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.

Recommended reading:

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.

Notable & Newsworthy

Here are the links and stories for the day…

Get Dennis Johnson’s “Heralds of the King: Christ-Centered Sermons in the Tradition of Edmund P. Clowney” for 50% OFF at Westminster Bookstore

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Get Walter Brueggemann’s “Spirituality of the Psalms” for FREE for Logos Bible Software and enter to win the 24-volume collection

Get Ben Witherington’s “What’s in the Word” for FREE for Logos Bible Software and enter to win the 5-volume collection

Enter to win a subscription to Leadership Journal from The Brave Reviews

Brian Croft offers 4 questions to ask before joining a local church

Some scattered tips for not being a jerk at conferences

Jason Helopoulos on the beautiful diversity of the Church

“It is better to confess our ignorance than to indulge ourselves in frivolous conjectures.” (John Calvin)

“He who has gone to prepare heaven for us will not leave us without provision for the journey there.” (Charles Spurgeon)

Please take some time to browse the other pages on this site. You’ll find several articles, book reviews and recommendations, and even FREE e-books for your edification. Check out the Pastoral Theology page or Biblical Theology page first. Soli Deo Gloria!

SALE: Iain Duguid Commentaries

Iain Duguid has just been appointed Professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary. To commemorate the occasion, Westminster Bookstore is offering an excellent deal on three of Duguid’s commentaries. You can get “Esther/Ruth” (Reformed Expository Commentary) for only $5, “Daniel” (Reformed Expository Commentary) for just $10, and “Ezekiel” from (NIV Application Commentary) for only $15… or ALL THREE for only $20 (73% OFF)!

Click the links or images above and below to be redirected.

Esther & Ruth $5.00 (72% OFF)
“Does God help those who help themselves? That may seem to be the message of the Books of Esther and Ruth. Some think that Ruth’s attractiveness won over Naomi and Boaz, or that Esther’s bold faithfulness saved her people. But a closer reading shows an embittered Naomi to have abandoned the Promised Land and God’s people, and Esther to have become thoroughly assimilated to the culture and values of Persian society… In Esther, God works in invisible ways to save his people. In Ruth, God’s grace comes to Naomi unexpectedly, and with it, a depiction of redemption for her people.”

 

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“The book of Daniel is both familiar and unfamiliar to many Christians. The stories of the fiery furnace and Daniel in the lion’s den are the staples of children’s Bible story books and Sunday school classes. Yet the latter chapters of Daniel’s vision are more unfamiliar and daunting to most believers… Iain M. Duguid reminds Christians that Daniel gives us more than moral lessons or a prophetic timetable. The whole of the book points us to Christ, whether as the one greater than Daniel who has perfectly lived an exilic life of service and separation for us or as the exalted heavenly Son of Man who took flesh amongst us.”

 

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For more information, please visit the Westminster Theological Seminary.

 

Recommended reading:

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Here are the links, articles and videos of the day… enjoy!

Get Alan Cole’s commentary on Galatians (TNTC) for 50% OFF

Enter to win a stack of books and commentaries from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and 20Schemes

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Child sacrifice with a smile

Michael Kruger reviews Bart Ehrman’s “How Jesus Became God”

Robert Briggs’ video lectures on Directives to Young Preachers

Robert Gagnon on the Bible and homosexuality.

J.I. Packer e-book sale at Crossway

Thabiti Anyabwile interviews a single African-American woman who has been serving in the 10/40 window for the past 15 years

“Christ did not die for any upon condition, if they do believe; but he died for all God’s elect, that they should believe, and believing have eternal life. Faith itself is among the principal effects and fruits of the death of Christ.” (John Owen)

“Cold prayers are as arrows without heads, as swords without edges, as birds without wings. They pierce not, they cut not, they fly not up to heaven. Cold prayers always freeze before they reach heaven.” (Thomas Brooks)

Please take some time to peruse the various pages on this site (Exegetical Theology, Systematic Theology, Pastoral Theology, etc.)—you’ll find book recommendations, FREE e-books, articles and more!

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Here are the headlines, links, and quotes for the day:

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J.C. Ryle’s 5 Tips for Raising Godly Children

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“A man who feels he is competent, and that he can do this easily, and so rushes to preach without any sense of fear or trembling, or any hesitation whatsoever, is a man who is proclaiming that he has never been ‘called’ to be a preacher.” (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

Please visit the other pages on this site (listed above in the tabs) for more information. There are book recommendations and articles on a wide variety of topics across the various disciplines (Exegetical Theology, Pastoral Theology, etc.)—enjoy!

Notable & Newsworthy

Here are the headlines and links for today:

Albert Mohler on the infanticidal culture of death and a recent viral abortion video

Carl Trueman on miserable Christians and the place of lament in worship

Andy Naselli gives some helpful advice for preachers

Kevin DeYoung on facilitating a prayer meeting/service

Zack Eskwine’s “Recovering Eden: The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes” is only $5 for a limited time

Teacher impedes upon student’s right to read his Bible during free time at school

The Works of Charles Simeon are available to read online at Theology on the Web

The SBC International Missions Board has a lot of FREE missions resources at their site

Steve Weaver wants to help you get “The Reformed Theology of Benjamin Keach”

Kenneth Gentry is selling the 5-Volume Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible for $50

Please browse the various pages on this site (you’ll see tabs at the top of this page) for more information. You’ll find book recommendations and articles on subjects like Systematic Theology, Biblical Theology, Apologetics, and more!

