The Gospel according to Matthew is one of the most studied books in the entire Bible. Not only due to its sheer size, nor its placement in the New Testament, but to the theological that is found within its pages. Therefore there has always been a disproportionate amount of commentaries about this first book of the New Testament. Yet out of all of these commentaries very few are considered worthy of her preachers time and study. One of these such commentaries is Matthew: A Social-Rhetorical Commentary, by Craig Keener. Keener’s greatest asset to this commentary is its format. For he embarks on a study on the Gospel of Matthew studying with a sociological and rhetorical emphasis. This is important to note since the Matthew has many unfamiliar sociological and traditions to Gentile believers. Unfortunately not many commentators realize the importance of understanding sociological issues and seem to miss the details of the book in the narrative portions of scripture.
This book is superb and it’s analysis of culture, writing style, and textual analysis, unfortunately the shortness of this commentary is a downfall. That is not to say that what is found within this 700 pages of commentary is not phenomenal, rather the work leads you begging for more exposition of this type. I look forward to using this commentary in conjunction with others as I preach through the Passion section of Matthew (Chapters 21-28) soon.
Another point of note, it is the author’s dedication to orthodox theology. I therefore recommend this work to pastors who seek to study Matthew with a sociological and rhetorical emphasis, though I do suggest this work being used in conjunction with a more thorough exegesis of the Greek text.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Eerdmans Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.