Commentaries on Acts

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Commentaries on the Whole New TestamentWhole Bible Commentaries




Apostles’ Lives & Theology
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Order of Contents  55+

Best  15
Commentaries  40+
Early & Medieval  8+
Jewish Background  2
Words of Christ & Apostles  4
Acts Generally  6
Pentecostalism  1
Chapters  14
Bible Characters  15
Harmony of Acts & Epistles  1
Authenticity  1
Biblio  1



The Best Commentaries on Acts


Calvin, John – Commentary on Acts

*** – Spurgeon


Simple, Practical & Devotional

Arnot, William – The Church in the House, a Series of Lessons on the Acts of the Apostles  (NY: Robert Carter, 1883)  465 pp.  ToC

Arnot was of the Free Church of Scotland.

***  “Intended to be read in families on Sabbath afternoons; but all who are acquainted with Dr. Arnot will know that even his simplest expositions are rich and full.  He hath dust of gold.” – Spurgeon

Bonar, Horatius – Light & Truth, or Bible Thoughts & Themes, vol. 3  (d. 1889)  415 pp.  ToC

Bonar (1808-1889) was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland and was brother to Andrew Bonar.

***  ‘…The passages selected are popularly expounded, but the thought is not deep.  The volumes will be more prized by the ordinary reader than by the minister.’ – Spurgeon

De Graff, D.G. – Promise & Deliverance, vol. 4  (Acts)  1900’s

De Graaf was Dutch Reformed.

“De Graaf studies the Old Testament with an eye on the covenant and the kingdom of God.  The book is written in an easy-to-undrstand style.” – Tremper Longman III, 4 out of 5 stars




Alexander, J.A. – Acts of the Apostles Explained, vol. 1 (1-12), 2 (13)  (1857)

Alexander was an American, Northern presbyterian minister.

***  “In all respects a work of the highest merit.” – Spurgeon

“An exhaustive, thorough exposition which gives valuable help on the meaning of Greek words, defends Stephen’s accuracy of chronology in Acts 7, and provides preachers with an abundance of usable material. Reformed.” – Cyril J. Barber

Denton, William – A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, vol. 1 (1-12), 2 (13-28)  (1874)  Advanced comments are kept to the footnotes.

*** – “A complete list of all authors upon the Acts will be found in this very learned and exhaustive work.  We do not always agree with the author, but he has done his work thoroughly well.”

Dick, John – Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles  (1850)  405 pp.  ToC

Dick was a minister and professor in the Scottish Secession Church, known for his systematic theology.

**  “Interesting lectures upon selected portions of the Acts.  This work has been reprinted in America, whence we obtained a copy of the second edition; this shows that it has been highly esteemed.” – Spurgeon

Fawcett, John – An Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles, vol. 1 (1-9), 2 (9-17), 3 (18-28)  Reprinted by Tentmaker

***  “A fine series of expository discourses.  Sometimes we differ.” – Spurgeon

Kitto, John – The Apostles & the Early Church  being Daily Bible Illustrations, vol. 8  (NY: Robert Carter, 1855)  440 pp.  ToC

***  ‘They are not exactly a commentary, but what marvelous expositions you have there!  You have reading more interesting than any novel that was ever written, and as instructive as the heaviest theology.  The matter is quite attractive and fascinating, and yet so weighty, that the man who shall study those eight volumes thoroughly, will not fail to read his Bible intelligently and with growing interest.’ – Spurgeon

Stock, Eugene – Lessons on the Acts, For Sunday School Teachers and other Religious Instructors  Ref  Buy  (Church of England Sunday School Institute, 1887)  158 pp.

***  “For half-a-crown the teacher may here obtain one of the most useful books known to us.  Though produced for members of the Church of England, we recommend it heartily to ministers and others who are preparing addresses to the young.”

Vaughan, Charles – The Church of the First Days: Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles, vol. 1 (1-8), 2 (9-28)  (1873)

***  “Not only does Dr. Vaughan expound his texts in the ablest manner, but he introduces passages of Scripture so aptly that he suggests discourses.  Bating his Churchianity, we cannot too highly commend him.” – Spurgeon

“A series of sermons accompanied by a paraphrase of the Greek text and providing some penetrating insights into the Scriptures. Arminian.” – Cyril J. Barber



Bruce, F.F. – The Book of Acts: Revised Edition  in New International Commentary on the New Testament  (Eerdmans, 1954)  560 pp.  ToC

“Perhaps the best expository work for the pastor. Sound exposition based upon careful exegesis and a thorough knowledge of the historical background.” – Cyril J. Barber



Alford, Henry – Prolegomena & Commentary  (Cambridge, 1871)  This is a commentary on the Greek text.

