France's masterful The Gospel of Matthew [NICNT] focuses on exegesis of Matthew's text as it stands rather than on the prehistory of the ("Q") material or details of the Synoptic problem. 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 and integrity.
Rather than being a "commentary on commentaries," The Gospel of Matthew [NICNT] 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, especially by frequently drawing on the distinctive culture of Galilee and the social dynamics of Roman occupied Israel.
The provided English translations of the Matthean text are France's own, and 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, clear focus on Matthew's Jesus, his careful methodology, and his user-friendly style, promise to make this volume an enduring standard.
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