In Charles L. Quarles’ “Matthew: Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC),” readers are treated to a scholarly yet accessible exploration of the Gospel of Matthew. As a work deeply rooted in evangelical biblical theology, this commentary not only engages the intellect but also provides practical insights for believers seeking to understand the theological nuances of the Gospel.

Quarles, in his examination of Matthew’s Gospel, demonstrates a keen awareness of the theological fabric woven throughout the text. One notable strength lies in his meticulous attention to detail, which is evident in his discussion of the genealogy in Matthew 1:1-17. He astutely observes the significance of the inclusion of certain women in the genealogy, stating, “The genealogy, with its inclusion of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and ‘the wife of Uriah’ (Bathsheba), indicates that God chose to use persons from both Jewish and Gentile backgrounds, persons who were marginalized or stigmatized in some way” (p. 37). Quarles skillfully connects this genealogy to broader biblical themes, revealing the inclusivity of God’s redemptive plan.

Furthermore, Quarles’ commentary proves invaluable in elucidating the Christological aspects of Matthew’s Gospel. In discussing Matthew 1:18-25, Quarles unpacks the angel’s declaration to Joseph, stating, “The name ‘Jesus’ signifies that Jesus will ‘save his people from their sins.’ In contrast to the birth of a son in Isaiah 7:14, Matthew’s version centers on the significance of the son’s name” (p. 43). Quarles not only highlights linguistic nuances but also underscores the theological richness encapsulated in the name of Jesus. This attention to detail serves readers seeking a deeper understanding of the Gospel’s portrayal of Christ.

Quarles’ treatment of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is another noteworthy aspect of this commentary. His analysis of the Beatitudes, in particular, provides readers with profound insights into the ethical teachings of Jesus. On Matthew 5:3, Quarles notes, “The ‘poor in spirit’ are not merely the economically disadvantaged; rather, the term designates those who recognize their spiritual poverty before God” (p. 215). This nuanced interpretation steers readers away from a superficial understanding of the text, fostering a more profound appreciation for the ethical demands of discipleship presented in the Sermon on the Mount.

Additionally, Quarles addresses the eschatological dimensions of Matthew’s Gospel with clarity and depth. In discussing Matthew 24:3-31, he navigates the intricate terrain of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, providing readers with a solid foundation for understanding the prophetic elements of Matthew’s theology. Quarles states, “Jesus is predicting a judgment on Jerusalem that will be more devastating than the city’s previous destruction by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.” (p. 467). This historical contextualization adds a layer of nuance to the interpretation of eschatological passages, dispelling potential misreadings and misapplications.

In conclusion, while this work is not perfect, Charles L. Quarles’ “Matthew: Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary” stands as a comprehensive and insightful resource for those seeking to engage with the Gospel of Matthew on a theological level. Quarles’ attention to detail, his Christocentric focus, and his elucidation of ethical and eschatological themes make this commentary a valuable addition to any reader’s library.

Statement of Compliance: I received “Matthew: Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC)” by Charles L. Quarles from Lexham for the purpose of an unbiased review. I have not received any compensation for providing a positive review. My opinions are entirely my own and reflect my sincere evaluation of the book.

Title: Matthew: Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary (EBTC)

Author: Charles L. Quarles

Publisher: Lexham