Commentary Recommendation

I have been a big fan of the Tyndale New Testament commentaries for a while now. For this reason when I saw the Matthew volume for 50% off at PTS’s Cokesbury store I leaped at the opportunity to purchase it. I have not been disappointed. R.T. France does an excellent job in my estimation in developing a quality commentary on the tax collector’s gospel. It is very readable and engaging as well as evangelical and reformed. France deals decisively with progressive commentators who attempt to denigrate Matthew particularly and deftly deflects their attempts to cut his work into exegetical pieces all the while being respectful and careful. France also gives an excellent account of the Beatitudes and how they are properly to be understood and shows how they have been misused and misunderstood as ethical imperatives in our age. Now I am only on page 201 of 416 so I have not come upon the controversial passages in Matthew 24 & 25. Once I have I hope to give you a sense of how France deals with it. Also for those who are curious about the author’s take on Matthew 5:17 France gives the “normal” reformed response to the liberal, dispensational, and/or Marcionite attacks on Jesus and the Old Testament Law. One last thing before I give you the author’s biography. I think the author belies a “general equitist” understanding of the Old Testament Case Law.

About the Author – R.T. France

He was born 2 April 1938, educated at Bradford Grammar School and Balliol College, Oxford (MA). He earned his BD at the University of London and his PhD at the University of Bristol. He served as a curate in Cambridge and then[1]:

John Calvin on the Covenants

Quotation from John Calvin’s commentary on Jeremiah 31:31-32

Now, as to the new covenant, it is not so called, because it is contrary to the first covenant; for God is never inconsistent with himself, nor is he unlike himself, he then who once made a covenant with his chosen people, had not changed his purpose, as though he had forgotten his faithfulness. It then follows, that the first covenant was inviolable; besides, he had already made his covenant with Abraham, and the Law was a confirmation of that covenant. As then the Law depended on that covenant which God made with his servant Abraham, it follows that God could never have made a new, that is, a contrary or a different covenant. For whence do we derive our hope of salvation, except from that blessed seed promised to Abraham? Further, why are we called the children of Abraham, except on account of the common bond of faith? Why are the faithful said to be gathered into the bosom of Abraham? Why does Christ say, that some will come from the east and the west, and sit down in the kingdom of heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? (Luke 16:22; Matthew 8:11) These things no doubt sufficiently shew that God has never made any other covenant than that which he made formerly with Abraham, and at length confirmed by the hand of Moses. This subject might be more fully handled; but it is enough briefly to shew, that the covenant which God made at first is perpetual.