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on January 22, 2011
Like Mary Healy's treatment of the Gospel of Mark in this series, Mitch and Sri's commentary on the Gospel of Matthew is exactly what the faithful need. The scholarship presented is first rate without being overly technical or arcane, and the prose is refreshingly lacking in the "hermeneutic of suspicion" that sometimes accompanies Catholic commentaries. In other words, the authors are appreciative of the work that's been done by exegetes and historians, but they wear their learning lightly and don't try to poke holes in the Scriptures. The text is faithful to the Magisterium and includes useful side bars on background topics. Many have asked how it compares to two other popular orthodox commentaries: the Navarre Bible and the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. The volumes in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture present more of a narrative than Ignatius, and are less contemplative and more "technical" than Navarre. All three are wonderful in their approaches and complement one another. Highly recommended.
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on April 27, 2012
I was ready to give this commentary five stars, but it has a couple of shortcomings that caused me to give it a very solid four stars. First, on the positive side: the commentary itself is generally excellent and very solidly Catholic. The sidebars, such as notes on the "Living Tradition" and "Biblical Background" are also a wonderful addition that I found enriching. Even the scriptural notations in the side margins to help you keep up with exactly where they are in the scriptures, are very helpful and a wonderful detail. That is why I was surprised to find there is no concordance in the back. Thus, the negatives are that it is a shame that such a good commentary would not provide an aid such as a detailed concordance to help you quickly locate a subject matter. Likewise, the Contents at the front of the commentary could be a little more detailed as well. The Glossary section could/should be expanded to be three times as what it is now. If those things were done, it would be the finest lay commentary from a Catholic perspective out there! That is not that much to improve upon, so hopefully the future editions will include these improvements. I definitely recommend the series of commentaries, it's just that to look things up, you have to do a bit of digging on your own.

One comment on the commentary that bothered me a bit was the authors' statement on the Martyrdom of the Holy Innocents as that it "was not of the magnitude that is sometimes imagined." That may be true as to the actual number of children slain, but I thought the comment was a bit insensitive as to the magitude of the massacre itself. These were wholly innocent infants and toddlers who were not Christian but were slaughtered because Christ came into the world - and the evil one through Herod was trying to kill him. Instead, they were slaughtered. I have always had a deep sympathy for these children and their parents and families because they were killed in Christ's place - so to speak. I would think the authors would have spent a bit more time on that theme and speak a bit about how the Church recognizes that fact and honors them deeply with a feast day of their own. This is mentioned, but is brushed over a bit cavalierly in my opinion, as if it were no major deal. That aside, I truly do love the commentary(ies), and I am collecting them as they are written and refer to them often in my studies. I don't mean to sound overly critical of the few negatives, but just think that with merely a couple of improvements mainly in the area of aids to help you find things, these would be five star plus commentaries!
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on June 12, 2011
I think this commentary is marvelous. I have gone through it, looking at its accounts of passages I have wondered about over the years, and I found that this commentary helped me understand these passages much better.
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on January 11, 2012
This commentary is an excellent book to better understand Matthew. I just wanted a greater understand of the Bible, and found it hard to read between the lines (like how during mass a small paragraph leads to a 30 minute discussion). This book helps put it all in perspective, giving meaning behind the words, explain things that I would not have gotten due to the different time period it was written in, as well as tying it in with other verses in the Bible that complement the reading. It has also helped strengthen my faith since it has brought the Bible to a more understandable and approachable level for me.
The only thing I would hope to change from this commentary on the different books in the New Testament is that they expand to the Old as well!
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VINE VOICEon February 25, 2011
Since one intent of this commentary series was to provide a series that was orthodox and in line with the teachings of the Church (Roman Catholic), it is not surprising that this volume is just that. As far as that goes, it is exactly what we would expect. But in this respect, I wonder about the difference between this series and the Navarre series which has similar goals.

However, I was a bit disappointed at the rather shallow adherence at times as in the question of Markan priority and Quelle. Though the question is discussed it ends with an explanation that the writers will follow church tradition without mentioning the historical texts such as Clement, Eusebius, or Augustine. We are left with the burden of proof for church tradition without a truly scholarly refutation of Markan priority. It might have been thought that such a refutation would take too much space but even a few examples of the internal comparison of the synoptics could be used to refute Markan priority - not to mention the historical evidence against it in the early church writings mentioned already. But, in light of the fact that many commentaries take Markan priority as a proven fact without challenge. The authors are at least praised for not caving in to the argument based on 'most scholars agree' approach adopted by so many other commentaries. For more on this topic, we would recommend The Gospel of Jesus: The Pastoral Relevance of the Synoptic Problem.

Even with that small oversimplification in the introduction, the remainder of the text is as solid and scholarly as most. More detail could be given to the problem of how Matthew uses scripture in a sometimes pescher-like manner (for more on this topic, see, for instance Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period) And, despite the minor concern about possible shortcomings, this is still a top notch competitor for the average student of scripture and is very highly recommended especially for the faithful concerned with remaining true to the teachings of the Church.
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on June 17, 2015
This series of books is incredible for learning, or preparing a bible study. I would highly recommend the physical book over the kindle e-book, which is the only downside to it, but I knew what I was getting into! If you love your kindle, then you'll love this book for it.
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on July 27, 2012
I've read a number of commentaries over the years, both from scholarly and popular perspectives. However, this book really outshines them all. The lucidity with wich the authors explain the meaning of the Gospel is unparalleled. Everything in it is spot-on. The Gospel is understood in context. The hard-sayings make sense. (I especially enjoyed the explanation of Christ's words to Canaanite woman). But most importantly, this book gets at the heart of Who Christ is, what He was sent to accomplish, and how we are connected to his work today. Now when others ask "Besides the Bible, what book should I read?" I always recommend this one. This book faithfully expresses the essence of the Christian faith.
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on June 22, 2014
What I love most about this book is the in-depth commentary (who, what, where, when, why) with each Gospel passage. And it's not written in high brow terms, although without question, the authors are high brow scholars. It's written in way that delightfully offers the reader "full digestion" of why Jesus did what he did, and why he said the things he said in alignment with his mission to save us.

I also love the way the authors bridges the Gospel passages with the Old Testament and St. Paul's epistles. This book will paint a brighter picture of Jesus in your life and in your day.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
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on April 15, 2011
This is a very good non-technical commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, much better than I thought it would be. It is written from a Roman Catholic perspective, but usually deals with the text honestly. The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is because I think that the commentary on Matthew in the People's Bible series, by Jerome and Michael Albrecht (also a non-technical commentary) is a little better.
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on January 3, 2015
Wonderfully useful commentary on Matthew. Great for understanding the gospel. Thorough without getting dry, and at the same time highly useful for preparing homilies. A must have commentary series for priests and deacons.
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