.  Furthermore while I disagree with some of the conclusions that Holladay draws yet he is consistent in his presuppositions and his arguments.

Acts: A Commentary begins with the typical study into the introductory matters of this book of the Bible, yet while introductions are common; this introduction is atypical of most commentaries.  It is not that this work does dive into history and recent scholarship, which Acts: A Commentary does a phenomenal job of rather; it is the thoroughness that Holiday takes with these introductory matters which makes this commentary atypical.  In a day where these matters are either glossed over to get to the exegesis of the text or are so cumbersome that they become useless, Holiday though has found a good balance in being thorough, communicating depth and attention to recent scholarship, without losing the forest in the trees.

In reference to the commentary on the text of this book of history, Holiday takes painstaking care in carefully showing the original context of passage while sprinkling practical application to the reader throughout the textual commentary.  Yet while this commentary can be technical it is not so overtly technical that it obscures the helpfulness of the commentary.

With regard of recommending Acts: A Commentary, to others I would recommend this commentary to scholarly students of scripture.  By this I mean I recommend this work to Pastors, Scholars, Bible Teachers, Bible College Students, and Seminary Students, there is enough academic weight to this text to understand a particularly issue in the text while giving aid to pastors in preaching the text.  For a Pastor who is more on the conservative side I would recommend this commentary in tandem with a commentary which examines the book of Acts from said point of view.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Westminster John Knox Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Acts: A Commentary: The New Testament Library

© 2016 by Carl R. Holladay

Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press

Page Count: 608 Pages

ISBN: 9780664221195

Publishers Website:


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