Review of a Great New Book on Acts

While we were in the UK, I had the privilege of sitting near Dr. Osvaldo Padilla at the Tyndale House when he was there on sabbatical. Osvaldo teaches NT at Beeson Divinity School (from which RTS-O just hosted Timothy George for our Spring lecture series). Our families go to know one another during their stay—their son was our daughters’ “boy-friend,” as they would say. We were sad to see them depart after their short stay.

While Osvaldo was at Tyndale, he was working on writing his second major book on Acts. I jumped at the opportunity to review it for JETS, and the review has just come out. Lest I be accused of being overly-sympathetic, I did have both positive and negative things to say about it.

I was particularly appreciative of his up-to-date treatment of the trustworthiness of the speeches in Acts, something with which that any reader of Scripture needs to engage. His large chapter on post-liberalism was actually quite interesting, though it is probably best handled separately.

Nevertheless, for the advanced student of the NT, it is probably the new place to start for a scholarly introduction to the work. Time will tell whether he succeeded in supplanting I.H. Marshall’s classic book—but I did assign some chapters of Padilla to my Acts-Romans class, and it was well-received.

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* Full disclosure. I did not realize that Osvaldo mentioned me in his introduction until after I had signed up to review it for JETS and received my copy. So that did not sway my opinion, though I appreciated it.

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