Matthew: Chalice Commentary for Today (Chalice Commentaries for Today) Paperback – June 1, 2004
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- Publisher : Chalice Pr; First Edition (June 1, 2004)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 204 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0827205252
- ISBN-13 : 978-0827205253
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.75 x 8.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #857,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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And with that introduction, let me examine some of Pregeant's guiding principles in this newer book on Matthew. First, he uses a somewhat Reader-Response method of interpretation. This means that the text of Scripture comes alive with the reader and the reader's background becomes all important for the interpretation. Interpretation changes as a woman or a man reads the Bible. It changes for the young, for the rich, for the poor. We discover meaning, it is not inherent in the text of Scripture. Scripture is REALIZED as one reads. The author's intentions may be totally different (or significantly different, given one qualification he gives), but the reader gives the "true" meaning as he/she reads and interprets.
Now, Pregeant will also makes statements (like above) and then try to qualify them with lines like, "Of course, one would be in error to assume that Jesus was demonic." But, once you let the reader interpret his own meaning, why should Pregeant be allowed to say that I would be wrong to interpret even that? All that to say, Pregeant himself holds to fairly orthodox beliefs... perhaps not to my evangelical likings, but certainly to others within the church. I am just giving a sense for what you will be up against as you read. Some may feel comfortable with this, others will find it hopelessly muddled.
Pregeant believes that some of the text of Scripture that is attributed to Jesus was actually not from Jesus at all. Rather, the early church wrote much of the book of Matthew so that they were responding to felt needs. This is a common assumption among many in the Jesus Seminar movement. True to form, Pregeant quotes J.D. Crossan a lot in this book. It seems if there is a struggle with interpretation, Pregeant will quote Crossan and move on.
The KEY WORD in the book and in the TITLE is "TODAY." Throughout the book, the author tries to tell us what this or that scripture means for us today. There is frequent suggestions that in past times we thought this, but that those ideas are untenable to most today. Therefore, the problem of sin in the world, "cuts against one of the most profound and hopeful aspect of recent cultural development." Of course. "It is therefore important to bring our current worldview into conversation with that of the Text." In fact, when the issue at hand... when the reason for suffering involves sin, Pregeant is repulsed and will state, "we must ask whether this link [to sin] can still communicate something of importance in our time." Even Pregeant's subtitles include the word TODAY. It is throughout the book.
Don't I have anything positive to say about this book? Yes. Of course, there are many good insights scattered in the pages of this book. Pregeant is a very learned man and has good summaries of current theological thoughts as it relates to the book of Matthew. He often spots key theological developments that need exposition. But, over and over again, I kept wishing that Pregeant would spend more time with the text of Scripture, bringing out the message of the text, rather than exploring theological and postmodern thoughts as they relate to the text.
If you think that this sounds like your cup of tea.. then give this 5 stars and buy it. If you are glad that you haven't yet bought the book, then you can save your money and try something else.