In Part 2 of his study of Matthew, Tom Wright again gives us a fresh and vivid translation which is accessible without being dumb or patronising, catching the excitement and immediacy of the message. In short commentaries that draw fom his own life and learning, Wright helps get to the hidden treasures of this Gospel. He is good at framing the Gospel events in the worldviews of Jesus and His contemporaries, helping us to crack the code. And so we understand the imporatance of the recurring theme in this Gospel of the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets, so that, for example, we understand the significance of key passages like Daniel 7 to the theme of Jesus as Messiah and 'Son of Man.' We are shown how Jesus took the traditional Jewish understanding of these concepts and transformed them to a fulfilment that was truly revolutionary. Jesus's contempoararies would have known how Moses led the nation of Israel through the Red Sea to freedom, overcoming the armies of the enemy. They could not have dreamed how Jesus's death on the cross leads us all through the sea of sin and death, to the promises of Grace and salvation.
This is another in the series of "Guides for Everyone" where Tom Wright attempts to update William Barclay's Daily Bible reading commentaries. It is a volume small enough to fit into a coat pocket, divided into entries with a short passage of scripture (Wright's own, occasionally idiosyncratic, translation) followed by a couple of pages of reflections on the passage. Typically, these will include both an anecdote from the author's experience or an observation from life today as well as exposition about the context of the times, or description of relevant passages from the rest of the scriptures. Wright's writing has been aptly described as "smooth as chocolate" and these reflections are immensely readable. They could be good for private bible reading though we have used them successfully in a parish reading group: people of all levels of Christian knowledge (people exploring the Bible for the first time, as well as those who've been reading the scriptures for eight decades) found it worthwhile. There are occasionally passages where Wright is simply brilliant - illuminating even when the text is murky or complex e.g on aspects of the apocalyptic parts of Matthew - and at other places, he's inspirational. Equally, in my view, there are times when his interpretation is plainly wrong: but then, he's an evangelical and I'm not, so that's to be expected. And who wants to agree with what they read all the time?
A good commentary that can be used as a general reference or daily personal study resource. Is easily readable without being dummed down. Can be used with For Everyone Bible Study Guides: Matthew to promote thoughtfull meditation or discussion.
After having enjoyed the author's first book about the fascinating gospel of Matthew, I moved on to this "sequel". "Part Two" is also very readable , well written ,intelligent and full of interesting anecdotes that illustrate various points made in the text of Matthew's gospel. This commentary made me look at familiar stories and parables in a different way, especially the "End Times" teaching of Jesus which the author believes culminated with the destruction of the Temple shortly after Jesus's death, and the Sheep and the Goats parable which I always found hard to reconcile with the teachings made in the gospel of John and in Romans for example. The author is much more erudite and knowledgeable than myself in New Testament matters and I am interested in reading more of his books on this subject as his interpretations seem to make sense so far. I have read the Bible from cover to cover and I failed to see how it made sense. Much of it I thought to be bizarre and contradictory. If this author's absorbing series of commentaries help me to make sense of the Bible he will have performed a great service !
This book really is "for everyone". Whether you have been a Christian for years and want to go deeper, or whether you are just a curious "onlooker" wondering what the Bible REALLY says, this book will get you thinking! As a Christian, I am familiar with the subject matter of these books, but I have found Tom Wright's insights and background information have helped me understand things in greater depth and taught me interesting facts I did not know. Tom Wright has a readable and understandable style and these books can be used as a daily study guide or as a straight forward book, as they contain both the Bible passages [translated by him] and his exposition. I have downloaded my copy onto my Kindle which makes it even easier to dip into.
Tom Wright's commentaries were recommended by our Rural Dean. I use these commentaries in my sermon research and they are very helpful. The biblical text has been translated from the original Greek into modern day English, understandable by most people. The commentary on each text uses modern examples of incidents, places, people that any of us might come across or experience, to help understanding. The book can be used in personal Bible study and quiet time and/or for group activity and/or help in preparing talks and sermons. I highly recommend Tom Wrights 'Everyone' commentaries.
I have a number of Tom Wright's books and can always find room for another. He always leaves me feeling uplifted and informed. I dip into his writings both for personal learning, but also to help me with my students and sometimes my congregations! Yes, folks I am a Lay Preacher amongst other things, and reading is one of my self indulgences along with cooking, lunching with friends and shopping for fashion.
Matthew Part 2 is a welcome addition the series of "Guides for Everyone". Tom Wright gives us a back ground to the Gospel readings and a thoughtfull insight which is great for everyday use or more. I use them as a first starting point for sermon preparation.