“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.
With Logos, the NICNT will integrate into the Passage Guide. Whenever you enter your passage and click go, results from the NICNT will appear on the text you’re studying. This gives you instant access to exactly what you’re looking for—in far less time than it would take you to walk over to the bookshelf and begin flipping through a print volume, let alone find the information you need.
“The beatitudes thus call on those who would be God’s people to stand out as different from those around them, and promise them that those who do so will not ultimately be the losers.” (Page 159)
“ preparation not only for the sabbath but also for the chief day of the festival” (Page 1093)
“The two most significant uses of salt in the ancient world were for flavoring and for the preservation of food,9 and either or both of those uses would provide an appropriate sense here: the disciples are to provide flavor to the world they live in (perhaps with the thought of salt as wisdom, as in Col 4:6 and in some rabbinic sayings), and/or they are to help to prevent its corruption.” (Page 174)
“But in Matthew’s usage dikaiosynē is overwhelmingly concerned with right conduct, with living the way God requires (see on 3:15), and in 5:20 dikaiosynē will be used emphatically in this sense.” (Page 167)
“The ‘gates’ thus represent the imprisoning power of death: death will not be able to imprison and hold the church of the living God.” (Page 624)
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.
—Donald A. Hagner, George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary
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.