All through August, get a free commentary on the Book of Acts!
The Book of Acts shows modern day Christians how the church took shape in the wake of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and how the Holy Spirit changed everything. In your Bible, it’s the first book to follow the four gospels, and it’s a road map for navigating church today. For Christians and churches to get the most out of Acts today, we need to have a full grasp of the context Acts took shape within, and how that affects its message to believers.
In Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament: Acts, leading biblical scholar Mikeal Parsons gleans fresh theological insight into Acts by attending carefully to the cultural and educational context from which it emerges. Parsons see Acts as a charter document explaining and legitimating Christian identity for a general audience of early Christians living in the ancient Mediterranean world.
Dr. Joseph Tyson of Southern Methodist University says,
Parsons draws on his extensive studies of Greco-Roman literature and ancient concepts of physiognomy to provide a useful and illuminating commentary.
John A. Darr, associate professor of theology at Boston College, calls it, “a masterful exposition both of the myriad strategies whereby the author of Acts attempted to persuade his original audience, and of the ways in which this ancient book continues to speak powerfully to Christian faith in our own day.” He goes on to say, “Readers will find here a treasure trove of insights into Hellenistic rhetorical conventions and their usage in Acts.”
Let the cultural context of the Book of Acts help shape your understanding of church.