I recently got Darrell Bock’s commentary on Acts (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2007). I haven’t read much of it yet, so these are only my initial impressions.
The obvious comparison is to Bock’s commentary on Luke. The Acts commentary is about 800 pages long, which is a significant length, but it’s shorter than his two-volume commentary on Luke’s gospel. It’s disappointing in that sense, but I still highly recommend it. It carries endorsements from Ben Witherington, Steve Walton, Robert Wall, and W. Ward Gasque.
Bock interacts with a lot of recent sources, including some from 2006. I was pleased to see that he even includes a few references to Richard Bauckham’s book on eyewitness testimony, which didn’t come out until late last year. He often cites previous conservative commentaries on Acts, such as F.F. Bruce’s and Ben Witherington’s, but he also frequently interacts with less conservative sources, like C.K. Barrett and Joseph Fitzmyer.
Unlike many other commentators (R.T. France, in light of his 2007 commentary on Matthew, comes to mind), Bock places a lot of emphasis on harmonization. His material on the death of Judas and how the different accounts of Paul’s conversion relate to each other, for example, is handled well. Bock’s high view of scripture and his willingness to give so much time, effort, and space to issues of harmonization are commendable.
For those not familiar with the Baker series of commentaries, the format is easy to follow, with the commentary marked off by chapter and verse numbers in large, bold print at the side of each page. There’s a subject index, an author index, and an index for scripture references and other ancient sources. These commentaries are meant to be a middle ground between more popular level works aimed at laymen and “encyclopedic commentaries that seek to cover every conceivable issue that may arise” (p. ix).