Recommended Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew

Here are some books and commentaries I recommend related to the Gospel of Matthew. I have not read them all, but my suggestions here are based on my respect for the expertise of the authors and quality of their other works I have read. Further, these books reflect my particular interest in socio-rhetorical and narrative approaches to the gospels. I think they are the most helpful perspectives for understanding and subsequently teaching and preaching on the gospel texts. My suggestions are scholarly works, but they are not technical. They are intended for pastors and serious students of the Bible. (mgvhoffman)


Carter: Matthew
This is not a verse by verse commentary to Matthew. Rather, it provides chapters on the background of Matthew that help one become a competent reader of Matthew.
"This introduction offers readers a way to look at scriptural texts that combines historical, narrative, and contemporary interests. Carter explores Matthew by approaching it from the perspective of the "authorial audience"--by identifying with and reading along with the audience imagined by the author. This updated second edition is available as part of a series focusing on each of the gospel writers as storyteller, interpreter, and evangelist."

Garland: Reading Matthew
I like this series of "Literary and Theological" commentaries. It is generally organized as a normal commentary, but material is covered in bigger sections to give more attention to the literary aspects.
"Reading Matthew provides thorough guidance through Matthew's story of Jesus. Garland's commentary reveals the movement of the story's plot while also highlighting the theology of Matthew."

Keener: Gospel of Matthew
"This excellent commentary on Matthew offers a unique interpretive approach that focuses on the socio-historical context of the Gospel and the nature of Matthew’s exhortation to his first-century Christian audience. By merging a careful study of Matthew’s Gospel in relation to the social context of the ancient Mediterranean world with a detailed look at what we know of first-century Jewish-Christian relations, Craig Keener uncovers significant insights into the Gospel not found in any other Matthew commentary.

In addition, Keener’s commentary is a useful discipleship manual for the church. His unique approach recaptures the full “shock effect” of Jesus’ teachings in their original context and allows Matthew to make his point with greater narrative artistry. Keener also brings home the total impact of Matthew’s message, including its clear portrait of Jesus and its call for discipleship, both to the Gospel’s ancient readers and to believers today."
Brown & Roberts: Matthew (2 Horizons)
"Including an original translation of the text along with section-by-section commentary, this volume features chapters on “thinking theologically with Matthew” about such themes as kingdom, Christology, the Holy Spirit, and discipleship. Brown and Roberts also offer constructive theological engagement with a number of contemporary viewpoints, including feminist, global, political, and ethical (post-Holocaust) perspectives. At once interdisciplinary and insightful, their commentary will appeal to a wide readership."

Osborne: Matthew
This series does assume some knowledge of Greek, but it has features useful to anyone. Each section includes a "Literary Context," an outline, the "Main Idea," a translation that is graphical laid out to indicate the logic of the text, a section on "Structure and Literary Form," an exegetical outline, and then a verse by verse explanation of the text.

Evans: Matthew
"This book is a verse-by-verse analysis of the New Testament Gospel of Matthew. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the gospel, which describes the world of Jesus and his first followers. This commentary explores the historical, social, and religious contexts of Matthew and examines the customs, beliefs, and ideas that inform the text. Unfamiliar to many readers of the New Testament, this background will help readers fully understand the text of Matthew, which focuses on what Jesus taught and why the religious authorities in Jerusalem rejected his message and gave him up to the Roman governor for execution."

Talbert: Matthew
"In this fresh commentary, the fourth of eighteen volumes in the Paideia series, a leading New Testament scholar examines cultural context and theological meaning in Matthew. Paideia commentaries explore how New Testament texts form Christian readers by
• Attending to the ancient narrative and rhetorical strategies the text employs
• Showing how the text shapes theological convictions and moral habits
• Commenting on the final, canonical form of each New Testament book
• Focusing on the cultural, literary, and theological settings of the text
• Making judicious use of maps, photos, and sidebars in a reader-friendly format"

Witherington: Matthew
"Ben Witherington III, renowned author of more than thirty books on the New Testament, considers the fullness that the Gospel of Matthew offers for those who both study and attempt to live out the words of Jesus today. As with each volume in this series, Witherington’s groundbreaking new commentary connects the insights of biblical scholarship to the larger world of faith."*

Powell: God With Us
Mark Allen Powell has written extensively on the Gospels, and in this book, he focuses on matters related to pastoral rather than systematic theology. This is not a commentary on Matthew, rather, there are chapters on: mission, worship, teaching, stewardship, and social justice which provide an overview of Matthew's gospel.

Warren: Matthew and the Margins
This book "provides readers with a provocative new commentary that emphasizes the roles of marginality and empire in the Gospel of Matthew. Verse by verse, Warren Carter present this gospel as a counter-narrative shaping the followers of Jesus as an alternative community, resisting the authorities of both synagogue and state. Hew shows how the Gospel anticipates the ties when Jesus' return will establish God's reign over all--including the imperial powers of Rome."

For more commentaries to consider, especially if you are looking either for something more technical that references the Greek more closely or something more pastoral or devotional, look at the suggestions at Best Commentaries on Matthew.

Note: All the Amazon links are my Associate links from which I may earn a small commission.


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