This is paper gives a brief report on Frederick F. Bruce: The book of the Acts; the New International Commentary on the New Testament, Re. Ed., Grand Rapids; MI: USA; Eerdmans, 1988, pp 541
Frederick Fyvie Bruce was born in 1910 and died in 1990; he retired in 1978 as Rylands Professor of the Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester in England.
During his distinguished career, he wrote numerous commentaries - including the volumes on Colossians, Philemon and Ephesians and on Hebrews in this series - and other books, including Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free and The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary. He also served as general editor of the NICNT series from 1962 to 1990.
In this report I will be looking at:
- Authors Introduction
- List of Bibliography
- Employed structure
In his introduction, Bruce draws his readers' attention to the book of the Acts of the Apostle and to its author by providing an elaborate historical background of how the book was put together to be what we have today. He also clarifies the significance of the same. On the same note, Bruce introduces Paul one the key figures in this book and how Luke wrote extensively about him and him many activities which were generally based on different centre.
The first significant centre this book draws attention to is Damascus from which Bruce say, Paul penetrated Nabataean Arabia; the next centre is Tarsus, which he states provided a convenient base for the evangelisation of the united province of Syria and Cilicia.
There are also other centres that are mentioned in these introductive stages of the book, for instant Antioch, Corinth, Ephesus and Rome. Bruce who is the author of this book gives credit to Luke who provided us with all the coherent records of Paul's activities in all the above centres (See, pp 3-17)
List of Bibliography
The book provides an extensive list of bibliography from which the author draws from. For instant: Alexander, J. A.: A Commentary on Acts of the Apostles ((1857) London: Banner of Truth, 1965).
Alford, H.: The Acts of the Apostles, the Greek Testament, 2nd Ed. (London:Rivingtons/Cambridge: Deighton Bell, 1871), pp 1-310); and many more that I can not list here (See, pp 17-27)
The book follows a similar structure in it approach - since the book under consideration deals with the book of the Acts of the Apostles, as its title suggests; The author handle chapter by chapter, verse by verse and exposes them, he also provides notes on each section.
Below is an example of the pattern employed on books structure: in dealing with each chapter of Acts the author first provides:
- The chapter
- Section title
- Sections subtitles
To clarify this further, when the author is dealing with chapter three of Acts for instant, he writes:
- Acts 3, this is then followed by,
- Sections title in this case (c) AN ACT OF HEALING AND ITS CONSEQUENCES (3:1-4:31), this is followed by
- Subtitle No. 1 which is: A Cripple Cured (3:1-10) and last but not the least
- Scripture quotations, and finally an
- Exposition and notes on each.
Once as subtitle has been handled, the author than goes to the next subtitle in line, that is No. 2, 3, 4 etc. After which he starts another Section (D, E, F, G etc.) though uses the same approach.
Having read the above book under consideration; it is worth stating that it is an elaborate exposition of the book of the Acts. Thus, offers a rich understanding in one's study.
It provides, a good historical background of the Acts of the Apostles in its introduction and employs a similar pattern to its structure as noted above - importantly the author provides a division of the entire book of Act into Sections, he gives each section a titles, subtitles and scripture quotations which he them exposes and provides some notes.
Of notable import, the books contents speaks about the beginning of the church, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the might acts performed by the Apostles through the power of the Holy Spirit, the preaching of the Gospel and Paul's life and work as noted by Luke.