On Alford’s Homilies on Acts 1-10:  ***  “Not so good as his critical notes [this work here]; but such an author always deserves attention.”

Gloag, Paton – A Critical & Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, vol. 1 (1-12), 2 (13-28)  (1870)

***  “Dr. Hackett says of Dr. Gloag’s work: ‘I have examined it with special care.  For my purposes I have found it unsurpassed by any similar work in the English language.  It shows a thorough mastery of the material, philology, history and literature pertaining to this range of study, and a skill in the use of this knowledge, which places it in the first class of modern expositions.'” – Spurgeon

“A thorough exposition which dates the origin of the church from Acts 2, maintains that the ‘tongues’ at Pentecost were known languages, and claims that James gives God’s plan for the church age in Acts 15.” – Cyril J. Barber

Hackett, Horatio – A Commentary on the Original Text of the Acts of the Apostles   in American Bible Commentary Series  (1858)  324 pp.  Timeline

Hackett (1808-?) was an American Baptist seminary professor.

“An exhaustive and carefully expounded, verse-by-verse commentary, this work is prefaced by an informative and concise time-line chart to show the reader at a glance the chronology of events recorded in this important and pivotal New Testament book.” – The back-flap

***  “Hackett occupies the first position among commentators upon the Acts.  The Bunyan Library edition omits some of his most valuable critical observations.” – Spurgeon

“A valuable verse-by-verse treatment. Calvinistic.” – Cyril J. Barber



Commentaries on Acts


ed. Chung-Kim, Esther & Todd Hains – Reformation Commentary on Scripture: Acts  Buy

Gwalther, Rudolph – A 175 Homilies or Sermons upon Acts  (1572)  919 pp.  ToC

Gwalther was reformed and was the successor to Heinrich Bullinger in Zurich, Switzerland.

**  “Full of Protestantism.  The author judged that, as Luke who wrote the Acts, was a physician, his book was meant to be medicine to the Church.” – Spurgeon



Du Veil, Charles-Marie – A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles  (1685; London: Haddon, 1851)  590 pp.  no ToC

Du Veil (1630-1685) was Reformed.

**  “Claude’s prefatory lettter highly commends this work.  The author defends the immersion of believers with earnestness.” – Spurgeon

“Reprinted from the first edition which appeared in 1685. Lengthy exposition by a man whose theological pilgrimage took him from Judaism to Roman Catholicism, to Anglicanism and finally to the Baptists. Supports all the cardinal doctrines of the faith. Argues for immersion.” – Cyril J. Barber

Pearson, John – Five Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles & Annals of St. Paul  ed. J.R. Crowfoot  (d. 1686; Cambridge: Deighton, 1851)  145 pp.  no ToC  The first half of the book covers Acts 2-9, the second half on the annals of St. Paul, covers much of the rest of the book.

Pearson (1613-1686) was an Anglican, known for his commentary on the Apostles’ Creed.

Cradock, Samuel – The Apostolical History, containing the Acts, Labors, Travels, Sermons, Discourses, Miracles, Successes & Sufferings of the Holy Apostles, from Christ’s Ascension to the Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus  (London: Maxwell, 1672)  464 pp.  ToC

Cradock was a reformed puritan.

*  “Tillotson, Reynolds, Doddridge, and others highly commended the works of this Puritan writer.  The style in which the ‘Apostolical History’ is got up is most uninviting; the book is nearly all italics.  Many modern works far excel it.” – Spurgeon


Simple, Practical & Devotional


Bennett, James – Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles  Ref  Buy  (John Gladding, 1847)  473 pp.

Bennett (1774–1862) was an English Congregationalist minister and college principal.

