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Doubleday, 1971 - Religion - 366 pages
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This is volume 26 of The Anchor Bible, a new  translation done book-by-book with accompanying  introduction, notes, and  comments. Matthewis translated and edited by  the late William Foxwell Albright, senior editor  of The Anchor Bible, and by C. S. Mann, dean of the  Ecumenical Institute Theology, St. Mary's Seminary  and University,  Baltimore. Matthewis the most familiar of the  gospels, best known for its parables, miracle  narratives, and the long Sermon on the Mount. Recognized  by the early Church as the most fitting  introduction to the New Testament, its special concern is to  announce Jesus as the fulfillment of the 0ld  Testament. Hence its emphasis on the Law, on ethics  based on the traditional theology of the Covenant,  and on the centrality of Messianic  hope. This commentary sets the understanding of  Matthew in the context of its author's own religious  and secular background. Believing that the text  should be approached directly, the writers of the  commentary make constant use of the recently  discovered historical and linguistic evidence now  available to elucidate it. This approach results in  placing Jesus firmly within the framework of  ascertainable Jewish tradition in first-century  Palestine. The writers hold that the claim of  Jesus to fulfill the Law and not to abolish it must  be taken seriously. They have therefore taken a  fresh look at the legal discussions in  Matthew. In the light of their  examination, there emerges first a revaluation of the meaning  attached to such key words as "parables"  and "hypocrite" and then a new and vital  significance for such words. The  result is a new respect for  Matthew, a highly reliable early source for the ministry  of Jesus, and an examination of that ministry  uncluttered by the presuppositions of various forms of  modern "Platonism."

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Helpful but too brief

User Review  - RICHARD HOLT -

This commentary contains some useful information. I like it. However, the comments seem unnecessarily brief. It is a useful resource, but other works on Matthew are substantially better. Read full review


Principal Abbreviations
n Matthew in Relation to the Synoptic Gospels xxxvn
The Q Material in the Synoptic Gospels

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About the author (1971)

Born in Coquimbo, Chile, William F. Albright, a preeminent orientalist, was the son of American missionary parents. By 1903 the family returned to the United States, where they would spend their next years in several small-town parsonages in the Midwest. At 16, as a student at the Senior Academy preparatory department of Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, the precocious Albright taught himself Hebrew, using his father's inductive grammar. After receiving his A.B. from Upper Iowa in 1912 and serving one year as a high school principal, Albright embarked on a graduate program in Semitic Studies at Johns Hopkins University. At Johns Hopkins, Albright came under the influence of the well-established German-trained orientalist, Paul Haupt. From him Albright learned to appreciate the role that Babylonian texts might play in solving biblical cruxes. Even so, he eventually came to distance himself from Haupt's radical biblical scholarship. Receiving his Ph.D. in 1916, Albright remained at Johns Hopkins until called into military service. His lengthy tenure in Palestine began in 1919, when he was invited to engage in postdoctoral research at the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. From 1920 to 1929, and again from 1933 to 1936, he functioned as director of the school. Recognized for his remarkable linguistic talent and passion for ancient texts, Albright was designated W. W. Spence Professor of Semitic Languages at Johns Hopkins in 1929. His command of Assyriology, Egyptology, Northwest Semitic philology, and ancient Near Eastern history was phenomenal. For an entire generation, Albright's contributions to American biblical scholarship and Syro-Palestinian archaeology were legion. His academic breadth led to his elections as president of the American Oriental Society (1935) and the Society of Biblical Literature (1939). During his residency in Palestine, Albright became acquainted with its history, pottery, and customs, both ancient and modern. He experienced Palestine as the land of the Bible. Between 1926 and 1932, he directed four seasons of excavation at Tell Beit Mirsim in southern Judah. So fully did Albright master its pottery and stratigraphy that his ceramic chronology for the Bronze and Iron Ages (c.3500-600 B.C.) remains in use even today. Largely under Albright's tutelage, the first Jewish archaeologists in Palestine became active in the field. Thus, Albright helped to lay the foundations of the later "Israeli School" of archaeology. Albright was no fundamentalist, but he often reacted against the excesses of an earlier European-style literary criticism that discredited the Bible as a viable source of history. This gifted historian of religion was capable of perceiving sweeping vistas. His well-known volumes, The Archaeology of Palestine and From the Stone Age to Christianity, are two among many that effectively interpret the Bible in relation to its multifaceted environment.

C. S. Mann was educated at Kelham Theological College and has degrees from the University of London.

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