One of the most detailed and thorough treatments of Matthew ever written, Donald Hagner’s commentary addresses the relationship of Matthew to Luke and Mark, examines the major issues for interpreting Matthew, and provides an fresh translation based on engagement with the book’s textual history. Focusing on interpretation and message of Jesus’ kingdom, Hagner draws out illuminating theological themes, applying them to contemporary life.
“Faithfulness provides more blessing; unfaithfulness results in loss even of one’s initial blessings.” (Page 736)
“So important are these two commandments, indeed, that Jesus can conclude that on these two commandments ὃλος ὁ νόμος κρέμαται καὶ οἱ προφῆται, ‘hang the whole law and the prophets.’ This is a way of saying that the commandments of the law and the teaching of the prophets cannot be fulfilled apart from the twofold love commandment.” (Page 647)
“Jesus, in Matthew’s view, does not cancel the commandments of the law through his teaching concerning the critical importance of love but instead regards the latter as the true fulfillment of the heart of the former (cf. too, 9:13; 12:7; esp. 23:23). The twofold commandment as set forth in this passage may appropriately be thought of as nothing less than a ‘hermeneutic program’ for the understanding and application of the law and the prophets (thus Gerhardsson).” (Pages 647–648)
“Matthew makes several substantial omissions, the longest of these being the omission of the entirety of Mark 12:32–34. The reason for this omission seems obvious: the friendly discourse between the scribe and Jesus, ending with the remark of Jesus, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God,’ does not fit well with the pattern of increasing hostility that Matthew has been building up in his narrative (cf. the climactic denunciation of the Pharisees in chap. 23).” (Pages 644–645)
“The focus of the parable is the simple matter of preparedness versus unpreparedness and the tragic character of the latter.” (Page 728)