Notable & Newsworthy

This is my first time posting from my phone, so I am sure my OCD tendencies will spike due to formatting and layout… but I want to be more “active” here and my computer is on the fritz.

These are some of the links, articles, and quotes I’ve come across recently:

Win 5 Welwyn Commentaries from Evangelical Press

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Father arrested after voicing concern over undisclosed questionable content in daughter’s 9th grade reading curriculum

Kevin DeYoung on Elders and confessional subscription

Russell Moore on sexual morality and capitulating to cultural pressures for church growth

Tim Challies’ helpful explanation of how Roman Catholicism is an unbiblical perversion of the Gospel

Also, have you ever wondered “What does Jesus mean when He says, ‘to fulfill all righteousness’ (Matt. 3:15) with regard to His baptism?” Well, here is a helpful answer from Ligon Duncan:

“He doesn’t just say, it is appropriate for Me to fulfill all righteousness by being baptized. He recognizes that there is something that both He and John must do in order to fulfill the plan of God and part of that is going to be done in receiving John’s baptism. Notice as well, that He gives an explanation to John. John, I am not being baptized because I need repentance. I am being baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness.

Baptism as you know, was used in the Old Testament. It was a form of consecration. When a priest reached the age at which he was entering into his public ministry, we are told in Numbers chapter 8, that he was baptized. He was consecrated, set apart, showing that God had called him into service and that he was to serve in God’s kingdom and the Lord Jesus Christ is being consecrated to service in this baptism. What does it mean though? That He was to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness? Well, there are many, many things that that means. But let me just share a few of those things with you.

First, Jesus’ baptism was an affirmation of John’s ministry. By being baptized it was as if Jesus was saying, John I want you to baptize Me, because that will show that your message was true, your ministry was true, and it will link Me, the Messiah, with your ministry, which was to pronounce the coming of the Messiah, and it will link My ministry with your ministry as building upon it. So that is the first thing that His baptism does to fulfill all righteousness.

It also serves to relieve John’s doubts. We know from John 1:31, that John himself had been unsure about the identity of the Messiah up until this time. In fact, we are told in the Gospels elsewhere that John had his doubts later on. Jesus did not turn out to be quite who he was expecting, and he had to ask the Lord on at least one occasion, “Are You the one, or is there another?” This baptism was the Lord Jesus’ gift to John to assure him, “Yes I am the one. John, remember you baptized Me. Remember I am the one that you were preaching towards.”

This baptism also serves to confirm the message of John. It symbolizes the Lord Jesus’ identification with His people and their plight. It is as if Jesus is saying, ‘Yes, John’s message is right. You are sinners, you do need redemption from sin. And My receiving of this baptism, is My sign that I am identifying with you and I will be the sin-bearer so the baptism of repentance has efficacy.’

It is also a sign that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah. He is publicly showing and claiming that He is the Messiah who comes to take away the sins of the world. And that is why He enters into the baptism of repentance even though He is sinless. For He is the Messiah who comes to eradicate sin in the lives of His people.

The baptism also serves, and this is clear from verses 16 and 17, that God has anointed and appointed and equipped Christ for ministry. The baptism is a sign of God’s approval of the Lord Jesus. A sign that God has chosen the Lord Jesus to be Messiah on the part of His people.

And finally, the baptism fulfills all righteousness because it is a sign Christ Himself is willing to take on the role as our Mediator. He is willing to be our Redeemer. In the baptism, the Lord steps down. He enters humbly and receives the baptism. He acknowledges, Lord, I will receive all the humiliation that is necessary to fulfill My work on behalf of My people. I will take any humiliation necessary in order to save My people from their sins. The baptism shows Jesus’ willing acceptance of the Messianic role. And so John, how much he understood, we don’t know, John says, ‘Okay, Lord, I will baptize You.’

The Lord Jesus’ baptism was an act that He performed on our behalf as the mediator of the covenant of grace. He did not need the baptism of repentance. And He did not repent on our behalf. But He did identify Himself with His people as the one who would be the sin bearer and the whose baptism, the baptism of the Holy Spirit would bring renovation of our hearts and lives.”

Here is a great quote from Graeme Goldsworthy’s “According to Plan” on the work of the Holy Spirit and the temple in the New Covenant:

“Wherever the Holy Spirit takes the word of Christ and gathers people to the Savior, there is the new temple.”

JD Hall of Reformation Montana shared this excellent quote from Charles Spurgeon the other day:

“I do not hear him say, ‘Run after these people Peter and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick Peter, we must get the people somehow.’ Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them.”

Zondervan NIV Application Commentary Sale

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All of Zondervan’s e-book editions of the NIV Application Commentary set are just $4.99 each. Click here to see the entire collection.

 

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