This 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 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. Thoroughly researched, the book includes a 150-page bibliography of secondary sources, and more than 150 pages of indexes.
Offering verse-by-verse commentary, this 1,090 page commentary is fantastic addition to the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary Series (10 Vols.) already available in Logos, perfect for scholars, students, and laity. With our digital format, you can link your favorite Bible to The Gospel of Matthew for ease of scrolling, and running a Passage Guide search will provide results from Keener’s work.
“Without condoning astrology, Matthew’s narrative challenges his audience’s prejudice against outsiders to their faith (cf. also 8:5–13; 15:21–28): even the most pagan of pagans may respond to Jesus if given the opportunity (cf. Jonah 1:13–16; 3:6–4:1, 10–11). For one special event in history, the God who rules the heavens chose to reveal himself where pagans were looking (cf. Acts 19:12, 15–20; A. B. Bruce 1979: 1:70). Yet even supernatural guidance like that of the star can take the astrologers only so far; for more specific direction they must ask the leaders in Jerusalem where the king is to be born (2:2). That is, their celestial revelation was only partial; they must finally submit to God’s revelation in the Scriptures, preserved by the Jewish people (cf. Meier 1980: 11).” (Page 100)
“The best alternative to harmonizing the lists is to suggest that Matthew emphasizes the nature of Jesus’ lineage as royalty rather than trying to formulate a biologically precise list (contrast possibly Luke), to which he did not have access.” (Pages 75–76)
“Yet genealogies like those in Genesis typically list a person’s descendants after this phrase, rather than a person’s ancestors (Gen 5:1; 10:1). Matthew’s point here is profound: so much is Jesus the focal point of history that his ancestors depend on him for their meaning. In other words, God sovereignly directed the history of Israel and preserved the Davidic line because of his plan to send Jesus (Gundry 1982: 10, 13; Patte 1987: 18).” (Page 78)