The Gospel According to Matthew

The Gospel According to Matthew

The Gospel According to Matthew

The Gospel According to Matthew


In the Christian Church the Gospel of Matthew has been considered the most important portrait of Jesus' life and message. Containing Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and a uniquely rich collection of parables, among many other things, Matthew has made a major contribution to the church throughout the centuries, and it still has much to say to the church today.

This superb commentary in the Pillar series explores the meaning and relevance of Matthew in an eminently straightforward fashion. Leon Morris writes for readers who use commentaries to discover further what the Bible means. Throughout, he makes clear what he considers to be the meaning of the Greek text that Matthew has bequeathed to the church. A perceptive introduction precedes Morris's warmhearted verse-by-verse exposition of Matthew, an exposition based on his own literal translation of the text. Now a standard reference work on the Gospel of Matthew, this mature, evangelically oriented commentary will continue to meet the needs of students, pastor, and general readers alike.


According to R. Polzin, “Traditional biblical scholarship has spent most of its efforts in disassembling the works of a complicated watch before our amazed eyes without apparently realizing that similar efforts by and large have not succeeded in putting the parts back together again in a significant or meaningful way.” This criticism may not unfairly be directed against a good deal of New Testament scholarship, which has been more concerned to discern the sources that underlie our Gospels and to study the methods used by the Evangelists as they have worked through their sources and put their Gospels together than it has been to discover what the Evangelists meant. I do not want to say anything derogatory about such activities. They have their importance, and I have spent a good deal of time doing them throughout the years. But it can scarcely be denied that much recent scholarship has been preoccupied with pulling the watch to pieces and explaining how and why it came to be put together in the way it has.

Important as such work is, it is not the task I have set for myself in writing this commentary. Rather, I have chosen to look at the watch as it has come to us. I want to find out what sense can be made of our first Gospel if we simply take it as it is. Clearly its author intended it to be read by people who had no access to his sources. He expected them to make sense of it as it stood. Surely it is not asking too much to suggest that it may be profitable to attempt to do the same in our age. We may not find our task as easy as the first readers did, but in this commentary we will take a good look at the Gospel as it stands and keep searching until we find the author’s meaning.

Many commentaries spend a lot of time examining the relationship of this Gospel to Q, to Mark, to Luke, and sometimes to other possible sources. I must confess to a certain scepticism about the possibility of being at all certain how the author went about his task of putting his material together. To cite nothing else, the revival of the Griesbach hypothesis (i.e., the view that Matthew was written first, that Mark was an abbreviation of Matthew, and that Luke depended on Matthew) shows that there are great difficulties in handling questions of order and sources. Whatever

1. Cited by T. D. Alexander in The Evangelical Quarterly, lxi (1989), p. 5.

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