Commentaries on Matthew

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Malachi  ⇐ ⇒  Mark

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For more great commentaries on Matthew, be sure to check:
Commentaries on All the Four Gospels, The Life & Times of ChristNew Testament Commentaries & 
Whole Bible Commentaries.

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Order of Contents  36+

The Best Commentaries  8
Commentaries  20
Jewish Background to  1
Early Church  7
Medieval Church  1
On Matthew Generally  3
Chapters in Matthew
Joseph & Mary  1

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The Best Commentaries on Matthew

Simple, Practical & Devotional

Glover, Richard – A Teacher’s Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew  Buy  1889

See the review by Rev. Nick Batzig of this work, with an excerpt from it.

“A reprint of an old (1889) conservative treatment.  Devotional and practical.  Contains some good expository ideas for preachers…” – Cyril J. Barber

Robertson, A.T. – Commentary on Matthew  1911  in The Bible for Home and School

Robertson was a reformed, Southern baptist.

“An exposition by an able exegete.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Intermediate

Puritan

Dickson, David – Matthew  Buy  1651  394 pp.

Dickson (c.1583–1663) was a Scottish covenanter.  This has been reprinted by Banner of Truth in their Geneva Commentary Series.

*** – ‘A perfect gem.  The work is, to men of our school, more suggestive of sermons than almost any other we have met with.’ – Spurgeon

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1800’s

Alexander, J.A. – The Gospel According to St. Matthew  on chs. 1-16, outlines are given of the remaining chapters

Alexander (1809-60) was a presbyterian, a justly renowned old Princeton scholar, a linguist, an eloquent preacher and a first-rate exegete.

***  “Dr. Alexander’s last work.  He died before it was quite finished.  It is complete to chapter 14.  Its value is great.”

Broadus, John – Commentary on Matthew  

Broadus (1827–1895) was an American, Southern, Baptist.  This is one of the best commentaries on Matthew.  He was an Amyrauldian.

“A singularly helpful exposition based upon careful exegesis and containing practical applications of the text which will be of help to preachers.  Amillennial.” – Cyril J. Barber

Morison, James – A Practical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Matthew  1870  700 pp.

Morrison was initially a Scottish, United Secession minister, though gradually became more unorthodox  with his years.  The label ‘Morisonianism’ became applied to his thought and followers.  His exegetical works, though, on Matthew and Mark are valuable.

*** “We differ greatly in doctrinal views from Dr. Morison, but we set a great price upon his Matthew and Mark, which deserve the utmost praise.” – Spurgeon

“A practical and devotional phrase-by-phrase commentary.  In many instances, provides helpful comments on textual problems.  Although the interpretation of Greek nuances is not always accurate this work should be purchased if found.” – Cyril J. Barber

Thomas, David – The Genius of the Gospel, a Homiletical Commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew  1873  580 pp.

Thomas was a minister in London and editor of ‘The Homilist’.

***  “We hardly know a more suggestive book.” – Spurgeon

“A homiletical and practical exposition which overlooks many difficulties in interpretation.” – Cyril J. Barber

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1900’s

Ridderbos, Herman

Matthew  Buy  1950  556 pp.  in Bible Student’s Commentary

Ridderbos (1909-2007) was a reformed Dutch theologian and Biblical scholar.

This commentary series ‘represents the best in conservative, continental Reformed scholarship.  Professor Ridderbos’s commentary on Matthew is considered one of the finest in this series.’ – The book-flap

Matthew’s Witness to Jesus Christ: the King and the Kingdom  Buy  1958  94 pp.

“A leading Reformed theologian from The Netherlands provides a brief survey of Matthew’s gospel.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Commentaries on Matthew

1500’s

Marlorat, Augustine – A Catholic and Ecclesiastical Exposition of the Holy Gospel after St. Mathew, gathered out of all the singular and approved divines (which the Lord has given to his Church)  ToC  1570

Marlorat (1506-1562) was reformed.  His commentaries are particularly valuable as they are compendiums of block quotes from some of the best reformed divines of his day on the passages of that particular Biblical book.  See here for an excerpt from his commentary on John. 