**  “A good specimen of plain and popular pulpit exposition.  Dr. Bennett fights very earnestly for the Congregationalist view of Baptism, for which we do not blame him; for common humanity leads us to admire a man who struggles for a weak cause.” – Spurgeon

It is probable that by ‘the Congregationalist view of Baptism’ Spurgeon means the view that a minister may only administer the sacraments to those in his congregation or those coming into his congregation, restricting the administration of the sacraments to membership in a particular local congregation only.  As Spurgeon rightly points out, that is not what is seen in the Book of Acts.

Bouchier, Barton – Manna in the House: or, Daily Expositions of the Acts of the Apostles, Adapted for the use of Families  (London: 1858)  620 pp.  no ToC

**  “Superior family reading.  Bouchier did not write for students, but for households, yet even the more advanced may learn from him.” – Spurgeon

Pearson, Arthur – The Acts of the Holy Spirit  (1895)

“A devotional book which rightly stresses the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the work of the early church.” – Cyril J. Barber



Thomas, William Henry Griffith – Outline Studies in the Acts of the Apostles  (1905; Eerdmans, 1978)  550 pp.  ToC

Thomas (1861-1924) was an Anglican cleric and scholar from the English-Welsh border country.

“An extensive series of homiletical outlines.” – Cyril J. Barber

Erdman, Charles – The Acts: an Exposition  (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1919)  175 pp.  ToC

“A devotional and practical commentary of great help to preachers.” – Cyril J. Barber

Walker, Thomas – The Acts of the Apostles  in The Indian Church Commentaries  (London: SPCN, 1919)  ToC

“Warm and fervent in style, but provides little connection between one verse and the next.” – Cyril J. Barber

Morgan, G. Campbell – Acts of the Apostles  (Revell, 1928)  550 pp.  no ToC

“By many regarded as being THE most important single expository work for the pastor.” – Cyril J. Barber

Macaulay, Joseph C.

Expository Commentary on Acts  (Chicago: Moody Press, 1946)  270 pp.  ToC

Life in the Spirit, as Exemplified in the Acts of the Apostles  (Chicago: Moody Press, 1978)  155 pp.  ToC

Scroggie, William G. – The Acts of the Apostles: with Introduction & Notes  Ref  Buy  (Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1931)  186 pp.

“Abounds in helpful outlines, wholesome exposition, and usable illustrations.” – Cyril J. Barber

Woodbridge, Charles – A Study of the Book of Acts: “Standing on the Promises”  Buy  (Baker, 1955)

“Challenging messages on each chapter.” – Cyril J. Barber

Gerstner, John – ‘Acts’  in ed. Carl Henry, The Biblical Expositor: The Living Theme of the Great Book with General & Introductory Essays & Exposition  1 vol. ed.  (1960; A.J. Holman, 1973)

This little known commentary set by leading evangelicals (many of which were reformed) is brief (think airplane view) but helpful.




Baumgarten, M. – The Acts of the Apostles; or the History of the Church in the Apostolic Age, vol. 1, 2, 3  (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1854)

**  “‘An exposition at once profoundly scientific and sublimely Christian, one of the most pressing wants of our times.’ – Eclectic Review.  Alford calls it excellent, though somewhat fanciful.” – Spurgeon

“Technical and helpful. Adds depth to an understanding of the church in the first century A.D.” – Cyril J. Barber

Cook, F.C. – The Acts of the Apostles; with a Commentary, & Practical & Devotional Suggestions  (1850)  390 pp.  ToC  Timeline

**  “Contains many useful notes, instructive to fairly educated readers.” – Spurgeon

Ford, James – The Acts of the Apostles, Illustrated (Chiefly in the Doctrinal & Moral sense) from Ancient & Modern Authors  (London: Masters, 1856)

** “Those who wish to see what the Fathers said upon the Gospels, and to read the choicest sayings of the early Anglican bishops, cannot do better than consult Ford, who has made a very rich collection. Some of the extracts do not materially illustrate the text, but they are all worth reading.” – Spurgeon

Howson, John S. & Donald Spence – The Acts of the Apostles  in A Popular Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Philip Schaff  (1879)

Howson was of Coneybeare and Howson’s Life and Letters of St. Paul’s fame, which volume Spurgeon gives the highest recommendation to.  Howson was THE authority on St. Paul in his day, though he had some liberal tendencies.  Spence was the one who co-edited The Pulpit Commentary, a respectable production, though also having some liberal tendencies.

