Commentaries on the Acts of the Apostles

On this page you will find Bible commentaries on the New Testament book of Acts. 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 text, 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.

Top Reviewed 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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.”



More Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



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.



Acts (Preaching the Word) by R. Kent Hughes


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “For years, Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series has helped pastors, preachers, and anyone who teaches God’s Word to better interpret and apply the message of the Bible. Under the careful editorial oversight of experienced pastor and best-selling author R. Kent Hughes, this series is known for its commitment to biblical authority, its pastoral tone and focus, and its overall accessibility.”



Acts (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by William H. Willimon


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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 series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.”



Acts (Christ-Centered Exposition) by Tony Merida


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

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “takes a Christ-centered approach to expositing each book of the Bible. Rather than a verse-by-verse approach, the authors have crafted chapters that explain and apply key passages in their assigned Bible books. Readers will learn to see Christ in all aspects of Scripture, and they will be encouraged by the devotional nature of each exposition presented as sermons and divided into chapters that conclude with a “Reflect and Discuss” section, making this series ideal for small group study, personal devotion, and even sermon preparation. It’s not academic but rather presents an easy reading, practical and friendly commentary.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



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.”



Acts (For Everyone) by N.T. Wright


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “N.T. ‘Tom’ Wright has undertaken a tremendous task: to provide guides to all the books of the New Testament, and to include in them his own translation of the entire text. Each short passage is followed by a highly readable discussion, with background information, useful explanations and suggestions, and thoughts as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today. A glossary is included at the end of each volume.”



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 (Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Willie James Jennings


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Building on a wide range of sources from biblical studies, the history of theology, the church’s liturgical and musical traditions, contemporary culture, and the Christian tradition, noted scholars focus less on traditional historical and literary angles in favor of a theologically focused commentary that considers the contemporary relevance of the texts. This series is an invaluable resource for those who want to probe beyond the backgrounds and words of biblical texts to their deep theological and ethical meanings for the church today.”



Acts (The 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.”



Social, Cultural, and Historical Background Commentaries



Acts (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary) by Clinton E. Arnold


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

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “walks you verse by verse through all the books of the New Testament. It’s like slipping on a set of glasses that lets you read the Bible through the eyes of a first-century reader! Discoveries await you that will snap the world of the New Testament into gripping immediacy. Things that seem mystifying, puzzling, or obscure will take on tremendous meaning when you view them in their ancient context. You’ll deepen your understanding of the teachings of Jesus.”



Technical and Critical 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).”



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



Acts (MacArthur New Testament Commentary) by John MacArthur


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “If you’re familiar with John MacArthur’s in-depth Bible teaching, you have an idea of what you’ll find in The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. The commentary takes you deep into each passage, verse by verse—sometimes word by word. It’s like having a Bible teacher sitting next to you as you study Scripture.”



Acts: An Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “James Montgomery Boice (1938-2000) was senior pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was also president and cofounder of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, the parent organization of The Bible Study Hour on which Boice was a speaker for more than thirty years…Boice has created a unique blend of scripture insight, rich devotional application, and vivid illustration in this commentary.”



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.


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