- Series: Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Brazos Press; Reprint edition (April 21, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1587433818
- ISBN-13: 978-1587433818
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Matthew (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) Paperback – April 21, 2015
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From the Back Cover
"A refreshing feature of this kind of commentary is that comment is disciplined and shaped in relation to what is significant for Christian faith. In a relatively small book, there is substantial discussion of a whole host of issues that are of profound importance to Christians. . . . The commentary is the work of one capable of acute observation and profound thought. At his best Hauerwas shows some real sensitivity to Matthew's story-telling technique. . . . There is certainly much to challenge and inspire Christian readers."
--John Nolland, Review of Biblical Literature
"[Hauerwas] continually draws Matthean motifs together with similar features in the rest of the Bible and shows where subsequent generations found the basis for their doctrinal reasoning. . . . This commentary serves readers admirably by connecting the points that lie between the first and twenty-first centuries and by reminding readers that Matthew's Gospel has played a deep, broad role in centuries of theological reflection."
--A. K. M. Adam, Christian Century
"In this work, all of Hauerwas's strengths--his Christocentrism, his theological passion, his rigorous and demanding love for the gathered church--are amplified through the words of the evangelist to serve as a resource for preaching and teaching in the church. I for one am much more likely to turn here than to any more typically modern commentary for help in preaching."
--Jason Byassee, Books & Culture
"Hauerwas attends to the Gospel chapter by chapter, teasing out theological themes while resisting the temptation to create a systematic Christology. He draws on theologians like Barth, Augustine, Origen, and especially Bonhoeffer, whom he quotes and paraphrases often, as well as New Testament scholars and eclectic writers like Wendell Berry. Insightful and provocative, Hauerwas adds a valuable theological perspective to the Gospel of Matthew."
"The value of the commentary is its bringing Matthew into unity with the rest of the biblical witness to the Gospel as that witness has been expounded by the church. The soundness of the commentary lies in Hauerwas's own theology having been honed by the church. . . . This Brazos series can play an important role in reminding one of the community's indispensable role in understanding the Bible, and Hauerwas's contribution to the series is a formidable one indeed!"
--Gene L. Davenport, Catholic Biblical Quarterly
About the Author
Stanley Hauerwas (PhD, Yale University) is professor emeritus of divinity and law at Duke University. His previous books include Cross-Shattered Christ, Performing the Faith, The Peaceable Kingdom, With the Grain of the Universe, A Better Hope, and Christian Existence Today.
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I used the commentary to supplement a structured United Methodist Bible reading/study, incorporating group interaction and seeking the implications of the Bible for our lives -- called "Disciple." The study lasted from Fall through the end of Spring.
By using Hauerwas as a supplement when we came to the Gospels, I was encouraged to go deeper into the implications of Christian discipleship that come out of a close reading and praying through Matthew. Hauerwas is superb at taking the reader into a realization of what a transformed life in Jesus will come to look like. We will see the world and behave differently, because our hearts desire Christlikeness and our minds look at life through a lens of sacrificial love and justice. His commentary is, therefore, appropriately provocative at key points. See especially pp. 166-7, his observations on the need to recognize and name sin for what it IS, and speaking the truth about sin only in LOVE. This prevents the temptation to self-righteousness -- "ha, caught you there, brother/sister!"
In other words, this commentary is meant to take today's church into the divine humanity of Jesus and how that can transform our humanity. As such, there is much less attention to the historical critical method of studying scripture that dominated 20th century Biblical scholarship. Hauerwas's Matthew is meant to draw deep from the wells of living water and slake the church's thirst during the long trek of a community's life of faithfulness. He believes -- as do I -- that Matthew proclaims to the church a narrative for new life, the Kingdom of God, from the time it entered the Christian textual canon to the present.
However, I give it four stars. Here's the four-star review in brief: If you want a COMMENTARY on the book written by MATTHEW--I would look elsewhere. Overall it's still a very good book, but not what I would call a commentary. It depends on what you are looking for.
Christians need to see why some interpretations are more viable than others. This is one of the primary reasons why people consult commentaries in the first place. While it's true that more linguistically-oriented exegetical commentaries already do this, it would be refreshing for the Brazos Theological Commentary to explain why certain interpretations are THEOLOGICALLY correct while others are erroneous. Hopefully, subsequent volumes will contain such helpful guidance whenever warranted (Particularly Joseph L. Mangina's volume on Revelation). Offering specific theological defenses of particular interpretations versus other options would be a very useful void for subsequent volumes in this series to fill. It would also make each volume even more useful for preaching and teaching. I certainly hope that series editor, R. R. Reno, will move future volumes in this direction.
Even when I disagreed with some of Hauerwas' observations, I was still thankful for his willingness to be provocative in constructive ways. All of his provocative statements are certainly plausible rather than improbable and will stretch one out of their comfort zone. This commentary will serve pastors, teachers and laypeople immensely as they endeavor to follow Christ in our increasingly complex world. Hauerwas gives plenty of good insight that will greatly enrich sermons, Sunday school classes, Bible studies, and times of private reflection. Above all, it will challenge anyone who reads it to count the cost of following Christ. Highly recommended, regardless of one's theological persuasion!