part of a series of blog posts on commentaries that I used when preaching through the book of Acts @The Grove between Easter 2010 and 2011…
This is probably the largest book I have ever read. It’s full title is “The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary” and it runs just short of 900 pages. And it has small font. And even smaller font when it examines things in the side bars.
Witherington is a professor at Asbury and has apparently written several socio-rhetorical commentaries. Apparently socio-rhetorical criticism is a whole school of thinking when it comes to studying the Bible. From what I can tell, Witherington examined the book of Acts through the lens of its extended speeches. The way that these speeches functioned culturally in context drives the understanding in a socio-rhetorical commentary.
This commentary is incredibly detailed and shoots over the head of most anyone who does not have post-graduate degrees. The information is incredibly helpful, but there is so much in here that most of it simply ends up on the cutting room floor. I would say it’s an amazing work of commentary, but should be the fourth, not the first commentary a preacher goes to.