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The Gospel of Matthew (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) Hardcover – July 27, 2007
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However, still a great resource!
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'. France gives the Hebrew equivalent 'asre'. He points out that the Hebrew barak is not used, and that 'barak' is normally translated as blessed. As he digs into this term, it becomes clear that there is no English word that equivocates 'Makarios' and so he lands on 'Happy' without the psychological sense of feeling good. It means to be brought to a good place in some cases. The whole page of information is accurate, condensed with good, usable information AND helps the Non Greek /Non-Hebrew reader catch on to the issue with this crucial word in perhaps the most famous part of Matthew. When he is done with this, he then moves on to the structure of the beatitudes and does similar things. Then he compares Matthew's beatitudes to Luke's. Then he gives the OT background elements for the beatitudes. He adds to that the Eschatological Character of the Promises. Each of these is only about 3/4 of a page of information. But if you are preaching on the beatitudes, it is worth reading through to sharpen your mind on the setting and language issues involved with them.
Dr. France is to be congratulated for giving the Christian community a wonderful tool for preaching and teaching the gospel of Matthew.
I heartily recommend this commentary for Matthew study, research and preaching. Check out Keener on Matthew as well. It's a different kind of commentary, and is extremely useful as well.