Kellerman, James A. Translator. Edited by Thomas C. Oden. Gerald L. Bray and Thomas C. Oden, Series Editors. Incomplete Commentary on Matthew (Opus imperfectum) Volume 1 (Ancient Christian Texts). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2010. 213 Pages. Cloth. $60.00. http://www.ivpress.com/ (P)
Kelllerman, James A. Translator. Edited by Thomas C. Oden. Gerald L. Bray and Thomas C. Oden, Series Editors. Incomplete Commentary on Matthew (Opus imperfectum) Volume 2 (Ancient Christian Texts). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2010. 228 Pages. Cloth. $60.00. http://www.ivpress.com/ (P)
Gibbs, Jeffrey A. Matthew 11:2-20:34 (Concordia Commentary.) St. Louis: Concordia, 2010. 584 Pages. Cloth. $42.99. http://www.cph.org (LHP)
Pastorally, I use the Gospel according to Matthew as the structure for my Adult Catechesis.
My main critique of these Matthew volumes of Ancient Christian Texts is the price point. I understand the need to financially support ongoing patristics research and make the books more durable in hardcover, but I pray IVP would make more affordable editions available in the US in addition to making them available around the world. Yes, there is likely a demographically smaller audience for these commentaries than for the ACCS, but I do not wish that price would make this monumental series sell less well than it could.
Consequently, through the mystery of this likeness both Jonah is reckoned to have been a prophet through Christ and Christ is shown to be the Son of God through Jonah. What is that I just said? unless Christ had come into the world and fulfilled those things that were spoken by the prophets, there was not complete certainty about them that they wee truly prophets. For also those who are deemed to be telling the future are not immediately thought to be diviners, but only when they have completed those things that have been said. And so Christ was born after the prophets, but he offered this gift to the prophets before him and afterwards he received it from them. Thus Christ shows by his deeds that they were prophets because they show him to be the Son of God in their words. For in the book of Sirach he implores the coming of Christ in this way: "Bear witness to those who you have created in the beginning, and fulfill the prophecies spoken in your name. Reward those who wait for you, and let your prophets be found trustworthy." For unless he had shown them to be prophets, they could not believe Christ. How could he give testimony about another before he himself was shown to be an adequate witness?
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Our next commentary on Matthew is still technically and temporarily an "opus imperfectum," in that a final volume featuring chapters 21 and following has yet to be published. I hope to see it, personally, by the time Matthew is featured in Year A of the Three-Year Lectionary.
By way of introduction to the author of the Matthew volumes of Concordia Commentary, and since it is not (yet) available (again) on this blog, we are reprinting our review of Gibbs' Matthew 1:1-11:1 volume from Liturgy, Hymnody, & Pulpit Quarterly Book Review Volume 1, Issue 3, Apostles' Tide, 2007:
I appreciate the overview sections Gibbs gives (e.g., "Themes in Matthew 11:2-16:20," 551) that put pericopes in a larger context. His treatment of how Isaiah 42:1-4 is quoted in Matthew 12:18-21 (622-623) is very helpful to understanding the work of the Servant in the "reign of heaven."
....I also hold to the classical Christology that is entailed by giving to Mary the title "mother of God." I concur with the Lutheran Confessions, in which Mary is rightly acclaimed as the mother of God precisely because of the divinity of her Son...(736)
Readers will get a preview of Gibbs' treatment of the Lord's Supper on page 791, as Matthew 15:29-38 provides obvious parallels with Matthew 26.
This reviewer prays for Concordia Commentary: Matthew 21:1-28:20 to be released in time for Advent 2013-2014, the next time Year A shows up in the Three-Year Lectionary Series. Of course, those who use the Historic One-Year Series in Wyoming District and elsewhere will find the volumes of Concordia Commentary: Matthew helpful every year.
The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.