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Sacra Pagina: The Gospel of Matthew Hardcover – 1 Dec 1991


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Glazier Inc (1 Dec 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814658032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814658031
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.9 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,126,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1. The birth-record of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Aug 1998
Format: Hardcover
Daniel Harrington has produced a superbly readable commentary on Matthew's gospel. His mastery of current scholarship is evident (one would expect nothing less), and his interpretive insights are consistently on the mark. Although the Sacra Pagina series is an openly Roman Catholic project, Protestants will find that Harrington's treatment of traditionally "Catholic" texts is quite fair to all credible views, and his sincere effort to make sense of scripture on its own terms is admirable. This volume deserves a home in the library of every serious student of the First Gospel. Bravo, Daniel J. Harrington!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Burke on 15 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be a very readable, yet scholarly book.
It is of great benefit that the Gospel script preceeds the commentary about the particular section, unlike most biblical commentaries.
I have found Harrington's book helpful when preparing liturgies through this liturgical year. It is also useful when writing a weekly reflection in the parish bulletin based on the Gospel for Sunday.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 19 reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Harrington's Work a Valuable Contribution 19 Aug 1998
By Roy E. Terry (rterry48@dreamscape.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Daniel Harrington has produced a superbly readable commentary on Matthew's gospel. His mastery of current scholarship is evident (one would expect nothing less), and his interpretive insights are consistently on the mark. Although the Sacra Pagina series is an openly Roman Catholic project, Protestants will find that Harrington's treatment of traditionally "Catholic" texts is quite fair to all credible views, and his sincere effort to make sense of scripture on its own terms is admirable. This volume deserves a home in the library of every serious student of the First Gospel. Bravo, Daniel J. Harrington!
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
An Excellent Commentary by a Top Scholar 8 Jan 2005
By Timothy Kearney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I first became familiar with Daniel Harrington's commentary on Matthew's Gospel for the SACRA PAGINA series when I took a graduate class on the gospel. It was the text used for the course.I found it very informative, giving an excellent background to the gospel itself and leading to interesting class discussions. As I did exegetical work on various gospel texts, again I found the commentary helpful as a basis for research and a valuable in pointing to other sources for further study.

The commentary is set up the way that is similar to other volumes in the series. A brief introduction to the Gospel of Matthew is followed by the author's translation of the gospel text. The events of the gospel are broken into smaller units. For each smaller unit there is a line commentary which emphasizes important words and lines in the story. This is followed by an overall discussion of the text which highlights religious, historical, and social issues involved in the story. In many cases in this commentary, Harrington not only discusses the issues of the ancient world by adds how these issue can be of concern to us today.

I no longer use the book for formal research, but turn to it time and again for preparation for preaching and Bible studies groups. Here I have found the commentary most helpful. Harrington's book has scholarly value, but it is written in such a way that it highlights concerns in the text which still concern people today which gives it pastoral value as well. One small example which immediately comes to mind is Harrington's discussion of Jesus' Baptism by John. He not only points out the differences in the synoptic accounts of the events, but the possible historical difficulties and struggles within the early Church, and what the focus should be when preaching or teaching this text. At this point my copy of the book is well worn, a tribute to the many times I refer to it.

