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Matthew: Evangelist and Teacher [Paperback]

R. T. France


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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good First Book on the Evangelist Matthew 30 Nov 2007
By John D. White - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Well its time in the lectionary cycle for the gospel of Matthew and you didn't cover it in seminary. And you have all those texts waiting for your exegesis, exposition, and explanation--and you don't know what to say or where to begin. Do you just jump straight into the commentaries? Are there some other books that might be worthwhile reading as a start? If this is the scenario in which you find yourself, France's introduction here is a marvelous book to begin to work through. The issues are presented fairly, the sum of recent scholarship is covered quickly and accurately, and the theology of the evangelist is presented as a beginning for further study. In this book France covers:

1.) Matthew as the first canonical gospel
2.) Just who was "Matthew" anyway
3.) The setting of the gospel and its literary character
4.) What do we mean by Jesus being the 'fulfillment' of Israel's hopes and dreams?
5.) The relationship between Matthew as a gospel and the people of Israel
6.) Matthew's gospel and the church (is the church the new Israel?)
7.) What does Matthew say about Jesus and how is Jesus presented in this gospel?

If you desire to be a prepared preacher when mounting the pulpit on Sunday morning this book will help in that process.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent shorter (345 pages) Commentary on Matthew 8 Jan 2010
By DR-J-J - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
France's excellent longer commentary on Matthew The Gospel of Matthew (New International Commentary on the New Testament) is incredible, but if you are looking for a commentary that is less than a thousand pages, this is it. In fact, since France starts with some introductory material that isn't all that unique, you are talking about 200 + pages of cream! It is wonderful. France goes over literary aspects of the Gospel (key to interpretation) and he lays out the parallel and chiastic structure in easy to see charts/outlines that enable the reader to glean information quickly. It is a treasure, to be sure. Skip the first 120 pages and you will start with Chapter 4 of pure insights and discoveries that will help with this challenging book. A hidden gem for a pastor or teacher.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Introduction 14 July 2012
By Jacob Sweeney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
R.T. France is widely recognized as one of the foremost scholars on Matthew's gospel. His commentary in the NICNT series is a pillar. Anyone who wishes to do any study in Matthew must interact with France. Yet, by his own admission, no commentary can cover every issue raised by a biblical book. There are many implications, corrollaries and challenges that do not fit in a textual commentary but are necessary and important subjects to explore. This volume was meant to be a companion to three other volumes written on the other gospels ("Mark: Evangelist and Theologian" by R.P. Martin; "Luke: Historian and Theologian" by I. Howard Marshall; "John: Evangelist and Interpreter" by Stephen S. Smalley). It was also meant to explore the important subjects surrounding Matthean studies.

The first half of the book focuses on issues of authorship and composition. France begins with an exploration of the "first" gospel - who wrote first? Here he tackles the age-old subjects of Markan priority, Matthean priority, Q and others. Second, France moves onto authorship. France argues that the traditional understanding makes the most sense of the data. While he affirms that Matthew the tax collector is Matthew's author, he is hesitant to assign absolute significance to it. He believes that we can affirm it's inspiration even if it's conclusively demonstrated that the former tax collector did not write it. From here he moves on to issues of audience in chapter three and genre in chapter four.

Chapters five through eight move from issues of authorship and composition to literary and theological features. Here he covers Matthew's use of Old Testament texts and typological fulfillment in the person of Christ. Chapter six follows five by exploring the Matthean theme of Jesus as 'Israel'. He is presented as 'true Israel', the embodiment of the people of God and their representative. The final two chapters explore Matthew's teaching on the Church and the Gospel. His presentation is unique in the canon, but not at odds with the rest of the canon. This is an excellent book worth the time necessary to read it. France is an expert guide in the study of Matthew's gospel.
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