John Nolland delivered this major, massive commentary on Matthew in the highly-respected New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC) series. I’ve had his three-volume commentary on Luke in WBC for several years, and had heard that most scholars found this volume on Matthew more energetic and robust than the earlier one on Luke. After my own interaction with this commentary, I fully agree with that assessment. Further, though this is a Greek series, those who do not read Greek will find no problem as most every Greek phrase has its English counterpart nearby. For that reason, a wider range of readers than you might expect can check out this thoroughly scholarly volume.
The bibliographies in this book are gigantic. On the other hand, the Introduction is shorter than I expected. The commentary proper is the perfect length for the important Book of Matthew. If you want to know the author’s viewpoint, he defines it himself in the preface as a “redaction-critical” work that also uses narrative criticism.
He begins the Introduction with a discussion of the authorship of Matthew. Unfortunately, he finds it unlikely that Matthew wrote the book. In the next section, he wrote about the sources of Matthew with a grating certainty that I could not follow at all. In fairness, however, he’s no worse than many other scholars who write the major exegetical commentaries. In a surprising twist for one who doubts the authorship of Matthew as being Matthew, he still finds the book written fairly early, at least before 70 A.D. The Introduction became much more helpful when he wrote about the provenance of Matthew and other structural and unique features of Matthew. He managed to dip back into the unproductive conversation of sources at other points of the introduction, but was much more productive when he discussed the theology of Matthew. What you don’t want to miss his annotated structural outline of Matthew. That was an awesome way to present an outline!
In the commentary proper, each passage has his translation, brief textual notes, a bibliography for just that passage, and clearly marked off commentary of each verse. He is very thorough in what he addresses. While there are plenty of examples of some esoteric features that only appeals to scholars, there’s much productive, interesting, and helpful information to be gleaned from what he has written.
The competition is fierce among major exegetical commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew, but this volume cannot be overlooked because of the important contribution it makes to scholarship.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.