August 31, 2008 Book Review

The Gospel of Matthew

The Gospel of Matthew

R.T. France

Reviewed by: G. I. Williamson

The Gospel of Matthew, by R.T. France (New International Commentary on the New Testament). Published by Eerdmans, 2007. Hardback, 1,167 pages, list price $60.00. Reviewed by OP minister G. I. Williamson.

Jesus said to the twelve apostles, “You will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (Matt. 10:23). And to the larger circle of his disciples, he said, “There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom” (16:28). After much study, I came to the conclusion that in neither of these statements (and others like them) was Jesus referring to his second coming, contrary to most scholars. I have been hoping that some top notch scholar would come along and demonstrate that my view is true.

Well, I recently received as a kind gift this wonderful commentary on the gospel of Matthew. And when I began reading what this able scholar had written on these passages, and especially the section dealing with Christ’s great Eschatological Discourse (chapters 23 25), my hope was realized. I simply could not put this book down. In verse after verse, I found a clear and cogent defense of what I am now even more sure is the correct interpretation. I have not finished reading all of this lengthy book. Yet I simply cannot wait to express my profound appreciation for what I’ve read in it. It is, in my humble opinion, the definitive commentary on the prophetic teaching of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel.

You might imagine that a book this big would he largely a rehash of what a multitude of other commentators have written. He does have a vast knowledge of what has been written before, but his concern is to produce “an exegetical commentary which proceeds from the text, rather than in the text” for the traditional understanding.

It is expensive. So give a copy to your pastor, and then ask him to loan it to you, so you can profit by it. I highly recommend this commentary, at least in its treatment of the passages I have studied.



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