Jacobus, Melancthon – Notes, Critical & Explanatory, on the Acts of the Apostles  (NY: Robert Carter, 1859)

Jacobus was a northern, old school presbyterian minister who had graduated from old Princeton Seminary.  He was also a professor at Western Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania.

On his Notes on the Gospels:  ***  “Jacobus is sound and plain, and is therefore a safe guide to Sunday-school teachers and others who need to see the results of learning without the display of it.” – Spurgeon

 His writings are:  “characterized by solid learning, sound doctrine, and lucid statements, a pleasant style, and the most serious spirit of piety.” – William S. Plumer

“The excellent Commentaries of Dr. Melancthon Jacobus have deservedly attained a high reputation, and their wide circulation proves how well they are adapted to the wants of both ministers and laymen.  They present, in a brief compass, the results of extensive erudition, abound in judicious exposition and pertinent illustration, and are, moreover, distinguished by doctrinal soundness, evangelical character, and an eminently devout spirit.” – Charles Hodge, William Henry Green, J.W. Alexander

“Jacobus writes in the popular style of Albert Barnes, and is solidly Reformed. Some commentators make you plow an acre to find a single nugget; but not Jacobus.  His exegetical notes are concise but meaty, with rich veins of practical exposition.” – Robert P. Martin

Lange’s Commentary – Commentary on Acts

**  “Adds nothing to our knowledge of the Acts; but the homiletical hints are useful.” – Spurgeon

Lindsay, Thomas – The Acts of the Apostles with Introduction, Notes & Maps, vol. 1 (1-12), 2 (13-28)  in Hand-Books for Bible Classes, eds. Dods & Whyte  (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1884)

Lindsay was a professor of the Free Church of Scotland.

“An introduction with brief expository notes. Reformed.” – Cyril J. Barber

Lumby, Joseph Rawson – The Acts of the Apostles with Maps, Introduction & Notes  (1890)  460 pp. in The Cambridge Bible for Schools & Colleges

“Two works of great value [the other work is in the advanced section] which obviously contain many similarities in content. The latter [advanced] volume is of particular importance for its handling of syntactical problems. For those who lack a knowledge of Greek, the former work [here] still is helpful.” – Cyril J. Barber

Mimpriss, Robert – The Acts of the Apostles & Epistles Historically & Geographically Delineated According to Greswell’s Arrangement…  Ref  (B. Wertheim, 1837)  246 pp.

**  “A handy book for teachers.” – Spurgeon

Norris, J.P. – A Key to the Narrative of the Acts of the Apostles  (1871)

**  “A well executed sketch of the Acts of the Apostles, giving the student a clear idea of the run of the book.  Like the same author’s ‘Key to the Gospels’, it would be most useful in Bible classes.” – Spurgeon

Olshausen, Hermann – Biblical Commentary on the Gospels & on the Acts…  for Preachers & Students, vol. 4  3rd ed.  (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1860)  ToC

**  “Denton says that ‘this is a brief, hasty, and not well-digested supplement to Olshausen’s volumes on the Gospels.’  He thinks all the German writers to be much overrated, and we are much of his mind.” – Spurgeon

Peck, Thomas – Notes on the Acts of the Apostles  ToC  in Miscellanies, vol. 3  (Richmond, VA: Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1897), pp. 31-208  Immediately following this are Peck’s sermons through the book of Acts.

Peck was an American, southern, presbyterian minister.

Thomas, David – Acts of the Apostles: A Homiletic Commentary  (1870; Baker, 1955)  505 pp.  ToC

**  “Many of the homiletic outlines strike us as ‘much ado about nothing’; still, if a man should read this work and get no help from it, it would be his own fault.” – Spurgeon

“A homiletic commentary which gives 111 sermons on different paragraphs in the Book of Acts.” – Cyril J. Barber



Rackham, Richard B. – The Acts of the Apostles: an Exposition  (1901)  515 pp.  ToC

Rackham (1863-1912) was a member of the Community of the Resurrection, an Anglican community whose members combined scholarly, educational and evangelistic work.

“A helpful exposition which tends to over-emphasize the sacraments and church offices, but compensates for this by providing a brilliant perceptive study of the text. Deserves to be regarded as a classic!” – Cyril J. Barber

“The greatest of all [commentaries on Acts]” – Wilbur M. Smith
“A classic” – S. Lewis Johnson

Emmett, Allen Frank – The Acts of the Apostles  Ref  Buy  (Christopher Publishing House, 1931)  820 pp.

