Monday, March 18, 2013

Matthew by Michael J. Wilkins

book cover
Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary:

by Michael J. Wilkins

ISBN-13: 9780310278313
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: July 24, 2007

Source: Bought through

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Brimming with lavish, full-color photos and graphics, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary walks you verse by verse through books of the New Testament. Things that seem mystifying, puzzling, or obscure will take on tremendous meaning when you view them in their ancient context. You'll deepen your understanding of the teachings of Jesus.

Written in a clear, engaging style by leading evangelical contributors, it features:

  • Commentary based on relevant papyri, inscriptions, archaeological discoveries, and studies of Judaism, Roman culture, Hellenism, and other features of the world of the New Testament
  • Hundreds of full-color photographs, color illustrations, and line drawings
  • Copious maps, charts, and timelines
  • Sidebar articles and insights
  • 'Reflections' on the Bible's relevance for 21st-century living

My Review:
Matthew is a Bible commentary on the book of Matthew with a focus on the background context for the verses. The background information was cultural, historical, and geographical and much of it was based on ancient literature and archaeological discoveries. The actual ancient sources were quoted and their relevance explained, which I liked better than the vague summaries or paraphrases that I usually come across.

The commentary moved through Matthew in order. Sidebar articles supplemented the commentary in the main text. There were many full-color, easy-to-read and -understand maps, charts, and timelines. The many full-color pictures illustrated the commentary giving an excellent idea of what a thing, place, or activity was like at the time of Jesus.

The author usually gave the information and let the reader draw their own theological conclusions, which I appreciated. Overall, I found the information useful and interesting. Though written with a slightly more scholarly tone than some lay-level background commentaries, I'd still highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the background context of Jesus' life and teachings.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt at (click on the "Excerpt" link).

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