Recently, I have begun reading through the Acts of the Apostles. I have always desired to work through the Greek text of Acts, and to do so with the help of none other than the late Charles Kinsley (C.K.) Barrett. With this in mind, I am starting a new series on the blog called Keeping it Real with Kingsley. So, from time to time you will see quotes, comments, (dare I say) disagreements, and other tidbits from Barrett’s magisterial 2 vol. ICC commentary on Acts.
To start us off in the right direction, Barrett will give us seven points the introduction of Acts achieves:
The Introduction (vv. 1–14) taken as a whole is in fact a carefully constructed piece (‘ein kunstvolles, vielfältig verflochtenes Sprachgewebe’ (Weiser, 47), which achieves the following aims. (a) It refers the reader to the following volume and indicates the continuity between the two. (b) It draws attention to the work of the Holy Spirit as an essential and characteristic feature of the new volume, a feature which also, through the connection with John the Baptist, strengthens the connection with Lk. (c) It underlines the function of the apostles as witnesses; this is a theme that recurs frequently in the book as a whole. (d) It points out that the church and its witnessing activity are to extend throughout the world. (e) It emphasises that details of the eschatological future, though determined by God, are not made known to men, even the apostles. (f) It nevertheless lays down the eschatological framework within which the Christian story is to unfold: Jesus has been exalted to heaven, borne up thither on a cloud; he will return in the same way. It is between these points that the church lives, and its life is determined by them. (g) The church is a fellowship at whose heart are the named eleven apostles, chosen by Jesus himself; into this new family the earthly, physical family of Jesus is integrated.
Barrett, Acts, vol. 1, 63