series: Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

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Matthew brings the stimulating insights of one of today's most exciting theologians to the first Gospel. This commentary, like each in the series, is designed to serve the church-—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.

The general editor for the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible is R. R. Reno (editor, First Things). Series editors include Robert W. Jenson (Center of Theological Inquiry); Robert Louis Wilken (University of Virginia); Ephraim Radner (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto); Michael Root (Catholic University of America); and George Sumner (Episcopal Diocese of Dallas).

Volumes in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

R. R. Reno (editor, First Things) on Genesis Thomas Joseph White (Thomistic Institute at the Angelicum in Rome) on Exodus Ephraim Radner (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto) on Leviticus David L. Stubbs (Western Theological Seminary) on Numbers Telford Work (Westmont College) on Deuteronomy Paul Hinlicky (Roanoke College) on Joshua Laura A. Smit (Calvin University) and Stephen Fowl (Loyola University Maryland) on Judges & Ruth Francesca Aran Murphy (University of Notre Dame) on 1 Samuel Robert Barron (Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles) on 2 Samuel Peter J. Leithart (Theopolis Institute for Bible, Liturgy, and Culture) on 1 & 2 Kings Peter J. Leithart (Theopolis Institute for Bible, Liturgy, and Culture) on 1 & 2 Chronicles Matthew Levering (Mundelein Seminary) on Ezra & Nehemiah Samuel Wells (St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church, London) and George Sumner (Episcopal Diocese of Dallas) on Esther & Daniel Ellen T. Charry (Princeton Theological Seminary) on Psalms 1–50 Jason Byassee (Vancouver School of Theology) on Psalms 101–150 Daniel J. Treier (Wheaton College Graduate School) on Proverbs & Ecclesiastes Paul J. Griffiths on Song of Songs Robert W. Jenson (1930–2017; Center of Theological Inquiry) on Ezekiel Phillip Cary (Eastern University) on Jonah Stanley Hauerwas (Duke Divinity School) on Matthew David Lyle Jeffrey (Baylor University) on Luke Jaroslav Pelikan (1923–2006; Yale University) on Acts Kimlyn J. Bender (Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University) on 1 Corinthians Kathryn Greene-McCreight (The Episcopal Church at Yale) on Galatians Michael Allen (Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando) on Ephesians George Hunsinger (Princeton Theological Seminary) on Philippians Christopher R. Seitz (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto) on Colossians Douglas Farrow (McGill University) on 1 & 2 Thessalonians Risto Saarinen (University of Helsinki) on the Pastoral Epistles with Philemon & Jude Douglas Harink (The King’s University College) on 1 & 2 Peter Joseph L. Mangina (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto) on Revelation


Praise for the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible:

"What a splendid idea! Many preachers have been longing for more commentaries that are not only exegetical but theological in the best sense: arising out of the conviction that God, through his Word, still speaks in our time. For those of us who take our copies of Martin Luther's Galatians and Karl Barth's Romans from the shelves on a regular basis, this new series in that tradition promises renewed vigor for preaching, and therefore for the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church in our time."--Fleming Rutledge, author of The Bible and The New York Times and The Seven Last Words from the Cross

"This new series places the accent on 'theological' and reflects current interpretive ferment marked by growing resistance to the historical-critical project. It may be that scripture interpretation is too important to be left to the exegetes, and so a return to the theologians. We will wait with great anticipation for this new series, at least aware that the outcomes of interpretation are largely determined by the questions asked. It is never too late to ask better questions; with a focus on the theological tradition, this series holds the promise of asking interpretive questions that are deeply grounded in the primal claims of faith. The rich promise of the series is indicated by the stature and erudition of the commentators. Brazos has enormous promises to keep with this project, and we wait with eagerness for its appearing!"--Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible makes a most welcome contribution to the church, the academic world, and the general public at large. By enlisting a wide range of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox theologians who differ on much, but who agree on the truth of the Nicene Creed, the series also represents ecumenical activity of the very best kind. It is always a daunting challenge to expound the church's sacred book both simply and deeply, but this impressive line-up of authors is very well situated for the attempt."--Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame

"Preachers and teachers in particular, but thoughtful Christians more generally, have long lamented the slide of biblical scholarship into hyper-specialized critical studies of ancient texts in remote historical context. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Brazos Theological Commentary is being so warmly welcomed. The outstanding array of authors, beginning with Jaroslav Pelikan's splendid commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, is, at long last, reclaiming the Bible as the book of the living community of faith that is the church."--Richard John Neuhaus, author of American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile

