Recognized as a masterly commentary when it first appeared, Frederick Dale Bruner's study of Matthew is now available as a greatly revised and expanded two-volume work -- the result of seven years of careful refinement, enrichment, and updating.
Through this commentary, crafted especially for teachers, pastors, and Bible students, Bruner aims "to help God's people love what Matthew's Gospel says." Bruner's work is at once broadly historical and deeply theological. It is historical in drawing extensively on great church teachers through the centuries and on the classical Christian creeds and confessions. It is theological in that it unpacks the doctrines in each passage, chapter, and section of the Gospel. Consciously attempting to bridge past and present, Bruner asks both what Matthew's Gospel said
to its first hearers and what it says
to readers today. As a result, his commentary is profoundly relevant to contemporary congregations and to those who guide them.
Bruner's commentary is replete with lively, verse-by-verse discussion of Matthew's text. While each chapter expounds a specific topic or doctrine, the book's format consists of a vivid, original translation of the text followed by faithful exegesis and critical analysis, a survey of historical commentary on the text, and current applications of the text or theme under study. In this revision Bruner continues to draw on the best in modern scholarship -- including recent work by W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison Jr., by Ulrich Luz, and by many others -- adding new voices to the reading of Matthew. At the same time he cites the classic commentaries of Chrysostom, Jerome, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Bengel, and the rest, who, like Bruner himself, were not simply doctrinal teachers but also careful exegetes of Scripture. Such breadth and depth of learning assure that Bruner's Matthew
will remain, as a reviewer for Interpretation
wrote, "the most dog-eared commentary on the shelf."
Volume 1 of Bruner's commentary is called The Christbook
because the first twelve chapters of Matthew are focused on the nature and work of Christ. As Bruner proceeds through these chapters, he shows how Matthew presents, step by step, central themes of Christology: Jesus' coming (chapters 1–4), his teaching (5–7), his miracles (8–9), his sermon on mission (10), and his person (11–12). Throughout the book there are also thoughtful discussions of significant topics such as baptism, marriage, Jewish-Christian relations, and heaven and hell.
Eminently readable, rich in biblical insight, and ecumenical in tone, Bruner's two-volume commentary on Matthew now stands among the best in the field.
"This is the kind of commentary that I most want — a theological wrestling with Scripture. Frederick Dale Bruner grapples with the text not only as a technical exegete (although he also does that very well) but as a church theologian, caring passionately about what these words tell us about God and ourselves. Here he places his considerable teaching gifts at the service of the Christian community, caring as much about us as he cares about the text. His Matthew commentary is in the grand traditions of Augustine, Calvin, and Luther — expansive and leisurely, loving the text, the people in it, and the Christians who read it."
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"It is hard to think of another commentary that is more fruitful in terms of stimulating the kind of thinking about the meaning of the text that is the prerequisite for good preaching and teaching."
"A hugely stimulating read . . . holds the reader's attention better than many commentaries. Emphases on mission and formation of Christian character also make this an important and valuable contribution to scholarship on Matthew's gospel."
William H. Willimon
"Bruner is concerned with Christian formation, with the daily task of living faithfully within today's church. His applications of the Gospel of Matthew and his frequent excursions into contemporary dilemmas for the church, such as church-state relations, marriage, liberation theology, feminism, and war, provide many stimulating insights for contemporary Christians."
"Often Bruner's expositions are so apposite that the preacher will be tempted to lift them whole into the sermon, for they bring the biblical message explicitly into the life of the congregation."
Samuel Hugh Moffett
"An excitingly readable and innovative commentary on Matthew by one of America's master Bible teachers."
Perspectives in Religious Studies
"The value of Bruner's work is that what he is doing is so desperately needed and so rarely done at the level of sophistication reflected in his two volumes."
Currents in Theology and Mission
"This is a practical commentary for preachers and teachers in congregations. . . Marvelously successful."