The Lexham Geographic Commentary on Acts through Revelation delivers fresh insight by drawing attention to the geographical setting for the spread of Christianity in the first century AD. Geography is a central concern in Acts, but the full significance of its geographical context is easily overlooked without a familiarity with the places, the types of transportation, the relative distances, and the travel conditions around the Mediterranean in the first century AD. Luke’s account mentions places from all over the known world, and Paul’s missionary travels covered an estimated 15,000 miles by land and sea.
Jesus’ words in Acts 1:8 literally map the future travels of the Apostles and provide the structure for the rest of the book: The Apostles will take the gospel from Jerusalem (1:1–8:3) to Samaria and Judea (8:4–40, 9:32–11:18), and finally throughout the Roman world and beyond (13:21–28:31). Geography also provides a new depth of insight into John’s letters to the seven churches in Rev 1–3. Their locations along key Roman mail routes suggest the letters may make up a single composite message to be received in stages as the letters are passed along from one church to the other. The references in Acts and Rev 1–3 cover the full geographical context for the first century Church since some of the cities Paul visits in Acts are later the locations of churches that receive his letters such as Ephesus (Acts 19; Eph 1:1; 1 Tim 1:3). The Lexham Geographic Commentary gives you insight into the importance of all of these locations—both culturally and spatially—and provides a deeper understanding of the spread of early Christianity.
To create an innovative, digital-first commentary on the geographic and physical background of the biblical text, we partnered with noted Bible scholar and cartographer Dr. Barry J. Beitzel. This commentary will not only place you in the sandals of the Apostles as they traveled throughout the Roman Empire, but it will explain the significance of the geographic details in the biblical text for your life today.
In the Lexham Geographic Commentary articles on each passage are enriched with relevant details that integrate the valuable resources of Logos Bible Software. So instead of being bound to the commentary text, you will be encouraged to explore Atlas maps of the region discussed, or conduct a Bible Word Study of a Greek word that was mentioned. And if reading through a commentary isn’t your thing, no worries! The wealth of information throughout the Lexham Geographic Commentary will be accessible from multiple angles within Logos Bible Software. So whether you’re studying a specific pericope using the Passage Guide or simply reading through your preferred Bible with the commentary linked together, the relevant information will be surfaced helping you further explore the acts of the Apostles and John’s letters to the seven churches.
Barry J. Beitzel is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, USA. He holds a Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from Dropsie University in Philadelphia. He obtained a postdoctorate in Ancient Near Eastern Geography from the Université de Liège, Belgium, and has engaged in postdoctoral archaeological work through UCLA in eastern Syria. Dr. Beitzel is the author of The New Moody Atlas of the Bible. His publications on Near Eastern geography have appeared in a variety of monographs and journals, from Biblical Archaeology Review and The Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research to Iraq: The British Institute for the Study of Iraq.