Matthew. EBTC. Lexham Press, 2023.
Matthew one of the four canonical Gospels, holds an important place in the bible and Christian tradition. Quarles' work offers readers a thoughtful and comprehensive exploration of this vital text. This commentary is also a commendable addition to scholarship and exegesis. "Although believers' present circumstances may make them wonder if they are experiencing God's favor, they are truly blessed. Genuine disciples of Jesus who manifest the characteristics described in the Beatitudes are heirs of the coming kingdom, sons and daughters of God who will be princes and princesses when the messianic kingdom comes. They should have deep joy now as they anticipate that perfect future without sin or tears in which they will enjoy perfect fellowship with God and one another." Quarles brings his expertise to provide the readers with a clear and accessible analysis of the Gospel of Matthew. What sets this commentary apart from others is the balance it has between scholarly rigor and readability. While it is a valuable resource for theologians, pastors, and seminary students, it is a source that pretty much anyone could read and deepen their understanding of the Gospel of Matthew. Quarles addresses the theological themes and messages that are embedded in the Gospel of Matthew. He carefully explores the topic of the Kingdom of God, the Sermon on the Mount, and the identity of Jesus as Messiah. He handles these topics with ease as he engages various theological perspectives without imposing his own bias. "The Beatitudes end with a reference to the persecution that Jesus's disciples will experience because of their righteousness. This section assures the disciples that some people will react to their righteousness much more positively-by glorifying the heavenly Father." One of the biggest strengths of this commentary is Quarles' attention to the historical and cultural context in which Matthew was written. He skillfully unwraps the nuances of the first-century Jewish society, shedding light on the customs, beliefs, and political landscape of the time. This allows the reader to grasp the significance of various events and teachings within Matthew's narrative. One notable feature of this commentary is the inclusion of charts, maps, and diagrams. This enhances the reader's comprehension and allows for visual aids to fill in the gaps. It provides aids for geographical locations, genealogies, and timelines, making it easier to navigate the Gospel's complex narrative. "Although believers' present circumstances may make them wonder if they are experiencing God's favor, they are truly blessed. Genuine disciples of Jesus who manifest the characteristics described in the Beatitudes are heirs of the coming kingdom, sons and daughters of God who will be princes and princesses when the messianic kingdom comes. They should have deep joy now as they anticipate that perfect future without sin or tears in which they will enjoy perfect fellowship with God and one another." Charles L. Quarles's commentary on Matthew is a commendable work that effectively bridges the gap between academic rigor and accessibility. Anyone striving to gain a deeper understanding of the book of Matthew, whether you are a theologian, a pastor, a student, or someone striving for a deep understanding of the book of Matthew this would be the perfect commentary for you.
Hebrews. EBTC. Lexham Press, 2020.
Schreiner writes his commentary in a way that presents the book almost like a sermon. This makes this commentary an easy read and allows the reader to dive further into the Word to better understand Hebrews. This commentary stands out as an impressive scholarly work that provides an insightful examination of Hebrews. Through the course of this commentary, Schreiner delivers a resource for both scholars and new believers to use to dive further into the Word. "The words of Jesus on the cross, "It is finished!" (John 19:30), capture the theology of Hebrews." Throughout this commentary, Schreiner leads the reader through Hebrews with skill and care. Carefully of the fact that his audience might be young and not understand deep theology, Schreiner breaks down complex ideas into simple theology that is easy for the reader to understand. He demonstrates a clear and deep understanding of the Greek text and provides clear explanations of the historical context and theological implications of Hebrews. By walking the reader through this, it allows the reader to gain a deeper and more accurate understanding of the interpterion of the text. "Jesus lived a truly human life, knowing human suffering and temptation. He didn't live a privileged existence separated from the anguish of temptation and the sorrows that blight human existence. He learned obedience in the midst of his sufferings and temptations." Schreiner navigates the difficult topic of the unknown author of Hebrews with careful ease while reminding the reader that canonicity is important to the Christian faith. He navigates this topic with ease while focusing more on the theme of this book. Some of the themes that were explored were the promise-fulfillment, the already-but-not-yet, and partial orientation. The part that I enjoyed most was Schreiner talking about how Hebrews is not only a call to assurance but it is also a warning. "From one angle Hebrews can be read as a call to assurance. The warnings and admonitions are also given to the reader will be convinced they are on the right path, and that they are truly clean before God by the virtue of what Christ has done. The warnings aren't meant to cast doubts about the reader's assurance but to strengthen and confirm it. The author doesn't want them to doubt whether they are Christians but to be encouraged to keep living as Christians." Schreiner's Commentary on Hebrews pays attention to the structure and theological insights that make it a valuable aid for anyone to use when diving into the depths of Hebrews. While it might have some shortcomings that I did not realize, it is a guide that will benefit scholars and new believers alike.