Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles

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.


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