**“Marlorate was an eminent French reformer, preacher and martyr.  His commentaries contain the cream of the older writers, and are in much esteem, but are very rare.  He wrote on the whole New Testament, but we have in English only the Gospels [2-3 John] and Jude [and Revelation 1 & 13].” – Spurgeon

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1600’s

Ward, Richard – Theological questions, dogmatic observations, and evangelical essays upon the Gospel St. Matthew, wherein about two thousand six hundred and fifty necessary and profitable questions are discussed; and five hundred and eighty special points of doctrine noted; and five hundred and fifty errors confuted, or objections answered: together with diverse arguments, whereby divers truths, and true tenets are confirmed  ToC  1640

Ward (1601-1684) was educated at Cambridge, England and St. Andrews, Scotland, and was a reformed minister in London.

**  “A huge mass of comment, in which are thousands of good things mostly set forth by way of question and answer.  Few could ever read it through; but to a wise minister it would be a mine of wealth.” – Spurgeon

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Simple & Practical

1800’s

Abbott, Lyman – The New Testament with Notes and Comments, Accompanied with Maps and Illustrations, vol. 1, Mathew and Mark  1875

**  “Intended for workers, and likely to be useful to them.” – Spurgeon

Clarke, George W. – Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Explanatory and Practical  1870

**  “Good notes for teachers.  Well compiled.  A fit companion to… [his harmony on the Gospels].” – Spurgeon

Spurgeon, Charles – The Gospel of the Kingdom: a Popular Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew  1893  530 pp.

Spurgeon (1834–1892) was an influential Calvinist, baptist minister.

“…this devotional exposition contains fervent and practical admonitions based upon the text.” – Cyril J. Barber 

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1900’s

Erdman, Charles – The Gospel of Matthew: an Exposition  1920  225 pp.

Erdman was a conservative liberal at Old Princeton Seminary in the early-1900’s, being the leading antagonist to J. Gresham Machen, the leading founder of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

“A brief, conservative exposition which adequately explains the thematic development of the Gospel.” – Cyril J. Barber

Morgan, G. Campbell – The Gospel According to Matthew  1929  321 pp.  73 Sermons, given as originally preached

Morgan (1863–1945) was a reformed congregationalist minister and is often considered to be one of the 20th century’s best preachers.  He was the predecessor to D. Martyn Lloyd Jones at Westminster Chapel in London.  His commentaries are usually a series of his exegetical sermons.

“An able expository treatment with numerous practical observations.  Particularly helpful on the Sermon on the Mount.  Includes some novel ideas on the parables of chapter 25.” – Cyril J. Barber

Thomas, William H. – Outline Studies in the Gospel of Matthew: a Devotional Commentary  Buy  1961

“This work contains nearly 500 pages of homiletical and expository outlines.” – Cyril J. Barber

Criswell, Wallie – Expository Notes on the Gospel of Matthew  Buy  1970

“Helpful devotional messages on Christ’s earthly life and ministry.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Intermediate

1700’s

Beausobre, Isaac & L’Enfant, Jaques – A New Version of the Gospel According to St. Matthew with a Literal Commentary  1790

**  “The brief notes are purely literal or illustrative, and are remarkably pertinent.  The mass of the volume is taken up with an introduction to the New Testament.” – Spurgeon

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1800’s

Godwin, John H. – The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, A New Translation with Brief Notes  1863

**  “Dr. Godwin is a painstaking elucidator of the Word, and his pain is an excellent one.  Students in college will value him.” – Spurgeon

Parker, Joseph – A Homiletic Analysis of the Gospel by Matthew  1870

**  “Dr. Parker is an able though somewhat—-.  But stop, he is a near neighbor of ours.” – Spurgeon

Schaff, Philip & Matthew Riddle – The Gospel of Matthew  in A Popular Commentary on the New Testament  1879

The commentary is good enough, but could be better: it lacks spiritual profundity and fervor.  Schaff (1819–1893), the famed Church historian and N.T. scholar, came from a German-Reformed background, though was also the lead proponent of the High-Church Mercersburg Theology.  Riddle (1836–1916) was of a Dutch Reformed background and had a similar professorial and literary career.

