Subscribe via RSS Feed

Craig Keener: Acts, Volume Two

Craig Keener, Acts: An Exegetical Commentary, Volume 2, 3:1-14:28 (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013), 1200 pages, ISBN 9780801048371.

Craig Keener is in the midst of delivering the most ambitious commentary on Acts ever attempted. The volume under review is the second of four – each volume a sprawling treatment in its own right. Each volume’s pages pick up where the previous one left off. The final page of volume two, the halfway point for the entire commentary, is numbered 2191 (As volume four had not yet appeared at the time of this writing, it is unclear how much of the final volume will be taken up by a bibliography for the complete commentary. Volume 2 includes a CD-Rom of “Works cited and indexes for volumes 1-2”).

Anyone with time and an attention span can write a sprawling work, but few can write a work so sprawling and yet so efficient. Keener has mastered the craft of writing a commentary, and he does it better than perhaps anyone since C. K. Barrett. Obviously few people will sit down to read a commentary from beginning to end – they’re not meant to be read that way – but there is no better place to begin a foray into the world of Acts than to consult Keener’s word on a particular passage.

One other aspect of this work should be noted: although Keener never skimps in his use of secondary works, he always allows primary works (that is, the original sources from the ancient world) to guide the discussion. His knowledge of many different categories of primary works is impressive, and his handling of these works adds a great deal to the value of this commentary.

This review is supposed to be primarily about Volume Two, but everything I’ve said relates to the work as a whole. In that vein, it is worth pointing out that the reader is better off, of course, beginning with Volume One (which includes a number of introductory essays for Acts in general). Numerous centrally important events in the spread of Christianity are recorded in Acts chaps. 3–14, however, and those who move on to Keener’s Volume Two will almost certainly gain a clearer understanding of how the earliest readers of Acts understood what Luke was saying.

Reviewed by John C. Poirier


Publisher’s page:

Pin It

Tags: , , ,

Category: Biblical Studies, Winter 2016

About the Author: John C. Poirier, Th.M. (Duke Divinity), D.H.L. (Jewish Theological Seminary), is an independent scholar who has published numerous articles on a wide range of topics. He is the author of The Invention of the Inspired Text: Philological Windows on the Theopneustia of Scripture (2021).

  • Connect with

    Subscribe via Twitter Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pasto...

    Invitation: Stories about transformation

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    Studies in Acts

    Daniel A. Brown, PhD, planted The Coastlands, a church near Santa Cruz, California, serving as Senior Pastor for 22 years. Daniel has authored four books and numerous articles, but h...

    Will I Still Be Me After Death?