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The Gospel of Matthew (The New International Greek Testament Commentary) Hardcover – November 1, 2005
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Without neglecting the Gospel's sources or historical background, Nolland places his central focus on the content and method of Matthew's story. His work explores Matthew's narrative technique and the inner logic of the unfolding text, giving full weight to the Jewish character of the book and its differences from Mark's presentation of parallel material. While finding it unlikely that the apostle Matthew himself composed the book, Nolland does argue that Matthew's Gospel reflects the historical ministry of Jesus with considerable accuracy, and he brings to the table new evidence for an early date of composition.
Including accurate translations based on the latest Greek text, detailed verse-by-verse comments, thorough bibliographies for each section, and an array of insightful critical approaches, Nolland's "Gospel of Matthew" will stimulate students, preachers, and scholars seeking to understand more fully Matthew's presentation of the gospel narrative.
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B. First Discouse (Sermon on the Mount)
D. Second Discourse
F. Third Discourse (Parables)
D'. Fourth Discourse
B'. Fifth Discourse (Olivet Discourse)
This can be scrutinized, of course, but generally it seems to work.
The one big detraction of the book was the text, source, and redaction critical approach that it seemed to take and Matthew's supposed interaction with Q. If you can get around that, then there are still some great insights that can be gleaned from this commentary.
On the positive side, the reader will note immediately that Nolland's treatment of the Greek text is indeed thorough and masterful. His book is an up-to-date resource that takes into account all the textual and lexical study that has enriched our understanding of Matthew over the past 75 years. Furthermore, because Nolland pays close attention to the sequence of thought within the gospel, a reader seeking to understand how a particular passage relates to its wider context will find this commentary very helpful.
A conservative or traditionalist reader, however, will be disappointed with this book on two counts. First, Nolland's assumption of Markan priority among the Gospels -- and of Matthew's literary dependence on Mark -- sometimes mars his exegesis of certain pericopes. The reader thus finds himself working through explanations of how Matthew altered Mark's account by rearranging material and drawing on additional sources to enrich his own telling of the story. For a preacher concerned with presenting Matthew's Gospel on its own terms, this kind of discussion is less than helpful. Second, Nolland sometimes leaves one with the impression that Matthew's depiction of Christ is perhaps more theologically instructive than historically accurate. Does the evangelist show us the "real" Jesus, or merely a "theologized" figure of his own creation? In both these respects, Nolland's book is, unfortunately, very much like the already numerous commentaries that apply the usual methods of source/redaction criticism to the First Gospel.Read more ›
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Despite Nolland's hangups with authorship, this is a significant contribution to the discussion, and a helpful commentary to consult when unpacking Matthew. I highly recommend it.Published on December 10, 2008 by G. M. Johnson
(My background--I spent a semester of seminary immersed in Matthew and many of the commentaries written on it.)
I was sorely disappointed with this work. Read more