The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary is an New Testament commentary, written by Craig S. Keener and published by Eerdmands. Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew can be either highly critical or devotional in nature. I therefore was pleasantly surprised when I read Keener work and found it to be more or less on the conservative side while still engaging with high criticism scholarship, mixed with application. It has been a long time since a scholarly mostly conservative work has been published on the Gospel of Matthew and France did not disappoint, weighing in at just under 1100 pages.
This commentary is a created along the line of of the famous A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary by Ben Witherington, a series which is synonymous with excellent exegesis and superior application, this volume not only continues this legacy, but truly propels it to new heights. Yet while Keener does answer these critical issues, something he does flawlessly by the way, he interacts with critical scholarship in a way most conservative commentators don’t. From this it is easy to see why Keener is a highly regarded scholar and superior exegete.
The Gospel of Matthew has two main sections the typical general introduction, and then followed by a insightful exegetical commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew. With regard to the general introduction it is the typical study into the introductory matters of the book and how they relate to the Bible as a whole. This is a serious scholarly work which dives into contextual as well as the as the different methodical approaches to study of this book Keener takes great care in carefully showing the original context of passage while applying it directly to the modern day reader. I do wish though that there was more application to some of the more difficult passages.
While I disagree with Keener on a few minor issues the arguments he makes are sound. Keener is innovate in his interpretation and application while staying stalwart in his commitment to orthodoxy. In the vein of recommending, The Gospel of Matthew, to others I would recommend this commentary to pastors and scholars, yet I would highly recommend pastors, such as myself, to pair this scholarly commentary with one that is one that has more of a pastoral tone. There are many commentaries about Gospel of Matthew available at this moment but The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary is a very scholarly works worthy of your time.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Eerdmans in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.