Top Commentaries on the Acts of the Apostles

Bible commentaries on the New Testament book of Acts are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Acts that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)



Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on Acts



Acts (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Darrell L. Bock


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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Acts; “a thorough and competent commentary”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Acts

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Acts; “outstanding”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “an excellent and clear commentary”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the Publisher: “The chief concern of the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT) is to provide, within the framework of informed evangelical thought, commentaries that blend scholarly depth with readability, exegetical detail with sensitivity to the whole, and attention to critical problems with theological awareness. We hope thereby to attract the interest of a fairly wide audience, from the scholar who is looking for a thoughtful and independent examination of the text to the motivated lay Christian who craves a solid but accessible exposition.” See more about the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.



The Acts of the Apostles (The Pillar New Testament Commentary) by David G. Peterson


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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Acts; ” reflects careful work across the gamut of integral disciplines: text criticism, grammatical exegesis, historical considerations, literary criticism, and, above all, robust theological reflection”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Acts

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “an outstanding commentary for pastors and teachers”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Designed for serious pastors and teachers of the Bible, the Pillar commentaries seek above all to make clear the text of Scripture as we have it…[the authors’] ideal is a blend of rigorous exegesis and exposition, with an eye alert both to biblical theology and the contemporary relevance of the Bible.” See more about the Pillar New Testament Commentary series.



Acts (New International Version Application Commentary) by Ajith Fernando


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a clear exposition with helpful application”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Acts

D.A. Carson: “very good”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



Acts (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by I. Howard Marshall


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a brief exposition for pastors and scholars”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Acts; “simple to read without being simplistic in content”

D.A. Carson: “very useful”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.



Acts: An Exegetical Commentary (four volumes) by Craig S. Keener


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Acts

D.A. Carson: “straightforward prose, great learning, and impressive bibliography”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Highly respected New Testament scholar Craig Keener is known for his meticulous and comprehensive research. This commentary on Acts, his magnum opus, may be the largest and most thoroughly documented Acts commentary ever written. Useful not only for the study of Acts but also early Christianity, this work sets Acts in its first-century context.”



The Acts of the Apostles (A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary) by Ben Witherington III


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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Acts; “very good indeed…his ‘socio-rhetorical’ approach is particularly suited to this sort of biblical book”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Acts; “a large amount of information in this commentary that is not found in others”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Using sociorhetorical criticism, the New Testament is interpreted within the context of the world in which it was written and read—the rhetorical method makes use of ancient or classical writings and strategies of communication, while the social science method notes issues of cultures and customs.” See more about the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series.



The Book of the Acts (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by F.F. Bruce


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a lucid commentary”

Keith Mathison: #2 commentary on Acts; “one of the best commentaries on this book of Scripture”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written for scholars, pastors, and lay readers alike…undertaken to provide earnest students of the New Testament with an exposition that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship and at the same time loyal to the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God.” See more about the New International Commentary on the New Testament series.



Acts (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Eckhard Schnabel


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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: a “best buy” on Acts; “very accessible, clearly written, and very strong on the theme of mission and on Greco-Roman history and sources”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Acts

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The idea for this series was refined over time by an editorial board who listened to pastors and teachers express what they wanted to see in a commentary series based on the Greek text…We arrived at a design that includes seven components for the treatment of each biblical passage”: Literary Context, Main Idea, Translation and Graphical Layout, Structure, Exegetical Outline, Explanation of the Text, and Theology in Application.” See more about the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.



Acts (International Critical Commentary: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary) by C.K. Barrett


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a technical commentary for research purposes”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Acts; “for students and pastors needing to look at every aspect of the text, it is invaluable”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: The ICC series has “sought to bring together all the relevant aids to exegesis, linguistic and textual no less than archaeological, historical, literary and theological to help the reader understand the meaning of the books of the Old and New Testaments…no attempt has been made to secure a uniform theological or critical approach to the biblical text: contributors have been invited for their scholarly distinction, not for their adherence to any one school of thought.” See more about the International Critical Bible Commentary series.



Acts (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by Richard Longenecker


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Acts

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a helpful and brief exposition for the busy pastor”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.” See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series, original and revised.



Acts (New American Commentary) by John B. Polhill


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “invaluable and clear exposition for pastors and scholars”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.



