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The Gospel of Matthew (New International Commentary on the New Testament) Hardcover – July 27, 2007
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Somewhat `earlier' volumes also of great importance include those by Carson (EBC, 1984), Blomberg (NAC, 1992), the two-volume set by Hagner (Word, 1993), and of course the three-volume work of Davies and Allison (ICC, 1988-1997). And France also penned the much shorter commentary on Matthew for the Tyndale series (TNTC, 1985).
France has been a leading Matthean scholar for decades now, and his newest effort is well worth the price of the book. Unlike many recent commentaries, it does not go for overkill in certain technical and critical matters. For example, the introduction is a mere 22 pages, and footnotes are kept to a minimum.
His NIGTC commentary on Mark was also in this (almost underkill) mode, and stood in stark contrast to the work of, say, Thiselton on 1 Corinthians in the same NIGTC series, which is inundated with countless footnotes, appendices, and so on (although many of us appreciate those sorts of commentaries as well; it is indeed a masterful work). It also stands in contrast to something like Keener's commentary on Matthew, with, for example, its 150-page bibliography of secondary sources!
Unlike these sorts of commentaries, France offers us a much more user-friendly version. As an example, France devotes just one paragraph to the question of authorship. He contends that authorship cannot be proven, but the gospel seems "to make someone like the apostle Matthew as likely a candidate as any".Read more ›
In light of the long history of the NICNT, one may wonder why it took so long for the Matthew volume to see the light of day. From an examination of old dust covers, one can see that the Gospel of Matthew was originally assigned to Stonehouse, but his untimely death caused it to be switched to Robert Guelich. For some reason, it was then assigned to Herman Ridderbos who for whatever reason did not complete it either. In his preface to this volume, editor Gordon Fee tells us that during his tenure since 1990 he had contracts for the Matthew volume returned to him by two "very capable" younger scholars. Finally, Fee says that one day he asked a fellow member of the Committee on Bible Translation (NIV/TNIV), Dick France, if he would take the commentary project, and what we have before us is the result.
For those familiar with Gospel studies, France is no stranger, having written a smaller commentary on Matthew for the Tyndale NT series, a separate book on Matthew's teaching, and a commentary on Mark in the NICGT series.Read more ›
His summaries of views are succinct, with detail in some cases, but not too much information in trivial issues. I find this commentary gives a lot of exegetical insight to complement your own translation/exegetical efforts.
For example, France gives insights into John the Baptist in his section on Matthew 3. Although his cultural background insights do not rival Craig Keener's (get his commentary on Matthew too), his handling of how to interpret phrases and words is a direct aid to exegesis.
France gives insights from Qumran and Jewish inter-testamental literature as well as from pagan sources on the literary forms as well as structures within those forms. This commentary is very helpful, with a rapid fire of interesting ideas in condensed form for each section I have studied. It has quickly become my commentary of choice for Matthew.
Let me illustrate:
Matthew 5 is introduced with an overview on the Sermon on the Mount. He calls it a discourse on discipleship instead of the sermon on the mount. He says it reveals the Messiahs authority. As he gives a survey of the chapters, he then begins into chapter 5 little by little. As he starts into the Beattitudes, his little section on Makarios is indicative of the commentary so let me give a little of this for you to see what I mean.
He titles it "The Meaning of Makarios". Makarios is the transliteration of the Greek word that is often translated 'Blessed' or 'Happy'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great commentary! One critique I have is that in the opening sections he refers back to a previous work of his rather that giving details common to most commentaries. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jonathan TenEyck
I've bought the kindle copy today and I enjoy flipping through it. However, when I reached around Chapter 6, the app just crashed and it didn't go back to my last page when it... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Patrick L
Great Commentary, but the book was a mis-print, missing the first 31 pages and I sent it back. I will get another later.Published 5 months ago by Jay Michael herron
This is my absolute favorite commentary series. France gives some extraordinary insight into the history behind passages, cultural significance, and meaningful textual variants. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Batman
I'm very happy with France's comments on Matthew 11:25-30. He does not make the mistake of reading Calvinism into the text.Published 6 months ago by Alex Villanova
Fantastic exegetical work. Very in-depth. Not overly scholarly, but a basic working knowledge of scholarly terms will benefit the reader. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sam Edwards
I really like this comentary...it helps me greatly in my study and preparation for classPublished 11 months ago by Happy toaster