A Bird’s-Eye View of Luke and Acts: Context, Story, and Themes

IVP Academic. Nov. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781514008096. pap. $36. REL
The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts together account for nearly 30 percent of the New Testament, and they guide readers to the person and work of Jesus Christ and to the early history of the Christian church. Bird (dean and lecturer, Ridley Coll.; Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission) contributes to the literature with this two-volume set by incisively addressing not only key themes in Luke-Acts but also their theological implications and contemporary relevance. Several chapters show Luke’s emphasis on such subjects as salvation, discipleship, possessions, women, impoverished people, and the Holy Spirit. Bird also discusses Luke’s views on Jewish people and the Roman Empire. The former is significant because many have viewed Luke as denigrating Jewish people, and his books historically have been used to justify antisemitism. Bird addresses, in an objective manner, other debated issues as well, such as whether Luke is a reliable historian or primarily a theologian.
VERDICT An excellent book for college or seminary courses. General readers with interest in Luke and Acts will like it too, as it is academic in approach but also accessible.
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