Watson, Richard – Exposition of Matthew and Mark  1833

Watson (1781–1833) was a British Methodist theologian, whose work, ‘Theological Institutes’ (1823) was “the first attempt to systematize John Wesley’s theology and, by extension, Methodist doctrine.” (Wikipedia)

**  “Arminian views crop up at every opportunity.  The notes are meant to elucidate difficulties in the text, and frequently do so.” – Spurgeon

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1900’s

Anderson, Edward – The Gospel According to St. Matthew, with Introduction and Notes  1909  in Hand-Books for Bible Classes, ed. Dods & Whyte

Hendriksen, William – Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew  Buy 

Hendriksen was reformed.

“A very capable geographical (rather than thematic) study.  Highlights the discourses of Christ… and follows an amillennial interpretation of chapters 24-25.  The work is enhanced by the author’s use of exegesis in his exposition, making this a most valuable contribution for preachers.” – Cyril J. Barber

Lenski, R.C. – Interpretation of St. Mark’s Gospel  Buy  1932

“A thorough, strongly conservative Lutheran exposition.  Amillennial.” – Cyril J. Barber

Tasker, Randolph V.G. – The Gospel According to St. Matthew  Buy  in the Tyndale New Testament Commentaries  1st ed. 1961

“Provides some interesting historical details which illumine the text, but shows what happens when a conservative scholar is unduly influenced by higher critical theories.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Advanced, Liberal

Carr, Arthur – The Gospel According to St. Matthew, with Maps, Notes & Introduction  in Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges  The commentary starts on p. 79

“Still of value for its theological and grammatical annotations.” – Cyril J. Barber

Plummer, Alfred – An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Matthew  1910  510 pp.  Reprinted by Baker in the Thornapple Commentary series

Plummer (1841–1926) was a Church of England clergyman, biblical, Oxford scholar and a liberal.

“A most helpful technical and critical commentary.  Plummer denies Matthew’s authorship and believes that there are inaccuracies in Scripture; yet he defends the virgin birth and the reality of miracles.  In spite of the weaknesses inherent in this volume, it is one of the best expository treatments of this Gospel.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Jewish Background to Matthew

Lightfoot, John – A Commentary on Matthew from the Talmud and Hebraica  mid-1600’s

Lightfoot was a reformed divine and Hebraicist who was invited to the Westminster Assembly.  He mined the Jewish writings for anything and everything that may be of help in understanding the New Testament.  Here are his results.  

This is the only work of its kind in English; the scholarly, more complete work (vol. 1, Mt; vol. 2, Mk-Jn) that has improved, in some ways, upon Lightfoot, done in the early 1900’s by H. Strack and P. Billerbeck, has still not been translated out of the German.  

If one is interested in seeing the results of the use of the Jewish writings in relation to the gospel accounts, see Edersheim’s Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, who thoroughly makes use of them from his encyclopedic knowledge of the Jewish writings from his orthodox Jewish upbringing his life’s work as a scholar. 

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The Early Church on Matthew

Compilation

ed. Somonetti, Manlio – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Matthew, vols. 1 (1-13), 2 (14-28)  Buy

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Individual Fathers

Origin – Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew  100 pp.  in Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 9, pp. 411-512

Chrysostom – Homilies on Matthew, vols. 1 (1-7), 2 (8-17), 3 (18-28)

**  ‘Enough of solid truth and brilliant utterance will be found here to justify this father’s title of ‘Golden Mouth’; but still all is not gold which fell from his lips, and to modern readers Chrysostom is not so instructive as he was to his own age [A.D. 349-407].’ – Spurgeon

Augustine 

Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount  134 pp. in Works, ed. Dods, vol. 8

44 Sermons on Matthew  in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vol. 6, pp. 245-405

Jerome – Commentary on Matthew  Buy

Hilary of Poitiers – Commentary on Matthew  Buy

Anonymous – Incomplete Commentary on Matthew  Buy

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The Medieval Church

Aquinas, Thomas – Commentary on St. Matthew’s Gospel  This, and the below, is different than the Catena Aurea.