Findlay, J. Alexander – The Acts of the Apostles: a Commentary  (London: Student Christian Movement Press, 1934)  230 pp.  ToC

Findlay was a professor at a Methodist college in England and had liberal tendencies.

“Brief comments on the text of the RV of 1881.” – Cyril J. Barber

Rice, John – Filled with the Spirit: A Verse by Verse Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles  (1963; TN: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1978)  550 pp.  ToC

Dr. John R. Rice was a fundamentalist and the founder of Sword of the Lord Publishers.  He argues that the filling and baptism of the Spirit has nothing to do with the modern tongues movement and he argues against dispensationalism.

“A homiletical verse-by-verse commentary.” – Cyril J. Barber

Gainer, Richard – The Life & Ministry of the Apostle Paul, as Presented in 32 Sermons [as given]  Buy  (2004)  322 pp.

Gainer was a professor at Bob Jones University teaching Greek and the Pauline Epistles.  He has been a long time pastor since 1964.  At the time of publishing he was a member of a PCA church in Greenville, SC.

Kent, Jr., Homer A. – Jerusalem to Rome: Studies in Acts  (Baker, 1972)  200 pp.  ToC

Vaughan, Curtis – Acts  in Bible Study Commentary  (Lamplighter Books, 1974)  156 pp.  ToC




Benson, George – The History of the First Planting of the Christian Religion, taken from the Acts of the Apostles & their Epistles, vol. 1 (1-11), 2 (12-28), 3  (London: Waugh, 1755)  ToC  Indices: Subject, Scripture, Hebrew & Greek  Errata

Benson was an Anglican.

*  “Dull, but displaying considerable research.  Benson was an Arian.” – Spurgeon

Pearce, Zachary – The Acts of the Apostles  in A Commentary with Notes on the Four Evangelists & the Acts of the Apostles  (London: Cox, 1777), vol. 2, pp. 1-196

Pearce was an Anglican.



Humphry, William Gilson – A Commentary on the Book of the Acts of the Apostles  (London: 1854)  215 pp.  no ToC

*  “Exegetical remarks upon the Greek text.  Very good from a philological point of view, but professedly of an elementary character.” – Spurgeon

Lumby, Joseph Rawson – The Acts of the Apostles with Maps, Notes & Introduction  in Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools  (Cambridge University Press, 1891)  530 pp.  ToC

“Two works of great value [the other one is in the intermediate section above] which obviously contain many similarities in content. The latter volume [this one] is of particular importance for its handling of syntactical problems…” – Cyril J. Barber

Neander, Augustus – Of the Planting & Training of the Christian Church  (Philadelphia: Campbell, 1844)  340 pp.  ToC

**  “The work rather of an historian than of a commentator.  Bold, devout, learned, and, on the whole, sound.  The result of wide research, and deep learning.” – Spurgeon

Trollope, W. – Commentary on the Acts, with Examination Questions for the B.A. Degree  (Cambridge: Hall, 1854)  400 pp.  no ToC

*  “Well adapted to accomplish the design indicated in the title.” – Spurgeon



Bruce, F.F. – The Acts of the Apostles: the Greek Text with Introduction & Commentary  (Eerdmans, 1951)  590 pp.  ToC

“An exegetical work not to be confused with the author’s exposition in the NICNT. Takes into account the most recent research into all questions of authorship, sources, style, etc., and then sets forth a commentary based solely upon the Greek text.” – Cyril J. Barber



The Early Church on Acts


Ford, James – The Acts of the Apostles, Illustrated (Chiefly in the Doctrinal & Moral Sense) from Ancient & Modern Authors  (London: Masters, 1856)  800 pp.  no ToC

** “Those who wish to see what the Fathers said upon the Gospels, and to read the choicest sayings of the early Anglican bishops, cannot do better than consult Ford, who has made a very rich collection. Some of the extracts do not materially illustrate the text, but they are all worth reading.” – Spurgeon

ed. Martin, Francis – Ancient Commentary on Scripture: Acts  (IVP, 2006)  390 pp.  ToC



Ambrosiaster – On Acts 2:1, On the Origin of Pentecost  at Patristic Bible Commentary


Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles  ToC  in NPNF1, vol. 11, pp. 1-330  HTML

**  ‘Enough of solid truth and brilliant utterance will be found here to justify this father’s title of ‘Golden Mouth’; but still all is not gold which fell from his lips, and to modern readers Chrysostom is not so instructive as he was to his own age [A.D. 349-407].’ – Spurgeon

Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, vols. 1 (1-12), 2 (13-28)  in A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church  (Oxford: Parker, 1851)

Augustine – Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament by S. Augustine  in A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church  (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1839), sermons 98-100, pp. 687-708  ToC

sermon 98, on Acts 5:4
sermon 99, on Acts 11
sermon 100, on Acts 17:18

Theodore of Mopsuestia – Introduction on Acts  at Patristic Bible Commentary

Theodore (c. 350 – 428)



The Medieval Church on Acts


Cassiodorus – Complexiones on the Acts of the Apostles  at Patristic Bible Commentary

Cassiodorus (c. 485 – c. 585)

Arator – On the Acts of the Apostles: a Baptismal Commentary  in Oxford Early Christian Studies  Pre  Buy  (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993)  210 pp.  ToC

Arator (fl. 500’s) was a Christian poet from Liguria in northwestern Italy.  This is his best known work.

Bede – Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles  trans. Lawrence T. Martin  (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1989)  214 pp.  ToC



Jewish Background to Acts

Lightfoot, John – Hebrew & Talmudical Exercitations upon the Acts of the Apostles  new ed. Robert Gandell  (d. 1675; Oxford University Press, 1859)  310 pp.  no ToC

Lightfoot was a reformed divine and Hebraicist who was invited to the Westminster Assembly.  He mined the Jewish writings for anything and everything that may be of help in understanding the New Testament.  Here are his results.

This is the only work of its kind in English; the scholarly, more complete work (vol. 1, Mt; vol. 2, Mk-Jn) that has improved, in some ways, upon Lightfoot, done in the early 1900’s by H. Strack and P. Billerbeck, has still not been translated out of the German.

*  “Few now-a-days will care for this author, whose learning ran mostly in Talmudical channels.  He was profound, but not always discreet.” – Spurgeon

Black, Matthew – An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels & Acts  2nd ed.  (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957)  300 pp.  ToC

Black was a liberal.  While Aramaic studies may be helpful in understanding the background to the Gospel, as much of the language of Christ’s day was a form of spoken Aramaic, it ought to be remembered that the Greek of the gospel-writers in which they wrote their gospels is what is inspired and has been providentially preserved by God.

“Serves as a valuable corrective of those who see Hellenizing or Hellenistic sources behind practically everything in the early books of the NT.” – Cyril Barber



The Words of Jesus & the Apostles in Acts

Words of Jesus

Stier, Rudolph – The Words of the Risen Savior…  trans. William Pope  (Philadelphia: Smith, 1855), pp. 1-224  ToC  Stier expounds Acts 9:4-6, 10-16; 10:13-16; 11:7-10; 18:9-10; 22:7-10, 17-21; 23:11; 26:14-18; 2 Cor. 12:9

***  “No one can be expected to receive all that Stier has to say, but he must be dull indeed who cannot learn much from him.  Read with care, he is a great instructor.” – Spurgeon


Words of the Apostles

Stier, Rudolph – The Words of the Apostles  trans. G.H. Venables  (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1869)  517 pp.  ToC

***  “Devout, scholarly, full of thought.  To be used discreetly.”

“An extensive, scholarly study of sermons and addresses by Peter, Stephen, Philip, James, and Paul as recorded in the Book of Acts.  Excellent!”  “Rudolph Ewald Stier (1800-1862) the brilliant German exegete and Bible commentator of a generation past…  His material is very full.  He treats carefully each reference to the Old Testament, and so ably explains the thrust of each passage in keeping with the unity of Scripture, that he has earned the respect and praise of God’s people…  we welcome the reprinting of this fine work comprising the expository sermons which Dr. Stier preached to his congregation at Eisleben.” – Cyril J. Barber

Fraser, Donald – The Speeches of the Holy Apostles  (NY: Macmillan, 1882)  270 pp.  ToC

Fraser was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland.  He wrote the Life of, and edited the Diary of, Ebenezer Erskine.

