Of the writing of commentaries, there seems to be no end. And, as the author of the book under review notes, four exegetical commentaries on Acts have appeared since he began writing in 2009. So, why another commentary on the book of Acts? Because, as we continue to study the Word of God, we are constantly understanding more and more the intent of God’s Spirit in how He directed Luke to record this information. And, since each commentary has it’s own niche, this volume in the EP Study Commentary series, helpfully fills a niche between very entry-level popular commentaries and full blown exegetical commentaries. For that, it makes a solid contribution.
Guy Prentiss Waters in this commentary on Acts does a helpful job of providing just enough exegetical and theological details into the text without them making it overburdened. After a standard introduction where he introduces us to the book he moves into the text. He does an admirable job of setting the scene of each passage, analyzing details, and making theological conclusions. At the end of each section, he helpfully provides some application from the text. The application is not rooted completely in our time which makes it more readily able to be applied in different times and in different cultures. The application is helpful overall. For instance, while acknowledging that Pentecost is not completely reproducible in our churches today, that it does not mean there is no application whatsoever. He reminds us that Pentecost has reversed the curse of Babel and men can understand each other in sharing the Gospel and that Jesus has saved sinners from the judgment they deserve and that the Spirit of God is available to believers in full supply. These are helpful elements to consider from the text, especially as Acts is difficult to apply at times because of its narrative form.
While Waters would certainly be of the Reformed persuasion, it does not mean that those who are not will not glean from the text some important truths. For instance, strong dispensationalists might disagree with Waters on Acts 2 and the nature of Joel’s prophecy and the formation of the church and it’s relationship to the Kingdom of God, but Waters helpfully addresses the issues without damaging one side of the theological spectrum or the other. A review of this nature, cannot begin to work through all the issues and possible interpretations that arise, but suffice to say, Waters presents a strong, evangelical approach to the book of Acts that most will be able to find benefit from.
If this EP Study Commentary is indicative of all, these volumes would be helpful additions to the libraries of serious Christians. Theological without being unintelligible, they take the text and show what it meant and what it means. That makes these commentaries eminently successful. Consider adding this volume to your library. You will refer to it often.