Rumors were that the Eerdmans Critical Commentary (ECC) series was halted, but the release of this two-volume set proves them false. I have no idea what the future of this series is, but I found this set exceeding my expectations. To be upfront, I’m very conservative in my approach to Scripture, but have long enjoyed some of these series that take a more liberal viewpoint because they can have such interesting theological takes at points. Again, not across the board, but here and there nuggets of brilliance can be dug out. Now that you understand what I’m looking for, and the basis I will rate the book on, I can tell you that this one provides far more of it than I usually get. There’s some nonsense to my conservative eyes on these pages, but there’s a bunch of what I hoped to find too—yes, reams of it really.
By the standards of major commentaries of this length, this set has a short Introduction of 20 pages and the footnotes are half of that. Good for me, the subjects where I’d find the reasoning most subversive are mercifully short in coverage. That might be a downer for some users of this work, but since “Q” and source discussions are served up ad nauseam in other works I think you’ll be ok. He quickly segues into “genre and orientation”. It’s the orientation angle that sparkles with profound observation. If you can’t enrich your studies with what’s found here, I suspect you’re not even trying. It’s the broad swaths that we somehow miss that were most compelling. The section on theological interests and involvements are really more of the same at the same high level. And then the Introduction is over. As it turns out, like Goldilocks, I’ll call it , just right.
The commentary proper continues the style I enjoyed in the Introduction. When he makes a conclusion based on the sources Matthew was using, I’ll pass. But when such things don’t derail him, the exegesis is quite good. Even better is how he looks at the text with eyes wide open and sees so much. When you can see important details, can see trends across the book, and can tie it all together, you can help we commentary readers. This he does. I really like this lovely commentary (nice book and dust jacket) though it’s final rating may be a matter of taste. It tasted good to me.
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.