Ridderbos, Herman – The Speeches of Peter in the Acts of the Apostles  Ref  Buy  (Tyndale, 1962)  31 pp.

“Comprises the Tyndale New Testament Lecture for 1961.  Provides a scholarly exposition of Peter’s speeches.” – Cyril J. Barber



On Acts Generally


Stifler, James Madison – An Introduction to the Study of the Acts of the Apostles  (Revell, 1892)  300 pp.  ToC

“Provides a helpful introduction to and an interpretative analysis of the Acts.” – Cyril J. Barber



Ramsay, William M. – Pictures of the Apostolic Church: its Life & Thought  (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1910)  390 pp.  ToC

Ramsay was a conservative Scottish archaeologist.

“Studies which highlight important facets in the history and growth of the early church.” – Cyril J. Barber

Warfield, B.B. – ‘Some Characteristics of the Book of Acts’  in Selected Shorter Writings: Benjamin B. Warfield  ed. John Meeter  (Presbyterian & Reformed, 1973), vol. 2, pp. 21-47

Robertson, A.T. – Luke the Historian in the Light of Research  (NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1920)  280 pp.  ToC

Olson, Arnold Theodore – The Pacemakers: The Story of Six Conversions to Christianity from the Acts of the Apostles  (MN: Board of Publications Evangelical Free Church of America, 1957)  155 pp.  ToC

“A devotional study of six conversions in the Book of Acts.” – Cyril J. Barber

Moule, Charles Francis Digby – Christ’s Messengers: Studies in the Acts of the Apostles  in World Christian Books  (NY: Association Press, 1957)  90 pp.  ToC

“Brief studies on the subject of ‘witness’.  Contains helpful material on Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, Stephen’s speech, and Paul’s address at the Aereopagus, and an excellent discussion of the etymology of Greek words.  Anglican.” – Cyril J. Barber



Acts & Pentecostalism

Bruner, Frederick Dale – A Theology of the Holy Spirit: The Pentecostal Experience & the New Testament Witness  Buy  (1970)  350 pp.

Dr. Bruner was a graduate of Princeton Seminary and the University of Hamburg.

The first half of the book is a description of the Pentecostal movement and experience from their primary sources.  The second half of the book (why you need to buy it) is the best exegetical consideration available of the key primary texts throughout Acts that relate to modern Pentecostal issues.  Brunner even-handedly argues from the text that the ‘tongues’ of Acts were real languages, argues for cessationism and that Pentecostal theology and practice is not reflective of the experience and teaching of the book of Acts.  His treatment of Acts 2 and 1 Cor. 14 is masterly.

Besides a handful of isolated, somewhat liberal statements, the work does full justice to the authenticity, truth and integrity of the Book of Acts.

“Haled by reviewers, this book is one of the best analyses of Pentecostalism written in the twentieth century.  Dr. Gordon Clark called it ‘masterly’, ‘exceedingly well researched’, ‘superb’, and a ‘penetrating analysis’.  No one, whether sympathetic or unsympathetic to the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement, should be without it.” – The Trinity Foundation



Commentaries on Chapters in Acts


Acts 1-14

In Meter

Tye, Christopher – The Acts of the Apostles [chs. 1-14], translated into English Meter…  for All Christians that Cannot Sing, to Read the Good & Godly Stories of the Lives of Christ’s Apostles  (London, 1553)  200 pp.



Acts 1-12

Lightfoot, John – A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, chs. 1-12  in Works, ed. John R. Pitman  (London: Hatchard, 1823), vol. 8, pp. 1-295

Lightfoot was a Westminster divine.

**  “Few now-a-days will care for this author, whose learning ran mostly in Talmudical channels.  He was profound, but not always discreet.” – Spurgeon



Acts 1-10

Alford, Henry – Homilies on the Former Part of the Acts of the Apostles, chs. 1-10  (London, 1858)  360 pp.  no ToC  These are expository lectures.

***  “Not so good as his critical notes; but such an author always deserves attention.” – Spurgeon



Acts 1-7

Calvin, John – Sermons on the Acts of the Apostles: Chs. 1-7  Buy  (Banner of Truth)  657 pp.