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On Matthew Generally

Stonehouse, Ned – The Witness of Matthew and Mark to Christ  Buy  1944

“A critical evaluation of the theories surrounding the priority of the Gospels.  One entire section deals with Christ’s use of the OT in Matthew.” – Cyril J. Barber

Franzmann, Martin – Follow Me: Discipleship According to St. Matthew  Buy  1961

“A devout study designed to show how the Lord prepared his disciples  for their future ministry.” – Cyril J. Barber

Gundry, Robert – The Use of the Old Testament in St. Matthew’s Gospel  Buy  1967

“A work of exceptional scholarship in which the author examines each quotation as it appears in the text, evaluates the theories of writers who have proceeded him, and offers his own view of the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy.”  – Cyril J. Barber

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The First Half of Matthew

1600’s

Leighton, Robert – Lectures on Matt 1-9  †1684  84 pp.

Leighton was a godly Scottish bishop whose writings are very spiritual and savory.

Blackwood, Christopher – Expositions and Sermons upon the Ten First Chapters of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, according to Matthew   ToC  1659

**  “This learned divine became a Baptist through studying the arguments against believers’ baptism.  This proves his candor.  His comment is somewhat out of date, but it is still good.” – Spurgeon

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1800’s

Alexander, J.A. – The Gospel According to St. Matthew  on chs. 1-16

***  “Dr. Alexander’s last work.  He died before it was quite finished.  It is complete to chapter 14.  Its value is great.”

“The author died before this volume was completed.  His treatment of the first 16 chapters is of the utmost value.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Matthew 5-7

See:

The Beatitudes (2)
The Sermon on Mount (9)
The Lord’s Prayer (63+)

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Matthew 11

Burroughs, Jeremiah – Christ Inviting Sinners to come to Him for Rest; Four Books on the Eleventh of Matthew   1659

Burroughs was an English puritan.

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Matthew 18

Cameron, Richard – Lecture on Mt. 18:1-17  †1680  9 pp., from Sermons in Times of Persecution  Buy

Cameron was a Scottish covenanter, from where the name ‘Cameronians’ comes from.  He is to be distinguished from John Cameron who lived earlier in the century.

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Matthew 24-25

For a very solid, amillennial, exegetical interpretation of the Olivet Discourse, see Alfred Edersheim’s Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.

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Murray, John – ‘The Interadventual Period and the Advent: Matthew 24 & 25’ in Collected Writings, 2:387-400  Buy 

Kik, Jacob Marcellus – Matthew 24: an Exposition  Buy  1948

“An amillennial approach to the problems of the Oliver Discourse.”  – Cyril J. Barber

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Matthew 25

The Ten Virgins

Burns, William C. – ‘The Ten Virgins’ on Mt. 25:1-13, also in Revival Sermons, pp. 169-87

Shepherd, Thomas – The Parable of the Ten Virgins Opened and Applied, being the substance of diverse sermons on Mt. 25:1-13  GB

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The General Judgment

Boston, Thomas – ‘Of the General Judgment’ on Mt. 25:31-46, from Man’s Four-fold State, in Works, vol. 8, pp. 289-316

Manton, Thomas – 27 Sermons on Matt 25:30-46  d. 1677

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Matthew 28

Saphir, Adolph – Christ and the Church: Thoughts on the Apostolic Commission  1874  260 pp.

Saphir was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland.

“Expository thoughts on the ‘Great Commission.’”  – Cyril J. Barber

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Joseph & Mary

Whyte, Alexander – Joseph and Mary  in Bible Characters  d. 1921

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Related Pages

Bible Commentaries

Whole Bible Commentaries

Old Testament Commentaries

New Testament Commentaries