Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Witherington Sampler

BWiii's new Matthew commentary is now available from Smyth and Helwys. The introduction and commentary on Matt 1 are now available for review at http://www.helwys.com/commentary/art_010903/pdfs/matthew_sample.pdf.

BWiii tracks his interest in Jesus as a wisdom figure into the "wisdom gospel," an interest which simultaneously makes this commentary unique and unhelpful (on first skim). Apparently he is going to tie each pericope to sapiential themes; the first chapter is not particularly promising in this regard. There is no lengthy, detailed interaction in the intro with those who have previously studied Matthew from a wisdom perspective, although his brief comments on this and on Matt's setting are interesting. Moreover, with the price tag, I'm not sure who this is for; it's too expensive for most folks (though the layout is certainly user-friendly--I can't speak for the CD-ROM). And scholars are going to want more depth and more exposure to Matthean debates.

But out of gratitude to the publishers for putting the chapter online, I'll reiterate my choice of David Garland's excellent commentary on Matthew, which Smyth and Helwys put out/republished in 2001. If you're a non-specialist looking for a good commentary on Matthew, it's worth more than BWiii's effort.

Also online--the new RBL has no fewer than three reviews of Keck's new Abingdon commentary on Romans, including a review by Jimmy Dunn. Sounds like it might make a nice companion to Wright, Dunn, or Moo.


Blogger Michael F. Bird said...

Being in the US are you permitted to say the word "Wright" without also saying "may he be eternally cursed and may an apple fall on his head and startle him".

10:49 AM, May 03, 2006  
Blogger Mowens said...

Your appraisal of Witherington's Matthew commentary would mirror my appraisal of his John commentary. Its helpful at points, but overall disappointing. Blessings.


3:31 PM, May 03, 2006  
Blogger J. B. Hood said...


Seems to me that's the price of trying to write a commentary on every single book of the NT (and perhaps being out of the research/postgrad student world in the UK--if all you ever do is teach MDivs it's hard for me to imgagine how you can push yourself with that time). I have a lot of respect for his breadth, though, and I like BWiii as an exegete, pastoral-type, and personality--he was born to be on TV shows! As good as NTW, Levine, and Crossan; better than Evans (even though I think he's less on the ball than Craig).


Wright curses are like "understood you" in grammar...they're always there, of course, to preserve my orthodoxy and my salvation and those of any readers...

8:24 PM, May 03, 2006  

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