As the edition to the title shows, Craig Keener's The Gospel of Matthew is now a part of the widely successful "Socio-Rhetorical" series by Ben Witherington. With an added addendum called "Matthew and Greco-Roman Rhetoric" this latest addition keeps the same historical and social focus that so defined it at its initial publication. Now available in paper back, it remains firmly built on impeccable and exhaustive research that is combined with insightful analysis of the text and its meaning. This commentary will prove useful for years to come and is in many ways the current standard in Matthean commentary.
"It is a special pleasure to introduce R. T. (Dick) France's commentary to the pastoral and scholarly community, who should find it a truly exceptional -- and helpful -- volume." So says Gordon Fee in his preface to this work. France's masterful commentary on Matthew focuses on exegesis of Matthew's text as it stands rather than on the prehistory of the material or details of Synoptic comparison. The exegesis of each section is part of a planned literary whole supplemented, rather than controlled, by verse-by-verse commentary, allowing the text as a complete story to come into brilliant focus.
Rather than being a "commentary on commentaries," The Gospel of Matthew is concerned throughout with what Matthew himself meant to convey about Jesus and how he set about doing so within the cultural and historical context of first-century Palestine. France frequently draws attention to the distinctive nature of the province of Galilee and the social dynamics involved when a Galilean prophet presents himself in Jerusalem as the Messiah.
The English translation at the beginning of each section is France's own, designed to provide the basis for the commentary. This adept translation uses contemporary idioms and, where necessary, gives priority to clarity over literary elegance.
Amid the wide array of Matthew commentaries available today, France's world-class stature, his clear focus on Matthew and Jesus, his careful methodology, and his user-friendly style promise to make this volume an enduring standard for years to come.
Craig S. Keener is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of many other books, including The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary and The Gospel of John: A Commentary
Association of Theological Booksellers, Theologos Award for Best Academic Books (2007)
Academy of Parish Clergy, Reference Book of the Year (2008)
Donald A. Hagner
Fuller Theological Seminary
"R. T. France, long recognized as a Matthean scholar par excellence, now presents a crowning achievement in this superb full-length commentary. With the firm hand of a seasoned scholar, France offers a lively, insightful commentary marked above all by solid, no-nonsense exegesis. This is vintage France, and every student of Matthew will find great rewards here. I recommend this volume with the highest enthusiasm."
"This commentary will be of great benefit to scholars and exegetical preachers alike. Close analysis and sensible comments are the hallmarks of this book, and it will now stand appropriately alongside other recent major treatments of Matthew . . . while making its own significant contribution. This is a responsible, scholarly, and illuminating contribution to the study and interpretation of Matthew's gospel."