World’s Biggest Commentary on Acts
Through the generosity of the author, Dr. Craig S. Keener, I’ve received volume 2 of his multi-volume commentary on Acts of the Apostles. Volume 1 appeared in 2012, and this massive tome (pp. xlii+1038) addressed various introductory issues and Acts 1:1–2:47. Volume 2 is a bit bigger still (pp. xxxix+1152) and addresses Acts 3:1–14:28. I understand that two more volumes are coming to complete Acts. If they maintain a comparable size, this will mean well over 4,000 pp. commentary on Acts. I’d hazard the guess that this will make it the largest commentary ever written on Acts (at least by a single author), and perhaps the largest commentary on any single biblical writing.
In addition to his own observations and judgments, and notice of what other/previous scholars have written on any given passage, Keener is also well-known for providing references to Roman-era literature that provide anything that might serve as a parallel or might be helpful in grasping in historical terms matters in the various NT writings on which he comments. In this case (Acts), these references are abundant.
I can’t pretend to have delved sufficiently into either volume to offer a qualified judgment about this massive work. That would take some time! But it’s certain that this commentary provides a trove of information for serious readers of Acts. There are, for example, 7 pp. on the three named figures introduced in Acts 13:1 (but I can’t find any discussion of the question of who “the Lord” was [God or Jesus] to whom worship is given in 13:2).
In any case, one cannot but be impressed that Keener has managed to produce such a huge work, and this in addition to numerous other publications. It will be consulted frequently in coming years to draw upon his commendable dedication to providing the results of his extensive acquaintance with the historical context of the NT.