Acts 1


Calvin, John – Sermons on the Ascension  in Diverse Sermons of Master John Calvin, concerning the Divinity, Humanity & Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, as also touching his Passion, Death, Resurrection, Ascension: together with the Coming Down of the Holy Ghost upon his Apostles: and the First Sermon of St. Peter  (London, 1581), pp. 147-70



Acts 2


Calvin, John – Sermons on Pentecost  in Diverse Sermons of Master John Calvin, concerning the Divinity, Humanity, and Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, as also touching his Passion, Death, Resurrection, Ascension: together with the Coming Down of the Holy Ghost upon his Apostles: & the First Sermon of St. Peter  (London, 1581), pp. 171-95



Morgan, G. Campbell – The Birth of the Church: an Exposition of the 2nd Chapter of Acts  Buy  (Revell, 1968)  192 pp.

“Deals with events which took place on the day of Pentecost. Devotional.” – Cyril J. Barber



Acts 2-3


Fairbarin, Patrick – ‘St. Peter’s Discourses in Acts 2 & 3’  in reference to prophecy, in Prophecy…  (NY: Carlton, 1866), pp. 505-10



Acts 6-8


Goulburn, Edward – bk. 1 & bk. 2, chs. 1-8  in The Acts of the Deacons: being a Course of Lectures, Critical & Practical, on Acts 6-8 & 21:8-15  (London: Rivingtons, 1866)  ToC

**  “An interesting topic well handled.” – Spurgeon



Acts 10


Krummacher, F.A. – Cornelius the Centurion  210 pp.  ToC  in Cornelius the Centurion: & Life & Character of St. John…  (Edinburgh: Clark, 1840)

F.A. Krummacher (1767-1845) was the father of F.W. Krummacher.



Acts 16


Todd, James – ch. 1, ‘Exposition of the 16th Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles’  in The Apostle Paul & the Christian Church at Philippi, an Exposition, Critical & Practical, of Acts 16 & Philippians  (Cambridge: Deighton, 1864), pp. 1-107



Acts 17

“Two things strike me in that wonderful sermon of Paul at Athens: his considerable tact in recognizing all the good he found in Athens, and how he laid the axe to the root of the tree of Attic pride.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan



MacDuff, J.R. – St. Paul in Athens: the City & the Discourse  (London: Nisbet, 1887)  260 pp.  ToC



Stonehouse, Ned – ‘The Areopagus Address’  in Paul before the Areopagus & Other New Testament Studies  (Eerdmans, 1957), pp. 1-40



Acts 21

On Acts 21:8-14

Goulburn, Edward – bk. 2, ch. 9, ‘St. Paul in Philip’s Family’  ToC  in The Acts of the Deacons: being a Course of Lectures, Critical & Practical, on Acts 6-8 & 21:8-15  (London: Rivingtons, 1866)

**  “An interesting topic well handled.” – Spurgeon



Bible Characters in Acts

Whyte, Alexander – Bible Characters  (d. 1921)

Matthias the Successor to Judas Iscariot
Ananias and Sapphira
Simon Magus
The Ethiopian Eunuch
James, the Lord’s Brother
Philip, Deacon & Evangelist

aner logicos,” Acts 18:24 – “Not [an] eloquent, but an intellectual man, a ratiocinative thinker.” – John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

King Agrippa



Harmony of Acts & the Epistles

Clarke, George – Harmony of the Acts of the Apostles & Chronological Arrangement of the Epistles & Revelation, with Chronological & Explanatory Notes & Valuable Tables, Designed for Popular Use, & Specially adapted to Sunday Schools  (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1897)  410 pp.  ToC



The Authenticity of Acts

Machen, J. Gresham – ‘Recent Criticism of the Book of Acts’  in Princeton Theological Review, vol. 18, no. 4  (Oct. 1919), pp. 585-608



Bibliography on Acts

Mattill, A.J. & M.B. Mattill – A Classified Bibliography on Literature on the Acts of the Apostles  (Brill, 1966)  525 pp.  ToC

“Similar in scope to Metzger’s Index to Periodical Literature on Christ and the Gospels.  Contains 6,646 numbered entries drawn from approximately 200 journals and is divided into 9 main sections.  Lists of material from the period of the Church Fathers to 1961.  Includes index of authors.” – Cyril Barber




Related Pages

Whole Bible Commentaries

Old Testament Commentaries

New Testament Commentaries