In light of Matt’s post on commentaries for John I thought I would offer my top four on the Gospel of Matthew which I am almost eleven chapters in at the moment.
- D. A. Carson. “Matthew” in volume 8 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. To the point, insightful and theologically lucid. He dives into higher critical waters at times and gives more credence to some of the critics than their worth. All in all, very helpful for expositing the text.
- Leon Morris. “Matthew” in the Pillar New Testament Commentary. Typical of Morris’ style which is conversant with the issues and often allows the reader to draw his own conclusions (which I appreciate). Some commentaries mention critical views so they can gain credibility in the eyes of the “academy” but Morris mentions them to show that oftentimes their conclusions are misguided and absurd.
- Donald Hagner. “Matthew” in volume 33a of the Word Biblical Commentary. There are many things that cause me to not like this commentary. However, when Hagner is simply looking at the text he is often excellent and helpful. One needs a working knowledge of Greek to benefit from this volume and one should beware of his source critical views and warm embrace of the theory that Matthew didn’t see what he says he did but borrowed the majority of it from Mark and a mythical creature called Quelle. Also Hagner is a much more affordable option compared to the exegetical volumes of Davies/Allison (ICC) which will cost you around $200 for the three volumes on Matthew.
- John MacArthur. Matthew volumes 1-4. There is nothing on the expositional level that comes close to these volumes on Matthew. They were born out of many years of preaching this Gospel which is evident in the abundance of illustrative material throughout this work. Overall MacArthur is careful with the text and sensitive to the context and structure. MacArthur is the guy that many pastors love to criticize but I guarantee those same pastors own his commentaries and drink from them weekly even if they hate to admit it.
I have about ten others on my honorable mention list but I wanted to keep this to my top four. I just ordered the new volume in the NICNT by R. T. France and I also picked up Craig Keener‘s volume which looks to be good.