The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary

Craig S. Keener

The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary

Book Details

Series: Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
Categories: Matthew

Book Information

"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.


Pages: 1090
Publisher: Eerdmans
Published: 2009
ISBN-10: 0802864988
ISBN-13: 9780802864987

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4.45 out of 5 based on 2 user ratings
Graham Ware February 15, 2018 4 5
A solid commentary, with a specific purpose, so not as relevant and useful for certain discussions as it is for others.
Phillip J. Long May 22, 2012 4.9 5
This is the most recent of the commentaries I have chosen and is part of a series published by Eerdmans which attempts to read the biblical books against both a social and rhetorical background. What this means is that the commentary works hard to place Jesus in a proper context (Second Temple Period Judaism) but also to place Matthew as an author in his (later) context. In fact, Keener is “more inclined to accept the possibility of Matthean authorship” than in his earlier work on the Gospel (p. 40). The gospel was written in Syro-Palestine in the wake of the Jewish War, and “within the range of” develop rabbinic influence. Keener therefore reads Matthew as a Jewish Christian voice responding to the tragedy of A.D. 70. One of the advantages of the Socio-Rhetorical series is the use of Excursus to treat issues which are outside of the normal scope of a commentary. For example, Keener has more than 3 pages on demons and exorcism in the Greco-Roman word, a section dense with primary sources. These excursuses are the highlight of the commentary. [Full Review]

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