"Contemporary application of the Bible to life is the preacher's business. But no worthy contemporary application is possible without a thorough understanding of the ancient text. The Brazos Theological Commentary exists to provide an accessible authority so that the preacher's application will be a ready bandage for all the hurts of life. We who serve the pulpit want a commentary we can understand, and those who hear us expect us to give them a usable word. The Brazos Commentary offers just the right level of light to make illuminating the word the joy it was meant to be."--Calvin Miller, author of A Hunger for the Holy and Loving God Up Close

"For pastors, wanting to get at the theological heart of a text, there is some good stuff. When I am preaching, I usually try to take a peek at the Brazos volume."--Nijay K. Gupta, assistant professor of New Testament, Northeastern Seminary, Roberts Wesleyan College

The Author

  1. Stanley Hauerwas

    Stanley Hauerwas

    Stanley Hauerwas (PhD, Yale University) professor emeritus of divinity and law at Duke Divinity School. He is the author of over forty books, including Cross-Shattered Christ, A Cross-Shattered Church, War and the American Difference, and...

    Continue reading about Stanley Hauerwas


"What's nice to see is that the individual commentators have been allowed to retain their own voices in this series; Hauerwas is as delightfully irascible and hard-hitting as ever. . . . Hauerwas attends to the Gospel chapter by chapter, teasing out theological themes while resisting the temptation to create a systematic Christology. He draws on theologians like Barth, Augustine, Origen and especially Bonhoeffer, whom he quotes and paraphrases often, as well as New Testament scholars and eclectic writers like Wendell Berry. Insightful and provocative, Hauerwas adds a valuable theological perspective to the Gospel of Matthew."--Publishers Weekly

"Hauerwas' commentary on Matthew . . . carries forward the Word once delivered to Zwingli, and will prove to be one of the most profitable places to discern the arrival of that Word today. It comes as something of a blessed relief to have the Brazos series. I in no way want to suggest that the labors of biblical scholars are not an essential part of the work of the church, but it is a welcome development to have a set of modern commentaries that follow more closely what Augustine, Chrysostom, Zwingli, Luther, and Calvin once did. . . . The series could not have chosen a better commentator for Matthew than Hauerwas. . . . Hauerwas shows himself particularly adept at illustrating Jesus' continuity with the prophets. . . . Matthew is read and exposited so that we might understand God's holy Word, and do what we have understood. Hauerwas' Matthew is the thunder peal that has followed Zwingli's lightening strike."--James F. Cubie, Koinonia

"This commentary reveals the strong links between Matthew and Hauerwas's own extensive bibliography, and even more the links that connect Hauerwas and Matthew to the works of John Howard Yoder, Reinhold Niebuhr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and an ecumenical enclave of contemporary theologians. . . . As Hauerwas works through the narratives, sermons and parables of Matthew, and especially the Sermon on the Mount, he displays the profoundly biblical basis of the positions he has expounded over the years. Readers who have followed Hauerwas's writings closely will recognize themes, incidents and favorite interlocutors whom Hauerwas draws into a marvelous, improbable quilt of biblical theology. . . . By interweaving contemporary and historical narratives with the plot of Matthew's Gospel, he displays the power of narrative exposition. . . . Likewise, Hauerwas shows the value of a figurative imagination in biblical reading; he continually draws Matthean motifs together with similar features in the rest of the Bible and shows where subsequent generations found the basis for their doctrinal reasoning. In the passages where Matthew, Hauerwas and their shared interlocutors all strike the same chord, the approach vindicates the value of this series to libraries already glutted with commentaries. . . . This commentary serves readers admirably by connecting the points that lie between the first and 21st centuries and by reminding readers that Matthew's Gospel has played a deep, broad role in centuries of theological reflection. . . . [It] advance[s] the cause of a less problematic, more harmonious theological reading of the Bible. It will appeal most to readers who already appreciate Hauerwas's writings, to preachers, and to those hardy theological explorers who, with Hauerwas and Reno, persist in seeking a better rhetoric in theological commentary on scripture."--A. K. M. Adam, Christian Century

"There is much about the vision for the series that I find attractive. . . . A refreshing feature of this kind of commentary is that comment is disciplined and shaped in relation to what is significant for Christian faith. In a relatively small book, there is substantial discussion of a whole host of issues that are of profound importance to Christians. Sometimes the discussion remains theologically abstract, but often it is compellingly relevant and at times quite moving. . . . The commentary is the work of one capable of acute observation and profound thought. At his best Hauerwas shows some real sensitivity to Matthew's story-telling technique. . . . There will be those who find in this commentary a breath of fresh air. There is certainly much to challenge and inspire Christian readers."--John Nolland, Review of Biblical Literature

