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Matthew: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (The New American Commentary) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 476 pages|
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Along the way Blomberg occasionally stops and offers a brief thought on how the application of a particular scripture is usually lacking its life lived out in our current cultural milieu. He also addresses frequently contentious or supposedly problematic sections, summarizing and breifly discussing other viewpoints (both strengths and weaknesses balanced against other scripture), before concluding with his determination and support. While informative perhaps what I've found most important is that he does not get distracted/ stuck on either of these issues and he continues to maintain his focus on the scripture and (via exegesis) what messages are being conveyed.
From what I remember Matthew is a gospel that is regarded as being more centric to the Hebraic personality and Blomberg continues to point this out but, in so doing, points out how Matthew's gospel is composed in such a way as showing the laregely Jewish audience first embracing Jesus and then drawing distant. Blomberg has broken Matthew's gospel down into three primary sections (introduction to the ministry of Jesus in 1:1-4:16; the development of His ministry in 4:17-16:20; and the climax--but not conclusion!--of His ministry in 16:21-28:20). But it is what he does in parsing out these sections in smaller outlines and conveyances that lends support and credence to his conclusions and deliberations. Blomberg draws upon many resources and cites them specifically so others seeking to follow certain lines of thought or wishing to fact-check can do so.
I have found that Blomberg's ultimate approach and intent is to explore and help realize what the scripture is saying without trying to add or detract. He is careful to present other views and just as careful to identify his own insertions. I appreciate this a great deal. And to underscore my above review I wanted to point out a sample of the commentary, which I believe will highlight much of what I have discussed, taken from his commentary on Matthew 8:16-17 (pages 144-5):
"As was frequently the case in chaps. 1-4, Matthew uniquely includes a fulfillment quotation of the Old Testament...This quote comes from one of the "suffering serant" passages of Isaiah, which early Christianity consistently saw as pointing to the Messiah's atonement for sin...Matthew's language closely follows the MT...against the LXX..., although it is probable that Isaiah had both sin and sickness in view in his original prophecy.
> From this text, among others, neoorthodoxy has developed its doctrice of Jesus' vicarious humanity, i.e., that Christ's life as well as his death helped atone for sin. Matthew, however, focuses more on the cures of disease than on forgiveness of sin. Charismatics have regularly appealed to this verse in maintaining that there is healing for physical maladies in the atonement. Inasmuch as the healings consistently function as pointers to God's in-breaking kingdom, one should expect the present blessings of God's reign at times to include miraculous recovery from illness. But to require such healing of God this side of eternity loses sight of the future aspect of the kingdom. Only in the world to come will sickness and death be banished altogether from believers' lives. Claims that so far all who were sick in Jesus' presence seem to have been cured must be balanced with the data of John 5:1-15, in which Christ selected only one of many sick people to receive healing. Nor is it adequate to reply that the others didn't ask to be made well, because the man Jesus chose to heal didn't ask either...There is physical healing in the atonement for this age, but it is up to God in Christ to choose when and how to dispense it. Perfect healing, like the believer's resurrection body, ultimately awaits Christ's return.
> Yet even this discussion about atonement introduces elements not clearly in Matthew's mind at this point. It may be, after presenting three cases of Jesus' potentially defiling himself ritually, that he simply wishes to underline how Jesus was willing to become unclean in order to make others clean. The physical removal of the virus or bacteria would thus prove less significant than the spiritual removal of man-made distinctions that ostracize certain kinds of people from the love of God and from fellow humans."
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I have to admit that I have had a lot of great insights while reading Blomberg's Matthew...Read more