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J. Bradley Chance

Autor/a de Acts: Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary

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Teaching the Bible in the Liberal Arts Classroom (2012) — Col·laborador — 6 exemplars


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The Smyth & Helwys commentary on Acts by Brad Chance offers a solid and full treatment of the Biblical text.

The general editorial strategy of sidebars and panels means that background information is conveniently available on the page without requiring readers to search through small font footnotes, or otherwise flip through an appendix or pages of end notes. As a commentary series, verse by verse, S & H offers more insight and material than say, Zondervan's The Expositor's Bible Commentary 12 volume series would, but has a less aggressive academic edge than one would find in the NIGTC or the WBC. Perhaps the best comparison would be the NICNT series, equal in academic level and similar in the nature of its focus: S & H is a practical commentary, drawing together bits of academic, literary, historical and archaeological information in order to open up the Biblical text for a pastor preparing a sermon. Where S & H pulls ahead, however, is that the comprehensive collection of material is not just on the page. A DVD is tucked in the back of the hardcover tomb, loaded with a .pdf of the text and more - even with visual aids for the pastor including pictures, charts and maps usable in (and licensed for) next Sunday's power point. It's in the layout and setup that S & H are carving out the next generation of commentaries with a magazine presentation and almost interactive medium. You've read about the Sergio Paulus inscription? Here's a photo of it. At first, for anyone with academic theological training, the S & H approach to style and form signals something less academic - but what you have here is something full and solid that will help you preach well, even if it wouldn't be a primary contributor for an academic paper for your old seminary professor.

Chance's Acts volume follows the series format and so can take you further into preparation for a sermon on Acts than some other commentaries (especially where the WBC & NIGTC are still short. For deeper academic work you're going to want the earlier of the two of F. F. Bruce texts, and make sure you see Ben Witherington III's socio-rhetorical commentary!) Because of the practical ministry edge of the commentary, S & H Acts does, of course, have it's limits. Academic questions of form, grammatical nuance, or particular vocabulary are brought in where they have obvious impact on the meaning of a given verse or passage, but are otherwise not primarily in view. Theologically, one also wonders if there's a hint of cautious bias around some parts tied to the Baptist edge of the series. The Pentecost treatment is needlessly delicate and systematic around the more charismatic implications of the story, a feature even more clear in the comments around the account of Priscilla & Aquila teaching Apollos. The text faces well the fact that this is a clear Biblical illustration of a woman teaching a man. But it seems to look at the content of the teaching as though it was only some kind of informational exchange being implied. Instead of any reference to this being the moment when Apollos not only learned about the Holy Spirit, but was then filled with the Spirit in the charismatic fashion Luke makes unavoidable through Acts (and as Luke emphasizes is consistent with Paul's teaching and practice in the neighboring passage about Paul's return to Ephesus and the Baptism of the Spirit for those who'd known only the Baptism of John). Instead of drawing out these clear implications, Chance plays safe commenting instead that some conversation about the Spirit seems to have taken place. A disappointing edge in an otherwise excellent piece of work.
… (més)
PastorBob | Oct 6, 2010 |

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