Bringing the Gospel of Matthew to Life is the third commentary in the Opening the Scriptures series. George Martin's other two in this series include one on Mark and another on Luke. Alas, I do not believe there is a volume on John's Gospel. The book is laid out in a format where it gives a Scripture passage first to read. Then, it breaks up the passage into individual verses with a commentary for each verse. In addition to commentary, there are hundreds of questions for personal or group reflection, which are designed to make you think and grow in your understanding of Scripture. The sections that provide background information on the world Jesus lived in or the audience to which Matthew wrote his Gospel are invaluable if you are looking to dive deeper into the Gospel.
It would be impossible for me to touch on every passage in this book, so I am going to focus on the first chapter of Matthew, which details the genealogy of Jesus. A lot of commentators will make mention of a couple of big names in this genealogy, i.e., Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but gloss over the genealogy as a whole. Mr. Martin, however, walks us through person by person, pointing out significant figures and also anomalies in the genealogy. The main anomalies are the women, Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth. The first two women were not women of great moral fiber, yet they are part of Jesus' genealogy, and it shows us that God can bring about salvation through imperfect people.
The depth Mr. Martin dives in these books is astounding. I led a Bible Study on Luke last year, and, used his volume on Luke as my primary source. It was an immense help, and made me feel wiser and able to answer questions with certainty. The beauty of there being three volumes in this series is that each one corresponds with a specific Year in the Church (A = Matthew, B = Mark, C = Luke). Since next year is Year B, I would recommend purchasing the volume on Mark first. However, whichever one you choose to purchase first, you will not be disappointed and will want to own all three eventually. Five Stars!
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