"My own experience of reading Bible commentaries has often been frustrating; their linguistic dissection of verb tenses and technical comparisons of what other scholars have written has generally left me spiritually hungry. The Brazos series moves to theological reflection, and I have been very grateful for the volumes . . . that I've read. . . . Readers who are familiar with [Hauerwas's] many other works will not be surprised to find heavy doses of Augustine, Barth, Bonhoeffer, and Yoder. Hauerwas is at his prophetic best in pointing us to the disruption and offense provoked by the Gospel."--Daniel B. Clendenin,

"Hauerwas endeavors not to write about Matthew so much as to write alongside Matthew. Inasmuch as he thinks alongside Matthew, Hauerwas moves in a different direction than historical studies and becomes somewhat of an artist himself. . . . Hauerwas is not afraid to 'read our lives into the story that Matthew tells.' In fact, this is what makes this theological commentary stand out from others. . . . Perhaps Hauerwas' most significant contribution to the emerging genre of theological commentaries is found in his emphasis of Matthew's role in the church's communal life throughout the ages and his hope that his commentary be 'read as the theology of the church.'. . . His considerations that connect Matthew to a contemporary audience are well-crafted, insightful, and cannot be dismissed easily. All will appreciate the conviction, clarity, and profundity with which he writes; some of Hauerwas' opponents might even find themselves reassessing previous disagreements in light of Hauerwas' close conversation with Matthew. This commentary might also be of particular interest to Hauerwas enthusiasts since it demonstrates a deep-seated biblical foundation for a great deal of his previous work. Shapes and contours of his theology that have never been explicitly linked in other writings are also brought together in this one volume. . . . On the whole, Hauerwas certainly proves to be Matthew's faithful interpreter. While most commentaries strive to connect contemporary readers to the first century, Hauerwas also gives heed to Matthew's vast interpretive history, a noteworthy achievement. . . . Anyone wishing to become acquainted with theological exegesis should consider this volume. Hauerwas offers a fresh perspective on Matthew that is aberrantly insightful, colorful, compelling, and powerful. Well-written, fast-paced, and accessible to laity, Hauerwas delivers thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation between Matthew's gospel and American culture that aims to do no more than 'position the reader to be a follower of Jesus.'"--Thomas Seat, Princeton Theological Review

"[This] volume tries to show what a patristically informed, theological sensitive hermeneutic would look like in actual practice. Brazos was wise to ask Stanley Hauerwas to write its volume on the Gospel of Matthew. . . . The result is the most satisfying work of Hauerwas' in some years. . . . In this work, all of Hauerwas' strengths--his Christocentrism, his theological passion, his rigorous and demanding love for the gathered church--are amplified through the words of the evangelist to serve as a resource for preaching and teaching in the church. I for one am much more likely to turn here than to any more typically modern commentary for help in preaching."--Jason Byassee, Books & Culture

"The value of the commentary is its bringing Matthew into unity with the rest of the biblical witness to the Gospel as that witness has been expounded by the church. The soundness of the commentary lies in Hauerwas's own theology having been honed by the church. . . . Throughout, the commentary reflects the way that genuine dialogue with the Bible sheds light on the economic, political, military, and cultural dimensions of every generation. . . . This Brazos series can play an important role in reminding one of the community's indispensable role in understanding the Bible, and Hauerwas's contribution to the series is a formidable one indeed!"--Gene L. Davenport, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"I would recommend [this commentary] especially for devotional reading. Hauerwas is not afraid to question long-held evangelical assumptions related to the family . . ., politics, war, poverty and wealth, and sexuality. While many will disagree with both his interpretations of Matthew and his conclusions on these hot-button issues, they are substantial and deserve careful attention. . . . His reading of the First Gospel at times reveals profound insights and moves one to follow harder after Jesus."--Joel Willitts, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"[Hauerwas's aim] is to show the 'how' of Matthew's work, or the practical wisdom exercised in his unfolding of the Gospel story. . . . He comments on each chapter of Matthew, using the chapter divisions for assisting readers to arrive at a fuller sense of the continuity of the story. . . . Hauerwas provides insightful spiritual and moral commentary. . . . Hauerwas's commentary on Matthew integrates . . . the exegetical, the theological, and the ecclesial. As a result, his reading is more focused and more intensive. What he does is both instructive and encouraging for contemporary preachers. . . . Hauerwas reads us into Matthew's story of the gospel so that we might be trained to be disciples of Jesus. We are fortunate to have [this commentary] to help us read the word of God for the work of ministry."--Michael Pasquarello III, Journal of Theological Interpretation