Home > Reviews, Zondervan > A Theology of Luke and Acts by Darrell L. Bock

A Theology of Luke and Acts by Darrell L. Bock


Luke-Acts comprises about twenty-seven percent of the New Testament. This represents the largest percentage by a single author. In this volume, A Theology of Luke and Acts, Darrell Bock gives us an introduction to and a theological survey of the Lucan Corpus. This book is part of a larger series published by Zondervan titled: Biblical Theology of the New Testament.

I have read three different commentaries by Bock on the book of Luke. That being said, the material here is organized in a much different fashion. This is not an expositional commentary on the text. Rather, it consists of introductory material, theological themes and canonical discussion. Bock is an excellent New Testament scholar and he shares with us the fruits of his study in this volume.

For this review, I have chosen to focus on chapter 22: Luke-Acts in the Canon. This sections deals with 1. The Reception of Luke-Acts into the Canon, 2. Luke’s Contribution to the Canon, 3. Luke’s Parallels with Other Parts of the New Testament and 4. How Normative is Luke-Acts?

1. The Reception of Luke-Acts into the Canon
This section introduces the reader to the acceptance of the early church to Luke as the author of the Gospel account that bears his name as well as it’s acceptance into the canon of scripture.

2. Luke’s Contribution to the Canon
This section is split into two sections: Contributions Tied to God, Jesus, and the Spirit and Contributions Tied to the Activity of the Church.

A. Contributions Tied to God, Jesus, and the Spirit
Bock shows us here how God works out his plan of salvation in the person of Jesus through the power of the Spirit. He discusses the unique contributions Luke makes in helping us understand the program of God, eschatology, divine providence, Jesus’ teachings especially through parables, the role of the Holy Spirit, and the miraculous activity of God through Jesus and the apostles.

B. Contributions Tied to the Activity of the Church
Here we see Luke’s contribution to our understanding of the church’s mission, structure, preaching, missionary activity, ethics, and prayer.

3. Luke’s Parallels with Other Parts of the New Testament
In this section, Bock shows us the parallels with the various other parts of the New Testament: The Synoptics, John’s Gospel, Paul’s Writings, The Catholic (Universal) Letters, and Revelation. Bock does a masterful job of showing how the themes and theology weave in seamlessly with the rest of the New Testament canon.

4. How Normative is Luke-Acts?
Here we ask the question: Should we expect the things that happen in Luke-Acts to be a normal experience in the life of the church and believer?
Bock leads us into the understanding that God acts when and how He wills. We should never presume upon God and say that He has to act in a certain way.

Overall, I have found this book to be informative and an excellent guide to understanding Luke’s theology. I recommend this as an introduction to any study of Luke-Acts. You will find that this book will give you a good foundation for teaching, preaching, or studying through these texts of Holy Scripture.

This book was provided to me for the purpose of review by Zondervan.

  • Hardback: 494 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310270898
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Categories: Reviews, Zondervan
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