What was the original purpose of the Gospel of Matthew? For whom was it written? In this magisterial two-volume commentary, Walter Wilson interprets Matthew as a catechetical work that expresses the ideological and institutional concerns of a faction of disaffected Jewish followers of Jesus in the late first century CE. Wilson’s compelling thesis frames Matthew’s Gospel as not only a continuation of the biblical story but also as a didactic narrative intended to shape the commitments and identity of a particular group that saw itself as a beleaguered, dissident minority. Thus, the text clarifies Jesus’s essential Jewish character as the “Son of David” while also portraying him in opposition to prominent religious leaders of his day—most notably the Pharisees—and open to cordial association with non-Jews.
Through meticulous engagement with the Greek text of the Gospel, as well as relevant primary sources and secondary literature, Wilson offers a wealth of insight into the first book of the New Testament. After an introduction exploring the background of the text, its genre and literary features, and its theological orientation, Wilson explicates each passage of the Gospel with thorough commentary on the intended message to first-century readers about topics like morality, liturgy, mission, group discipline, and eschatology. Scholars, students, pastors, and all readers interested in what makes the Gospel of Matthew distinctive among the Synoptics will appreciate and benefit from Wilson’s deep contextualization of the text, informed by his years of studying the New Testament and Christian origins.
Table of Contents
Section Seven: Matthew 14:1–17:27 Section Eight: Matthew 18:1–35 Section Nine: Matthew 19:1–23:39 Section Ten: Matthew 24:1–25:46 Section Eleven: Matthew 26:1–28:20 Bibliography Indexes
Walter T. Wilson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of New Testament at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. He is the author of Healing in the Gospel of Matthew: Reflections on Method and Ministry and the editor of New Testament Interpretation: A Practical Guide.
The Expository Times “The appearance of a large-scale multivolume commentary on Matthew is a significant publishing achievement and a moment of great interest in Matthean scholarship.”
“Walter T. Wilson’s two-volume commentary on Matthew’s Gospel will be warmly welcomed by those who engage critically with this text. In a rare combination of virtues, it combines solid exegesis and up-to-date scholarship with readability and clarity. Wilson’s discussion of even complex issues is accessible, and his conclusions are invariably balanced and well-evidenced. Matthean scholarship has a long tradition of excellent multi-volume commentaries, and Wilson’s contribution marks a significant twenty-first century addition to this distinguished tradition. I highly recommend it as an important resource for both scholars and students.” —David C. Sim, professor of New Testament studies, Australian Catholic University
“I have learned much from this comprehensive and well-written commentary. Among its several strong points, my top three are: (1) Its crisp prose is written with elegant and straightforward clarity. Without undue oversimplification, it is a pleasure to read. (2) It is up to date on international Matthean scholarship, without merely cataloging previous research or seeking a niche for its own novelty. (3) It is anchored in the history of the Jewish-Christian Matthean church in its context in the Hellenistic world. Without being driven by an agenda of contemporary relevance, the commentary bridges the world of the text to the contemporary world in a way that encourages readers to construct their own hermeneutical bridges on a solid exegetical foundation. Walter Wilson’s commentary is a gift that is immediately helpful. It will remain a reliable go-to resource for years to come.” — M. Eugene Boring, author of An Introduction to the New Testament and coauthor of The People’s New Testament Commentary
“An impressive and distinctive addition to the growing collection of detailed commentaries on Matthew. Wilson provides a rich reading of Matthew through the eyes of a late first-century sectarian Jewish Christian community. The artistry, the rhetoric, the micro- and the macrostructural details, the complex internal cross-connections, and the many likely intertexts are examined in great detail and mined for their capacity to speak to this sectarian group. His reading is a generous and somewhat maximalist one, but Wilson offers many acute insights and compelling reconstructions.” —John Nolland, professor of New Testament, Trinity College Bristol
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