Reading Matthew is part of a commentary series that aims to present cutting edge research in a form that is accessible to upper-level undergraduates, seminarians, seminary educated pastors, and educated laypeople, as well as to graduate students and professors. The volumes in this series do not follow the word-by-word, phrase-by-phrase, verse-by-verse method of traditional commentaries. Rather they are con cerned to understand large thought units and their relation ship to an author's thought as a whole. The focus is on a close reading of the final forma of the text. The aim is to make one feel at home in the biblical text itself. The app roach of these volumes involves a concern both for how an author communicates and what the religious point of the text is. Care is taken to relate both the how and the what of the text to its milieu: Christian, Jewish, and Greco-Roman. This enables both the communication strategies and the rel igous message of the text to be clarified over against a range of historical and cultural possibilities. Throughout, the basic concern is to treat the New Testament texts as religious documents whose religious message needs to be set forth with compelling clarity. All other concerns are sub ordinated to this.