Review: Opening Up Commentary

Commentary: Opening Up Commentary
Type: ○Single Volume/OT/NT   ●Individual Books
Style: ●Layperson   ○Pastor/Teacher   ○Technical/Student   ●Devotional   ○Other
Rating: ●●●●○ (Very Good)


The Opening Up Commentary Collection offers accessible and easy-to-read introductions to the books of the Bible. The commentaries tackle the key issues in each book by introducing the history and context and by giving an overview of important themes and events. The authors wrestle with the hard questions and navigate through the difficult issues, with a keen eye toward application and relevance for today.

Each book in the Opening Up Commentary Collection is well-organized, clearly and concisely written, and includes discussion questions for further reflection and study. The Opening Up Commentary Collection is ideal for readers seeking in-depth study and for those encountering the Bible for the first time. The study guides make these the perfect commentaries for church and Bible study groups looking to take their Bible reading to the next level. This commentary is a valuable addition to the libraries of pastors, scholars, and students of the Bible. (Summary from

Here are the volumes that have been printed to date:

    Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Ezra, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel’s Visions, Joel, Amos, Jonah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
    Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians & Philemon, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, James


  • Each commentary starts out with a very helpful “Background and Summary” chapter.
  • Commentary is provided on paragraphs and sections of Scripture, to expound on both the overall thought of the writer and specific details of his message.
  • While this commentary series would prove to be a very good addition to anyone’s library, it would be an excellent and highly recommended resource for someone reading one of the books of the Bible start-to-finish for the very first time.
  • If you haven’t read the book of Acts before (or if you read it and didn’t feel that you got a lot out of it spiritually), I encourage you to get Opening Up Acts to help you gain greater insight, as well as to experience the benefits of this commentary series.
  • A 30-volume collection and individual commentaries are available in electronic format for Logos Bible Software.


The Spirit arrives on the Day of Pentecost (vv. 1–13)

Pentecost means ‘fiftieth’ and was celebrated on the fiftieth day after the Passover (Lev. 23:15–22). Pentecost is another name for the Feast of Weeks (Exod. 34:22–23) or the Feast of Harvest (Exod. 23:16). The great national feasts of Israel have great significance in the New Testament. The Passover involved the killing of the Passover lamb and was ultimately fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 5:7). Similarly, the coming of the Holy Spirit is the fulfilment of the Feast of Pentecost, a pledge securing the believer’s living hope (2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:13–14).

In accordance with God’s timing, the Spirit came suddenly, accompanied by supernatural sights, sounds, and speech, described as being like a violent wind and fire (vv. 2–3). Words fail to capture the exact phenomena experienced by the disciples, yet the description clearly attests to their supernatural origin. Wind and fire are used in the Bible as pictures of God’s presence and the Holy Spirit (Gen. 15:17; John 3:8). The fire rested on each one of them in that place and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues.

Being ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ (v. 4) is something that should be continual in the life of a believer. We are commanded to ‘be filled with the Spirit’ (Eph. 5:18), which is accomplished through letting ‘the word of Christ richly dwell within you’ (Col. 3:16). We are filled with the Spirit when we have a mind saturated with the truth of God’s Word (see John 17:17). Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit, as demonstrated by the way he boldly proclaimed Christ, even to the point of death (Acts 6:5; 7:55).

The ‘tongues’ spoken (2:4) were foreign languages, previously unlearned by the speakers, and were clearly understood by the foreign Jews who knew those languages. The population of Jerusalem swelled at Pentecost. During Israel’s national feasts, ‘devout men from every nation’ (v. 5) would make the pilgrimage all the way to Jerusalem in order to participate and worship. Over 200,000 people could assemble around the temple area alone. Many foreign Jews also moved to the region of Judea in their old age so that they could die in the Promised Land.

The visitors to Jerusalem were astonished to hear unlearned, unsophisticated Galilean Jews speaking their own home languages from the Middle East, Asia Minor, Europe, and North Africa. This was surely a supernatural event, one which left them wondering about its meaning (v. 12). Some in the crowd began to mock, dismissing the foreign languages they could not understand as drunken babble (v. 13).

(Example Source: John-Michael Wong, Opening Up Acts, Leominster: Day One Publications, 2010).


[Blog Author’s Note: You can also visit the Day One Publishing web site for much more information about each commentary, its author and specific commendations it has received. As Day One is based in the UK, I don’t recommend customers in the US purchase books directly from them, as shipping could take a while, but the web site does help anyone interested gain a better feel and appreciation for this particular commentary series.]

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