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Acts (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching)

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William Willimon combines the latest findings in Lukan scholarship with the pastoral, educational, and theological concerns of the local church to provide a new interpretation of Acts. He bases his comment on the idea that the purpose of Acts was not to make Christianity acceptable to the Roman states but rather to preserve the integrity of the church against the onslaught of classical culture.

Taking his interpretive task seriously, Willimon applies exegetical insight to problems within contemporary society and the local church. He works from the assumption that Acts addresses the church in its struggles with its own message, internal coherence, integrity, and relationship to the surrounding social and political order.

Willimon's lively and direct style is evocative and suggestive to the contemporary preacher and interpreter of Acts. He divides the text into various thought segments, discussing each segment in short essay form. His method, design, outline, and presentation offer a most insightful interpretation of the book of Acts.

  • Detailed introduction
  • Bibliography

Top Highlights

“The power which broke the bonds of death on Easter, shattered the divisions of speech at Pentecost, and empowered one who was lame now releases the tight grip of private property.” (Page 53)

“The miracle here is one of proclamation. Those who had no ‘tongue’ to speak of the ‘mighty works of God’ now preach.” (Page 32)

“The path toward significant prayer is a way that goes straight through, not around, human misery.” (Page 44)

“The first gift of the Spirit is the gift of speech, the gift of speech in different languages. So we are hearing a story about the irruption of the Spirit into the community and the first fruit of the Spirit—the gift of proclamation.” (Page 30)

“The voice moves from accusation to commission, indicating that this story is not simply about conversion but also about vocation, a call.” (Page 76)

The Interpretation series from Westminster John Knox Press is clearly established as a rich source for teaching and preaching. They have tapped the talents of a varied and esteemed group of contributors, resulting in what is clearly the essential comprehensive commentary series on the Bible.

—W. Eugene March, A.B. Rhodes Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

The Interpretation series is an invaluable resource for any leader or scholar interested in interpreting the biblical text to the broader church. Its works are essential for pastors, educators, and church libraries.

—Brian K. Blount, President and Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary

  • Title: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching Acts
  • Author: William H. Willimon
  • Publisher: John Knox Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 197

William H. Willimon is the Presiding Bishop of the Birmingham Area of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church.


2 ratings

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  1. Andrew Burns

    Andrew Burns


  2. PaulC



    Great exegetical commentary that gets you into and out of the text without being as heavy as Word Biblical or Anchor...
  3. Chad Ethridge

    Chad Ethridge


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