Willard Swartley – Israel’s Scripture Traditions and the Synoptic Gospels: Story Shaping Story
This book makes a lot of theological connections between major Old Testament themes and the Synoptics. This has proven very useful in my studies especially in regard to the theology of the synoptics through the lens of Judaism.
Craig Blomberg – Historical Reliability of the Gospels (2nd ed)
Unlike his Historical Reliability of the Gospel of John, this book doesn’t run through the Gospels chapter by chapter. This book tackles the textual issues people have brought up against the gospels as a whole. Blomberg spends some time explaining various forms of criticism of scripture and then applies that to the Gospels.
David Wenham – The Parables of Jesus
Wenham’s volume in the “Jesus Library” groups the parables around various themes putting like parables from across the Gospels together into similar groups. This allows you to study individual parables and/or study a parable in relation to similar parables.
Klyne Snodgrass – Stories with Intent
You will not find a more thorough book on the parables than this one. This goes into everything from parallel teachings of the Rabbis to other cultures, etc. You will probably find this book to be overkill but it will also give you information no one else provides.
D.A. Carson – Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
This book actually covers Matthew 5-10 and draws together a broader context for the sermon on the mount than just the sermon itself. Part 1 is the sermon (Matthew 5-7). Part 2 displays Jesus living it out in what Carson calls Jesus’ “confrontation with the world.”
Randy Harris – Living Jesus
Harris’ typical conversational and humorous style unpacks what Jesus had to say in the sermon on the mount. This is a fantastic introduction to the ethics of the sermon on the mount that I would recommend not just for people studying the sermon on the mount but also for people who just want a closer relationship with God and others. This would be a great devotional book for personal study and reflection.
N.T. Wright – The Lord and His Prayer
If you are studying the Lord’s Prayer this book is a must read. As always, Wright’s theology and connection with various themes that shine through in the Lord’s prayer are rich and applicable.
Ben Witherington – Women in the Ministry of Jesus
Both Witherington and the next book by Bauckham go into great length about the women of the Gospels. Witherington starts off with a few chapters about women and culture in the first century and then goes into specific women. Bauckham starts off in the Old Testament to give the roots of the New Testament thinking on women in the gospels and then goes to specific women mentioned in the four gospels.
Richard Bauckham – Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels
See the entry above on Witherington
Eugene Boring – “Matthew” (New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol 8)
- Matthew, A Commentary: Volume 1 – The Christbook (Matthew 1-12)
- Matthew, A Commentary: Volume 2 – The Churchbook (Matthew 13-28)
Bruner’s work is excellent. He is thorough and yet still readable. Most people will find his work helpful no matter what your skill/expertise level is in Bible study.
Davies & Allison – “Matthew” (International Critical Commentary – 3 Volumes)
These are highly critical/specialized commentaries that will require some knowledge of Greek. These are some of the most thorough commentaries I have ever seen often giving more examples of things from the contemporary ancient world than you can possibly wrap your mind around. These are the gold standard of advanced/critical commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew
Donald Hagner – Matthew (Word Biblical Commentary)
These are also excellent and pretty technical. They will require some knowledge of Greek to be helpful.
Witherington’s commentary is helpful no matter what your level of scholarship is. There are a lot of extra helps in the commentary along the way to explain the major points, background information, etc.
Tom Wright – Matthew for Everyone
Of all of these commentaries, these are the most basic and yet still very helpful. Each section starts off with a personal story that is then pulled in to illustrate the text.