JB Green weighs in on best commentaries for Matt-Acts

In the latest issue of Catalyst Online (A Methodist periodical; the link sometimes does not work, not sure why), Joel Green weighs in on how to best build your Gospels & Acts commentary library. To be brief, here are his recs:

Matthew

R.T. France (NICNT) – “lucid, stimulating….mature reflections”

J. Nolland (NIGTC) – “insightful engagement and critical detail…” on the Greek text; narrative focus

C.S. Keener (Eerdmans) – socio-historical study

M. Simonetti (Ancient Christian Commentary) – best Christian writing on Matthew in first 8 centuries

Mark

R.T. France (NIGTC) – “reliable”

Donahue & Harrington (SP) – “intratextual and intertextual froms of analysis”

J. Marcus (AB) – focus on Mark situated against the “apocalyptic backdrop of the Jewish War”

Oden & Hall (ACCS) – early Christian reflection on Mark

Luke

R. Vinson (S&H) – “engages contemporary audiences prophetically”

J. Green (NICNT) – “brings together socio-cultural and narrative concerns”

F. Bovon (Herm) – “Bovon lays claim to his theological commitments and ecclesial location as partners in the interpretive enterprise”

AA. Just Jr. (ACCS)

John

J.Ramsey Michaels (NICNT) – “an essential resource for students of the book”; “fresh interaction with its literary-theological character”

A.T. Lincoln (BNTC)

G.R. O’Day (NIB)

H. Ridderbos (Eerdmans)

Acts

B.R. Gaventa (ANTC) – “combines erudition and accessibility”; Acts as story of divine activity

R.W. Wall (NIB) – “canonical perspective”

F.S. Spencer  – Journeying through Acts – “creative and stimulating work”

D. Bock (BEC) – “critical attention to historical and grammatical questions”

D.G Peterson (PNTC) – “an extensive, literary theological study”

Nijay Also Recommends

I would, of course, defer to Joel on all matters related to Gospels/Acts (and the rest of the Bible for that matter!), but, for what its worth, here are some of my notes.

Matthew – When I was in seminary, we read Hagner (WBC), which was excellent both historically and theologically. One should also consult Davies & Allison for technical matters.  I am told that Joel Willitts is working on a Matthew commentary which I expect to be very helpful.

Mark – Alongside the ones Joel mentioned, I have regularly benefited from Garland (NIVAC), Hooker (BNTC), and Culpepper (S&H). I eagerly anticipate future volumes by Rikki Watts (NICNT), Dan Gurtner (ECC), and Mark Strauss (ZEC).

Luke – I would add to Joel’s list Howard Marshall’s NIGTC volume (perhaps now a bit dated?) and Luke Timothy Johnson’s SP contribution. I have not had a chance to crack it open, but I have sitting on my shelf John Carroll’s NTL commentary. Otherwise, be on the lookout for a commentary by Richard Bauckham in the ICC (or is that news that is no longer the case?).

John – I am currently reading O’Day and finding it very theologically rich. In the past, I have used Carson (a solid conservative treatment), Moody Smith (ANTC), and Culpepper (introductory book) in the classroom. As a reference work, nothing compares with Keener’s two-volume bricks! I am under the impression that Tom Thatcher (instead of Anderson) is working on the S&H volume, and Mickey Klink on the ZEC one (instead of IH Marshall). Of course, I think we are all hotly anticipating Bauckham’s NIGTC volume and M.M. Thompson’s NTL contribution.

Acts – for far too long Acts has suffered from neglect in scholarship, especially examined theologically. Of course we have had outstanding work from Gaventa (and I would add a nod to Witherington and R. Longenecker). There are a slew of volumes in production at present. Steve Walton is working on the WBC (yay!). Stan Porter is writing for the NIGTC. Loveday Alexander for BNTC. And we have begun to see the epic series by Keener – the whole set will come with a back-brace and steel-reinforcement plates for your bookshelf.

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4 thoughts on “JB Green weighs in on best commentaries for Matt-Acts

  1. I like Mary Healy and James Edwards for Mark, and Garland (ZEC) for Luke, Garland is good for Mark as well, he has the best interpretation of the cursed fig tree

  2. Add Luz to go with Alison and Davies/Hagner
    I would also add three ‘readings’ on the Synoptics by Brendan Byrne:
    Matthew – Lifting the Burden
    Luke – Hospitality of God
    Mark – A Costly Freedom
    Hospitality of God is the best of the three.

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