Acts (St. Andrews Expositional Commentary) by R.C. Sproul


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Reviews and Accolades:

D.A. Carson: “offers many stimulating suggestions for the preacher”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From Dr. Sproul: The St. Andrews Expositional Commentary series “is a written record of my preaching labors amidst my beloved Sanford congregation. The dear saints who sit under my preaching encouraged me to give my sermons a broader hearing. To that end, the chapters that follow were adapted from a sermon series I preached at St. Andrews.”



The Acts of the Apostles (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Jospeh A. Fitzmyer


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a concise and clear commentary”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.



More Expository Commentaries



Acts (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Derek W.H. Thomas


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: The REC series has “four fundamental commitments. First, these commentaries aim to be biblical…Second, these commentaries are unashamedly doctrinal…Third, these commentaries are redemptive-historical…Fourth, these commentaries are practical…” All authors are “pastor-scholars.” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.



The Message of Acts (The Bible Speaks Today) by John Stott


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.” See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.



The Book of Acts: A Commentary by C. Peter Wagner


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the author: “Experience Pentecost… Acts was designed to be God’s training manual for Christians. It worked in the early church and it works in the postmodern world. Join noted author, scholar and practitioner C. Peter Wagner as he journeys through the entire text of the book of Acts, uncovering all of the major themes and illuminating what we can learn for our present situations. For Christians desiring a deeper knowledge of the Bible and, specifically, understanding of the book of Acts, this exciting book will bring new intimacy with the Spirit and new joy in doing His will.”



Acts (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by David J. Williams


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.” See more about the Understanding the Bible series.



Acts (IVP New Testament Commentary) by William J. Larkin Jr.


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume, informed by the best of up-to-date evangelical scholarship, presents passage-by-passage commentary based on the NIV along with background information on authorship, setting, theme and various interpretive issues… Preachers, teachers, students and other individuals who want to dig deep into the heart of the New Testament will find an indispensable companion in the IVP New Testament Commentary Series.” See more about the IVP New Testament Commentary series.



The Acts of the Apostles by James D.G. Dunn


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume, informed by the best of up-to-date evangelical scholarship, presents passage-by-passage commentary based on the NIV along with background information on authorship, setting, theme and various interpretive issues… Preachers, teachers, students and other individuals who want to dig deep into the heart of the New Testament will find an indispensable companion in the IVP New Testament Commentary Series.” See more about the IVP New Testament Commentary series.



Technical Commentaries



Acts (Paideia Commentary on the New Testament) by Mikeal C. Parsons


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This commentary, like each in the series, approaches each text in its final, canonical form, proceeding by sense units rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Each sense unit is explored in three sections: (1) introductory matters, (2) tracing the train of thought, (3) key hermeneutical and theological questions. Graduate and seminary students, professors, and pastors will benefit from this readable commentary, as will theological libraries.”



Acts (Hermeneia) by Richard I. Pervo and Harold W. Attridge


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Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Hermeneia commentary series seeks to offer authoritative interpretation of the earliest texts of the biblical books… The name Hermeneia, from the Greek, has a rich background in the history of biblical interpretation as a term for the detailed, systematic exposition of a scriptural work. Hermeneia is designed for the serious student of the Bible…The editors of Hermeneia impose no systematic-theological perspective upon the series (directly, or indirectly by selection of authors).” See more about the Hermeneia Bible commentary series.



Acts (New Testament Library) by Carl R. Holladay


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Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New Testament Library series offers authoritative commentary on every book and major aspect of the New Testament, providing fresh translations based on the best available ancient manuscripts, critical portrayals of the historical world in which the books were created, careful attention to their literary design, and a theologically perceptive exposition of the biblical text.” See more about the New Testament Library commentary series.



Classic Christian Commentaries



Acts (Ironside Expository Commentaries) by H.A. Ironside


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than sixty books. His writings include addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the Old Testament prophetic books, and a great many volumes on other biblical topics. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, Dr. Ironside was pastor of the historic Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Ill.



Acts (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) edited by Francis Martin


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The ACCS is a post-critical revival of the early commentary tradition known as the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and authoritative reflections and insights. The vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture. From these results, scholars with a deep knowledge of the fathers and a heart for the church have hand selected material for each volume, shaping, annotating, and introducing it to today’s readers. Each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power, and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.”



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