As I read some of the other reviews, I noticed that one reviewer noted that this commentary is primarily for Catholics. Since Daniel Harrington is a Jesuit priest, and the Liturgical Press is a Catholic publishing company, the work is certainly Catholic oriented, and since I am also writing from a Catholic perspective, I see this as a plus for the work. However, when I took the course on the Gospel of Matthew which was taught at a Catholic seminary, there were many in the class who were not Catholic, and they seemed to be the people who were most impressed with the scholarship. It was authentic to the Biblical text and had as its goal making scripture accessible to everyone.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A Fine Historical Overview 30 April 2002
By Brad Shorr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As someone just getting acquainted with the Scriptures, I found this book extraordinarily helpful. First and foremost, Harrington excels at putting Matthew in its historical context. By tracing changes within the Jewish community from Old Testament times through circa 70AD, he clearly shows how this Gospel was intended to solidify Christian identity and Scriptural validity after the destruction of the temple, when competing theologies were battling for the hearts and minds of the Jewish people. His extensive translation notes are also helpful, as they explain nuances of meaning that would go unnoticed by a lay reader using a thinly-annotated text.
Two other themes of this commentary stand out. First, Harrington takes great pains to demonstrate that Matthew is not an indictment of the Jewish race and has been totally misinterpreted by some as a call to anti-Semitism--an important message in any age. Second, he continually compares Matthew to Mark, pointing out virtually all similarities and differences. While this is interesting (and indirectly useful in understanding Mark), I'm not sure how important these distinctions are in terms of grasping the historical and theological significance of Matthew. On the other hand, presenting Matthew and Mark in this way does highlight the uniqueness of each Gospel--no doubt a worthy end in itself.
50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Limited theological use 20 April 2002
By francisdesales - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have been looking for a "scholarly" Catholic commentary of the Bible for awhile. Navarre is limited in complex ideas, such as the justification question presented in Romans, and Collegeville is not detailed enough. Other commentaries, of course, come with a decidedly Protestant interpretation, watering down several key verses, such as Mat 16: 18-20.
As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on the Sacra Pagina series. The Romans book was outstanding. Matthew, however, is more concerned with the relationship with Mark and the Synoptics Problem. The author presents as FACT the common synoptic solution that Matthew copied Mark. While the author shows some of the argument of the "traditional" side (written in Aramaic/Hebrew for example), he limply explains it away. Father Raymond Brown did a much better job in presenting both view points, while not totally dismissing either side. I don't think the Synoptic solution should be presented as fact, as the author poorly refutes the "traditional" side, merely dismissing it. No one has yet been able to explain to me, for example, WHY someone would write an Aramaic/Hebrew gospel AFTER 70 AD to the Jewish diaspora, who spoke Greek. Many scholars seem to forget the massive destruction caused by the Roman punitive actions, virtually destroying the Jewish nation. Jews in Antioch were mostly Greek speakers, so why and to whom would Matthew be writing AFTER 70 AD in Greek? Perhaps this book needs a second edition, as scholarship of today is beginning to question the dating of Matthew to before 70 AD.
The book actually doesn't have a lot of theological use in of itself. For example, the Beatitudes is explored in a limited fashion. The book is very good in its explanations and comparisions with the Jewish community and Old Testament relationships. However, time and again, Matthew is compared with Mark. While this has its place, I think the theological issues should have been explored more, rather than how the two gospels are similar and different. Also, I found the author's explanations of particular "Catholic" verses, such as Mat 16: 18-20 very limited. The author doesn't take a stand one way or the other, merely presenting the 500 year old argument from a neutral position. Although this might be a more ecumenical manner of doing things, I believe it again shows the author's limited desire to pursue theological issues or pursue ANY sort of point of view regarding Catholicism. If the author is Catholic, you wouldn't know it by reading this book.
Again, I was personally disappointed by the coverage of the book, as I hoped for a Commentary concerned more with theological issues, such as Matthew's concern with ecclesiastics, not the Synoptic problem. Whether the Sacra Pagina series will be the answer to the limited Catholic Commentary available on the Bible remains to be seen. I only have two, and Romans is outstanding in this regard. The Sacra Pagina Matthew is of limited use to someone desiring to read the Bible for its intend purpose. Read with the Navarre Bible, however, this book does have potential, as it does address many Jewish questions very well that Navarre doesn't.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Excellent commentary 29 Mar 2002
By Ben Elohim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
While I'm only part way through volume 1. I will be purchasing more of this series. This is state of the art. Multiple opinions and views are considered and each position is well-argued and supported. There is a great deal of attention to detail. Those familiar with older commentaries will be pleasantly surprised by this.
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