Review: Acts (EP Study Commentary)

Waters, Guy Prentiss. “Acts: EP Study Commentary,” Evangelical Press, Watchmead, UK: 2014. 614 pp. $44.99

Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews, I’ve had the opportunity to review another book. This time around, to my delight, it is a commentary. I own a few commentaries on Acts, so I was curious to see what this one might offer. The EPSC is a solid series that boasts a handful of renowned scholars and theologians, and it seems that it just keeps getting better. Guy Prentiss Waters’ volume on Acts is a welcome addition.

                                                                               The author dedicates this book to Richard Gaffin (author of “Perspectives on Pentecost”) and relies heavily on commentators such as F.F. Bruce and John Stott, which are good indicators as to where he is coming from. Waters is a confessional Presbyterian (a teaching elder in the PCA) and Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, which are appealing credentials.

The commentary begins with a useful outline and introduction that includes information about the author, date, title, genre, and purpose. Waters breaks the commentary up into 18 chapters, focusing on “a geographical progression—Jerusalem; Judea and Samaria; the end of the earth,” including a supporting role of Jewish and Gentile missions as documented by the respective ministries of the apostles Peter and Paul (pp. 22–23). This is helpful for the reader because it orients the narrative in salvation history—which is crucial for proper interpretation of the book of Acts.

One of things I appreciate the most about this commentary is the “Application”  at the end of each chapter. Waters uses these sections to drive home the practical aspect of the narrative. This is where we catch a glimpse of the authors’ pastoral heart. Though it is clear he has done the heavy exegetical work for the reader, he doesn’t bog the audience down with the intricacies of his scholarship. What we do see is the fruit of a masterful expositor rightly dividing the word of truth.

I would happily recommend this commentary to anyone who has the task of teaching the word of God, or even the lay person who just wants to dig deeper. A commentary on Acts written from a confessionally Reformed perspective is a great benefit to the Church, and Guy Waters’ volume in the EPSC holds a respectful position in the ever-increasing archive of biblical commentaries.

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Effective December 1, 2009, Federal Trade Commission guidelines state that bloggers receiving any kind of compensation should disclose that information clearly on their blog when posting a review of the product… that being said: I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK.

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The Quest for Wisdom

THE QUEST FOR WISDOM

“The fear of the Lord is wisdom, because it sets a person in communion with God and sets him on the path to the fullness of knowledge that will dawn in Christ. Indeed, the fear of the Lord is granted to a sinful person only for the sake of Christ. God acts in mercy towards people in Old Testament times by reckoning for their benefit beforehand the grace that will be accomplished in Christ. Even in the Old Testament, godly people experienced beforehand some foretaste of the wisdom of God and the communion with God. The full realization of that communion awaited the coming of Christ. And of course we still await a yet fuller communion with God in the new heavens and the new earth.” (Vern Poythress)

For more on this subject, visit Frame & Poythress.

 

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Thanksgiving Thursday

BE PARTICULAR IN YOUR THANKS TO GOD

“We must give thanks for our preservation; that our lives are prolonged and the use of our reason and understanding, our limbs and senses, are continued to us…

It was owing to your good providence that we did not die at birth, and did not come out from the womb and expire; that the knees received us, and the breasts, that we should nurse.

Though before birth we were called rebels, yet by your power we have been borne by you from before our birth and carried from the womb; and you keep our souls among the living and have not let our foot slip.

All our bones shall say, ‘O LORD, who is like you!’ For you keep the bones, and not one of them is broken.

We lay down and sleep, for you, LORD, make us to dwell in safety.

You have commanded your angels concerning us, to guard us in all our ways; to bear us up in their hands, lest we strike our foot against a stone. And they are all ministering spirits, sent out to serve for the good of those who are to inherit salvation.” (Matthew Henry)

CREATED IN HIS IMAGE

For more on the subject, visit Method for Prayer.

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Thanksgiving Thursday

BE PARTICULAR IN YOUR THANKS TO GOD

“Thank God for making you in His image…

We must give thanks that he has made us reasonable creatures, capable of knowing, loving, serving, and enjoying him, and that he has not made us like the beasts that perish.

We praise you, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made; and that our souls, our nobler part, know very well; for no man knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him.

You have made us of that rank of beings which is a little lower than the heavenly beings and is crowned with glory and honor; for it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand;  and the spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD.

Our bodies are capable of being the temples of the Holy Spirit, and our souls of having the Spirit of God dwell in them; we therefore glorify you with our bodies and with our spirits, which are both yours.

You, Lord, have formed us for yourself, that we might declare your praise.” (Matthew Henry)

THE GOODNESS OF HIS NATURE

 

For more on this subject, visit Method for Prayer.

 

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Family Friday

MARRIAGE TO THE GLORY OF GOD

“None of our family relations will be right unless we fear God. This is the soul of godliness—fearing Him. When your marriage is governed by this fear of God it means that you will revere the eternity of God, and His illimitable knowledge, His authority over everything in heaven and hell, His providence over every hair on our heads, His power over the waves and winds, His purity, trustworthiness, justice that renders all moral accounts on the cross or in hell, His atoning mercy, His wrath that one day we will give an account to Him, His grace that forgives the penitent and so on. That is fearing God, and blessing comes to the church by marriages like this.” (Derek Thomas)

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